Ahhhhhh Pooh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seven years ago when Hubby had MAJOR, SERIOUS, EMERGENCY surgery and spent ten long days in this same hospital, they had to remove about 12” of colon. They sewed it back together, then waited (and waited and waited) for it to work. He walked miles around the hospital trying to force something to happen.

His (now deceased) mom, a retired nurse, visited every day. She’d call before she left home to see if there was anything we needed. Her first question was always “Has he had a BM?” Huh? I was unaccustomed, thus uncomfortable, discussing bodily functions with others. When she arrived at the hospital, she would ask again. When she went home, she called as soon as she got there (about 30 minutes away) to see if “it” had happened even though I’d promised to call the minute he got a result. Hubby explained it was a normal question for her because she was a nurse. It still freaked me out.

A few years after that my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. He’d had some procedure done and I mentioned to her I’d talked to him on the phone. It all clicked when she asked if he’d had a BM yet. With as straight a face as I could manage, I told her I didn’t know. We hadn’t discussed it.

This hospital stay for hubby was because he started vomiting Wednesday night and continued for about 14 hours. When they did a CT, they saw a bowel obstruction. Hoping it would clear on its own and he wouldn’t need surgery, they first put in an NG tube. After they removed it, they put him on clear liquids, then solid foods. The goal was to make sure his plumbing was working before discharging him.

His first day eating solid food, he felt queasy whenever he ate, but did whatever it took to keep the food down. (Throwing up would mean reinsertion of the dreaded tube which went through his nose, down his throat, into his stomach.) He managed to make it through the first day and overnight. The next morning (yesterday), he had oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Before long, he turned green, then grey and his tummy distended–not good. He said he felt like he did Wednesday night. When the doctor rounded, he took him off all food and liquids, told him to wrap himself around the fact that he might need surgery and ordered an X-Ray to see if it showed anything. (It didn’t.) The question (in our minds) at that point was whether the surgery would be laparoscopic or traditional.

Hubby got a shot for nausea and we both took a nap. When he woke, he felt better, said he thought he’d turned a corner…but still no output from the bottom. When the doctor came back in, he said to try solid foods again to see if they could “force” something to happen.

Some good friends had stopped by after church with fried chicken, red beans and rice and German chocolate cake. I’d already eaten some (yummy!) but saved enough for Hubby. That’d either get things moving or get him puking. Either way, we’d have an answer. He kept it down and even ordered a hamburger from “room service” last night. But, still no poop.

This morning, however, EURIKA. Not one, but two BM’s.

What? I’m monitoring and even blogging about his bodily functions? I now understand what my mother-in-law was thinking. She’s probably LHAO from the great beyond.

So here we are, sitting in the hospital room, ready to be discharged. We’re all packed up, just waiting for the attending. My plan is to go home and sleep for…I don’t know…maybe a week. He’ll probably want to go back to work tomorrow.

I don’t claim to know a lot, but I know this. We’ve got to find a better place to spend quality time!

~ Kay

Oh no, not again!

You know, I have a pretty good life. No, I have a great life. Wonderful husband who adores me (most of the time), super friends (some going back as far as elementary and high school and college), fun neighbors. Our kids are grown, gone and happy with the life choices they’ve made. The two that are married picked girls absolutely perfect for them who were made for our family. We have two adorable grandsons. Sadly, they live in NC and we don’t get to love on them enough. But then, would it ever be enough? We have godchildren, nieces and a nephew whom we love, as well as loving, caring siblings. All four of our parents are gone (and we miss them), which makes us the oldest in each of our immediate families. But back to the happy: Hubby makes enough money that we can live a comfortable lifestyle, travel AND I don’t have to work; therefore, I can stay home and pursue my dream of writing.

Why then, is it I only blog when I’m in a twit about something? To be fair, when I started my blog, I posted faithfully three times a week for three full years. What I found was it was taking away from my “real” writing time. I could be a consistent blogger and let my craft suffer or I could post less often and focus on writing short stories and novels. I chose the latter. I’m still happy with the choice.

