Now this is a story all about how my my day got flipped turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how I got wrapped up in despair. I was admitted to hospital last week and for me it was a pretty scary experience.
Wednesday night saw me struggling to sleep longer than 2 hours at a time, so I got up and went downstairs and popped 2 x 30 mg of codeine to try and knock me out a little bit. I used to rely heavily on morphine before my surgery to help me sleep so I just hoped that because codeine is an opiate too it would have the same effect. It made me drowsy enough to sleep for 3 hours, which was better than nothing.
When I woke up my rib cage ached like I had been kicked repeatedly and 00Steve had slept on the sofa due to my snoring (oops) so I know he hadn’t anything to do with it. Coupled with an unusual rippling pain across my entire abdomen and lower back, I felt so nauseous that I worried about taking tablets in case they came straight back up. I do NOT like being sick, not that I know anyone that does or why they would though.
About 2 pm I ran to my back garden knowing that I couldn’t make the bathroom and projectile vomited. Ra-Ra came to the back door and told me I was “throwing up poo” (gotta love how kids minds work right?) I tried to explain it was the chocolate cake I had, had for breakfast. She went and got me a towel whilst trying not to be sick herself, so I asked her to just go back inside.
I then started being sick again and it quickly became undigested food from the day before. I managed to pull myself together enough to start hosing down the concrete and hope it didn’t stain. Pretty much instantly my bag then filled up with undigested food twice in 40 minutes. This made me think I must have dislodged a blockage that was starting with being sick.
Then the bile started, good lord I hate vomiting bile more than just sick. I literally laid down on my garden path and just tried to let nature run it’s course. Thankfully 00Steve had just come home so I didn’t have to worry about Ra-Ra as she kept telling me “to go to sleep” bless her. My Show Girls told me to just go to the hospital. After trying to get 00Steve to do ring 111 for me an emergency ambulance was on its way.
My bag filled up within seconds and this time it was just water. I managed to get upstairs, emptied then I started vomiting again then collapsed onto the floor, retching into a bucket. The next thing I am aware of is Ra-Ra sat on the toilet and the paramedics chatting to her. I remember feeling very warm, then retching again yet this time I felt like I had something stuck in my throat. I began to mildly panic that I was going to choke so I desperately stuck my fingers down my throat.
At this point I knew I was going to be admitted, so I asked 00Steve to get my phone charger – yep this time I was not going to be admitted without it! He started to pack me a bag whilst my observations were getting done. My blood pressure was quite low and my heart rate had started to go tachycardic, they mentioned my temperature was low too. My bag had filled with water again and I managed to get up so I could empty it, before heading down the stairs on my bum followed by a very chatty Ra-Ra. She was determined to go in the ambulance with me, I turned hugged her and told her that I loved her. I laid down on the stretcher to be taken to the waiting ambulance, again I started retching – surely that had to be it but nope this time it was spotted with blood, definitely not what I wanted to see for sure. The last thing I remember before going into the ambulance was Ra-Ra screaming as she was told she couldn’t come with me.
Once I was in the ambulance the paramedics started throwing around the phrase ‘sepsis’ and I definitely wasn’t happy hearing that especially after everything I had heard from one of my Show Girls Rachel. They laid my head flat and elevated my legs as my blood pressure had dropped again but my heart rate had kept going up. I felt like I kept going in and out of consciousness. I knew they had started to put a canunla into my arm and they gave me some fluids and anti sickness, to help with the nausea. That’s when the waves of pain started to hit so gas and air it was, which strangely took longer than it usually does to kick in.
Then they whack the blues and twos on when the paramedics decided which hospital I was going too. Basically my obstetrics team are based at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and my colorectal team are based at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. They decided to take me to the James Cook University Hospital since being high dependency if it was anything baby related I would only have to be transferred regardless. Whereas the colorectal team could be contacted via phone for my care if needed.
Once again my bag had filled up and this time it was orange with white fluffy bits, I was expecting the midwife to be a bit repulsed to be honest. Yet she didn’t even bat an eyelid as she said to me in another life as a nurse she worked on a bowel ward. I have to admit I sighed a sigh of relief that someone that knew both sides of the coin was looking after me.
They put me on a baby trace monitor thing sorry I don’t the correct terms but then again I am NOT a medical professional *insert appropriate emoji lol* that showed Button was absolutely fine, but was having mild contractions. The midwife held my stomach as they happened was able to distinguish that it was my bowel spasm’s causing my uterus to contract. That would have been nice to know before with Ra-Ra as that happened a lot!
