When beginning this new blog, the intent was to steer away from simply a chronological explanation of my experiences. It seems as I continue writing, I have gone this route.
I would however like to pause for a moment. As mentioned in my first post, I will expand into an interactive platform. As you are reading, I encourage to let your guard down. Share experiences through the comments. We all have experienced hardships along with triumphs.
The purpose behind this blog, is to encourage others who are experiencing or about to experience hardships, to engage in conversation to realize they are not alone. What I have learned without talking, researching or simply listening to others with shared experiences, lifes hardships are far more difficult to take on.
In my last post, I left off with spending my first night in the hospital. Being completely transparent I do not, nor will I pretend to, remember the exact timeline of events that follow. What I can tell you is even my worst dreams would soon pail in comparison to what I was about to experience.
After running tests, including far to many evasive scopes into my colon. The GI (Gastrointestinalogist) could not tell for certain whether I had Ulceritive Colitis or Crohn’s Disease. The way he did put it was, if the disease continued to progress, he would have to bring in a surgeon. Having not undergone a major surgery before, this was a chilling thought for me at the time.
The doctor tried to give me small amounts of food, to test the waters so to speak. The smallest amount of food continued to plague my system. I remember crying in my hospital bed in the middle of the night, almost every night at this point. The nurses could hear me and would come to console me as best they could until the time came I was allowed more medication.
To put this into perspective, even just four months earlier, I felt completely normal. To go from a routine lifestyle, to living in such pain I would cry uncontrollably was a great deal to process. I felt as though I was outside of myself looking in. With the amount of painkillers in my system that first week, my mind was a mess.
At some point, my doctor stepped away for nearly a week for some of his summer vacation. During this time I was kept on painkillers and doctors would check in on me each morning as part of their rounds. Given I was under the care of a specialist, I found out later this was the reason for the events to follow.
My mom came to visit at the end of her work week. Obviously she was expecting, since being in the care of a hospital, I would be doing relatively well considering my circumstances. My mother rarely speaks of what was to come. She walked into the room to see the shell of her son. I had not moved from my bed, nor consumed any sort of food during the time the GI was away. One thing I remember is hearing my mother screaming at the nurses. Using words I had not heard her use before.
The GI returned early the next morning after my mom reached him. The image in my head is still with me to this day. He pulled back the sheets uncovering me asking if the doctors attempted food in his absence. I let him know they brought trays although I could not eat. Which I did tell the doctors during their rounds.
I then heard my specialist verbally upset at the nurses station. Not using the same tone or vulgarities from my mother. By the end of the day, I was taken to a procedure room were I was given what is called a pick line (feeding tube). A tube was inserted into my arm on the inside of my left elbow. This line ran up my arm, up and across the neck to above my heart. Through this line, I was administered TPN, Total Parental Nutrition. There was an IV drip that ran 24hrs a day for nutrients then a white bottle that ran for 12 hrs for essential fatty acids/lipids. My GI was incredibly upset the doctors had not made this determination in his absence.
Now with the pick line in place and pain managed my head began to clear up. Before attempting anything else, my doctor wanted to give my body time with the pick line to build up my system. It was at this point a nurse recommended I start to write a journal of my experiences while in the hospital.
Now understand one thing, I was 21 years old. Not exactly a “journaling” kind of guy. The last time I had a journal was in junior high school! I had time to kill, so I asked for a notebook from the gift shop. Later I will share the pages from my journal for the first time. I often refer to these pages, which have lived in my night stand to this day. They serve as a reminder of those 7 weeks I lived in the hospital.
To close off this post, I would like to leave one thought in your mind.
Life WILL go from mundane to something you never thought possible, in a short amount of time.
Events surface that will change the course of ones life without forewarning. This is not to say all events will be unfortunate, I have had my fair share of fortunate life altering events rise to the surface.
Most important is how one rolls with the turbulence we fly through. Do we simply allow the plane to crash? Or to we fly the plane through the storm, moving in any direction we can to get through into calmer winds?
I didn’t realise at the time how often I was changing the direction of my plane, or just how turbulent the skies truly were. As mentioned previously, this first flight with heavy turbulence prepared me for future events that would challenge me in ways I could not imagine.