Sunday, April 24, 2011

Diverticulosis sucks (and don't ask me to pronounce it.)

I have Diverticulosis.

It's a crappy thing.  If you want to know what it is click the link.  It's what links are for.  Hyper-Space man. How long have you been on the Internet that you don't know these things?

I missed my vacation.  I was supposed to go see my Mom and my brothers in Florida.  It would have been a great time I think, even if not it would have been nice to see them.  I haven't seen my family in a few years, but lately since we all got on Facebook I have been communicating more with them.  Since I actually talk  and interact with them now I miss them.

Before Facebook I never talked to my family.  I'd  call them every few months at most.  I talked to my Mom once or twice a year.  My Mom for god's sake.  Most people think that is pretty crazy.

I was all set to go.  I had my e-ticket.  It was bought and paid for by my dear Mother.  She squandered 281 dollars on me.

But as you know I have had a lot of health problems lately.  Not just worries and anxiety about possibilities.  But actual real problems.

I contracted cellulitus on my leg.  I have had the infection for over 2 weeks now.  It still looks pretty gross.



That's bad enough, sending me panic and anxiety about going on a trip thousands of miles away.  But the morning of the flight I woke to some pretty intense bladder pain.

I had been having issues with frequency and stream control, but with the added pain in my bladder, the need to urinate constantly, some back and spinal pain and pressure, along with stomach cramps I felt like not going on vacation.

I called my mother and explained.  I think I sent her into a near panic attack.  She called my brothers who called me and hoped to talk me into going out.

I did not.

Instead I spent the day in quite a bit of discomfort.  It was hot in my apartment.  90 degrees inside without the A/C on.  I was seated on the toilet all day.  I was drinking tap water that was stored in old Gatorade quarts that I leave in the refrigerator to get cold.

I took a nap around 4pm.  I woke up around 8.  I was dehydrated.  I felt like I was running a slight temperature, even though my thermometer did not agree with my assessment.

By 8:30 I had called a taxi cab and was being whisked away to the Emergency Room at St. Something or another Hospital.

At the ER I grabbed one of those plastic bags for nausea.  A couple of times I almost threw up.  I went to the bathroom after a young Indian and nearly lost it.  He must have some kind of health problem because the smell in that bathroom was like nothing I had ever smelled before.  I was retching before I made it through the entrance.  I had to walk my way backwards with my nose all the way into the plastic tubing so as to catch a different scent.

Eventually I got seen by the doctor.  A NP with bad,  stringy hair from the 1980's.  I talked her into checking my liver and urine.  She ordered a CT scan after pushing on my stomach and detecting a flinch.

The CT tech was a big ex trailer girl with tattooes. She forgot to check if I needed a contrast CT and gave me the regular CT.  Turns out I needed the contrast in order to discern whether or not I had problems in my gall bladder or appendix.

I got the second CT scan and waited.  A few hours drifted by.  I was the only room without television.  But I listened to a few podcasts on my phone.  (I brought all three spare batteries and a charger with me.) I watched some YouTube videos and busied myself with Twitter.

I began to experience some more pain and was offered some relief.  The nurse was about to stick me with some Morphine when she asked about my allergies.  I mentioned Morphine and she quickly set about getting me another  pain medication.

She told me the pain med was 4x stronger than Morphine.  I believe it!  As soon as she gave it to me my face was flushed.  I experienced a sharp pain across my neck and face.  It felt very strange to be given pain medication only to have a reaction of pain? and intensity instead.

In fact I may not have experienced pain so much per se as intensity.

The pain mostly disappeared.  I got a few closed eye visuals and a few spontaneous giggles.  The giggles made my belly move and that actually hurt more than anything.

Around 2:30 the PA told me that the doctor had taken a look at the chart and found that I had Diverticulosis.  The PA asked if I knew what that was.  I told her I had never heard of it.

She explained that it meant I needed a better diet.  One with fiber.  That I could get inflammation and quite a bit of pain from my colon having pouches.  The pouches could catch things in them and get infected.  When this happens the colon is inflamed and the pain would be even greater.  She did give me some good news that my liver and urine samples came back normal.

And luckily my colon was not inflamed so there was no need for surgery.  I was told to take it easy.  Not eat.  Take anti-biotics.  They switched me off Cipro.  I got another antibiotic.  The Cipro was making me feel terrible anyway, so I am glad to be off it.

Sucks that I am allergic to so many antibiotics.

Spent 20 dollars in cab fare there and back.  Spent 60 dollars at the ER.  I was so hopped up on drugs I forgot to tell them to bill me and I just paid it.  If they bill me I never pay.  Just the way I am.  I can't afford all this.  Remember I make under 300 dollars a week.  If I am spending 200 dollars a week on hospitals and medications and gauze I won't be able to make rent.  I figure my insurance paid 250 dollars so the hospital made all the money they needed for that visit.

No freaking TV.

But I did get a prescription for Perks.  Perks handle anxiety as well as pain.  I took a perk today and it stopped my panic attacks.  It eased my general anxiety.  I took another 5 hours later.  It eased them again.  I have not taken anymore and I am feeling pretty good (at least about anxiety.)  I still hurt in the tummy and back.  The pain is not as bad, and the nausea has gone away for the most part.

I hope tomorrow relief comes form the Diverticulosis.  I want to go back to being normal.  I want my leg infection to fill in.  I want to be whole.

Tomorrow I call the psychiatrist.  I will try and get a PCP as well.  Big day for me!  I just want to stop living in hell.  Maybe I will.

6 comments:

Beloved Parrot said...

I'm sorry you've had such a rough time of it, but thank goodness you finally got some help!

Try to eat some veggies when you're able, and good luck with the psychiatrist. Personally, I think everyone should have therapy.

Most of all, I'm glad you want to stop living in Hell. You don't have to. ;-)

Vivi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivi said...

Ouch! Get better soon. Hugs.

Romius T. said...

Thanks VIVI I will try!

Anonymous said...

hey man i hope you will get well someday. i am from Lithuania and I stumbled across your blog accidentally... yet i can somehow relate to some things you write. life can sometimes be harsh, but you have got to find will and dedication to fix it to an extent.

Romius T. said...

Dear anonymous, it's so cool that perfect strangers can identify with each other via the Internet.


I'm definitely feeling more like tackling my problems, though one of the things this blog tries to do is deal seriously with the idea that sometimes we can't fix this crap world, and struggling to stay present in the midst of meaninglessness.