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Beware of Warning Signs

Warning signWelcome to Fatboy’s longest hospital stay in over 9 years. Prior to this week, my longest stay since I was in elementary school was a total stay of 3 days for hemoptysis back in 2000. Well, you know how I am about shattering my records, so I was going for broke on this one.

Symptoms started Friday afternoon. I thought it odd a couple of times during the day that I hadn’t gone to the bathroom, since I can’t go more than a meal without making room for new food, thanks to my small intestinal resection at birth. When it was closer to dinnertime, I came downstairs and Beautiful gave me a playful punch in the stomach. It hurt, but it shouldn’t have and definitely shouldn’t have been sticking out like that, either.

We got into the car a few minutes later and I had a moderate cramp as the garage door closed and we pulled away. Since we were headed out to her parents’ for dinner with a family friend, I (stupidly) went against my last-minute better judgement and sat down to beef roast, potatoes, and veggies. I have no one but myself to blame for not stepping up and saying, “You know, I think I’m teetering on the edge of a blockage now, so I think I’ll stay in the living room and try to stay active.”

I 100% guarantee you that I’m man enough to do that should an “obligation” like this present itself again. They know me. They know my limitations, and still love me just the same. No one would have been upset if I had done what I should have done. Lesson learned.

So, what happened? [Read more…]

You Puked How Far?

This entry is part 18 of 19 in the series What CFers Do
DO NOT read any further unless you want to read about the funniest, most amazing account of the above subject you’ve ever read or are likely to read in the future. Okay, maybe I’m just the only person crazy and confident enough to write about it.

©2008-2011 ~tissuepaperbeggar

Yesterday was another typical day in Emergency Room Hell that is called TGH. I may or may not write about it later, though I’ll likely do an educational piece about my 10th or so visit as an adult CFer with a bowel obstruction. As some of us are familiar with our surgeries at birth that involve a high blockage, throwing up is often a part of the event. One time I was in a rush and forgot to take my meds while eating a 12″ baked sub with melted cheese on it. It wasn’t the last time I saw that sub.

Well, I managed to have an all-new experience yesterday at the ripe old age of 32.94 years. After my last 3 blockages, I’ve been quite tender after my treatment for several days. It’s actually alarming the next day how sore and distended I am, but I know my body well enough to know I’m clear and it’s all a part of getting older with cystic fibrosis. Last night was no different. I was still very tender as I left the ER, but I proceeded to the car as Beautiful pulled up to the ER drop-off and pick-up after going to the garage for me.

We had barely left the hospital as I felt a couple of waves of nausea. I’d been feeling the worst heartburn of my life all day and assumed it was because I’d missed 2 doses of my Prilosec. When I’d cough, the burning got worse and I almost lost it a couple of times laying in my tiny bed. It got worse and worse all day until it hit its max at Kennedy and Ashley. Down went the window, probably for dual purpose. If the light hadn’t been red at the time, I wouldn’t have had time to recover and it would have been “game over.”

A little info about Beautiful… she hasn’t puked since she was a wee one. When she gets sick, she sits as still as possible until she feels okay enough to move. When I start to feel sick, she has done everything from run away to get a bucket and run away to run upstairs and call her mom to put her on alert that she might need to come over. I have only lost it once since we’ve been married and never in our house. It’s an old apartment memory about 4 years ago. I’m doing pretty good, eh?

So, back to the drive. I was constantly falling asleep all the way home because I still had an hour-old dose of morphine in my system. She stopped in the driveway to let me out rather than clamber around the front of the car beside the chest freezer while I was so disoriented.

How sweet.

How fortunate.

I stopped by the freezer for a second to regain myself after another wave of nausea hit. I took another step in front of the door and paused again. Beautiful saw that and waited until I was inside before pulling in.

Inside and with the door closed, I stood there for a solid 5 seconds before it hit again. HARD! This was it. You know, that time you have to decide immediately what to do.

Front door? No, mess on the sidewalk after dark is no fun.

Upstairs bathroom? I won’t make it.

