Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just Call Me Homer

Because my hospital odyssey is finally over, and I'm back home.

Apologies for leaving you all hanging, but I just couldn't summon the energy to update from my hospital bed.

I was there for 10 nights and 11 days, and it was almost too much for me to handle. I think that was the loneliest experience I've ever had -- and it wasn't from lack of visitors. It's just hard to be far away from your family and be sick -- and I mean really, really sick. Like wake up at night and wonder if you're ever going to be yourself again sick. Wondering if you'll ever be able to eat again, or walk normally again, or have normal "plumbing" again. It was a very scary ordeal.

I'm not out of the woods yet. I am home with two disgusting and painful drains in my stomach. I hope they will come out soon, but don't know when it will happen.

The docs kept me in the hospital because I kept spiking huge temperatures overnight. I'd be up in the day and be fine, then as soon as I went to sleep -- zoom! My temperature would pop right up to 101 and higher. They finally decided -- even though I had two drains pulling old, leaked bile from my stomach -- that I needed more pumping, and various torture procedures involving sharp needles and tender parts of my belly followed. There's nothing grosser than watching a doctor pump nasty liquid from your stomach while you are (not sedated) under orders to hold completely still.

Finally they sucked enough of the old bile that was rife with bacteria from me, the temperatures stopped, and I was allowed to leave. I was sent home armed with yet another round of antibiotics -- I've been on them for the past two weeks -- but promptly broke out in a terrible itchy rash, so the doc said I could ditch them (thankfully!). The rash is awful; it mostly bothers me at night, of course.

I am so wiped out from three weeks of not being able to sleep or eat that all I do is snooze. If I walk 4 blocks, I will sleep two hours. I try to eat, but I can't get enough in me to get my protein levels back up to where they should be. Docs sent me home loaded with special nutrient drinks.

In between naps and snacks, I try to baby talk my damaged bile duct into healing so I don't need another surgery. I hope it's listening!

Somehow in all this I did gain weight -- but I still hope it's just weird hospital water weight. My legs are so wasted compared to how they were before I went into the hospital. I think I lost about two inches of muscle from my calves! I don't see how I can be heavier, but I am. It's the most bizarre thing.

Who knew such a simple surgery would come so close to killing me? Twix, I gather you had a rough time too. It's been awful. I just have to hope that now that I am home I can mend myself and gain back my strength. Otherwise, a very uncomfortable surgery looms in my future.


  1. I am so sorry that you have had such a rough time. It sounds much like my experience, except I had the old fashioned (big incision) surgery of years ago. However, there were complications, and my bile duct was laid open for exploration and I went home with a T-tube and drains. It was a very painful and frightening experience, but I am happy to report that I have been fine for many, many years.

    Be sure to take care of yourself and don't push yourself too quickly. The body needs time to heal from such an experience. I have thought of you often lately and wondered how you are doing. I'm so glad you are on the mend and back home! Take care...

  2. Mine was an emergency surgery. They didn't take into full account at the time that I was also in Thyroid Storm. After surgery my body began to shut down. I ended up in the ICU. My whole extended family was called in. They didn't think I was going to live the night through. My mom ended up sitting bedside the whole time I was there. My hospital stay was like yours. Long and scary. In the end I made it out of the ICU and into the regular unit, finally home (where I continued to have problems). Honestly I still have problems. I dump food on a regular basis. Both short after eating and long after eating. It sucks. Whoever said you can live without your gallbladder is full of sh*t. I'm to scared to go back under the knife.

    My dear I have thought a lot about you and have been worried. I'm glad to hear you are home. And sad to hear you're not out of the woods. (((hugs))) I hope you get there soon and back to feeling much much better. Go slow and don't let them shut you up if you need more help.

  3. {{{hugs}}} So sorry you are dealing with this. Eat your protein and get strong. I am sending healthy healing vibes your way.

  4. Keep on talking to your bile duct...

    So sorry you are suffering through this craptastic situation.

    I will think positive thoughts for your bile duct and I will dedicate my chanting on Friday night to your healing. Feel better!!!