October 24, 2012
Hospitalized While On Vacation | printable version
If you're a guy, you should stop reading now. Seriously. Don't continue. If you have a queasy stomach, you should also turn back now. If you keep reading, you'll be sorry. Don't say I didn't warn you!
For the last year and half, I've been dealing with some health issues - most notable feeling disoriented when I stand up and I've experienced female problems. These both started around the same time in the Spring of 2011. I have briefly commented on them here but I haven't gone into detail. Today, I will. My problems have gotten progressively worse over the past 18 months. Before last weekend, I'd been to six different types of physicians, had more vials of blood taken than I can count, had three sonograms, numerous biopsies, and even outpatient surgery. Most recently, they put me on birth control pills to control things while they ran numerous blood tests looking for bleeding disorders. All of this medical intervention seemed to make things get much worse, much more quickly, and all the tests so far have come back normal.
We left for our vacation in Tennessee on Wednesday and arrived on Friday. My mom and step-dad arrived from Texas the same day and Ali and Justin arrived that evening. On Saturday morning, I woke up and I knew something was very wrong. Without going into a lot of gory details, I knew I had to get to the emergency room FAST. I was hemorrhaging.
Richard and I raced out the door. The drive down the steep mountain road and then to the hospital took about 25 minutes. Richard dropped me at the door. When I got out of the truck, blood ran down my legs. I was too scared to be embarrassed. Needless to say, the hospital put me in a room right away. If you want to bypass a long wait for triage in the E.R., just hemorrhage. That does the trick!
Bloody jokes aside, my blood pressure was sky high and my pulse was 122. Before I'd left the cabin, I'd wolfed down three birth control pills, which worked pretty quickly the last time I had a bad episode. And, yes, this was on the advice of my doctor. So, after arriving at the hospital, things slowed down a bit. Ali came with fresh clothes for me and things appeared to stabilize so they said I could leave. When the nurse pulled my IV out, she put pressure on it for a minute and then put a cotton ball and a bandage on it. Seconds later, I felt something cold on my arm. The cotton and bandage were soaked and blood was dripping down my arm. Richard called the nurse back and she said she suspected I have a bleeding disorder. She's one of many healthcare professionals who have said that to me but the numerous tests they have run have all come back normal so far.
Since I changed in the room by myself, nobody saw how bad the bleeding had been so I think they probably thought I was just a nervous ninny. I was discharged with a prescription for a progesterone pill and I took the first dose in the drugstore parking lot. It didn't work.
About four hours after we got back to the cabin, I stepped into the shower and, well, let's just say that it looked like I giving birth...and that's putting it mildly. Not wanting to alarm the children, I silently freaked out, dried off (getting blood everywhere) and dressed as best I could. I woke Richard up and told him we needed to get back to the hospital RIGHT NOW. He thought it was the same as that morning and he thought they'd just send me home again. I had to show him what was happening and, when he saw, he started moving faster than I was. My mom came in, asking to see, and she panicked as well. Believe me, nobody was as panicked as I was!!!
Back down the winding, one-lane, steep mountain road again...but after dark this time. Back into the ER. I was wearing Richard's black sweatpants to hide the problem. Thank God I had the foresight to do that. They took me right into a room again, had me undress, and put me on a table. When one nurse checked me later, blood was halfway up my back on the table. The nurses were pretty freaked out, which didn't help me at all. At one point, I told the nurse, "Look, just lie to me, okay? I can't take anymore right now. Take my husband out in the hall and tell HIM the truth."
Several hours later, I was feeling pretty shaky and sweaty. I had tachycardia, and still had high blood pressure, and they were still trying to figure out what to do. They ran more blood work, and then said I would probably need a transfusion and I might need an emergency hysterectomy. Well, duh!! I could have told any of them that fact hours before! After consulting with the local ob/gyn, they gave me a huge dose of estrogen via IV and admitted me, sending me upstairs to the OB floor. The Estrogen worked pretty quickly and the bleeding started to slow down. They gave me a shot of Pregesterone in my butt (that burned!!) and I started to calm down. I got 2 more injections in the IV over the next 8 hours, and finally got a little bit of sleep. My OB nurse also said she thinks I have a bleeding disorder.
The next day, they gave me a prescription for a clotting medication, assured me the shot they'd given me lasts a week, and let me leave. That was the first time in my life that I've been afraid to leave the hospital rather than begging to leave. But, it's worked out okay so far. The side effects from the hormones are pretty awful but they beat hemorrhaging any day!!
First thing Monday morning, I called our family physician in Florida. They're arranging for me to see a hematologist when we return and they're also finding a new ob/gyn for me. I'm firing mine. She's been treating me for several months now and this should have never happened, especially since something similar happened just two months ago. She suspected a bleeding disorder and, instead of referring me to a hematologist, she requested numerous blood tests herself. It seemed obvious to me that she was out of her element and I should have complained about that a couple of months ago. So, I take partial blame for what happened as well. If they don't find a bleeding disorder, I'm getting a hysterectomy ASAP.
If any of you have had a similar experience, I'd love to hear from you.
This week's Masonism:
After we crossed the Tennessee state line, Mason was admiring the mountains and beautiful fall foliage. In the back seat, we heard him sigh and say, "I like my day."
Big hugs to all!
P.S. I want to "follow" you!
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HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY! by Angela Hoy
Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years, and record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook. Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography! **Also works for biographies and memoirs.**