Downstairs bathroom? I won’t make it now – I wasted too many milliseconds and the target is too small.

Kitchen sink? There are clean dishes on the left side, but I think I can ma

I took one step toward the sink and felt it start. I got a second step and saw a pink/orange fountain erupt in front of my face, gently arcing upward. I made it to the sink at the same time as the projectile. With the exception of the washcloth hanging from the faucet, the one little bit on the breakfast bar edging, and the small splatter on the baking sheet on the left side of the sink, it ALL made it in the empty side of the sink!

There, I discovered the source of my heartburn: the pulp of the orange slices I’d had at small group the night before, a small shred of cheddar cheese, and a bit of ground beef from the chili right before the oranges. Apparently I was already in deep trouble before dinner, meaning dinner was a really bad idea.

Then the horror hit me. Beautiful was going to come inside to this mess. Quick! Clean it up! Nope, I wasn’t done. She took at least 30 seconds to come in and I was still standing there over my filth, completely aware of how acidic it smelled. She walked in, asked if I was okay, and said, “I’m going upstairs to take a shower. When I’m done, I’ll have fresh clothes for you to put on after your shower.” 😉

I got out of the shower and all of the dishes and the counter top had been cleaned and Windex’d. She told me this morning that she’d sprayed the whole downstairs and stairwell with Lysol and was afraid the smell was going to make me cough. It didn’t.

All in all, I got 98% of my puke in a 12″x12″ sink from at least 8′ away. That has to be some sort of world record. It’s at least a personal record.

Still Compliant, Still Gaining Weight

20_47-BMIAs quite a few of you on Twitter and Facebook are aware, I had another intestinal scare on Thursday. You see, Beautiful wrote about enzymes on Wednesday and every time she or I write about anything to do with blockages, something happens. Without fail. It’s really quite creepy and must stop this time. I’ll get to my lungs and weight soon, but first, it’s story time.

Thursday morning

I woke up feeling out of sorts and shrugged her off and indicated that I wasn’t feeling well when she came to wake me up on Thursday. I got up around 8:30 and started my treatments, but was feeling sore and crampy, only it wasn’t in the usual blockage area indicated from my long history of blockages. Like a seasoned veteran, I weighed the pros and cons of having an omelet for breakfast and just went for it with plenty of enzymes.

I got upstairs to start work around 10:00 and was more or less completely unable to concentrate. The cramps were coming in waves and in harder and harder force, but I can tell the difference between a resistance cramp and an uncomfortable cramp. These were the latter, no nasty, tight ball of crap anywhere to be found by exploratory pushing of my squishies. Sore, yes, but I didn’t have the tell-tale knot of disaster. Beautiful went back downstairs seeing my clear distress and got me a 20oz Gatorade and an extra Dulcolax to hydrate and flush anything that was in there.

Thursday afternoon

I was feeling better by dinnertime and insisted on eating despite Beautiful’s firm reminder that I “felt fine” before our Outback dinner for my birthday 2 years ago. [Read more…]

Surviving a 21-hour Blockage Without Pain Meds

I Would Rather Give Birth

At least she has an epidural!

A lot can happen in 24 hours. It’s been said by several people already: I jinxed myself blogging about my last blockage that I had in December (Part 1 and Part 2). Yesterday was a day and night of utter misery with yet another blockage. Yay, right?

Why the photo of the pregnant woman? I’ve had a family friend who experiences occasional IBS tell me that she’d rather give birth again than have another round of IBS and she is sure that the pain I go through with my blockages is worse than her IBS. Nothing against women; that came from a woman with 3 kids. That’s the kind of day I have when I have a blockage. So, I should have something like 20 kids by now…

It wasn’t my fault again

At about 7am, I noticed I still wasn’t quite feeling well from the late night before. I felt like I’d eaten greasy hamburgers, but I’d had a very healthy meal. Something just didn’t feel right. I checked my travel enzyme bottle and confirmed I’d taken my Zenpep. I had a normal breakfast and lunch and was sure to take enzymes with my cheese and crackers.

[Read more…]