The Bad Mommy

I work only to pay for his therapy later.

Location: Novato, California, United States

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't You Wish You Had a Brother Like This?

I recently got to spend 5 days and 4 nights in the hospital because I (used to) take Excedrin Migraine instead of my prescription migraine medication.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Excedrin is a lot cheaper and (I thought) has less dire side effects. Turns out that a steady diet of Excedrin can lead to bleeding ulcers.

I thought I was just having an extremely exhausting week. Then one morning I got out of bed and discovered that I couldn’t walk to the next room without having to sit down and put my head between my knees. I come from a long line of tough women. It takes a lot to get us to slow down.

So, off to the emergency room where they ran some tests and decided to transfuse me with four pints of blood. Seriously: four pints – as in about 1/3 the total amount of blood I would normally have. I told you we’re tough. The next day I had an endoscopy, during which 3 bleeding ulcers were discovered and clamped off.

(Let me digress for a moment and insert a public service announcement: If you’re able to donate blood, please do so! I’ve always been a little casual about my blood donations, seeing them as simply a good deed and nothing I spent much time thinking about. Having now been on the other side of the equation, I can tell you that blood donations literally SAVE LIVES – mine among them. So if you can, get yourself in to your local blood bank and do a good deed!)

Here’s the thing: As serious and scary as all this was, I wasn’t really in any pain. I couldn’t walk across a room or breathe normally, but I wasn’t hurting. And after the transfusion, I felt better than I had in weeks.

But at this point, nobody was taking my word for anything. The lab ran blood tests every 8 hours and while my numbers initially went back up, they then went back down a bit, and it just took awhile for my body to recalibrate.

During the recalibration period, I was limited to a clear liquid diet. Yes, maybe I was recalibrating but it was also possible that I was continuing to bleed. And if that was the case, I needed to be in a state of constant readiness for another endoscopy.

A clear liquid diet is bad enough when one feels like poop. But when one is feeling great, it genuinely sucks. By the final day in the hospital, I had reached the point of counting the minutes to the next blood draw because if the readings were good, I would not only get to go home, I’d get to eat real food, too.

Throughout all of this, I was communicating with my out-of-town family and friends via text messages. I thought you might enjoy this exchange with my brother David:

Me: still waiting for 10 am blood draw. more jello for breakfast

David: …how long to get stats after blood draw?

Me: once they finally come draw the damn blood the results come back in 20-60 mins

David: and how u doing this morning?

Me: feeling pretty crabby. can’t do anything else till the lab tech gets here. i want a shower and some real food. _)&(^#%(&

David: don’t hold back. tell me how u really feel

Me: srsly losing my sense of humor here

David: wanna pic of my foot?

Me: yes please!

David: here ya go!

Now don’t you wish YOU had somebody who would go to these kinds of lengths to cheer YOU up?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, I'm glad that they figured out what was going on - and yes, what a great brother!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

If the shoe gives you fits of laughter... Sorry about the ulcers! And the being bored in the hospital. And the jello--oh man, the warm hospital jello (diabetic version temporarily for me while I was on steroids in the hospital-colored flavored vasoline, oh yuuuuummmm.)

I told the orderly who was bringing it every two hours or so that I'd have to be dying to eat that: and I was not dying! He grinned and never brought it again.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

p.s. Now please go get better and STAY better!

11:21 AM  

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