Saturday, October 1, 2016

Home is Where You Are Safe and Secure, Isn't it?

There I sit waiting on the wheelchair to ride me out of that room and out of that hospital. And eventually one came and soon I was back in my castle, a bit weak, but thrilled to be home away from jabbing needles.  I felt not too bad.

All I had to do was rest and take that wonderful Vancomycin four times daily. You took it by filling a syringe with 2.5 mm and then squirting it into your mouth and down the throat. It had an awful taste.

Of course, before I could delight in that taste, I had to figure out how to get it from the bottle to the syringe. It came to me in three pieces: the bottle of stuff itself, the syringe and some funny looking little plastic round doodad. I tried sticking the tip of the syringe in the top of the bottle and pulling back the plunger to suck in some elixir, but that didn't work.

Fortunately, my Daughter Laurel is a VetTech and she knew how it worked. Isn't that nice, I had to go to an animal nurse to learn how to take my human medicine. You see that funny looking round thing had to be pushed down into the mouth of the bottle, where it fit quite snuggly. There was a hole in the center of the now snuggly-fitted plastic round thing.

You shook the bottle well, then you inserted the syringe tip into the hole, turned it all upside down and then drew back on the plunger until you sucked in 2.5 mm. After that you pulled the syringe from the bottle and shot it into your mouth, put the cap back on the bottle and placed it in the refrigerator until the next use.

I was instructed to do this for 14 days.

I certainly didn't expect what came next.

I had been told I could eat certain foods, sauerkraut and fermented vegetables, and a lot of yogurt. One of the ladies, Pat Himmelstein, from Iron Faith Fellowship brought us a meal of hot dogs, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, always one of my favorites. My daughter got about three meals out of this, I think. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I did notice a pain in my stomach and some upset that evening.

This pain was right at where the stomach meets the diaphragm continued and to some degree so did the stomach upset. Every time I ate anything both pain and upset got worse. In fact, the upset was like an angry sea tearing down a shore town. It was intense as was the pain and it went on for long hours. It was there every day and getting worse. I couldn't sleep because of it. I moved from the bedroom to the living room sofa, displacing some disgruntled cats, just so I didn't disturb my wife's sleep.

This upset and pain was so bad I stopped eating, because it intensified whenever I ate anything. I barely ate or drank anything over the next two weeks. I was getting weaker and losing weight.  Yes, it had lessened some after I was through taking the Vancomycin, but not enough that I was willing to endure food. After another week, I was so bad I told Lois I was going to put myself back in the hospital.

It was on that day that Leo, the home health nurse, came to visit. He saw I was in distress, that I was badly dehydrated. He was the first person who actually took the time to listen to my tale of woe. He made a lot of notes, then called the doctor. I was told to go see my family physician at 11:30 the next morning.

This is the doctor who gave me the antibiotic that gave me the C. Diff so I was feeling a bit of animosity toward him, but I went. After his exam, which showed I weighed 165 pounds, down from 180+ when I had first went into the hospital, he issued an order for blood work -stat, a prescription for Prilosec and set up an Endoscopy. We immediately went for the blood work, and what happened there was a story in itself and sometime I will tell it, then we picked up the prescription and I waited to hear from the Gastroenterologist on my appointment. (This appointment making is another tale for later.)

The Prilosec actually ended my pain and stomach upset, allowing me to eat again. I had been on Prilosec ever since I had a colonoscopy in 2012, but the hospital had removed it from my medications. The pain and upset were side effects of Vancomycin and the Prilosec would have saved me from that suffering.

My endoscopy was on Tuesday the 20th at 9:00, but they wanted me there at 7:00 AM. Knowing my wife was not a early riser and considering she might be erratic driving from lack of sleep,  I arranged for another church lady, Jean Harris, to drive me. (I would be doped up for the procedure and not able to drive after I had it, so I needed a driver.)

They found two ulcers in my stomach, which they sealed up. I was brought home and dropped off. That same afternoon, Leo the nurse, again stopped by. He took my vitals and I had a temperature of 101 degrees. He immediately called my doctor and guess where I was headed off to next?

Hospital stay number two!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lar! I didn't know hotdogs, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes was one of your favorite meals. Mine too! Unfortunately Bill hates the smell of sauerkraut so we don't have it here lest the sauerkraut stink up the house. I can't eat hot dogs anyway. I enjoy eating them but afterwards, my stomach rebels. And after reading about your travails, I don't want to take the chance.
    Another great post Lar!