Monday, October 19, 2009

Still in the Hospital

It's day 4 of my hospital stay. As fun as it's been, I'm ready to go home. Took a small step towards that goal about an hour ago. Had a small bowel movement, which means the Ileus is (healing?). In any case, doc said today that once things are moving, it'll still be 48 hours before I could go home. So I'm looking at heading home on Wednesday, providing everything progresses well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back in the Hospital

On Thursday night around 9:00, I started to get what I thought was bad case of gas. You know, that sharp pain in your gut and bloating. So I took some Gas-X, which usually does the case. It didn't. The pain kept getting worse regardless of what I tried: milk, Malox, Tums, toast, more Gas-X. I was up all night pretty much writhing in pain and feeling sorry for myself. It was the worst case of gas I'd ever had. It even made me throw up a couple times. Odd thing was, throwing up didn't help the pain.

Julie got up at 4:00 to get ready for work but instead wound up taking me to the emergency room. They pumped me full of pain killers, which helped a BUNCH. I could actually breathe normally. They then did a CAT scan on my abdomen and sent it to Australia for a doctor to read there (due to time difference). The results came back that I had a bowel obstruction, a collection of fluid outside intestines, and an abscess near my large intestine. They contacted my surgeon and arranged for me to take a ride to Miami Valley Hospital.

Once at Miami Valley, they took some X-rays of my abdomen, started me on a pain regimen of Palladone (a morphine derivative) and Toradol. I checked in at about 10:30 am on Friday. I didn't see my doctor until about 6:00pm. I was getting pretty pissed about that until I talked to him. He was busy in surgery. Plus, it turns out the Australian radiologist didn't have it quite right.

What I actually have is an Ileus. Basically part of my intestines have shut down, causing a "blockage". There isn't anything physically blocking the intestines at all. The accepted treatment is Tincture of Time (my surgeon's term). Basically wait for things to start back up.

So here I am, sitting in a hospital room watching football. It's Sunday afternoon. I haven't had anything to eat or drink since Thursday. I'm only allowed ice chips to keep my mouth moist. They have an IV keeping my fluid levels up. The doctors won't give me an estimate of how long it will take to get "right" again. I'm getting the distinct impression it could be awhile.

As it so happens, my doctor stopped by while I was writing this. He wants to wait until Wednesday to do anything more than just wait. Then we could start talking about surgery. Problem is, by disturbing the intestines with surgery you increase the chance this could happen again.

On the upside:
  • It's not life threatening
  • I'm fairly comfortable, just bored
  • The hospital has 30" flat screen TVs with HD