So back to my question: why are most of my blog posts when I’m upset or need to vent? I guess it’s cheaper than therapy. I constantly process my thoughts and feelings, though not usually in a public forum. But, when I also have information to impart this seems to be the easiest way.

Some backstory: In 2009, Hubby had emergency (and I do mean emergency) surgery for a bowel obstruction. For years, he’d though he got food poisoning easily. Then, one weekend, he had it for three days. On the second day he and a doctor friend diagnosed it over the PHONE. On day three, he finally let me take him to the ER. They did a CT, found a “mass” and had him in surgery before they finished prepping him. Scary stuff. It was the best possible outcome. He had a rare situation where a Meckels (he actually had two) had wrapped themselves around his bowels and cut off the flow. They had to remove about a foot of bowel and he was in the hospital for ten very long days. Meckels are kind of like an appendix, once gone, they don’t grow back. Unlike an appendix, only a few people have them.

Back to the present: Hubby got home from a meeting last night. His first sentence to me was, “I think I have food poisoning.” He headed to the bathroom as he told me he’d been throwing up since about 7:30. He’d eaten some organic carrots throughout the afternoon and thought perhaps they’d gone bad. On top of that, on his way to his meeting, he’d stopped for sushi (yuck—no wonder he was sick, but I digress). He vomited ALL NIGHT LONG. Literally. All. Night. Long. He couldn’t even keep a sip of water down. He got no sleep (and I got very little). About 5:30 he slept for about an hour and a half, but then was up vomiting again. This was his first episode of “food poisoning” since his Meckels surgery. Hummmmm…

I called our family doctor’s office who said they could see him about 10:15 and would call if they could get us in earlier. We were only five minutes away. As we left the house, I grabbed my phone and computer chargers, my iPad, and my toothbrush—enough to hold me overnight, just in case. Did I think we were going to spend the night at our doctor’s office? Not really, but something told me the journey wouldn’t end there.

During the short drive, we decided what he needed was fluids to replace what he’d thrown up, especially since with his recent mild heart attack and regiment of medicine to thin his blood, clots were a concern. We went into the doctor’s office and learned they didn’t have fluids in the office. After talking with the nurse, we decided to forego a doctor’s visit and go straight to the ER.

Now, I was heading to the hospital where he had his heart episode two weeks ago today, but Hubby said he’d rather go to another hospital all the way across town. Why? Fluids are fluids, Right?…Right???

Well…maybe he hadn’t told me the last couple of times he had thrown up it had smelled different, had a fecal odor. OKAY, new information! Yes, we’ll drive across town to the hospital that did his meckels surgery and has all of his medical records. Should this be a bowel obstruction presenting as food poisoning, that’s the hospital where he needs to be. But, why the hell hadn’t he told me this two hours earlier??? Why were we even going to the doctor’s office in the first place? Arrrghhh!!!!

I dropped him off at the ER and searched through two counties for parking. By the time I hiked back (no Uber in the parking garage), they had him in a room. EKG looked good. Not heart. Sigh of relief. Blood was drawn. Because of his history they took him for a CT. They got him hooked up to an IV of fluids and some pain meds. He was having some significant abdominal pain by then. The results of the CT came in: partial bowel obstruction. Damn. But, not surprised.

The good news is there wasn’t a complete obstruction. They had to admit him to the hospital but don’t have to do surgery…yet. They put an NG tube in his throat (so he can’t eat or drink) and they hope the obstruction will resolve on its own…in 2 to 5 days. If not, then surgery is back on the table.

So, there you have it. Here we are. Back in the hospital. This time across town from home. One plus…his hospital bed has an air mattress. He’s lost about 13 pounds from this vomiting so I think his hospital bed is big enough for two! We’ll see 🙂

~ Kay