Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm alive

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated...

Some of you may or may not have noticed I haven't posted anything in over a week. There is an explanation for this, and if you're interested read on. If not, then don't worry about it.

The Sunday before last I started feeling sick around 1pm or so; a kind of crampy, nauseous feeling in my stomach. Thinking I was hungry, I went with my brother to get some lunch, but the feeling didn't go away. Later on it turned into a familiar achy, throbbing, sharp abdominal pain I've had before. No amount of Vicodin or Percocet would make it go away. About 11:30pm I drove myself to the emergency room of the local hospital and waited another 2.5 hours before being able to seeing a doctor and getting some pain relief through my IV. At the end of this ordeal a doctor suggested I go home and take some pain medicine (the doctors notes disagree on this, CYA). I really thought I should have been admitted, but I went along with this.

Stupid stupid stupid...

Later on Monday in the early evening I was in still in agony. It seriously felt like I had a baby Alien trying to claw it's way out of my stomach. My brother drove me this time and stayed with me until I got into the back to see the doctor, only a 1.75 hour wait this time. This time the doctor (a different one) himself suggested I be admitted and I agreed. I was admitted into the hospital to deal with a bowel obstruction.

The various x-ray's and CAT scans showed I had a section of distended bowel. Another doctor there suggested I talk with a surgeon colleague of his and I agreed. The surgeon suggested that he would be able to laparoscopically go in and correct the problem and I'd only have a few small incisions instead of being opened wide. Seeing as how I've had this pain several times before and I had every expectation that I would again in the future, I decided to have the procedure.

Now for the complication. I have a serious problem with my blood clotting too fast and I take medicine every day to keep that from happening. This medicine takes 3-4 days to take affect and the same to wear off. This meant that I had to be switched from Warfarin to Heparin, which has a much faster response time. Several days passed with me in bed doing nothing, in pain and having my blood drawn twice a day to see if my clotting time was right. I was poked with needles around 60+ times during my hospital stay.

Finally on Saturday morning it was time for the operation. The operating table looked identical to the ones I'd seen on TV that are used to strap prisoners down to for lethal injection. I'll admit it, I was scared. The OR was as cold as an ice box too. They asked me some questions and then had me breath some oxygen from a mask. Shortly afterward the anesthesiologist injected something through my IV that burned like fire and then my head felt like it was being pricked by a thousand needles and I went out.

After a short dream about cowboys (I'd been watching Wild West Tech just before they took me down) that made no sense I awoke in the recovery room.

The next two and a half days I spent in a really nice room with a great southern view. The doctor told me he removed some adhesions and some scar tissue where my bowel had kinked back on itself, forming a restriction in the size. He thinks I've had this all my life and it's only recently become an issue. Hopefully from now on I won't have this issue again. I can only hope.

I'm still sore, and don't expect me to post a lot until I get completely over this, but I'm back and still alive. Thank God!

Now, to catch up on the thousands of emails I'm sure have collected in my inbox while I've been out of commission...