Thursday, March 3, 2011

Emergency Room

When I say the words "Emergency Room", what kind of feeling do you get? Is it a feeling of anxiousness or uneasiness? Maybe fear or worry or panic?

The thing is the emergency room is for bad situations. It's for worst case scenarios.

I had a worst case scenario and spent Sunday night in emergency at the hospital. Before I go into more details I will start at the beginning. Firstly, it had nothing to do with diabetes.  I was out with my friends at one of their places. We were all just chilling out chatting. My blood sugars had been persistently high and not reacting to the mounting boluses I was giving. It was only about 8:30pm but I wasn't feeling well. My stomach was upset and I had some strange cramps in my upper abdomen. I just curled up in the chair and watched a movie with them. The pain was getting worse so I was eager to drive my friends home and get to my bed. Upon dropping off one of them I complained a bit about the pain.

Then I got home (BARELY). I live in another city so it was quite the drive.  I had just enough in me to take my shoes off and lay down in bed. I was nearly in tears and grasping the pillow like I was about to give birth. They were getting worse, more often and lasting longer. I swear guys, I'm not pregnant! Tears were running down my face with each attack and I was beginning to yelp and scream. It's now 1am on a Sunday night. This pain was no longer normal. This pain was now going on for 4+hours. I called my friend I dropped off since I knew he would still be awake and he came over and took me to the hospital.

The drive there was a bit foggy but there is one part I can't forget. The part where I threw up all over the side of his car with my head hanging out the window in the cold rain. This was a result of the pain. I vomited from pain. The reason why this is such a huge thing for me is because I just broke my 13 year vomit silence. Yeah, I haven't puked in 13 years because I have an irrational fear of vomit.  Those friends and family close to me will be shocked to hear that.

So I remember being wheeled around in a wheelchair, I remember them going through my bag looking for info on where I lived, my health insurance, etc because I was grimacing in pain and couldn't talk. I remember being slouched over a vomit bag doubled over in pain sitting and waiting in the waiting room. I remember screaming loudly. I couldn't take the pain anymore.

Then they finally hooked me up at about 4:30am. And by hooked me up, I mean intravenous Morphine, Toredol and Gravol. OH THE RELIEF!!!! pain and nausea obliterated. What sweetness is this morphine bliss? I really don't remember the next few hours.  As I was in and out of blissful dopiness I remember being slightly concerned that who would check my blood sugar?  Thankfully for the high blood sugars I rode the rest of the night out okay.  But it did concern me that nobody asked about my diabetes.  Nobody expressed any concern, and I'm pretty sure I asked the nurse (who was a FIINE looking young man to boot!) to keep an eye on me since I would be incapable.  But alas, nobody did.  What if I went low under Morphine, how would I ever know?  I tried to test my blood, and I had to get help from my friend.  I had to wait till the morning to have an ultra sound to rule out gallbladder issues and in the end they left me with a "small bowel obstruction" and sent me home.

I returned to work 2 days later. I am still unsure how that much pain could be from an obstruction. It was EXCRUCIATING!!! I am still not up to par yet, I have eaten very little in 4 days and still cannot tolerate any hot liquids.

And through all this my biggest concern? I have a half marathon on Sunday. I am hoping to make a good full recovery by then, but won't be pushing it. I am still in some pain and discomfort.

That's my story.  It was absolutely horrible.
I remember saying earlier on Sunday "I really don't want to go to work tomorrow." But seriously, that's not what I meant.


  1. Wow! Are you ok now? What, if anything, did they say to do about the small bowel obstruction? Eeek what a horrible night for you. I hope you're feeling better.

  2. Oh my gosh! I'm glad you got treatment and are on the mend. And, yes, morphine is a wonderful thing when it's needed! I hope you're 100% soon! I wonder if your persistent highs were related and it was the d's way of alerting you. Of course, it would be nice if d could be a little more explicit, you know, like a dog will have a "bathroom" bark and an "intruder" bark, if wonked out blood sugars could do something similar it would save us a lot of trouble!

  3. OMG how're you feeling now? Bit surprised no-one checked on your D during your stay... hope you're feeling better now :)

  4. Oh, wow. This sounds similar to some of the other stuff you've described with your problems with food. Did it seem that way to you?
    It's really sad, but real life isn't like House on TV, where there's a team of doctors who won't rest until their positive about your diagnosis and treatment.
    I can hardly believe how many people I know have been self-diagnosed, or at least had to keep going back to doctors over and over until they got a diagnosis.
    I hope you get this figured out. My thoughts are with you.

  5. UGH...unbelievable that no one from the staff asked and/or checked your bg.

    Do you have celiac? My sister described pain like that after eating pizza etc...She has celiac.

    Good luck with the marathon. Don't push it...

  6. That's awful! I hope you're feeling a bit better now. Don't push the half this weekend if it's not in the cards. There's still plenty of time to recoup before the Bay.

    I still have a few more long runs in the cards before then so, if you want company on a long run the next few weeks let me know. Always nice to have someone to call for backup :)

  7. That just sounds awful. My stomach hurts just reading it. Hope you are doing better!

  8. I can't believe they said it was "just" a bowel obstruction. Everyhing I've ever heard about them suggests they are painful as all hell! I hope you're on the mend... Remember, if you don't feel right get a second opinion :)

  9. I'm so sorry you went through this!!! I went to the ER about 10 years ago for the same thing! (although, I now suspect it might have been a kidney stone because I would soon have several more) Either way, when you talk about the pain, I believe you! Bowel obstruction or kidney stone, the pain is ridiculous and I too, fell hard for morphine. In fact, years ago I was given morphine pills and looking back, can say those days on morphine were some of the best days of my life-oh the joy of just feeling happy and worry-free! (Of course every one who knew me was reminding me to test and taking care of my diabetes for me)

    I agree with Kaitake about getting a second opinion if you don't feel back to normal, soon. And the celiac test is a simple blood test that wouldn't hurt to rule out (if you happen to suspect this).

    I'm upset no one tested your sugars, although I'm not surprised (it's been my experience, too, sadly)

    Hope you feel better soon for your half marathon and hope you don't ever have a need to go on morphine again, that stuff is for real!

  10. hope you're feeling better now!! eeek! I've had a brief bout with GI issues myself and JUST TO BE SURE, you might want to tell your Endocrinologist about this and possibly be checked for neuropathy in your GI tract, like I said, JUST TO BE SURE - if the nerves aren't working correctly, obstructions occur from the matter not being moved along. Also, did they say anything about the high BGs? First thought on my end is infection, but it could just be stress. I hope you're feeling better now, and if not, don't worry about Sunday - there will be MANY more half marathons, don't worry!

  11. Oh my goodness, that sounds so horrible. I really hope you are feeling much much better now!!

  12. Oh man that sounds awful, I can't believe they didn't check your bg's either. How are you feeling now?

  13. Thank you everybody for all your kind words, they mean a lot!
    I'm doing WAY better now, ran my half-marathon today and have a couple posts for this week.

    Hope that doesn't happen again, that's for sure.

  14. OMGsh!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO OUT OF THE LOOP!!!!! I really hope things are ok. You've mentioned a few times that you just don't feel well when you eat. OH MY!!!!!

    Crazy. No one checked a blood sugar after all those meds...UGH!!!!

    I'm happy to hear you're feeling better and so sorry I've been MIA!!!!


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