A Day In The Hospital, Or Two

Ok, so maybe you’ve read that I got a chance to visit the nice folks at the hospital a few weeks ago. Turns out I had an ulcer. I got two weeks worth of pills at 1 a day (plus Iron? dunno) and since I’m lazy, after another week or so I went back for the follow up.

I told the doc I was feeling much better, but my guts were still feeling like someone was squeezing them. The doc looks at me funny and requests further detail, as apparently ulcers make you sick but don’t hurt. Hmmm…uh oh. But it started that same night?

Well, long story not as long, it appears that I herniated myself while dry heaving due to the ulcer, and due to possible miscommunication and my ignorance of sickness in general I just dealt with it for 3 weeks for no apparent reason. Something else also became apparent while I was there that actually scared me more, but I will keep that to myself. It really damaged my day though, thinking that I’m 34 and my warranty must be out or something.

I got shuffled off to another hospital (from the doctor’s clinic) for some more tests and imaging. I got ultrasounded and CT scanned again. I hadn’t had breakfast nor lunch, figuring this whole thing wouldn’t take all that long, and narrowly avoiding passing out between procedures. The other doc did mention that I looked pale, and of course I wondered how anyone can ever tell that.

So long story not so long, I got some tests done, got some results, had a second, concurring opinion (that probably I didn’t really need I suppose) and we set a date for surgery that’d give me a week or so to heal before we head off to Uzbekistan to visit family.

Morning of:

We got there a couple hours early as directed, got my room, IV, and all that fun temp/BP/pulse stuff started, and I got a pill to relax me. I don’t know if it eventually worked or my sleepless night before started to catch up to me, but after a while I got yawny and stretchy, if not actually sleepy. We got held up a bit so a lady could finish her C-section. I didn’t have a problem with that, I figure it’s more traumatic and life changing than mine, so patience was no problem.

Eventually they rolled me into the operating room. The anesthesiologist looked at me and said I was going to go to sleep. It was about 10:30 AM.

The first thing I remember is rolling into the room and somehow finding a clock. It was 2:30 PM. I was in pain when I woke up enough to realize anything. They gave me a shot in the hip for that. Most of the next few hours weren’t terribly entertaining and I didn’t feel very good. I sent Guli off to check on the kitten we were sitting, to make sure he had some food.

Hours later they brought me some food but I can’t say I wanted any of it. I had some apple juice though. Any adjustment in sitting was quite painful, and for the first day or so, physically impossible on my part as my muscles just didn’t seem to want to participate. Guli called me and said her coworker and husband wanted to wish me well. I finally wised up and asked the nurse to give me something for the pain, as I was really hurting. She hooked me up with an IV of tramal / tramadol (? — something like that) and the pain started to go away.

The well wishers stopped by, but I can’t imagine a worse way to meet someone for the first time and I wasn’t exceptionally good company. I started to feel very sick. And sicker, and I got hot and sweaty. Normally of course, people dig that but it wasn’t a good addition to my sorry state. I buzzed for the nurse. Apparently reactions to this medication aren’t unknown as I told her I was getting sick and the first thing she did was grab my arm, noting that it was cold. I hadn’t noticed. She disconnected the IV quick like and we got rid of the guests. Things got better thankfully.

I was bloated and swollen. I had a drain stuck into me that was sucking out blood and suchlike from my gut. Hours later I had to go to the bathroom, and the nurse got me disconnected and between the 3 of us, I managed to go take a leak. They were a bit non-plussed that I wanted to shut the door on them, but I generally don’t want company in the bathroom. Getting back to the bed afterwards was pretty tough, too, and I can’t say that I enjoyed it. Later for supper I was able to sorta enjoy a broth soup and some jello. Guli got to eat real food though. Basically we watched TV and I tried to move as little as possible.

The doctor stopped back by around 10PM. He must have some pretty terrible hours. Guli decided I was too pathetic and she’d stay the night, which I was thankful for. So much for day surgery. Luckily the couch area in the room looked rather wide so it wouldn’t be too uncomfy. We got them to give me a jug so I wouldn’t have to get disconnected and trundle to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I could just lean over (which hurt enough as it was) and let go, though in practice this was more difficult than it would seem. It was also kind of embarrassing, but more so in the act of than telling you folks about it now. I tried to move a few times during the night but my abdominal muscles weren’t suited for it yet, though towards the morning I did half-lay on my side for a bit. It wasn’t really comfortable, given my “starving African child” bloated belly, but it was better than laying on my back anymore. That’s amazingly difficult after several hours straight, believe it or not. Of course, repeatedly during the night the temp/BP/pulse brigade stopped by, but I wasn’t sleeping much to be interrupted, despite the sleeping pill they gave me. I’m not the best sleeper in the ordinary case, much less in a hospital.

It was decided I needed to move around more, which was rather horrifying to me, but I was feeling a bit less terrible, and a bit more tired of laying / sitting in that damn bed. I did a few laps up and down the corridor in my best old man-walk. I was still hurting but it wasn’t as bad anymore. Later the doctor came back and pulled the drain out of me. After that, the IV went, and it was time to go home. Now here’s the interesting thing: when I was in the hospital with the ulcer, they made me go everywhere in a wheelchair, where I was perfectly mobile. This time, I did my grimacing old man-walk out the door, with a nice stop to sit while the necessary payments were made. I have no shame in telling you that while the $3000 deductible plan seemed like a good deal last year, this next year I will be on the $1000 deductible insurance plan. 😯

And then we went home, where I was uncomfortable in more comfortable surroundings. Small victories are sometimes the best. It’s now a week later, and I’m much better. In a few hours I’ll get the stitches out, but I can walk now, not hunched over, and I can move pretty freely, though I still do feel like I’ve done too many sit ups, but it’s bearable. I quit taking the pain pills after a couple of days, mainly because I don’t like taking pills and even with them the muscular discomfort was there, and the rest of it was minor anyways.

Well, that’s that. I highly recommend not having surgery and avoiding problems whenever possible. Thank You, and Have A Nice Day.

2 Responses to “A Day In The Hospital, Or Two”

  1. eagl Says:

    Careful not to re-herniate it. My wife had a hernia and it took two tries separated by a few months to get her guts tucked back in where they belong.

    So… What’s the other thing you’re keeping to yourself? Cancer? Blood pressure? Back injury? Low sperm count? Prostate? Come on, you can’t mention it and then keep it a secret…

  2. Robert Says:

    Nothing big, it’s fixed now.

    They have like a mesh thingy they put in to keep your various guts where they belong, or at least not places they don’t belong. I think I didn’t mention they took care of another one that was developing on the other side whilst they were poking around. 8)

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