Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crack In My Diagnosis Pt 2

Saturday April 11, 2009

8am, in my room and I'm being poked on by numerous nurses. They were focusing so much on my nausea that my bottom pain was being left untreated. My ointments (which were better than nothing) were at home - along with all my pain meds. No problem, right? I was in a hospital! They have all kinds of fun medications there. I told every nurse that came near me that my butt hurt. I needed pain medicine! Every nurse would check my chart and tell me the same thing...E.R. Dr. Doogie didn't write any orders for pain meds. I needed more reasons to dislike Doogie!

It was when the nurse came in with an IV bag full of strong antibiotics that I just about lost it. I knew my body well enough to know that bag was about to kick start some pretty serious diarrhea. The mere thought of what was about to happen to me without my meds had me close to clawing the eyes out of everyone that came near me. Tom was at home - he had left at some point in the middle of the night. I was all alone and feeling helpless.

My white knight came in the form of an awesome doctor by the name of Dr. Edwards. I've not one bad word to say about her (I know! I'm as shocked as you are!) Dr. Edwards is the hospital doctor and was in charge of taking good care of me. She wouldn't allow anyone in my room unless they were wearing a mask, gloves and booties over their shoes. I'm serious! There would be no further germs touching me in that there hospital - not under the watchful eye of (trumpets blasting) Dr. Edwards! (And the crowd goes wild! Woot!)

Dr. Edwards came in my room in an attempt to talk to me about my stomach virus. Can you imagine? I wanted no part of that discussion! I cut her off and told her that I had a fissure in my butt that was on fire. I pleaded with her to help me. She left my room, returned very quickly with a nurse and a shot for my IV. Oh yeah! AHHHH. Sweet relief. We were then able to talk about my tummy issues. I did have a fever but it was pretty low grade - hovering right around 100 degrees. This seemed to concern her, so she let me know she was going to keep me until the next day.

Saturday night was horrible. Even with the shots and the pain pills that Dr. Edwards prescribed, I could not get my butt pain under control. Something felt worse than normal, too. There was a fullness deep inside that was getting worse and I could feel a lump on the outside. I thought I was imagining it. Maybe the pain and all the pain meds were just making me crazy. Of course, feeling lumps everywhere on my body is pretty common now-a-days anyway. But the lump that I felt in my rear seemed so real. Out of desperation I swallowed my humiliation and told my nurse what I felt. I needed her to tell me there was nothing there. I needed her to tell me she felt no lump and it was all in my head. I needed her to look at my butt to see if she saw a lump.

I rolled over, slid off my undies and she saw it right away. She wasn't happy just saying she saw it either. Good heavens, no. Apparently if you see a lump on someone's butt you must also poke it and ask "is this is?" POKE! As she peeled me off the ceiling I was able to mumble yes. When shift change came, the night nurse told the day nurse about the lump she had seen on my rear end. Day shift nurse asked if she could see it too. Yeah, sure. "Is this it?" POKE! A couple hours later Dr. Edwards comes in. "Is this it?" POKE!

Dr. Edwards said she knew of the greatest butt doctor to ever walk the earth and would be contacting him right away. It was Easter Sunday so I figured I wouldn't see him until the following gave me ample time to freak out about the butt lump. How wrong I was. I was told Dr. Graham would be in that evening to check (and poke!) my lump. In the mean time, the hospital had called in an infectious disease doctor. He was only supposed to care about my fever and stomach problems.

Sigh...what was one more "is this it?" POKE!

Tomorrow: Dr. Graham and the exam!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crack In My Diagnosis Pt 1

I realize people aren't perfect. As often as I'm seeing doctors now, you'd know that not every diagnosis is going to be correct. I just didn't think so many doctors would be wrong about the same thing though. No, no, no, no, no, I still have cancer! But I am getting ahead of myself. You have to read my entire hospital story to find out what I'm talking about...

Friday April 10, 2009

2am I hear this: Mommmmmmmmy! I need you! I don't feel good!

It was Jacob and he had managed to throw up all over the bathroom. Unfortunately, he did it the same day my white blood cell count bottomed out. I hated it, but I had to stay away from my sick little man. Tom had to get up and clean the bathroom and take care of my baby boy. Oddly, I never heard any bathroom cleaning going on. I got up to see if we had gotten a self cleaning bathroom at some point - and...NOPE!

