I sounded all finished in my last post, right? I thought I was.
I got my release orders at around 2pm on Wednesday, but told them I was going to rest for 30 minutes before calling the transport services, as I was feeling worse than in the morning. Well, I continued feeling poorly and the wheelchair continued failing to show up. I’m tagging this one on God, because I can’t imagine how much bigger the ordeal would have been if I had actually left hospital grounds. By 3pm I was feeling awful and asking for stronger drugs, and Nate was telling nurses that we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. By 3:30 I was begging to have my IV reinserted (my third!) At 4pm they finally gave me a shot of the strongest pain killer they have – Tardal? I think. It did nothing, not a thing. There isn’t much worse than holding onto the hope that relief will come if people will just help, and then it just doesn’t. I could do nothing but lay perfectly still on my back and concentrate on each breath as it came. Every minute felt longer than imaginable and yet time just kept seeping by without any help or answers. It was the kind of experience where your prayers are just one word long, because it’s all you know, Jesus.
Nobody needs the down-to-the-minute details of the most painful afternoon. It involved two shots of tardal, then two shots of morphine on top of those. There was another ultrasound at 8:30pm and two more rounds of bloodletting for the lab people. There was a fourth IV when the third was found to have puffed up my whole wrist, but I could have cared less at that point about a few extra flimsy needles poking at my body. Finally at 12:30am the resident appeared and said the results were in and they were scheduling a second ERCP for the next day. It was terrible to hear another surgery was involved and it was also all I wanted to hear. She said she had prescribed demerol every two hours for me, but that was it. As Nate left to get some hours of sleep I held onto a thread of hope that the demerol would do something different. I couldn’t imagine counting the hours from 12:30-8am, roughly the amount of time I had already spent in this position.
God was looking out for me because somehow the demerol did something different. Within three minutes I could feel the shift in my body. It also made me vomit, so I spent the night in two hour shifts: page the nurse for demerol, take it, dry heave into a bucket, rest for about an hour until the effects of the demerol could be felt wearing off and then count down the minutes til the next two mark. My “roommate” was incredibly nice and understanding through what most have been an awful night of sleep for her as well.
I made it til morning, which turned into afternoon and I went back for my second ERCP at 2:30pm. I was considerably more nervous the second time around, I guess because the answers the doctors came up with in the first place weren’t happening as they had promised. I could feel my anxiety building and just kept having to pray. But I made it through the second round fine again and a stint was inserted. Apparently my bile duct became so inflamed that it closed up completely, and so “sludge” was trying to pass through my body and getting stuck, which is what I was feeling.
I was released from the hospital today at 2pm and I’m happy to be home and showered. I’m not as upbeat and much more cautious and leary today, having experienced the 5% where things go wrong. I’m kind of scared of my body right now and not really trusting it. (I liken it to how I felt toward our old car that just kept breaking down and kept me in a mild level of anxiety any time we had to drive it far). But I’m hoping for a good night and a good week and trying not to think about every sensation in my stomach or having to go back in another 2 months to have my 3rd ERCP to have my stint removed.
When I get another breathe of energy, I might put some pics up. We never took the camera to the hospital because it was too much of a hassle, but I will check if we got any “aftershots”.
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