And so I'm scrunched up in a tight ball, my breathing so so shallow and I see my dad (he's been passed away for thirteen years), I am convinced that he is letting me know that he will welcome me and my time to join him is now......
O.K, so this is part two of the chilling adventures of Sabrina! I'll continue sharing my disturbing fairytale right where I left off last time. As you would recall I was in an ambulance dosed up on morphine headed to the emergency department of our closest suitable hospital. My son following us in his car and my hubby making a mad dash from Sydney to meet us at the hospital. It was raining so hard and I do recall being worried about the treacherous conditions on the road, especially for hubby who would in no doubt be in a state of extreme worry for me.
We arrive at the hospital and I start to vomit again and am given another shot of anti nausea drugs to settle my tummy down. If you could have seen me, I looked like I was about six months pregnant. So, so , so swollen. My thoughts at this stage were still a little optimistic, as I honestly believed that I would be sorted out and sent on my way home later that day. I was polite and quite helpful with the nurses in emergency and I was finally taken to a ward late that afternoon. It's Friday 7th February 2020.
My emergency visit was comfortable. My son stayed with me until hubby arrived and I was given continuous morphine and anti nausea drugs. I was being checked up on regularly. I was being communicated with by friendly staff and I felt safe. This feeling was short lived.
I am rolled into the surgical ward and my three roommates are all men that are in pretty dire straights from the look of them. The nurse in charge was a brisque, very bloody loud woman who honestly seemed pissed off that I was there. Not pleasant. I immediately started to feel trepidation, I had a yucky, unsettling feeling that I should not be here.
To paint a picture, I was a relatively easy patient in the sense that I just needed ice to suck on, pain meds and vomit bags. I was walking and using the toilet to wee. I didn't need any extra care from the nurses. I just needed the obstruction to clear itself.
Let me explain what the diagnosis was after the first x-ray. I had a small bowel obstruction that was sitting in the pelvic area. As you know, in my first surgery I had the rectum and colon removed. I also had a hysterectomy in the November of 2018, so there is a significant sparse area in my pelvic region. Now, this possible, particular complication was never discussed with me. I had no idea that apparently a bowel obstruction was a high probable issue that I would face. (This little nugget of information was repeated a number of times over the following week!)
The doctors that came to see me and deliver the x-ray diagnosis were a-holes....I'm sorry but they were! I'm in absolute agony, throwing up in front of them, not getting my pain meds at this point! (I'll explain about this development in a moment), and writhing in pain. They were dispassionate and all I kept getting told, over and over and over and yes once again for the dummies, was this:
'It is too dangerous to operate as it's less than four weeks from your surgery. It is like superglue in there, impossible not to cause further damage. Hopefully it will pass in the next day or two'
Me: 'What happens if it doesnt pass? I'm in so much pain'
A-hole Doc: 'I already told you it is quite impossible to operate on you, it should pass by itself'
Me: 'Sure, but what happens to me if it doesn't ?'
A-hole Doc: 'Let's put a NJ tube to help with the vomiting' ......and then walks off mumbling under his breath!!!!
I am beside myself and it's Day 2 in this asylum they call a hospital!! I kid you not, the majority of my disgusting stay here was like this!!
Anyway, back to the fairytale. I resisted having the NJ tube put down my nose and throat for the first day because of the trauma I experienced back in my 20's when I had the surgery to have my large bowel removed and my body sprung a leak. I explained this whole saga in my first blog post and also my first Youtube video. I won't carry on about it again here.
By the second day though I am in despair and at the point to try anything that may help with the constant vomiting. I mean it was bright green bile on rotate! (Gross I know, but imagine how I was feeling?!)
So at 1am on Sunday morning, the registrar who is actually a very nice man, is tasked with the job of putting this tube up my nose and down my throat. Look, to be fair, he gave me some good tips to make it as comfortable as possible but lets not kid ourselves, it is NOT an enjoyable experience! The whole purpose of having this contraption shoved down into your stomach is so that it takes the place of bringing up any vomit, up it's tube, through the throat and nose and into the attached bag. This is supposed to alleviate the heaving and stomach contractions that is then making the pain so much worse. THIS DID NOT WORK FOR ME!!
