Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Alive But Ailing - November 9, 2010

Well, welcome to the club!

 This is one habit, I must break!  Two hospitalizations in less than six months is more
than anyone should have to endure!!  Not that Seton Medical Center isn't an
excellent facility, with superb nursing staff but everyone one knows nurses shouldn't
be patients. 

This whole mess started on Sunday, Halloween night ( clearly I was spooked by
something! ) when I began having violent chills while sitting at my computer ( what
else does my life involve these days? ) .  Plagued by Monterzuma's revenge ( and
I hadn't even been as far as San Francisco ) that night onward, I finally went to my
doctor on Wednesday, very dehydrated and very unhappy.  By Friday, with a weight
loss of seven pounds in five days ( normally, that would have merited sending out party invitations ), I went back to Dr. Yan's.  She took one look at me and found that the
antibiotics she'd started on hadn't seemed to make a difference and sent me off to
the emergency room.  Eight hours and a CAT scan later, they admitted me. 

Of course, my beloved 26-year-old, Jeremy, comes to the hospital about 11PM and
starts the lecture about, "if you just took better care of yourself"...."if you'd exercise
more"...."if you'd lose some weight"...."then you might be able to fight these things
off.  All I could mutter, was, "I know you're right, son, but could you hold this till I'm
feeling better?"

For three days, I was on only a clear liquid diet, ie, tea, jello, broth, clear juices.  They
did allow Jeremy to bring me udon broth from my favorite Japanese restaurant, with
him clearly telling them NO meat, noodles, vegetables, just broth.  When he arrived and
opened the container, they had included noodles.  It was hysterical watching this 6'4"
young man, who I will forever call "the noodle police" fish out those 12" udon noodles
with nothing more than a couple of straws.

It turns out I have a campylobacter infection of the bowel, usually caused by ingestion of
contaminated food, undercooked or poorly handled poulty ( rare poulty is not one of
my food choices ) or contaminated water.  No one else in the family got sick so I don't
know how I acquired it ( my tremendous luck ) but, let me tell you, it is one illness best
avoided.  I was discharged on a no fiber diet for two weeks, then low fiber for
two weeks, then, after a colonoscopy, I hope I'll be back to my abnormal normal.  I
met with the hospital's dietician and this two week stint is tough - vegetables cooked to
mush, no grain or fiber bread - try finding that in this day and age - so I bought sourdough
white bread, canned or cooked ( peeled fruits only ), no salads or anything raw.  Still, it
all beats clear liquids!

I want to tell you how how very much it meant to me to get the wonderful wishes from all
of you.  I didn't take my laptop to the hospital because I knew I was too sick to blog but
my birthday present Droid 2 came in handy to read comments and feel connected to
everyone.  However, I think I have permanently damaged my eyes from squinting at that
little screen.

I have to say a huge thank you to my beloved friend, Joanne Olivieri ( aka Poetic
Shutterbug ), for posting on my blog to let you know I hadn't been whisked into outer
space by Martians.  She also arrived in my hospital room, armed with cheery hot pink
Gerbera daisies and, then, she left and came back with the most beautiful purple
pashmina, found at the hospital gift shop.  While she was there, we laughed and
carried on so much, I forgot I was sick and I'm sure the nursing staff wondered just what
was going on in my room.

Slowly but surely, I'll get around to visiting all...just hope the two kidney stones the scan
showed lodged in my ureters stay put for now.  I've had enough of hospitals for the time


  1. Oh, Carmen, how dreadfully dreadful for you. Suffer on overcooked food for what will seem like years (but is what? two weeks or four?) and then a colonoscopy!! Did you ever read what John Glenn and the rest of the group of America's healthiest young men said after a colonoscopy was included in their pre-astronaut tests? "The steel eel," they called it. Said it was the worst test of all. Probably they didn't have any kind of sedative. Be sure you ask for lots of whatever they give there. I don't breathe properly so I've been half awake during my last several colonoscopies. I squawk and fuss but it seems they have rules about breathing being better for you than lack of pain.
    The noodle police sounds like a sweet and caring son, lectures notwithstanding. TOO funny, actually.
    It was so good of Jo to keep us informed because a lot of people (209 followers is a lot) would have been fretting about you, I among them.
    Take care now, please.
    Luv, K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. I am so glad you are home. While I love the chili, I'd rather do without :) I'll see ya Friday.

  3. So glad to hear you are at home. I wish you a speedy recovery... LOL re the noodle police! :D

  4. I know you are enjoying being home but please rest and do as the doctor said, those stones can be painful and you want to allow your bowel to heal. Be well my friend....:-) Hugs

  5. So sorry to hear about your illness/trouble, Carmen. What a terrible thing to go through, but I'm glad Jo was there visiting and laughing with you..

    Take care, you're still in fragile stage..

  6. Oh dear I got the number for your hospital but I didn't get to call. It slipped my mind after having to be so busy with baby. You take it easy and take care ok.


  7. Campylobactor?! So weird! I don't think I've taken care of a single patient with that in my 11 years of nursing so far. I'm glad to hear that you're on the mend, and you have a wonderful support system around you...including noodle fishers ;). Take care of yourself!

  8. It's great to know that you're in your best spirits :) Now it's time to recover and take good care. My father had to deal with that scanning machine this week too, only we call it TAC, and he also takes it in good spirits.

  9. Carmen- well, as unpleasant as this all is, I'm sure glad it was nothing worse. I was worried about you!

  10. wonderful to know you are back home! now its onward speedy recovery!!!!
    take care!!

  11. Gosh, I haven't heard that word for years. We had a case in the UK 1977, I think it was. Contaminated milk was suspected.

    I do hope you continue to improve. So glad you have a wonderful friend like Joanne to sit beside you. Take care, Carmen. Hugs from Cyprus. x