So to continue my ER waiting room story…
Mr. MLACS and BG dropped me off at the ER circa 6pm. Mr. MLACS asked me to check the tires because our SUV indicated low air pressure. I half-assed kicked the tires and didn’t see anything wrong. Well, Mr. MLACS did his due dilligence and took the truck to a gas station to check the air pressure. Lo and behold, one of the rear tires was missing 20 lbs of air! Clearly there was a leak. So he took BG to a tire shop down the street to have it repaired. Luckily we didn’t need new tires, just a patch job. More importantly, thank God Mr. MLACS was driving when this happened because I often ignore the truck’s “warnings”–most of the time they are false alarms. It could have been a dangerous situation.
I had packed a bunch of snacks for BG (organic squeeze packs, organic cheddar bunnies, organic string cheese stick) so she happily sat and ate her snacks and watched the guys working on cars through a picture window in the waiting room. The truck was finished by 8pm and Mr. MLACS took BG to Raising Canes for a late dinner of chicken strips (not the healthiest but we only eat out 1 or sometimes 2 meals per week so not a big deal).
By 9pm they were done but I was still waiting in the ER…
Now I was feeling anxious because I had not intended to be here more than 4 hours total–awfully naive for someone who has visited ER’s at least half a dozen times.
BG fell asleep in the car but apparently wet through her diaper and woke up. Mr. MLACS got her changed into her spare outfit and placed a blanket in her carseat as a barrier to the urine-soaked seat cover. BG was upset and Mr. MLACS sat next to her in the back seat while she watched cartoons.
Around 10:45pm I called Mr. MLACS and upon hearing the weary tone of Mr. MLACS’s voice and that BG was still awake, I was ready to give up and go home–but I wanted my lab results. So I decided to stand in line at the admissions desk to tell them I need to leave and ask for a copy of my lab results. I stood there for a few minutes, and then…
A nurse came out and called my name! It was FINALLY my turn! Ironically, just as I had decided to give up.
The first thing I did was ask for socks (hospitals always have socks and you get to keep them–they are non-skid and awesome) and a warm blanket because it was freezing in there. I changed into my gown but kept pants on. Went over my symptoms and medications with my nurse. Then a PA came in and informed me that I am anemic, but not “terribly” anemic–my hemoglobin level was 10 (I think “normal” is 12). But it was disturbing because my hemoglobin was 14 just three months ago–falling 4 points is a lot.
The PA left and after awhile a young MD and her “shadow” came in and talked to me and gave me a “digital rectal examination”. While the MD was there, the nurse came back and gave me zofran, bentyl, and morphine. The MD asked me what my anemia symptoms were and I listed them, and she said it would be a good idea for me to have a blood transfusion–usually your hemoglobin has to be below 7 for a blood transfusion, but I had fallen four points and had a lot of symptoms. If I agreed then I would have to be admitted to the hospital to have the transfusion. I said I would do anything to feel better and stronger.
I talked to Mr. MLACS and he said to go for it. I asked the nurse what she thought and she said do it.
By this time it was after midnight and I just wanted to either leave with my family or send them home to go to bed. The PA came back and was skeptical about me being admitted for a blood transfusion because my hemoglobin levels aren’t that low. She said the “hospital team” would have to evaluate me to see what they wanted to do. Uhg.
**somewhere in here I was wheeled away to have x-rays of my chest and abdomen.
I told Mr. MLACS to just go home because I was pretty sure I was being admitted. I begged him to be SO careful because of all the drunk drivers (I could feel his eyeroll through the phone but I had to say it because *anxiety*). I asked him to keep his phone close just in case.
