The Sky Is Falling In

I’ve been run over by a lorry. Well, perhaps not but it sure feels like it. I was dropped off at the hospital at some unearthly hour on Monday morning and my parting words were that I’d probably be ready for collection by elevenses. Having had many colonoscopies over the years, I knew what to expect, or so I thought. I should have known better. With a medical history like mine, nothing can be taken for granted. I live and learn.

On admission to the day ward,  I was shown to a curtained cubicle and asked to change into a theatre gown. I was duly weighed and labelled and then an overly cheerful vampire arrived to take my blood for a multitude of tests. Shortly afterwards, a nurse began the task of wading through my medical history. It was all fairly routine until we got to the “any previous surgery” question and then it was my turn to wear the pants! When we reached the “MRSA” part, the mood changed again. Despite my protests that all recent swabs have been clear, I was quickly moved to another part of the day unit while the nurse went off to phone infection control at the hospital where I’d been treated in isolation. On her return, I was granted clearance but not before two swabs had been taken for analysis. I was also informed that I would be moved to end of the theatre list as a precautionary measure.  It seems that no matter how hard you try, you can never be rid of the stigma of MRSA.

The scoping itself was no bother. I was told that I needed a gastroscopy as well as a colonoscopy as biopsies were required from both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. I was sedated shortly after arrival in theatre and knew no more until I woke up back in the day ward. I was told I was due to have a CT scan later in the day. Shortly after regaining consciousness, I developed severe pain in one side of my abdomen. My doctor explained that the pain was most likely caused by the gas used to inflate the intestines during the procedure and would resolve in time. I was given peppermint water to drink. Despite numerous trips to the bathroom, the pain continued unabated. I soon had to drink half a gallon of contrast solution in preparation for the scan. Once the scan was over, the nurses began to make noises about getting the house-doctor to review my pain. I knew I was at high risk of being admitted overnight so I declined further help and instead took two strong painkillers of my own. An hour or so later, I felt well enough to summon a lift home and a nurse accompanied me to the door of the hospital. The car journey was a nightmare. The pain got so bad at one stage, we had to stop the car so I could put my head between my legs to stop passing out. I lay across the back seat and groaned all the way home.

I had a really uncomfortable night with intense abdominal pain and as I was running a temperature by morning, I gingerly contacted the hospital for advice. The nurse in charge remembered me (how could anyone forget) from the previous day and handled the situation very competently. I was afraid I’d be told to come straight in to the hospital but no, she was happy to contact my specialist and then phoned me back to let me know the plan. The specialist contacted me directly having reviewed the scan, to confirm that there was no evidence of a bowel perforation following the scope. It appears that I’ve had an inflammatory reaction to the procedure and have been prescribed medication to ease the symptoms. So far, the results are encouraging  in that no structural abnormality has been identified but I have to wait another two weeks before the biopsy results and blood tests come back, to find out what’s caused the colitis over the last six weeks. It’s still thought to be antibiotic-associated.

Today I still feel totally buggered (in all senses) and the frequent dash to the loo continues but the sky is no longer falling in. I’m back at my blog (albeit in bed) and that is always a good sign. Comments and emails have been a great boost (thank you) and I apologise that my replies have not done them justice. The saga continues.

18 Responses to The Sky Is Falling In

  1. Bendy Girl says:

    Oh Steph! I really hope the pain is easing by now. Always worth remembering there’s just as much collagen to be fragile and lax in the digestive system as there is in our joints. Sending you lots of love and healing thoughts! BG x

  2. Annb says:

    Oh Steph you poor wee lamb I hope you’re getting lots of TLC. I can totally identify with your day – Rory and I were cordoned off in a waiting room all to ourselves for 4 hours when we last visited a day ward in Crumlin. The last on the list meant a 4 hour wait for a 5 min procedure and an overnight in hospital as it was too late to get back to Galway! The dreaded MRSA; it’s amazing how their faces contort and droop when you admit to it! I suppose we should be thankful that they are taking precautions.

    We’re sending you the warmest of hugs and hope you’re feeling better soon.

  3. Steph says:

    Bendy – I’ve had five or six previous colonoscopies and all went according to plan except for one. I woke up from the sedative on that occasion in severe spasmodic pain (worse than Monday) and was quickly given more IV pethidine which solved the problem. I walked out of the hospital afterwards feeling absolutely fine so I don’t know why things are so bad on this occasion.

