|To continue from the previous post, I shall try and start my story from when it starts getting a bit hazy!
I’d had the news from Dr Mowat that I may have crohns disease, and was pleasantly surprised that the steroids were beginning to work, but after 3 days of being on them, the stomach pain returned. I had a very busy week coming up, and was getting worried that I was starting to be sore again. The day of my brothers 18th birthday and my grandad’s 73rd joint birthday came and I was admitted to hospital for the first time, it was TERRIFYING. I’d never really been in a hospital before, never mind had to stay in one. Luckily I was in a bed next to an 18 year old girl, and across from my bed was a lovely chatty older lady. I was seen by a very attractive doctor called Mike, and a lovely doctor called Dr Jaffaboy. They made me feel very comfortable, and always explained what was going on. They told me I needed a CT scan, which I was scared about, as I knew it involved radiation.
I went for the CT scan, and came back all smiles, I was in a good mood, because something was being done, but I was also in a bad mood, as it was my Mum’s 50th birthday on the 27th of August, and Matthews 21st on the 30th. I didn’t want to miss any of these, but Dr Jaffaboy sat me down and explained that I needed to stay and have regular antibiotics and steroids through a venflon in my hand because the CT scan had shown an abscess on my bowel, on the terminal ileum, which is the small joining connecting the small intestine to the large intestine. To be completely honest, I didn’t realize how dangerous this growth was and I didn’t think much of it. I begged and begged to get discharged from hospital, and I was released on the 3rd of September, and didn’t tell anyone that I was still pretty sore, I was just happy to be out of hospital and back in my own bed.
Little did I know that I was now a ticking time bomb…
On the 8th of September, my world changed in a huge way. It was a normal day, quite sore, but by bedtime, i was tired and looking forward to sleeping. I’d noticed that I had a pain in my pelvic area, and it was painful to pee, but I didn’t think much of it. I went to bed at 11ish, and couldn’t get to sleep. At 2 in the morning I was in a lot of pain, so I went to the kitchen and got myself a hot water bottle and some paracetamol and went back to bed. But things started to get more and more painful. At 3.30am I couldn’t take it any longer and screamed out for Mum, she came running down, took one look at me and called an ambulance. Then it started to get really scary…I was in absolute AGONY, my stomach felt like it was going to fall out of me, and I could barely breathe.
The ambulance seemed to arrive very quickly, it was a lovely man called Brian, and a lady called June. The first thing they did was take my blood pressure, which was 70 stolic, my heart rate was 130 and my temperature was 40, very dangerous. Brian managed to get a venflon in my hand, and gave me a tiny bit of morphine (they couldn’t give me a lot because my blood pressure was so low) I immediately threw up, and started to shake uncontrollably. They then strapped me into a chair and started to wheel me out to the ambulance, this was excruciatingly painful, I had to get myself on to the bed in the ambulance and get into a comfortable position, which was impossible. My mum followed in my car and we rushed to a & e. The ambulance managed to get there in around 20 minutes and they wheeled me into the department. The next thing I remember was being surrounded by a sea of blue and green people, all feeling my stomach. I remember crying out and begging them not to touch me, it was just too sore. Now it was time for them to try and get more venflon’s into my veins so they could get my blood pressure up and give me more morphine, but because my blood pressure was so low, my veins were collapsing, and they couldn’t get any in. Whenever they thought they had, they would try and flush the line with saline, and I remember it being absolutely agony. I was given an abdominal X-ray and a chest X-ray which showed the abscess had burst, I didn’t know this and started to complain of a very sore shoulder, immediately the nurses and surgeons knew this was referred pain, and I was slowly poisoning myself. They decided I needed emergency surgery, and then proceeded to wheel me up to the surgical ward.
The next few hours are very hazy. After they had managed to get my fluids in, they gave me a LOT more morphine, i was effectively completely and utterly high. I thought the bed was moving and everything seemed to be going very slowly. I had surgeons coming in and out for a few hours until they came in to wheel me in to the preparation area for the surgery. I had a moment of clarity when the surgeon sat down to explain that depending on what condition my insides were like when they opened me up, I may wake up and find that I had a stoma. I calmly turned to him and said “I’ll expect to wake up with one, and anything else will be a bonus.” Then I signed the sheets and was wheeled down the corridor. I don’t remember saying it, but my Dad informed me that when I was being wheeled to the surgery I turned and said to him “am I going to die Dad?” a horrible and scary thing to say to your parents, but I literally felt like death was where I was heading, I was so, so sore. I remember drifting in and out of sleep, and dreaming of all the things I thought I would never get to experience: I dreamed of the children I might have had, I dreamed of marrying Matthew, and buying a house with him. I saw myself at our wedding, smiling and being completely and utterly happy. Then I would wake up in the reality: dressed in a hospital gown with venflons in every vein possible, machines beeping all around me, my eyes were puffy from crying and my throat felt hoarse as I wasn’t allowed to drink anything for 8 hours.
I was wheeled into the preparation area for the theater, and was told what was going to happen. It was here that I had to wave goodbye to my parents, and in my doped up head, I believed this was the last time I was going to see them. I physically couldn’t breathe, my parents looked so worried, so completely and utterly distraught at their daughters distress, but they both looked so beautiful, I was terrified at the thought of losing them both. It was at this moment that I realized the meaning of love. I was completely and utterly consumed with this fear that I would never see them, or my brothers, or Matthew again. Nothing else seemed to matter other than surviving this operation. I waved to my parents, and then I was taken into the anesthetic room. I remember a mask being put over my face and then blackness.
Then next time I would wake up, and be SO glad to be alive.