Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Difference Twenty-Four Hours Can Make

This is going to be a relatively short post today.  It is amazing the difference 24 hours can make.  Yesterday evening when I sat down to write my blog post, I was extremely upbeat, energetic, full of life and hopeful.  I did all my writing last night while I was sitting in my bed.  I posted the entry shortly before 10:00PM and in keeping with trying to be more healthy in 2012, I turned off the TV and lights at 11:15PM.  I fell asleep quickly but I awoke with a start at 1:20AM with a tremendous stomachache. 

I lay in bed for another 10 minutes before I couldn't stand it any longer and bolted out of bed and ran to the bathroom.  It felt as if my guts exploded as I projectile vomited into the toilet.  At some point over the next 4 hours I lost count of the number of times I vomited.  I can only estimate that I puked between 13 and 15 times in those 4 hours.  At 5:30AM, I called over to Tim and Celinde's house as I knew Celinde normal rose around 5:00AM.  My question to her was simple - do you have samples of any anti-nausea medication?  Thankfully she did and was willing to bring several packages of the anti-nausea drug Zofran to the house.  Once she got there, she took one look at me and said "You better get to the Emergency Room and get some hydration as you look bad."  Thankfully the Zofran Celinde gave me was a kind that melted on your tongue and the relief began almost immediately.  My brother volunteered to take me to the ER as soon as Cole was on his way to school. 

While I waited for Tim to come and get me, I got Zack out of bed and had him kick off his morning activities.  I went back to bed and just checked in with him periodically while he got ready.  After he got his breakfast, he mentioned that his stomach wasn't feeling that great.  I thought he was feeling that way just in sympathy for me.  I dozed off for a little bit but was awakened by the sound of poor Zack puking his guts out.  Great!  Zack was sick too!

My brother got to my house shortly after 7:30AM and we were off to Littleton Hospital.  Nancy was still at the house recovering from her horrific vomiting episode of last Friday so she could watch Zack while I went to the ER.  I was going to get her back to Cranbrook today.

I spent about 4.5 hours at the ER while they did blood work, gave me 6 injections of IV Zofran and infused 2 liters of fluid into me.  The nurse, PA and doctor who assessed me told me that I was definitely dehydrated.  The key to me feeling better was to get me hydrated, the vomiting under control and eliminate my fever.  The doctor prescribed a bunch of Zofran and some pain pills to deal with the extensive pain I had in my back this morning because of all the vomiting I did over night.

Due to this entire episode, I had to cancel the procedure to have steroids injected into my back.  That means my back continues to be in a fairly large amount of pain and my trip to India is now in jeopardy.  I left my manager both a voice mail and e-mail this morning explaining the situation.  As I sat in the ER trying to sleep while I was hydrating I tried to do a lot of thinking about the situation with my back and the trip to India.  I also spent a good bit of time today talking to Celinde, who though she is not my PCP, she certainly knows a lot about my medical situation.  The advice that I have received from Celinde is that I really shouldn't make the trip to India - for a couple of key reasons.  First because of this illness my immune system is compromised and it would be very easy for me to pick something up in India.  Second, with my back in the state it is the likelihood that I experience some kind of pretty significant negative change in my back is pretty high.  It could get bad enough that besides the pain, it could escalate to weakness or numbness that would prevent me from walking.  (Given I am not getting the steroid shots - the likelihood of this would significantly increase.)  Celinde basically told me it would be against medical advice to make the trip as it could have bad consequences for me.

Based upon all of this I am considering a very radical departure from what I discussed in my blog post yesterday.  Given how messed up my back is and the fact that today's episode has made resolution of my back longer, I am giving serious consideration to taking a 6 - 8 week medical leave of absence.  I won't get paid during that time, but to me it would be worth it to get complete resolution of this whole situation.  I am not sure my manager will go along with this, but I am going to put it out there.  Your health is so very important and I really just want to get this situation resolved and be healthy again!

Zack is doing better this afternoon/evening.  He has only thrown up 3 times and with the Zofran I brought home he has been able to keep drinks down.  He will probably end up staying home tomorrow because I don't want him to spread this stuff at school and I want him to go to school feeling his best. 

I am very proud of Zack this new year.  In the past, the beginning of a new year and going back to school has been a very anxiety ridden time for him.  In the weeks leading up to January 1, we talked a lot about how he could prepare himself for the beginning of the year and take ownership of his anxiety.  He has done that and has not exhibited his typical beginning of the year anxiety.  In my heart I know 2012 is going to be a breakout year for him in terms of overcoming his anxiety, becoming more socially aware and growing more mature.  I have all the faith in the world in Zack and I just know he is going to do well.  How he handled the beginning of the year has been a shining example of what he is going to achieve in 2012!

I hope you all avoid this nasty stomach virus that is going around.  The nurse in the ER said that there has been a huge onslaught of this bug.  Please take care of yourselves and keep free of this bad virus.  Be healthy!!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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