My reflux action was stronger than the stupid tube, that once again, I was throwing up with the tube inserted, blocking my airways. By 7am I am buzzing the nurses (the wait was always close to an hour) and I'm asking them to take it out as I'm having trouble breathing.
No one gave two f@*ks!
I took matters into my own hands and pulled the tube out myself! I still shiver recalling the sensation of that tube at the back of my throat slithering up through my nose...Urggghhhhhhhh.......!!!
The next thing we try is this chalky, granular substance that needs to be drunk. The issue with this of course is that I can't keep anything down and in fact am on a repetitive green extraction schedule.
This is Day 3 so I'm game to try this chalky drink. If I can at least keep it down for an hour or two it may start to unravel the obstruction slightly. I'm desperate to find relief. I sip it over an hour and keep it down for two, I have a glimmer of hope that this may be the golden solution....It takes another day and a half for something to shift inside and Stella starts to work.
Now, I mentioned that I wasn't getting my pain meds and this was one of the many frustrations. The pain would escalate which would set off the vomiting and I could not catch a break. I would buzz and buzz the nurses and I simply was not a priority. My mental health took an actual beating. I have never felt so worthless and unimportant. I honestly felt that my life was worth nothing. I was not being cared for, I was a nuisance. I am tearing up writing this.
I am plummeting mentally and my body is shrinking apart from the big belly, I had to get the hell out of there. My brother/wife and sister/hubby came to see me and looking at their faces, I could tell how deeply worried they were. I was fading and fast. They were scared and so was I. We had all looked up the trustful google and searched bowel obstruction. The first description explains that your body can cope for about 2 weeks with a bowel obstruction before it shuts down and you die. The recommendation is to be in palliative care to be as comfortable as possible. What the Actual F@*k????
So, here I am stuck in the House of Horrors, the doctors stating they will not operate on me. My body not working its way out of this obstruction and time ticking away as I'm wasting away towards an impending death sentence!!
You would not want to be in my head at this point, I can barely manage reliving all this now.
Getting back to the chalky drink, and lots of prayers coming my way, Stella starts to push liquid through. It's Day 4 and 5. I knew, I just knew that this was my ticket out. I was still throwing up but hiding it from the nurses. I would take my throw up bag and put the contents down the toilet. I was alerting them to Stella working and I said that I had eaten something and it stayed down. (Untrue, I couldn't keep anything down, not even a drink!) No checking on their behalf and I gotta 'Get out of Jail card'!! I was discharged on the Tuesday afternoon, 11th February.
I got home, feeling pretty shit in the car ride, and ran to the toilet to throw up. Stella once again stopped working.
I tried to drink electrolytes to give me some energy, big no no....the vomiting was insanely worse! This went on all afternoon, all night. I couldn't keep any panadol down and I was once again slumped on the toilet floor, too weak to move and facing the end of my life. And so I'm scrunched up in a tight ball, my breathing so so shallow and I see my dad (he's been passed away for thirteen years), I am convinced that he is letting me know that he will welcome me and my time to join him is now...... It is morning at this point, and I write a message to my Bro and sis and let them know that Dad will be waiting for me and I'll be joining him.... I believed it was only a matter of hours before I took my last breath.
My hubby stepped out early to grab some essentials from the shops and had no idea I was in such a bad state. He literally got home as I sent that message (it's a group chat with all 6 of us in it)and started packing my hospital bag. I was so frightened to go back to hospital that I was bawling but I had no voice left and I was simply too weak to protest.
We arrived at the emergency department at the John Hunter hospital and I was seen to pretty much straight away......
I will leave it there for today's Blog, but I promise to share Part 3 of this fairytale in the next couple of days....
Until then beautiful people, stay safe, keep washing those hands and smile as much as you can. Life is precious and it's a privilege to be alive!