Well, I got sick again. Blast this decrepit body!
I went to Emergency on July 17th at 2am with severe abdominal pain. I was in ER for a few hours and was prescribed Macrobid by the ER doctor – a certain Dr J Thurger. I was sent home, hopped up on morphine. A few hours later the pain was worse, I had chills and was shivering so much I could barely stand. I called for an ambulance and got myself back to the ER. My heart rate was 175 bpm and had trouble getting oxygen in, so I was connected to an oxygen tank. Finally got to the ER and a team of nurses were working on me to get an IV started and to take multiple blood draws.
I was put into another room, thankfully I didn’t have to move, they just moved the stretcher I was on. One of the Residents from Urology came down for a consult and he irrigated my bladder. What came out was huge bloody chunks of mucous and deep red urine. Macrobid is a fairly weak drug, so it would have never been able to kill off what was now a raging Urinary Tract Infection. The Resident manage to irrigate about a litre of sterile saline through me, and the stench was overwhelming.
I got admitted to the ward on July 19th, so yeah I was in ER for nearly 2 days before they could get me a bed. I got onto the ward (Urology Ward, C2 at Sunnybrook Hospital). It seems that superficially I was doing okay, but on July 21st I collapsed vomitting blood and stopped breathing. I was rushed to the Critical Care Unit (ICU) where I was intibated and then placed on a ventilator for nearly 10 days. Seems the UTI spread and I had an infection in the blood, and then it spread further to my lungs. I had pneumonia, and a fairly deadly one as I couldn’t breathe.
Eventually I was moved to D4, which is step-down ICU where it’s 2 patients per nurse while CrCU is one patient to one nurse. I was in D4 for a day and a half, and while there I had a number of tests done. I had a doppler of the legs done, as Respirology was concerned that I might have blood clots that could cause problems for my lungs. The doppler was clear. I had a number of chest x-rays, and was taken down to Angioplasty to get a PIC line inserted – a PIC is a catheter surgically inserted into a vein, for those of us with crap veins which have been tapped out. With the PIC in the central line (IV) in my neck was removed, as was the collapsing IV in my left wrist.
I was deemed fit enough on July 27th to go back to the regular ward. I was placed in isolation, as I was exposed to MRSA 18 months prior. I was on two different but powerful drugs – Vancomycin and Levequin. I was in isolation because my MRSA is a danger to the elderly and the very young – and the ward was full of older men recovering from prostate surgery. I had a hard time the first few days, with me discovering that morphine now makes me wheeze and makes it difficult for me to get any breath in.. there goes another painkiller I can’t use. I was on puffers for a short while, but even those proved to be detrimental, with them causing me to vomit and cough rather violently.
While in hospital the nurses irrigated my bladder every 3-4 hours, to make sure there were no mucous plugs which could contribute towards another UTI. I was weak as a kitten and could barely stand but I practiced everyday and got stronger.
I was eventually discharged on August 5th and sent home. The first few days I was scared to sleep on my own. The whole experience of not being able to breathe on my own freaked me out, and still does. So for the first few days after my discharge Squirrel, Tarotcub and my mum took turns spending the night at my place, checking on me periodically to make sure I was okay. I’m feeling better now, but am still freaked and am pleased that I am under orders to flush the bladder every 4 hours, which means I wake up in the middle of the night — my alarm clock is my friend as it beeping at me every 4 hours is very reassuring with regards to my fears of not being able to wake up.
I was scheduled for a cystoscopy for August 12th. I got to the Cysto Clinic and my doctor decided that I was still too weak for the procedure, so I’m to go back this coming Monday. While there I asked my doctor about this latest adventure. I was feeling sick towards the end of my hols in June and paged the Urology Resident on Call on June 27th from the airport (Pearson) as my stoma was infected. My doctor said yes, it probably started back then. He was shocked when I told him that I was at the ER earlier on July 17th and that they discharged me with a script for macrobid.. he looked livid, and he does have a reputation for being super protective of his patients, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he reems them out for nearly killing me.
I am still waiting for a call from Respirology as they need to run tests on me cos of the lung issues.
Currently I am at home, fluttering about my flat in a hospital gown. I’m still rather weak, but I am getting stronger. This latest bout has adjusted my tastebuds somewhat and now I find pasta and pierogies disgusting – like eating very thick wallpaper paste. Ah well.