Hospitalization

Plans unravel without warning regularly. “The heart of man plans his , but the Lord establishes his steps,” Proverbs 16:9. Construing plans and setting goals are a part of life. In addition these are spiritual disciplines. While the Lord calls us to set goals, He also calls us to submit to His will. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord,”Isiah 55:8. He understands the ultimate picture and how each moment contributes to it; in the end bringing glory to his name. This is a lesson I have encountered many times; even recently.

I sat with my agenda and colored pens, which I similarly did every few days planning out what needed to get accomplished in the upcoming days. A round of weakness and pain consumed me, I shrugged it off. I associated it to one of the many challenges my body regularly encountered regularly. I also tried to shrug off the gut feeling that something less then ideal was going to unfold in the upcoming week. ( In perspective my gut isn’t the most reliable source of information, its always been a bit shady) I shifted my focus to all the blessings of the week before.

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Sunday morning my body was painfully heavy. Lifting my arms was like lifting weights. My legs felt as though they had chains wrapped around them and pulling then down. Unsteadily taking baby steps the room tilted, shifted, and spun. Despite feeling I’ll, I got ready for church hoping all I was battling was morning sickness at most. I tired with all my might to distract my self as i reluctantly nibbled on merely enough food to pop in my morning pills.

As the morning crawled by, I began feeling worse. My body craved a deep long nap; it was utterly wiped out. After church my mom and I began the expedition to urgent care. There we were greeted by a wait that dripped by as slow as molasses, only to be informed it was best to go to the ER because urgent care would be closing soon. I avoid the emergency room like the plague. I prefer to tough it out then be in that chaotic mess. It is a gamble what type of doctor  will be caring for you. If they have a lot of knowledge and experience or are fresh out of med school in need of an attitude adjustment.

ER

I knew it would be a long night, likely laced with frustration due to lack of answers or assistance. However, I was unprepared for the events that were about to unravel.My mom and I went though the typical process of checking in and waiting. Then the fun truly began with blood tests, urine cultures, and a cat-scan. New symptoms invited themselves to my miserable gathering adding new flavors of bitterness and pain. There was no relief in sight; time slowed down as things intensified.

Reports crawled back to the doctor, who in turn informed me of her findings and her verdict, I was going to be admitted due to elevated liver enzymes. She assured me it would only be over night. This would be the second time I was admitted to the hospital.

That night doctors quizzed me on my symptoms and over all health. People swarmed around my room, all with a different purpose. Yet all with the same ultimate goal, to assist the patient and nurse them back to health.The remainder of the night was anything but restful. Endless testing, mad dashes to the bathroom, intense pain, and doctors interrupting sleep. Weakness consumed and weighted me down to the point I nearly passed out a dozen times. Being admitted on the weekend can be a challenge with the weekend staff. The doctors ordered laxatives without offering an explanation. My nurse explained this to me and graciously stayed with me while I cried a river of tears etched in frustration, confusion, and pain. The first night in the hospital is the most frustrating and longest in my personal option.

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The following morning I was informed that I would be having a colonoscopy. Due to the severity of my condition, I was placed on isolation. Anyone who entered my room, at their own risk, needed to wear a gown and gloves and needed to keep their distance as much as possible. I was placed on a clear liquid diet. In addition I was put on two antibiotics as a precaution.

Ribbet collage

The colonoscopy results weren’t clear at first, however, the biopsies revealed that I have Ulcerative  Colitis. My Gastro gave me pictures of some of the left side of my colon which was both interesting and slightly disturbing. I love to learn but thinking all of that inflammation, bleeding, and ulcers were in me was strange. For those of you wonder what Ulcerative Colitis is, the Chrones and Colitist Foundation defines it as this:

“Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous. The combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.

Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response by your body’s immune system. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations.”

I was in the hospital for ten days, the days all scramble together. It was a challenge to get my pain and addition UC symptoms under control. I was off and on liquid diets for most of my stay. My body did not respond how the doctors expected to various medications they tired. Two days before I went home they increased my Prednisone which has made a huge difference.

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I was thrilled being able to go home. I am extremely grateful for the care that I received during my stay at the hospital. The nurses were so helpful and compassionate. Weakness and adjusting to food are two of my biggest struggles currently. I think this is normal considering all my body endured and that I’ve only been home a little over 48 hours.

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