    You’re absolutely right about fragile tissue and I think the EDS may well bw contributing to the problems now. The intense pain has eased during the day but I fear the colitis is worsening again.

    Ann – I’ve barely been able to get down the stairs since Monday so I’m being pampered with meals in bed. The only problem is that food represents pain and trips to loo so I’m kept on my toes.

    I know exactly what you mean about the faces when you mention MRSA. I’ve witnessed it many, many times. I told the nurse the other day that I’d already paid the price for having MRSA and that it wasn’t fair to make me continue to suffer. She did apologise but said she was bound by protocol 😦

  4. Grannymar says:

    Poor Steph, you are really in the wars.

    Rest plenty and sleep as much as you can. Hugs.

  5. Steph says:

    Grannymar – I treasure your daily support. You keep me grounded 🙂

    It ‘s great having friends ‘in’ my bed. Now I understand why you share your bed with Tobias. 😉

  6. knipex says:

    Steph

    Take it easy. Forget the blog for a while. Rest, relax and taek care of yourself.

  7. Steph says:

    Thanks Knipex.

    Don’t you worry. The laptop keeps me sane. While I’m not up to actively blogging at the moment, it’s great to be able to keep in touch with the rest of the world. I may be down but I’m not out!

  8. Baino says:

    Ah Steph, it seems it never ends for you. I feel for you I really do. Just take it easy and take some ‘me’ time to recouperate. I wish I could take it away and toss it all overboard for you. Small comfort I know but thinking of you all the way down here. . .you make me feel like such a whinger going on about a sore back. It’s nothing compared to what you have to put up with. Big hugs.

  9. Geri Atric says:

    Hi Steph – trying frantically to think of a joke to cheer you up, but all I can think of is that you’ve had a real bum deal (groan…)Sorry!!
    Hopefully things will get better for you from here on in – and I’ll drink to that. Bottoms up! (Oops..)Sorry again!
    I’ll go now shall I…..?

  10. Steph says:

    Baino – Thanks! I feel those big hugs. You gotta remember, I’m used to having to re-program my life around the latest medical problem so I’m fairly philosophical in my approach to illness. This latest set-back has gone on for far too long though and I am definitely frustrated by the lack of a diagnosis. Life seems to have been on-hold for ever!

    Geri – Well done 😆 I need as much humour as possible right now. Fingers crossed the docs will get to the BOTTOM of the problem soon. A better heading for this post might have been ‘The BOTTOM has fallen out of my World’ or even ‘The World has fallen out of my BOTTOM’ 😉

  11. Annb says:

    AT this stage Steph, I guess you could say the only way is up! Can I recommend The Lady’s No.1 Detective Agency series of books by Alexander McCaul Smith for really lovely, life affirming, escapism – got me through some very, very, tough life on hold days, I can tell ya! Continued and sustained hugs from us all.

  12. Steph says:

    Thanks Ann

    I’ve perked up over the last few days and managed to stay up for most of yesterday though still frequent trips to loo.

    I’ve just finished reading Kathy Evans “Tuesday’s Child” and loved it – interesting insight into living with Down syndrome. Thank you for your recommendation – I shall see if my local library has this series in stock. I see on Amazon that it’s a 5-book series. I hope it doesn’t take THAT long to get better!

  13. Annb says:

    They are small books and very quick to read!! I have a feeling you will be up before the end of book one! Enjoy.

  14. Jeanie says:

    Dear Steph
    Shocked to read all this. Big hugs from across the world xxxxx I agree with Annb’s recommendation of No 1. Ladies Detective Agency- just the ticket for when life is on hold. Take care.

  15. Steph says:

    Hi! Jeanie

    No worries. I’ll be back on track again before you know it. Saw my GP last night and got some welcome reassurance, sympathy and more medication. Just have to be patient!

  16. roy says:

    stay strong

  17. Steph says:

    Hi Roy – I’m doing my best, honest! 🙂

  18. […] Rare Bird I had a check-up with the gastroenterologist this morning to get the results of the tests I had a couple of weeks ago. I’d hardly sat down in his consulting room when he announced […]

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