I started to fall asleep and a new MD–a hospital internist–came in and talked to me. I told him the deal: been bleeding for 4 months, got better on Humira + prednisone but then worse when I dropped my prednisone too low, now current GI won’t do anything without 2nd opinions so I’m stuck like this until somebody/anybody helps me. He said “absolutely not” to the blood transfusion and also got an attitude when I asked about IV iron (which is preferred over oral iron for IBD patients)–Internist said it’s too expensive and I’m not anemic enough to warrant it. *rant* This offends me and pisses me off because he is “treating the numbers not the patient”. My symptoms and history show that I am in distress. Whatever it was 3am and I just wanted to be admitted so I could go to sleep. Internist said he wanted to put me on high dose IV steroids. I balked and said sure but only if I won’t have to wean again. He said I shouldn’t need to wean much if at all. So suddenly I was getting admitted for IV steroids instead of a blood transfusion. I had seen an ER MD, a PA, and an Internist MD and every one of them told me something different and confused the hell out of me. But I was proud of myself for keeping my wits about me even with their nonsense and my exhaustion and the morphine.
So I was finally wheeled up to a room and I vaguely remember texting Mr. MLACS my room number before I fell asleep. That was Friday. When I agreed to be admitted for a blood transfusion I was given the impression that I would be released the next day (Saturday).
The nurses woke me up several times to take vital signs/draw blood/give medications but I was exhausted so I barely opened my eyes and kept falling back asleep. Then there was a parade of doctors: Colorectal Surgeon, Internist MD, and Gastroenterologists. The Gastroenterologists were from the same group as the local GI that I *fired* because his nurse didn’t return my calls when I was serious crisis. I only saw that GI one time but these other GI’s kept mentioning his name as though I was still his patient. It was awkward for me to have to correct them–I said “things didn’t work out” with me and the local GI and that it was really his nurse’s fault and I know he is a good doctor. Whatever. They didn’t seem very interested. I was actually shocked when they told me I needed to stay in the hospital for the weekend *at least* and get pumped with IV steroids. That was so NOT what I signed up for! I want to wean off of the steroids! I wanted a blood infusion to quickly fix the anemia and give me some energy and sustain me until one of my GI’s “fixes” me. I wanted to go home to Mr. MLACS and BG. But one of the GI’s turned to me and said “I think you don’t realize how sick you are”, and I thought… she’s right but so what? I was worse off 2 months ago and never got admitted, so why now? I called Mr. MLACS in tears, apologizing over and over for allowing myself to be admitted because if I had only known they would pump me with steroids and keep me all weekend then I wouldn’t have agreed to it. I was SO frustrated. He told me not to worry and that BG was asking for me and they would be there soon to visit.
Mr. MLACS came to visit me Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Of course Mr. MLACS had to take off work to care for BG and I felt guilty about that because he has a big project this week. But he pretended it was no big deal, which was sweet of him. When they would visit we would walk downstairs and grab snacks and walk around. BG was like a little goodwill ambassador and said “Hi!” to everyone that crossed her path–people would smile and tell us how adorable she is. Then we would hang out in my room and I would cuddle BG and we watched cartoons until she became restless and it was time to go. It was hard to watch them leave, but I won’t lie–it was good for me to just lay in bed and sleep for three days straight. On Sunday the GI agreed that I could be released the next day.
But on Monday the Internist MD came and told me that my hemoglobin had fallen to 8.9 and he offered that I could have an IV iron infusion and I jumped at the opportunity. He said I should be done and out the door by 10am. But no. It was almost 3pm before I was released. We tried to go and eat but BG had missed her nap and was obnoxious so we ended up getting our food to-go.
Today I have been fielding calls from ALL my doctors because they were all notified that I was in the hospital. My biggest problem right now is that I planned a trip to my hometown and planned to see my Midwest GI on May 1st. But then my current GI referred me to a *superstar* IBD specialist in his city and they also offered me May 1st. So now I have to choose. And much to my chagrin, I think I will have to cancel my trip home to the Midwest because I just dont think it’s wise to travel alone with BG for a week in my current state. It’s a 10 hour drive and then we’d stay in a hotel for a week. It’s 3pm now and I’m already anxious for Mr. MLACS to come home and take over with BG because I just want to lay here and not move. I’m still passing blood and going to the toilet 5-10x per day, I’m tired, and my rectum hurts. So… I guess the only reasonable option is to cancel the trip home. And I’ll be seeing the Southern IBD specialist on May 1st.
I hope she can “fix” me.