By 6 on Thursday, I was in such pain that it didn’t seem wise to wait until Friday to see the doctor. Following the nurse’s instructions, we did not pass go, did not stop at Quaint Local Hospital (who doc’s office is sure is perfectly competent but is not Magnificent Ginormous Hospital, and therefore can’t be trusted to know colitis from a heart attack). So we roadtripped to Boston.
The ED had been told to expect me, so we sailed through registration and triage. I sent Mr. Nemesis home around nine, having packed the essentials for an overnight. (Loaded e-reader, phone, charger, toothbrush, deodorant. But no hair brush, damn it. Still, not bad planning for someone who spent most of the day curled in the fetal position.) I was admitted and taken to a room around 11 where I proceeded to get no sleep because I was being constantly prodded, and I had enough blood drawn to feed Dracula. (Can they just draw from your IV? No, they cannot. Some tests require individual stabbings from multiple spots. I dunno, in case your left arm blood doesn’t match your right?)
Somewhere between arriving at the ED and midnight, the prednisone I took in the afternoon must have kicked in because the pain and worst of the nausea went away on their own.
Friday morning I was treated to the next step: a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Guess what a last minute colonoscopy requires? Enemas!
TMMI COMING! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! SKIP AHEAD IF YOU MUST.
Water enemas require you to lie on your right side for 15-20 minutes while your colon is blown up like a water ballon. You’ve had no sleep, no food, you’re nauseas, and now you’re being water boarded out the ass end. Then, when you can’t take it anymore, you’re allowed to dump the water, which seems like if should want to be dumped a lot more easily than it actually does. If you ever questionned whether our species was intelligently designed, this will answer that for you. Since I hadn’t eaten much in the last 48 hours, I was told I did pretty well at not cursing every living thing in the vicinity. Being given dilaudid and thus not giving too many fucks probably helped.
Thankfully, the mix of the dilaudid I got with the enema along with the sedatives during the scopes meant I didn’t wake up gagging with a tube down my esophagus this time. On a related note though, I was completely spaced prior to the procedure. What is my birthday? Let me think… Lawyers, pay attention. Should something turn out to have been screwed up during the procedure, those consents I signed are totally invalidid.
Upshot from the scopes. My colon is normal. My upper intestine is inflamed, and that seems to be preventing food from leaving my stomach. Enter pain and nausea. While it can’t conclusively be said that the nivo is causing this, it’s the obvious culprit.
So I’m on IV steroids, an IV stomach acid reducer, occasional anti-nausea drugs, and the usual other drugs they have to give you to keep you alive on bed rest. I’m also on a liquid diet. Since Friday morning, all I’ve eaten is 8 oz of chicken broth and a couple spoonfuls of jello. Strangely (or not under the circumstances), I haven’t been hungry. For the record, however, I do not recommend this as a weight loss treatment.
Meanwhile, I wait for results from the biopies that were taken during my scopes, whether I’ll get better drugs, real food, and when I can leave. I really want to leave.
My roommate has a large, loud, rude family, and they are around constantly. Putting aside my introverted tendencies, they talk so loudly I can’t hear myself think, they talk about food in front of the patient with nausea, and they joke about not waking people up right next to me as I’m trying to sleep. Roommate asked this morning if they bothered me. And look, I’m not yet at the point where I’m going to freak out on an 80-year-old woman with diabetes, breathing issues, and possibly cancer. But I’m getting close. As for her grandchildren who brought food into the room though? I hope they experience the joy of having their colons turned into water balloons like the unintelligently designed shit sacks they are.
In fact, that might be the sole upshot from this mess. I have a new way cursing humanity. And believe me, I have much to curse.
So, feel better yet?