January 20th, 2011

sick, hospital, ng

the big day

Tuesday the 18th, the movers came to our Bryn Mawr apartment and took all of our boxes and furniture away. LOTS of boxes and furniture. it took hours. Wednesday, the 20th, the movers came to our new apartment and gave us back all of our boxes (I think our boxes multiplied).

To "celebrate" our new apartment, (and because we had like no food), we ordered from Domino's. I am not a huge pizza fan, so we were playing online, and I was going to create my own breadbowl. I had a semi-healthy one picked out. Then it said we couldn't order it online, and we had to call it in. So, rather than going through the hassle of giving the perfect breadbowl over the phone, I just ordered their super-high-fat-disgusting one. Aaron and I joked about how terrible it was for us. But, we just moved, and we'd start our new healthy lifestyles soon enough (this place is GREAT for running/biking, and there's an in the building fitness center).

So, hours after "enjoying" the pasta bowl of fatty goodness, I woke up at 3am. I was in PAIN. The pain was surreal. I'm not sure if I walked or crawled to the bathroom. I was also going through hot/cold flashes. I may have tried to go to the bathroom first. Then, I sat on the floor next to the toilet and began to vomit. The pain was incredible, though. I couldn't find a suitable position. I found myself contorting on the bathroom floor (so glad it was super just moved in clean). I'd stretch one leg, flex the other into my abdomen. I'd try everything I could to try to make it hurt less. I found myself in positions right next to the toilet, but required a bucket to puke in because the 3 inches of moving my head was too much. Poor Aaron had to be my nurse-maid. I knew being around the puking was terrible for him. I felt bad for him. He got me a bucket to puke in. He got the wet rag I requested, and rubbed it on me as requested. He learned quickly not to touch anything remotely near my belly/back/abdomen/chest. The wet rag was just there to cool me off (I was sweating).

After some significant amount of time on the bathroom floor, I finally decided to try to head to the couch. There, Aaron sacrificed a fermenting bucket to my gastric release. I spent a total of about 13 hours vomiting between the bathroom and the couch. I'd occasionally go into my bathroom to try something else and rinse out the bucket. Eventually around 3 in the afternoon, Aaron came out of the bedroom. I had been somewhat concerned for a little while about the consistency of my vomit. Even after hours of puking, and not eating anything, the color was like an opaque greenish/yellow. I may have eaten some tums to try to 'neutralize' my tummy. But, I was beginning to realize I was expressing bile (from the intestines on the other side of the stomach - somehow the bile found it's way in the wrong way, and out the wrong way). Realizing that puking bile was wrong, and that I was breathing so shallow, it bordered on panting, I figured I should go to the hospital. I realized I was breathing too fast for my body to keep up and I just kept imagining needing to go on a ventilator just to keep oxygenated. Little did I realize, I had atelectasis (partial lungs collapsing on themselves) from all the shallow breathing.

Getting myself ready to go to the hospital was a long process. I gave Aaron instructions on what to get me (pants, shirt). I had to get myself dressed (took a while, every movement was rewarded in severe nausea and vomiting). I was pretty sure I would be hospitalized, so I may have packed a travel bag to go with me. At least an hour or two after making the decision, we headed to the hospital. I sat in the lobby of our new apartment, and had Aaron bring the car around. At the hospital, I insisted he bring me a wheelchair (I think he realized I was pretty serious at this point)...

I'll go more into the hospital stuff later. It really was one big blur. I went to the Suburban Hosptial ER. Spent hours there, transferred to the ICU for a little while, then promised a helicopter ride to John's Hopkins (but they gave me a painful ambulance instead). I was disappointed, and in PAIN. I spent about 9 days at Johns Hopkins till I was released. I spent another 2-3 days at home in a haze going from couch-bed-couch. I spent a month before my abdomen didn't feel like it hated me. Shortly after that, I managed to go to the bathroom somewhat regularly.