I have been unexpectedly absent from publishing my blog and podcast all due to an unplanned hospital stay and surgery. The human body is a remarkable thing that we don’t give a second thought to until something goes wrong. I didn’t have a clue that there was something wrong with my digestive system until everything shut down. When it happened, I became aware of the fragility of the human body. It doesn’t take much to go from feeling normal to ending up in the hospital.
The Fragility of the Human Body
It all started on February 19th. I had no indication anything was wrong when I went to bed. About two hours later I woke up in my stomach was distended and in pain. I then felt that familiar taste in the back of my throat that told me I needed to head to the bathroom. After vomiting everything that was in my stomach, I felt better and went back to bed. It didn’t last long and I was back up and headed to the bathroom for another round.
I lost track after seven trips and spent the whole next day in bed. Anytime I would drink anything you would come back up. Thinking that I had a stomach virus, I continue to stay in bed the next day and was able to hold down water only. I awoke on Monday morning, the 22nd and we headed to the emergency room.
Once in the emergency room, I was told that I had a small bowel obstruction. The doctor said they could normally remove the obstruction by inserting a tube into my stomach. I was okay with this because I thought it was going to be like an endoscopy where they knock you out, fix the problem, take out the tube, and wake you up. I was feeling pretty good.
That all came crashing down when the nurse came in and asked if the doctor explained the procedure. I told her what I thought was going to happen and she gave me a wicked smile. She then proceeded to tell me that I would be awake and the tube would be inserted up my nose, down my esophagus, and into my stomach.
She then left and came back with another nurse and told me that the worst part was when the tube gets to the back of the throat. This triggers the gag reflex. They failed to tell me how much it hurts having something shoved up your nose. My nose started bleeding and I was using paper towels to stop it when they hit the gag reflex. I then began gagging uncontrollably. One nurse said, “You’ll get used to it in about an hour.” So for the next hour every time I felt the tube touched the back of my throat, I would gag. On a side note, gagging has to be one of the most unflattering looks a person can have.
So I was admitted into the hospital with the hopes that by starving the small intestine it would shrink and remove the obstruction on its own. One day they pumped contrast into my stomach to see if it would pass through to the colon. It eventually made it through but at one point they could see it was slowing down and backing up. This meant the obstruction was still there.
After almost a week in the hospital, they decided that it wasn’t going to clear up on its own and I would have to have surgery. I was taken to the operating room right away and woke up about six hours later and taken to ICU. He spent a few days in ICU and slowly began to feel better. They removed the tube in my nose which was a big relief. The next day they removed the catheter and transferred me to a regular room.
I was placed on a clear liquid diet and after not eating anything for nine days it tasted like a gourmet meal. After another week of recovering in the hospital, they let me go home. I felt good other than having no energy. Now I’m getting a little better every day but they tell me that it will take 2 to 3 months before I’m back to normal. It was a lot of trauma that my body went through and I’m not a spring chicken anymore. Going to try my best to get back to scheduling my blogs and podcasts twice a week. I will take things slowly but I am positive I will be back to my old self sooner rather than later. My message to you is to take care of yourself and never underestimate the fragility of the human body