I trod downstairs and question Tom about when he might get around to cleaning the vomit that covered the bathroom door, floor, toilet, and wall. Tom said he had asked Jacob if he made it to the bathroom ok and Jacob said he had. Well, yeah, I guess technically he did - but just not into the toilet ok. To his credit, Tom did a fairly good job cleaning (I checked) he just forgot the bathroom door - so I thought it wouldn't hurt if I washed that up quickly myself before I crawled back in bed. I did wash my hands after I was done.

I'd been feeling ok all day. My only issue was the pain in my stupid butt. I had called Dr Young and told her I just couldn't take it anymore. The pain meds weren't working, nor were the creams. I needed something stronger for my fissure! She wrote me a script for morphine. 9pm I was throwing up. I wasn't sure if at first if I was sick because of the morphine or if I had caught Jacob's stomach virus. The worse I felt, the more I was sure it wasn't the pain pills...I was sick. My temp would never get above 100 degrees, but I called my doctor anyway and explained the situation. She told me to go to the ER and get checked - just to be safe.

You know you're a mess when you get to the hospital and are known by every ER nurse on duty. My favorite nurse Jen came out of the ER to get me when she saw my name. I love her. She's the one that was too scared to use my port - therefore was made fun of by another nurse when she put an IV in my arm. This time Jen wasn't going to be so lucky. My other favorite nurse was there that night too...Jason. Jason was a wonder-nurse with ports. He decided he would teach Jen how to prick a port. Jen reads my blog. (special secret message just to Jen: IT'S OK! NO ONE IS PERFECT! I'VE NO IDEA WHAT WENT WRONG, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO STOP APOLOGIZING AND FEELING BAD...SERIOUSLY!)

Any-o-hoo, the IV got started in my port after a couple efforts and in walked my ER doctor. The first thing you'd notice about my doctor was the insane amount of product the boy (yes, boy) used in his hair...the second thing you'd notice is that his name badge didn't say Doogie Howser - but it should have. He took the most thorough medical history of any doctor I've ever had. In. My. Life. But he wanted to make sure you remember he was very smart and a doctor. Example:

Doogie Howser: I'm your very smart and handsomely coiffed doctor today (flashes smile to prove almost all his adult teeth have grown in). I'm going to ask you 500 questions even though the answers are right here in my chart, mmmk?
Me: Sounds like a hoot.
DH: Let's get started, Mrs Strickland. First...when was the last time you h.a.b.m.
Me: Huh?
DH: (sighs) Last time you had. a. bowel. movement.
Me: I threw up a little in my mouth the last time you spoke...does that count?
DH: Do you have a history of h.d.h.b.p.c.t.a.e.w.y.m.o.o.s.w.y.l?
Me: Huh?
DH: (sighs and rolls eyes in disbelief that he would have to spell it out) You know... history of heart disease, high blood pressure, cruelty to animals, eating with your mouth open, or snorting when you laugh?

Somehow we made it through the questions without me walloping him (I was not in a great mood.) He ordered every lab known to man and left. When he returned he looked nervous and no longer sure of himself. He told me my white blood cell count was low - in fact he'd never seen anyone's so low before. Wow, none of his three total previous patients had low white blood cell count. Amazing. He genuinely had no idea how to treat a cancer patient. I made him extremely nervous. So what does a doctor do when he gets nervous? He admits you into the hospital. And that's just what Doogie did!

Because I have to have a special germ free room, I couldn't go right upstairs. My room had to be made ready for me and that was going to take a few hours. I was exhausted and so was Tom. My wonderful nurses were going to put Tom in his own little room in the ER and let him sleep while we waited, but he refused. They were kind enough to switch me from one of the little ER beds to a normal hospital bed so I could sleep comfortably while I waited. See why I loved these nurses?

8am my room was finally ready. I had no idea when they wheeled me upstairs I was going to be in the hospital for an entire week. I missed Easter with my family. It was a truly rough week. Part 2 tomorrow...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm Back!

Last Friday Tom took me to the ER for what turned out to be a slight virus. I just got home today! I had surgery Monday morning and am feeling better now than I have in a month. Right now all I want to do is relax with my family. I promise to blog-o my hospital stay starting tomorrow.

Yayyyyy! I'm home! Thank you, God!