ice chips and obstructions.

So here I am writing another blog post from a room at the Cleveland Clinic. I swear I have been to hell and back again in the past 48 hours.

Yesterday morning at like 2 a.m., I woke up from a deep sleep with a shooting pain and the need to throw up, immediately. I hadn’t felt pain like that and rain the bathroom since I had ulcerative colitis, which has been gone for about 8 months now. As soon as I sat on the bathroom floor, I began to throw up and convulse with pain. I also had absolutely NO output in my pouch, which is very abnormal and can be dangerous. I usually have to get up 3-4 times a night to take care of my pouch and at 3 a.m. it was still empty, even after eating dinner.

my collection of hospital socks is growing.

my collection of hospital socks is growing.

I knew the symptoms of a blockage, for I have read about them through social media or on other peoples blogs. I was concerned that’s what was happening to me, so as I sat on the floor of our bathroom I quickly googled “signs of a blockage in an ostomy.”

The first page I clicked on was some kind of informative site about caring for your ostomy. The specific page I was on was called, “how to treat a blockage.” Like I said before, I knew from experience reading that if you feel like you have a blockage, the best thing to do is to take a bath in super warm water or drink some tea or something else hot to try to soothe the abdominal muscles. All I read on this page was, “go to the emergency room.”

So, after I started panicking even more I called my dad, who is a doctor and told him my symptoms. He told me to get to the emergency room at OSU as quickly as possible. Danny had woken up already and came into the bathroom. I looked at him with utter disbelief and said, “we have to go to the hospital.”

Upon arriving to OSU, my symptoms had only worsened. I was so nauseated and in so much pain, I felt like I did in May when  I couldn’t even move without being sick. I didn’t even finish grabbing my ID out of the registration person’s hand before I was running down the hall to throw up. It was so painful, not only because I had nothing left to even throw up, but also because my stomach is still quite sore from surgery, so doing certain things reminds me that I just had abdominal surgery about 6 weeks ago. Sneezing. ow. coughing. ow. throwing up. triple ow.

I was lucky enough to get back to an observation room pretty quickly, where I was now shaking and so upset from how nauseated I was. I felt like I was never going to find relief. There was still nothing in my pouch, which was only making my other symptoms more painful and intense.  The first nurse I had at OSU was so kind, he got my IV in quickly and with ease (I was happy for the distraction from the intense abdominal pain) and immediately got me pain medicine and nausea medicine. I felt better pretty much immediately.

yayy another iv.

yayy another iv.

My dad finally arrived at the hospital after driving all the way from Canton at about 5 a.m. Then the nurses came in saying I needed to have a cat scan done, to see what was going on with my insides. They made me drink this solution that was mostly water and 5% something else that helps your insides glow. I was worried it was going to taste bad and make me vomit, lucky enough for me it wasn’t the taste, but the amount. I had to drink about 3/4’s of a huge water bottle filled to the top, this was not your average water bottle either, it was a jumbo size. All I could think was, “how am I going to get all of this down, my stomach is so backed up already!”

I did a pretty good job drinking it, but then the nausea and pain started to come back, just as I was holding a bag to my face, the male nurse gave me some reglan in my IV, an anti-nausea medicine that I hadn’t tried yet (which is rare, you name the anti-nausea or pain medicine and I’ve probably tried it, 5 times).

Thankfully that medicine kicked in really fast and I was able to keep the solution down and be wheeled down to the scan.

We had to wait quite a while for the results of the scan, but they did show that I had a partial obstruction. We didn’t want to do anything about it until we got the word from Dr. Strong, so they informed me that I would need to be transferred via ambulance van to the Cleveland Clinic, which is a 2 hour drive. They also didn’t have a bed ready for me at the Cleveland Clinic so at either hospital I was going to sit in pain and the obvious decision was to stay at OSU where I could still get the medicine that was relieving my symptoms.

I slept a lot yesterday, I was exhausted from the pain and throwing up, also probably from the meds. Danny was nice enough to run back home to our apt and back a bag for me to take up to the Cleveland Clinic. I don’t like knowing I have to stay at the hospital and be unprepared for it. I like to shower in my own shower, dry and straighten my hair and just take care of my hygiene in general because completing all of those tasks in the hospital is gross and such a hassle.

