What a Vacation!

January 7, 2013

Most people think of the holidays as a pleasant relaxing time with family.  Me, I got sick on Christmas day and ended the holiday in the hospital.  

Pureeing crab dip for Christmas lunch started the violent vomiting.  So I sat all week trying to get better, feeling very guilty (for my eating indulgence) and getting worse.  On Sunday (after two nights without sleep and 5 days without any food staying down), I conceded that I was dehydrated and needed medical attention.  I went to the local ER and was diagnosed with the “stomach bug”, given fluids and anti-nausea medicine.  About 12 hours after returning from the ER I was in so much pain with dry heaves, my husband took me to the hospital where I had my surgery.

It's a big deal waking two children at 1:30 in the morning, packing clothes/toys for them.  My husband was a champ, keeping us all calm.  I called the 24-hour service line to my medical team to let them know we were on the way to the ER and then sat and waited.

Once I was seen, they prescribed some pain medications, anti-nausea medications, an IV, and a CT scan to see why I was in pain.  The CT scan showed a semi-blockage in the part of the intestine that was removed from the main digestive track.  The blockage was from scar tissue.  NOTHING I ATE OR DID CAUSED THIS.  It was a relief, of sorts, to learn this, but we still had to deal with the existing problem, which led to…

…Being  immediately admitted and then “tortured”  by the on-call doctor  with a hose that went up my nose and down to the intestine to suction out the blockage. (IT WAS HORRIBLE!)  Followed by emergency surgery 3 days later to reattach my bowel to my stomach.  I’ve now been in the hospital a week, on a first name basis with all the nurses on the floor, and am pretty sure all my veins in my left arm have been been poked.  There is hope I will be heading home tomorrow.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Call my medical team immediately when something is wrong.  (I didn't call because I felt guilty and didn't want to be a bother.)
  2. Go to the hospital where my medical team practices.  (I knew I should go to the surgery hospital on Sunday, but it wasn't convenient.)
  3. Trust my instincts.

After a smooth surgery and initial recovery I’ve certainly hit a bump…only 2% of all gastric bypass patients have this kind of complication. I hope that my next few months (and posts) will be less dramatic.  Let me end with a bit of good news, though, I’ve lost 25 pounds (since surgery) as of this writing, and am wearing size 14 (no more plus sizes)!  I promise “After” photo’s when I get home from my adventure at the hospital.

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