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A Night and a Morning in the Hospital

My ER: TGHWe left off with Part One with an inconclusive contrast CT scan, a super slow staff, and a previously unmentioned multitude of requests that they call my CF doctor, who is on staff in the building, to let him know I’m in the ER that has gone unattended to for over 12 hours. We now know to call the on-call doctor on the way to the ER or call the coordinator if it’s during the day. I’m not messing around with blockages any more – I may even opt for corrective surgery the next time, because I really can’t describe the pain and suffering that goes on during a 24-52 hour blockage.

The only good thing that comes from a blockage is the relief afterward. However, even that was taken from me this time.

Oh, now you’ll listen to me anyway?

After hours of hammering them with my requested treatment method using reason, history, rage, and anything else I had available in my condition, they finally sent me down to radiology to get my enema. Long story short, I waited in the hall long enough for my morphine to wear off so I could experience the full torment of radiological hell without pain relief, but the treatment worked and I was sitting happily on the gurney waiting to be wheeled back to Beautiful when I gave them the “all clear” sign that I was “all clear.”

It didn’t take long back in the ER for me to realize that I wasn’t completely clear, though. I was very, very tender, along with an abnormal mass where I have my bottleneck. I was thinking that it only cleared out some of my problem, but that I’d had so much to eat at Outback that it just got re-plugged with that partially-digested food. Things still weren’t right.

We are getting you a room, Mr. Petersen

Great! Let’s see how long that takes and how little treatment I get during this process. If I recall correctly, it took at least 2 hours, if not 4 to get me up to the CF-ish floor while they only gave me 100mL of fluid per hour after pumping me with a hypertonic solution up my caboose. Where did these people study medicine? I’m looking at my Nalgene bottle: 100mL is less than 4oz! We are talking about my only source of liquids in nearly 24 hours after coming in dehydrated and receiving a hypertonic enema. Give me more morphine before I rip someone’s head off.

I finally got up to my room and I sent Beautiful home for some rest because we’d been there all night and all day by now. I was actually worried about her driving home, but she made it (obviously).

After she left, the worst nurses nursing school has to offer came to be my personal torture attendees. The first one said the floor doctor ordered a Fleet enema for me. I am fairly certain that I responded with something along the lines of, “The floor doctor is an idiot. I have a high, small bowel issue that a 1/2 gallon of Gastrografin didn’t quite clear up. What is 8oz of the weakest enema you can give going to do? Did she even read my chart?” At 1am or so, new nurses came on their shift and into my room and decided to wake me up to take vitals, draw blood, and ask me if those squiggly lines on my shoulder and arm were normal. “Yes, you get them when you sleep with sheets and a hospital gown on. Everyone gets them. This is the first time in your 50 years on this planet that you’ve ever seen sleep sheet marks on someone’s skin?” I suggested she leave my room at that point and let me sleep through the rest of the night, uninterrupted by such stupid and unnecessary things. I’ve got cystic fibrosis, but she was going to have much bigger problems if she tried to pull that crap on me again.

This is why I sleep with my glasses on while in the hospital.

A “doctor” came in at 6am or so and wanted me to stay a few more hours until I was sure that the mass had cleared from the bottleneck. If you ask me, she was a college student wearing a lab coat doing her biology homework. Before they could get me discharged, I was bothered by the respiratory tech twice (once too many) and offered a sponge bath by the overly-enthusiastic male nurse three times. Twice after they started my discharge process and (pretty sure) once when Beautiful was sitting in the room on her chair over in the corner. “No, you’re not my type, she is, and I’ll be home in 2 hours to take what is called a shower. Alone.”

This is why I don’t go to the hospital.

Never did figure it out

I never did figure out what triggered the problem this time around. I also experienced weeks of discomfort after this bout, leading me to believe that the intestines really are tired of this crap (pun intended) and that they did some damage a bit lower in radiology. I was not a happy camper for all of January and the first part of February.


  1. I loved your narrations. The bed sheet squiggles made me laugh, but I'm sure it was not hilarious at the time. Great story! (Well, for those of us not experiencing it….. sorry!)

  2. Thanks, Andrea. I agree – it makes for a GREAT story… after the fact. If I ever get put back on that floor and those nurses end up getting me on their shift… riot act before they touch me or my chart, for sure. What I wouldn't give at this point to have video-taped the entire thing. If there is a next time, Beautiful will be recording it incognito with her phone when we get her upgrade. You can't make this stuff up, but to show it is even better!

  3. Often the worst experiences make for the best stories. What a bummer that you had such a great story to tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    When you told about the sheet marks, I was sitting here in my relatively pain free condition laughing and thinking I'd have told her that I'm an alien changling in human form and my illness was making it hard to maintain the disguise. But, if I was feeling like you were feeling, I don't suppose my mind would have been quick enough.

    Well told adventure story, Jesse!

  4. I reacted way anyone would being woken up at 1am: confused. Then I wanted to strangle her or see if I could bury 2 knuckles into her nostrils and toss her over to the other side of the bed and ask her why she did that and if that was normal.

  5. rhondab30 says

    I have argued with ER doctors a hundred times. The times we have gone in, John has been too sick to really do a lot of talking. I try to tell them what medication he has reactions to and they look at me like I'm crazy. Like you said, 31 years of knowing your own body. I don't have that many invested, but I had enough at the time (and had witnessed enough) that I knew what I was talking about. So they do what they want and then when it ends up just like I said I have no problem looking at them and saying- See, your an idiot and I told you so. I get that ER docs and nurses are more skilled in things they can see (like cuts or wounds) or what a radiologist can show them. However, in med school they could at least teach them to read a patient file before ordering medications that don't work or test that aren't necessary. We go to the same hospital every time and his medical record is on electronic file there. John's more passive when he's in. I'm the one with the big mouth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I would have guessed him to be more passive than me or @UnknownCystic, but I think that as time goes on, I can relax more and let Beautiful rip them a new one. She catches on really fast and would probably like something to do if we're going to be in the ER for 16 hours to get a stinking enema. You'd think I was asking for a hip replacement for a runny nose.