I felt like my dad and I had sat in that hospital forever. I had about 4 or 5 more episodes of complete pain and nausea that brought on vomiting that wouldn’t stop. I was sitting on a hospital bathroom floor (so disgusting) but I couldn’t stand or have the strength to even sit on my knees, it was horrible.

Finally, after about 12 total hours in my ER observation room, they informed me that they had a bed for me up at the clinic. My dad had to drive separately so that I could keep the IV that I already had in and they wanted to continue monitoring me in the ambulance to make sure that I was comfortable. I wasn’t. Not because of my pain or anything, but because the ambulance was 1. so shaky it was incredibly painful 2. the one ambulance man (dumbo #1)  kept asking me questions about my life that I didn’t feel the need to really share with him. 3. Then he was asking what medications I was on and when I would say it he would repeat it the wrong way. 4. I just really wanted that kid to shut up. 5. As soon as we got to the clinic, the driver (dumbo number 2) kept asking me where to go. How am I supposed to know? Aren’t you the driver? I couldn’t see ANYTHING because I was in the BACK of the damn ambulance.

a sick person's version of a limo. my view from my ride up to CC from OSU.

a sick person’s version of a limo. my view from my ride up to CC from OSU.

Then, this lady came out front and said I couldn’t go in that way on a stretcher, while I was trying to explain that I didn’t need a stretcher and if they would just get me a damn wheelchair I would make it fine, dumbo #1 was trying to shove paperwork in my face. All I wanted to do was yell “STOP!!!!!”  and just walk into the hospital myself.

As soon as my dad wheeled my into the hospital, we got up to my hospital room around 6:15  p.m. By then, I had started having some output in my pouch, which was a good sign. They ordered me the same medications that I was using at OSU and after my dad left, I pretty much fell asleep.

I am feeling better today,  I slept well last night and have been sleeping most of the day today. I still have some nausea, cramping and still am not having the normal amount of output in my pouch. I am also STARVING and my mouth is SO dry. I haven’t eaten or drank anything in about 48 hours. All I’m allowed to have are some freakin’ ice chips and some dilauded through my IV to help me forget how miserable I am right now.

An ostomy nurse did come up and put a catheter in my site, to help drain it a little. I felt this sharp kind of sensation when she pushed it in kinda far, but I’ll save you the gory details. It’s still in though and supposedly going to remain there until we get word from Dr. Strong, who I still haven’t seen yet.

A lot of people around me were discussing the need for possible surgery, that maybe he’ll take my ostomy down now, putting some kind of tube up my nose, all of these different solutions that I have no idea what the answer is to yet. I’m basically sitting in hospital limbo with a swollen stomach and stoma, starving, with a cup of ice chips I’m waiting for to melt so I can chug it like water. I’ve even considered putting some G2 packet in there, I’m so damn miserable! I can’t even swallow my mouth is so dry. I’m not even allowed to have those delicious red popsicles they have here.

So, I guess I’ll just sit here and wait for an answer. I never thought I’d be in the hospital again except for my last surgery, I guess I thought wrong. Sometimes these things just happen, major abdominal surgeries like I have had come with risks and I’m going to have to live with that forever. Hopefully in the future I’ll be allowed to eat more than ice chips, though.


…annnddd I’m allowed to have popsicles now..YAY!


2 thoughts on “ice chips and obstructions.

  1. The three obstructions I have had in the past five years Doc has been able to get me through at home. He had me take half doses of M.O.M. (Milk of Magnesia) several times a day until I was back to my normal, thank goodness that worked. The ice chip thing I completely relate to. The hospital stay when I was diagnosed all I had for nine days was ice chips and IV fluids w/meds. The two times I have been admitted due to fistulas and fistula surgery (2 days and 3 days) ice chips and IV fluids w/meds. You never know how good a glass of water is until you can’t have it. Hooray to these Docs that know how to treat us, although at the time it feel like hell.

    Thanks Brooke Bogdan for sharing.

    Josh Robinson

    • Hi Josh!
      Thanks for reading and for telling me a little about your experience with what I just went through. It can be super tough, that was my first one, so I’m hoping to avoid another in the future. Nice to know there are people like you to help make me feel a little better about what happened! I hope you continue to feel ok! Thanks again for reading 🙂

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