Written: September 20th, 2014
Many people know I was recently admitted to the hospital for five days. Initially I did not share much information about what had happened due to my lack of energy. I had a severe and rare reaction to a medication according to the doctors which also triggered a flare. Of course I am not a doctor and I’m not advising anyone to avoid or to take this medication. That is a personal decision between you and your doctor. No two medical cases are the same. I have chosen to share my experience to help educate others and to reassure other people that they are not alone.
A few weeks ago I received an IV treatment, Reclast for osteoporosis. Previously I had taken an oral medication for osteoporosis, but encountered bad dizzy spells along with balance issues. Later in the day I nearly fell down a flight of stairs. After discussing it with my doctor she recommend an IV treatment, which was extremely safe. I thought this was a good idea. My body usually works bests with IV medications. The doctor never told me the name of the medication. She seemed to be a trust worthy doctor. I got wrapped up in school work and life neglecting to call the office to get the name of the medication so I could research it.
Even though it seemed like the best option the day I received it I had a bad feeling about it. I expressed my concerns to my nurse who assured me the medication was extremely safe. It had been a long tiring day, so I figured my anxiety was trying to get the best of me. This was not the first medication I received through an IV. I expected to feel tired and a bit achy the following day. Nothing could have prepared me for what I encountered.
I woke up at five a.m. to use the bathroom, which is normal for me. However I did not feel right. I got back to my room as quickly as possible, were I proceed to pass out. I have passed out over half a dozen times. I thought I didn’t eat enough the day before or I was dehydrated. Once regaining consciousness I crawled back into my bed, ready to drift back to sleep. Sadly that was not the case.
I began having terrible chest pains. Attempting to roll onto my side I discovered it was agonizing to move. My entire body deeply ached, I felt pressure. It felt like I was waking up from a laparoscopy with an elephant sitting on top of me. Restlessly I laid as still as I could begging sleep to come. The hours dragged by. Finally I dragged my heavy body out of bed. I lost my vision and hearing upon standing. An intense migraine, accompanied by nausea weighed me down. I collapsed into my parent’s bed. Within a few minutes I got up and dragged my body to the bathroom. Once again my vision disappeared and hearing became muffled leaving me feeling weaker. I mustered up the little strength I had to drag my body the few feet to the bed. Whenever I sat up or stood my symptoms intensified. Finally I called for help which sucked the life out of my already weak body. My mom had me lay down to rest again, however nothing improved as the time passed. I felt worse. I couldn’t force food into my system or water. The nausea increased. My throat felt tight.
Unsure of what to do my mom placed a call to the rheumatologist office. Shortly after I spoke to the on call doctor. He was puzzled with everything I was encountering but was certain it was from the medication. He implied I should not have had the medication in this first place. He suggested I wait it out an hour, keeping hydrated then if I did not improve go to the ER or Urgent Care. I discussed it with my mom. I was unable to get liquids into my system, my symptoms were getting worse, and new ones emerged. Reluctantly I suggested we take another trip to urgent care. Urgent care closes early on the weekends. Though it was a drive from my house they know me, my extensive history, and have all my records. Sitting for that long was torcher and a challenge. All my focus and energy was used in trying to stay present, trying to avoid passing out again.
After a long wait in urgent cares waiting room I was brought back and seen by the doctor. Using what little strength remained I filled in the doctor about my medical complications, history, and new symptoms. I could hear the weakness in my own voice and once again felt the strength leaving my body. The doctor was straight forward explaining his concerns and his plan of action. For this first time I was told urgent care could not help me. Not only was I going to the hospital but I was being admitted as well. While we waited for the ambulance to come pick me up urgent care ran tests, gave me fluids, and medicated me. I felt doubtful I was actually being admitting. I thought they would ship me to the ER then send me home, however that was not the case.
It was a long night. Countless strange people woke me up every few minutes. Two o’clock in the morning I was rudely awaken by a male doctor. He greeted me asking, “Has anyone died suddenly in your family recently?” Of course I felt like he was implying that I was dying. The next thing he informed me of did not help. I was in the cardiac unit.
I will spare you the details of my five day stay. But I will share with you some of what they discovered. The Reclast directly affected my liver raiding my enzymes over 400. My blood pressure drops frequently while my heart rate sky rockets. I had pain worse than surgery pain in my abdomen. My overall pain increased. Though I can walk, I become unsteady too often without notice. I have fallen as well. I am waiting to find out if it has left any other permanent damage.