My butt, pt 2 (giggling)
March 16, 2009 4:30pm
Off I went to the hospital to get the nausea and vomiting and diarrhea taken care of. Living with that kind of sickness was out of the question. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it, I mean. I could, I suppose - once there was a time people didn't have a choice. Dr Young assured me I didn't have to be sick. Funny the whole ride to the hospital I wondered how much of that sickness was my own fault for choosing the more aggressive treatment. There were many reasons Tom was displeased about having me admitted into the hospital, and I decided it was my own best interest not to ask what they were specifically.
Even though we were heading into downtown and away from the heaviest traffic, we were still driving into the big city at rush hour. I was so afraid I wasn't going to be able to make it to the hospital without having to stop somewhere along the way. Somehow, someway, we made it to the hospital in one piece. What we didn't know, though, was where we were supposed to check in. We knew "cancer center" "patient short stay" "5th floor". This hospital is huge! It's three massive buildings attached together with sky walks. We've no clue. When you don't know where to go... you guess. First building, 5th floor? Wrong. Ok, so we'll try another building and its 5th floor. And we were going to do just that...as soon as we found the sky walks. We had literally walked in circles by the time we found the sky walks.
Looking down those sky walks was like looking into a great abyss. I couldn't make it. I really couldn't! Tom found a hallway waiting area and told me to have a seat while he ran off and grabbed a wheelchair. My legs were like rubber bands; my head was foggy and I thought I could pass out soon; I had nausea; my diarrhea had returned - but I looked down at those waiting room chairs and decided, maybe I'm not feeling that bad after all - I'd stand. Tom was relatively quick with the chair and we had no problem finding the cancer center after that.
They were expecting me. Zipped me right into one of the ugliest hospital rooms in the world. Two nurses were working on me at once. One was asking questions while the other was getting ready to shove some giant needles into my port-o-cath. I tell them I need to go to the bathroom so could they please hurry this along? They were very understanding - in fact one nurse was so darn sweet she came into the bathroom with me to place some toilet inserts in my potty. Two of them. I was honestly confused. I had to do one of those "pssstt.. um, uh, yeah, your insert is blocking where my poop is supposed to land."
"No, Sheri. THAT is where your poop is supposed to land"
"Nuh uh." I think was my clever response.
Nurse leaves and I'm left on my own. I knew what they wanted and why, but I was not going to do it. I calmly walk over to the toilet, reached down and removed their nifty little inserts, did my business, replaced the inserts, washed my hands, and crawled back into my hospital bed.
After I was back in bed one nurse acted like it was Christmas morning and went galloping into the restroom to see what magical things had been left for her. I almost felt bad for ruining her Poopfest. "You couldn't go?" She asked me.
"No, I did." I told her " I just couldn't go in your bucket. I'm not going to poop in your bucket." Nurse tried to cut me off so she could explain why this was so important and I cut her off. "Listen" I explained "that is a shallow plastic bucket thing and what I have can only be described as explosive." I left her speechless.
It was decided that now wasn't the best time to force this issue on me. One nurse was still trying to get all tubes, hoses, needles, monitors and whatnot attached when there was a knock on the door. My nurse told them to go away, because she was busy. A little voice called out that it was Dr Young. My nurse actually told her to go away and come back later when I wasn't so busy. And she did. I was most impressed that Dr Young showed up so quickly after I arrived at the hospital. She has completely won my approval again.
When Dr Young returned we talked for a long time about all the different medications that were out there and how she will do whatever I need her to do to make this as pain-free as possible. I told her I was exhausted and needed the vomiting and nausea to stop so I could sleep. With that said, Dr Young called in the nurse who pumped my IV line full of three different medications. I don't remember much else until later that night when they brought in my dinner.
My dinner tray consisted of roast hen, stuffing, broccoli, salad, and pie. I looked up at the nurse...seriously? Were they trying to kill me? She said she ordered me the wrong type of meal. Duh. The nurse let Tom have that tray of food while I got to enjoy my lukewarm broth and jello. Tom announced it was the best hospital food he'd ever eaten. That actually made me happy. Anyone who knows Tom, knows he loves food, so I knew he wasn't completely miserable.
As the night wore on, I got sicker. I felt horrible guilt about leaving Abby and Lola to babysit my children. I called her and apologized, but she assured me the children were all getting along famously and was happy to be there to help out. What else could she say, really? Admit that this did suck for her and tell me to get my butt home? I told Tom to go on home. He said no, he wanted to stay and make sure I was ok. They brought in a cot for him, but he ended up sleeping in a chair while I was up sick most of the night.
My stomach was cramping so much that the pain was almost unbearable at times. They kept offering me pain meds, but I told them to stop worrying so much about my pain and deal with what brought me there - the diarrhea and nausea. Besides, I told them, if they gave me anything for pain, it was only going to make me that much more nauseous. Nurse change happened and I met my favorite nurse at that hospital. Kim.
Kim walked into my room that night and announced that I was in extreme pain. She looked at my chart and told me Dr Young had approved pain meds whenever I needed them. I knew that, I told her, but... Kim didn't let me finish. She left only to return with a shot of morphine, which I got before I could protest. I had suffered all day needlessly. That shot did multiple things: eased my pain, stopped the diarrhea and calmed my nausea. Thank you, God. And thank you, Kim for being a nurse for 18 years and knowing more than me about what I needed.
Each day in the hospital was spent tweaking different anti-nausea medicines so we could find the perfect combination to use after my next chemotherapy treatment. It wasn't an easy process and anytime it got too rough for me, I went back to my old friend Mr. Morphine. On Thursday, Dr. Young did tell me she was pretty pleased with the drug cocktail we'd finally put together for the nausea, but sadly, there was nothing she could do for the diarrhea. It appeared the chemo had totally destroyed my digestive system. It happens, she said, and sometimes it does correct its self after you finish chemo. Lovely. Simply lovely.
On Thursday, I was so happy to be going home from the hospital I failed to mention to Dr Young that I had suddenly developed a wicked pain in my butt with my diarrhea. I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to be with my children. That pain would go away, I was sure. Once home, though, things only got worse. I was away from my precious morphine shots and all it took was that first trip to the restroom for things to come crashing down again. It was like someone had taken a butcher's knife and sliced it into my rear end then sadistically started pouring jalapeno juice into the wound. The pain hit me so hard it caused me to throw up.
I was able to get off the toilet, barely, and fill my bathtub up with hot water. The pain was insane. I would only get out of the tub long enough to go to the restroom before practically leaping back in to soak. No clue how long I was in there, but finally Tom came in to check on me. I told him what was going on and he left to go get me hemorrhoid cream. Finally relief was on the way. If there is anyone out there who has ever had a fissure, you know how bad things are about to get, right? Don't put hemorrhoid cream into an open wound. You've just added lemon juice and salt to your jalapeno juice.
Screams could be heard around the world!
Part 3 tomorrow