My world was shaken not stirred, well actually I seriously thought it was the end for me. I have never in my entire existence been as terrified and in as much excruciating pain......
I know, I know it's been a long while and whilst I wish I could share with you all that I've been so busy getting on with life and having a good ol' time that I haven't had the time to write, that most definitely was not the case!
So looking back at my last blog post I shared with you all that I was so bored and I felt that I was in limbo, right? Well don't I wish I was back there! Let me explain what has transpired over these past five weeks.....
On February 6th my lovely daughter organised to take me to the movies for a treat and I was feeling great. I was recovering well, my butt stitches were bearable to sit on for a few hours and I was really looking forward to some time out of the house. In the morning I took some new photos of myself showcasing 'Stella' and some of the new clothes I had bought. I finally felt comfortable in sharing this side of myself and I was so proud that I had reached this point, three and a half weeks after surgery! Go me! I was quite chuffed with myself! Off we went to the movies....
For any of you that care, we watched 'Harley Quinn:Birds Of Prey', I loved it! Give me superheroes and villains and I'm a happy, happy girl!
(So here is where in hindsight, for a short amount of time, I believed I had caused the horror that was coming my way that very afternoon... )
I love the cinema, I love the smell of the buttery popcorn, the array of sweets on display, the boysenberry choc tops.....'drool fest as I'm writing this...'
Now I have explained in previous posts that the diet of someone that has a permanent ileostomy is pretty strict, especially for the first six weeks after surgery. No nuts, no grains, no seeds, no veggies with strings, no fizzy drinks, limited salads and it goes on. One of the biggest no no's is NO POPCORN. So, in my pure arrogance in believing that because I've functioned with only my small intestine for over twenty years, these dietary recommendations were simply a guide for someone like me. If I've been able to digest all the above foods before surgery, well surely the only change for me is the stoma, and thus I must commit to chewing all my food thoroughly from now on. Easy Peasy!
What does this sweet, arrogant person decide she can't miss out on? Yep, you guessed it.....popcorn! I reasoned that I would chew the heck out of each little kernel and chug down my water in between. Solid plan I thought..
Fast forward to the afternoon and I am resting but starting to feel unwell. Tummy cramps and I started to notice the tummy was expanding and bloating up.
I check on Stella and she has stopped working. I realise that I have an obstruction and start to do all the things that fellow ostomates have shared on their social media profiles in remedying it.
I drink peppermint tea, I remove the bag and place a heat pack on Stella, I walk up and down the house, I jump into the shower and place the shower head directly onto Stella, I massage my tummy, I lie down scrunched up and all whilst the pain is becoming excruciatingly unbearable.......
Nothing is working
I start vomiting at 8pm and the horror show really kicks up a notch. I cannot keep anything down....not even a sip of water....I am at this stage writhing in pain, throwing up every fifteen minutes and really terrified. None of the research I conducted explained these over the top symptoms until I came across a Youtuber who said that if vomiting starts, get your ass to a hospital...(in a much less vulgar way).... I did not want to believe that I wouldn't be able to clear this myself.....at 2.30 am I knew I was in severe trouble. I woke my daughter and son, (hubby had driven back to Sydney that night for an early morning work thing the following day. It was the first time he had left me since the surgery and of course Murphy's law dictates that something was to blow up!!) I am rocking back and forth, moaning, sweating and white as a ghost.
My son calls the ambulance immediately.
We live in regional NSW so I expected a fair wait for anyone to arrive. I've got to say that I was blown away with the emergency response. A fire truck arrived first within fifteen minutes, in attendance were four firefighters with advanced first aid resuscitation quals. They immediately started all their checks, asking me questions, blood pressure, temperature..so on and so forth. Not five minutes later the ambulance arrived. They get the rundown from my son and firies and I get given a shot of morphine for the pain. I remember him asking me to rate the pain and if it was as bad as labour pains....
......... I need to slip in a side note here..... Both of my labours were pretty easy, I was laughing on the gas with my daughter up until the contractions started pushing her out of me.! Yep, I only pushed once as my body kind of took over and did the pushing for me.....ladies that have had horrendous labours, please don't hate on me....
So was the pain as bad as labour? No, it was a million times worse!
I proceeded to shuffle to the toilet and throw the morphine up immediately....the ambo who's name was John, follows me in and we are both sitting on the bathroom tiles. Me, slumped with my head on the toilet seat and he shooting some anti nausea drugs into my system that stops me vomiting for at least an hour. I then get another shot of morphine that thankfully does the job of attacking the horrendous pain and I finally get a reprieve from the last eight hours of agony.
I am placed in the ambulance quite docile now and pain free and am whisked off to the emergency department of the closest hospital that has x-ray equipment. I get another shot of morphine and I am floating, I remember thinking..'O.K, well this will be sorted out in hospital and I'll be back home for the weekend'.
I was so freaking wrong....the next six days of my life were the most heartbreakingly, excruciatingly terror filled never ending moments. I truly believed I was going to die.
It has taken me over five weeks to start to assimilate everything that has happened to me and I have been in extreme shock and in shut down mode for all this time. I will share with you the entire experience, but will do so in chunk size pieces.....so, the next instalment I will continue sharing this fascinating little fairytale.....until then stay safe, hug those close to you and be grateful for the smallest pleasures. Life is short, every day is a blessing!