They did a speculum test to check the fluid around my cervix, my cervix was still closed this was obviously good news! The fluid test they do is a 10 minute test and pretty damn accurate, from what I was told it checks the hormone levels to see if I am due to go into labour within a fortnight. Thankfully again this showed very little chance that I was due to go into labour; let’s face it I know I am struggling now but at 29 weeks I didn’t fancy having the stress and worry about Button’s health as it would have been straight to a special baby care unit. They decided I should be admitted overnight for observation and hydration <– no word of a lie that was their phrasing!!
The next time I emptied my bag it had definite blood in it, probably from the retching earlier in the day; again it was watery, lime green and started to look like faecal matter which could only mean that things were getting back to the way they should be. I was given IV paracetamol and another bag of fluids. Bloods were taken as standard too. They had been measuring my output to determine how dehydrated I was since I had passed no urine. The obstetrics doctor said he didn’t think it was a blockage but my bowel being overactive, he said until I saw the surgical team I was advised not to eat.
The show must go on! Yep even though I was admitted to hospital and felt bloody awful I still participated in The IBD and Ostomy Support Show, it was our third show which you can watch here. I couldn’t let my Show Girls down now could I? They would all shout YES at this point ha ha! So live from a hospital bed I attempted to act as if nothing was wrong although you can hear the midwife talking to me at the end of the show oops!!
I eventually saw the surgical team and said I was to have clear fluids and still advised no food – if you have been reading my blog for awhile now or just actually know me; I do not cope well with others restricting my food. Probably due to the control aspect of having an Eating Disorder, so I politely (yep even I can be polite when hangry) said that with being pregnant going 12.5 hours since eating was not going to help me get better.He did understand and just said that he wasn’t banning me from eating but just advising against it, which I felt was fair. So at 11:45 pm I wandered the length of the hospital looking for a vending machine that sold food not just drink. When I found one I thought I would be smart and stick to simple foods I felt I would tolerate so plain baked potato crisps and for a bit of comfort a 4 finger kit kat! I could have made far worse choices trust me!
There was bed shortage in the hospital on appropriate wards for me and as I already had a bed on the assessment unit I was told it was best just to try and get some sleep. There had been a room for me up on an antenatal ward but a lady came in as an emergency so obviously she rightly took the room. So I was given more fluids and settled down to get some sleep knowing that I now needed to measure urine as well. I slept a good 4 hours before being woken up to go to the antenatal ward at 5:30 am, that was the best sleep that I had, had in a couple of days.Although I did struggle to fall back to sleep once on the new ward for the fact it was getting light.
The next morning when the shift changed over I was still on the advice of not eating *sigh* but I was starting to get that hunger ache in the pit of my stomach. I just looked at the midwife and said to her that I completely understood why it was recommended that I didn’t eat but I really needed to. I asked if I could have a slice of white toast, butter and seedless jam. She just smiled and said of course I could and went off to get me some toast, I thought well it’s low residue and I stuck to clear fluids because I didn’t want to be that patient!
By this point my output had started to seem like it was headed back to normal consistency which was again in my mind only going to be a good thing. I may not be an ileostomy expert but I know my body! It wasn’t until 10 am that the surgical team popped back in to review me. I was told eating what I did was a smart move (yes I felt smug AF but I knew I might not be out of the woods yet) as my bowel wasn’t going to be able to ‘right’ itself otherwise. So in their mind they were happy to send me home even though they didn’t actually know what caused me to get sick in the first place. Obstetrics still wanted to do a few checks on their side to ensure that baby Button was definitely okay.
00Steve and I had an argument over text over stupid things that instantly had me in tears, when I was alone I was full blown eyes streaming and blubbering. I even told the midwife that I didn’t want the trace or to see the doctor I just wanted my cannula out and to leave. It took her a fair bit of time to calm me down and persuade me to at least listen to the heartbeat, just as she was writing in my notes as 00Steve and Ra-Ra walked into my room. She asked if I wanted to hear the heartbeat again so Ra-Ra could hear. I was still pretty pissed at 00Steve so I just flatly asked him if we had time, he said of course we do which annoyed me more due to our argument. But Ra-Ra got to hold the doppler and find Button’s heartbeat which just made our hearts melt. I was allowed to leave as I was seeing my midwife soon after then having a scan and seeing the obstetrics team, but told if I have any worries to ring them straight up and be seen if necessary.
I can’t believe how long it has taken me to write this post due to being so fatigued and in pain, I have to lay down to type as the bump gets in the way. Well that and the fact that if I sit in my chair Button goes bananas due to being slightly restricted!