Friday, April 13, 2007

Strictures are not fun boys and girls..

In fact they are rather nasty. And there is no such thing as the magic
stricture healing fairy, you must get help. Here is what happened; I
had been rather tired since having this surgery (it's getting better
now) so we had a morning routine of Will getting Lilith out of her crib
(we dropped the mattress so it is painful for me to get her out)and
changing her, then bringing her to me for breastfeeding. We would get up
when she was through and I would feed her cereal and fruit in her high
chair then I would let her play in the rainbow baby jail (see December's
posts for photos of it)after Will left for work and I would lay down on
the floor next to it and nap while she played. One morning while doing
this, Sooty our biggest and most spoiled kitty was chasing one of the
other kitties and jumped squarely on my stomach. I vomited my protein
shake and what felt like some internal organs. I was in pain for a few
hours but got over it. Over the next few days I started to notice that
I wasn't able to take in as much fluids as I had been. I told myself
that my pouch was probably swollen from the Sooty thing and that it
would resolve in a few days. It didn't, in fact it got much worse, I
was vomiting at random by day 2. I could drink half a protein shake one
hour and vomit 2 sips of water a few hours later. By day three, I was
vomiting almost everything and even worse, I was noticing that when I
did vomit, I was vomiting not only what I had just drank, but what I
had had to drink even hours before that I thought I had been able to
keep down. By day four, (yes I let this go on for four days), I almost
had no breast milk and no urine. I told myself that I could make myself
keep things down by taking one sip every 15-30 minutes. Guess what, it
worked till I had accumulated enough in the esophagus that I had to
vomit. I went to bed that night and woke up choking on the beef broth
that I had managed to keep down before bed. I still waited till
morning, waking every time I would fall asleep only to have a mouth and
throat full of fluid. It was like waking up and finding yourself
drowning. (on beef broth yuck) I must have got up and vomited 5 times
that night. Then in the morning I started to cry (I still had tears
amazingly) and told Will that I was afraid that I was very sick. He
called DR. Snyder who said I had a stricture and to get me to Rose ER
stat. We all got dressed and drove to Denver. We got there at 9am. I
was given a room with the filthiest floor I have ever seen in a
hospital. The nurse took an hour to come see me. She started an IV (16
gauge or HUGE SUCKER)and drew a rainbow of blood tubes and hung some
normal saline open wide! I ended up getting 5 (yes 5) bags before I had
the urge to urinate. She eventually gave me an antiemetic (anti
vomiting) and some morphine for pain. My whole left side felt like
someone was taking a hot knife and twisting it in and out from all of
the vomiting. It still hurts to this day but not constantly like it
was. The Dr. comes in and tells me that they usually don't see
strictures until a month post op (I was thinking so sue me, I'm a week early
) and went on to say that they normally are very hesitant to go in on
someone this fresh post op. I reminded him that I hadn't been able to
keep anything down for 3 days. He left and the nurse comes back
sometime later and informs me that the Dr. wants her to hang 2 more
bags of fluid then check on me at 1pm and if I am doing okay, then I
can go home. WHAT? I reminded her that I couldn't even keep sips of
water down (not that anyone offered me anything Will got me 2 blankets
of the linen cart himself). "So you won't go?" she asked. I started to
cry then because I was so angry (I always cry when angry, I hate that
but can't help it)and said look, if I only needed IV fluids, I could
have gone to the hospital 3 miles from my house where I work and not
driven all the way from boulder to here. You would think that when a
person tells you that they haven't been able to drink for three days,
you would do a x-ray, swallow study, something. "oh so you aren't
feeling better?" she said. Look, unless you are planning on sending me
home with this IV and a crate of fluids, I am NOT leaving till you
actually do something to FIX my condition not just put an IV band aid
on it! (yep I was a little upset) So the DR. comes in and blames the
nurse, says he never said that and that they aren't even going to do
any radiology that they are going to just scope me at 5pm. This might
have been because of my tirade or because Will called Dr. Snyder and
asked him if they were going to do anything for me other than give me
fluids and keep me drugged. Oh I did get a nurse in right after that
with more Morphine that knocked me out till 5pm. Will and Lilith went
out to the waiting room while I slept and entertained the patients
there. The scoping procedure was nothing. The team was pleasant and it
took all of 30 minutes. I was knocked out for the procedure and woke up
with a slightly sore throat and that was it. I remember the nurse
giving me ice water and being afraid to take that first sip but it and
all drinks since then have gone down just fine. They even gave me
pictures of my stricture and a warning that my stricture was the worst
some of the team had ever seen and that had I waited any longer, it
wouldn't have been such an easy fix. So the moral of the story boys and
girls, Don't wait for the magic Stricture fixing fairy, she doesn't
exist, just call your DR. and remember you are the customer (as well as
patient ) and have every right to quality care.

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