Just can’t get enough of this place

1 Dec

Apparently there is a strong subliminal force linking me to UMC Hospital because I’ve found my way back into one of their beds.  Over this past weekend I began having problems urinating, despite the copious amounts of fluids I continued to consume.  On Monday morning, I called my surgeon at 6:30 a.m. (something I have no problem at all doing – I feel I’ve earned the right)!  She advised me to go to urgent care and get a urinary tract infection test; Nick and I were there right when the doors opened.  Although the results came back negative, I began to experience acute abdominal cramping and the doctor suggested we head to the emergency room for follow up tests and a CT scan.  Within minutes we were sitting in the waiting room of the ER that was connected to the same hospital where my surgery was performed.  Over the next few hours we went through the exhausting registration process, were assigned to a bed, had over a dozen vials of blood collected, and finally underwent a CT scan.  The test results showed a collection of fluid located behind my bladder and in front of my *new* rectum – not a good sign.

The next step was to extract this fluid, as it was essentially a form of infection, and hopefully the other symptoms would then be alleviated.  I was officially readmitted into the hospital on Monday evening and received a warm friendly welcome from the same nurses who had cared for me less than two weeks prior…wonderful.  The procedure to extract the fluid would take place the next morning (Tuesday).  A radiologist performed a needle-guided CT scan whereby he used CT imaging to guide him to the exact location of the fluid.  He then inserted a hollow needle down into the cavern of fluid and suctioned out the infected liquid.  Like any other CT scan, I was not put to sleep, rather they used a local anesthetic, Lidocaine, to numb the surface area.  This did next to nothing to curtail the pain and pressure during this ten minute procedure.  At the end, however, I was presented with two large syringes full of bacteria-ridden fluid…success!  But it didn’t end here.  In order to make certain they get every last drop they left a hollow wire inside me which is now attached to a hose and vacuum apparatus that hangs from my right butt cheek.  In case anyone is keeping score, I now have a wound vac (helping to heal the main surgical incision) hanging from my lower left abdomen, an ileostomy bag (collecting my diverted fecal matter) attached to my central right abdomen, and a hose (suctioning out infected fluid) hanging from my upper right butt cheek.  I am beginning to feel like a puppet with all these cords and hoses attached to me – and affecting my every movement.

I am keeping my spirits high that I will be saying goodbye to the hospital staff soon again, here.  The doctors have opted to keep me a few more nights in order to administer some antibiotics and to keep an eye on the immediate progress from the procedure.  I will have to have another small procedure to remove the vacuum from my behind, but I’m hoping that may happen as soon as Friday.  Additionally, I’m hoping to lose my wound vac within the next few days, as the doctors are very pleased with the speed of healing on the once-infected incision.  That would leave me with just the ileostomy bag, which I am tentatively scheduled to get rid of on Friday, December 17th when I go in for another surgery that will consist of reattaching my small bowel together and allow for the normal digestive flow into my new rectum for the very first time.  All these exciting events on the horizon are keeping the energy in the hospital room positive, along with everyone’s continued support…oh, and Nick’s ill-fated attempt at cracking endless ileostomy jokes – those alone require pain medication!

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7 Responses to “Just can’t get enough of this place”

  1. Jill December 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Oh Emily. I wish I could wave a magic wand to make this all go away. On a brighter note, have you been able to change the paint colors or accessories in your hospital room yet, since you are a preferred guest? Are you accumulating reward points? ;)

    So much love,
    j

  2. Rita Hartert December 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    We’re so sorry you’ve had this detour, Em….sounds as if you’ve had a few really rough days, but we’re heartened to know you’re on the mend. Our love…Rita and Bruce

  3. Rachel December 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Em! You are so brave and positive! I talk about you often with my classmates. Hang in there!!! You’re a trooper.

  4. Karen Moger December 5, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Bump in the road, Minor curve, Temporary set-back, “Hog Wash” you say, me too!!! Soldier on dear one, better days are coming. I think of you daily!
    Karen

  5. Fabs December 5, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Em, just thinking about you, and sending positive energy your way!!!
    Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. With your positive attitude you will win thi battle!!!
    We love you:)
    Schiestel’s

  6. Toni Sandler December 6, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    HI Em. I’ve decided that I’m not sending you any more blogs about how much I miss you and admire your spirit…That goes without saying. I will be joining Nick in finding ileostomy jokes. I know they’re out there, so brace yourself!

    Much love,
    Toni

  7. Suzanne Svoboda December 23, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    Emily I have never met you but learned of your situation from my husband’s friend from college on a trip to Vegas this month (Tom & Gale). I have had too many to count hospital stays and I myself had the pleasure of having an illeostomy resection. Having read your story I am beginning to believe they tell everyone the procedure will be reversed in 4-6 weeks and than once it is attached you are informed you will have it for an additional month, two or three but who’s counting. I wish you all the luck in the world. I have prayed for you since the day I learned of your situation, you have a wonderful outlook and a great support network of loving supportive friends. I will continue to pray for you and look forward to updates on your blog. My two pieces of advice besides the marshmallow’s, would be QUESTION YOUR DOCTORS they are not infallible and when in doubt get a second or third opinion until you feel comfortable and last but not least do it one day at a time and if that becomes too much do it hour by hour or even minute by minute.

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