Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eat Your Veggies - cont'd

Sorry, I got tired. Four days in a bed on nothing but IV fluid and chicken broth will do that to you. So, on with the story.

Dr. Dove comes and and informs me that the CT machine at NWTH will not read the CT from Borger and that until they get some results they cannot decide what course of action to take. Yay, I'm going to have to hold my breath until infinity again, I'm just thrilled I tell ya. By this time its after midnight and all I want is to sleep and for get that this day ever happened. I'm afraid that they are going to cut me open, or at the very least, stick a horse needle in my gut. My biggest fear? Can you say colostomy?? I know, no one has mentioned that, at all, but that's all I can picture after my years of CNA work and pharmacy school.

Finally, with no way to go further, the doctor says he is sending me to a room upstairs and that they will hold off on the CT until morning. He instructs the nurse and PCA to get me a room and send me upstairs. You have to understand the PCA (Patient Care Assitant, Advocate, something) is entirely too perky for the wee hours of the morning especially with all the pain I was in and the morphine they had given me (that my body is not liking one bit). My mind and body are EXHAUSTED I keep busting into tears and my sweet cowboy continually reassures me that its all going to be fine.

I am finally in a room at 4am, where some overly friendly litle nerd and his computer want to play 20 questions. I hated the game as a child, and most certainly did not want to play questions and answer session while I'm in pain. Guys, I just want to sleep. Blood pressure checked, twenty questions over, and IV antibiotics started, they finally give respite at 4:30 am. Vaughn and I settle in to sleep, knowing that sometime in the morning I get to enjoy another joyful CT experience.

Seven in the morning, Nurse Barbie (not really her name, but that's what she reminded us of) walks in with a stack of paper cups, not just one or two but a stack of paper cups and a bottle of Barium. Panic struck, I was sure I was going to have to drink every single one of those cups. I'm not yet awake from my 2 1/2 hour nap, and am very pleased when she fills two cups and tells me I need to drink them. I sit up to find myself in the worst case of nausea I've ever felt. The morphine has worn off and I'm not in pain, but I have no idea how on earth I'm going to drink this thick, chalky nastiness with this horrible feeling in my gut.

Nurse Barbie brings me some nausea medicine, the same stuff they give chemo patients and I pray that it helps. Finally, I get the cups drank and wait for my CT.

Vaughn has been faithfully by my side the whole time, except for the amblance ride, since he had to drive my car to Amarillo so we would have a way home. So I told him to go home, get in some comfy clothes and get him a shower. While he's gone, they take me to CT. In CT, my IV tube busts and they tape it and send me back upstairs. By the time I'm back on the fifth floor, there's blood all over me. Nurse Barbie changes the tubing in the hallway and she's very angry at them for not fixing it downstairs.

The doctor comes in late in the afternoon and tells me that I don't need surgery. He says that I will only need IV antibiotics this time. He explains that if we don't eat our vegetables, or at the very least, some kind of fiber, our bowels get lazy and develop pockets in them. Any kind of seed or nuts or even iceberg lettuce can get into the pockets and become infected and that's what landed me in my current position. After today, I can't have popcorn, corn, strawberries, or iceberg lettuce ever again. Nothing with small seeds, no nuts, nothing that can get stuck in those pockets.

Over the next few days, my Vaughn slept in a chair, never leaving my side. Friends came to visit and I realized how precious the time we spend on this earth really is. I had a great, caring team of nurses. I had so many texts and phone calls from friends. I know I am loved.

What did I learn?? First thing, eat something every day that will exercise your colon. Second thing, love your family and friends with everything in you. You never know when, some Saturday morning, everything can change. Finally, and probably most important, no one knows how much precious time they have on this big ball we call earth. Make sure that the people around you know the Lord our God as their Savior. I feel, much more than ever, the importance of Jesus and John the Baptist's message "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." We don't know when the end of the world will be. We don't know when the end of our time on earth will be. But we do know that our mission is "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20

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