Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A GI-normous adventure

*this post may be slightly graphic at times.  If you've been around preschool boys, you'll be fine*
As some of you may know, last week I was scheduled to have an upper and lower GI series done (for the non-medically inclined that means they stuck a tube up my bum and a tube down my throat and took pictures).  I had been waiting for quite some time for this procedure - over a year since the process started (it should have been done 8 years ago, but that's a whole 'nother story) - so nothing was going to get in my way of having it done.
As preparation I could not eat anything for 48ish hours prior to the procedure.  Since the procedure was scheduled for about noon on Friday, I had to stop eating Wednesday night.  Thursday I was still allowed clear fluids, but nothing solid. And then Thursday the "fun" started.  In order to get clear pictures, I had to be cleaned out.  Enter lots of really disgusting laxatives and many hours spent in the bathroom.  So many that we even moved my computer in there so I could work on school while I cleaned out.  By 10pm Thursday night I was no longer allowed to take anything by mouth - food, drink or meds.  Not being able to take my meds was my biggest concern.  I'd be missing two doses of my seizure meds, which generally isn't a good idea.
By 10pm Thursday night we were also starting to grow concerned about the weather.  A storm was moving in.  A big storm.
Friday morning dawned very stormy.  Lots of wind, snow, and ice.  The hospital where the procedure was to take place was an hour away under normal conditions.  We left about two hours prior to the time I was supposed to arrive at the hospital and took the van instead of the car because it had higher ground clearance.  We made it on time, but without much time to spare. More than a few times we didn't know where the road was, which was slightly problematic.
We parked at the hospital and got me checked in.  Once I was checked in, David had to leave since visitors weren't allowed.  I'd left my watch with David so I had no concept of time.  I know that I changed and then read a bit until a nurse came in to start my IV.  She took one look at my hand, got a warm blanket and tucked my hand in to warm up and maybe pop a vein out for her to work with. I think at some point I drifted off to sleep.  Soon a porter came to bring me to the OR.  First she wrapped me in more warm blankets because I was still cold.  Why do hospitals have to be so cold????
Once we got to the OR I set a new record for the doctor.  I was the first patient in 25 years that he could not get an IV started on.  He tried 3 or 4 times, then called for the anesthesiologist to come try.  He didn't have much more luck from the doctor.  Finally he sent a nurse to find a 24 gauge needle, which is what they use on babies. (big numbers mean smaller needles). Once he had the needle, he went for my foot.  I've had a lot of IVs and blood draws - nothing compares to having an IV placed in your foot!  Once the IV was placed I remember the doctor telling the nurse to give me a little extra sedation because they'd already put me through so much.  Then I don't remember anything.
The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and being given something to drink.  Then the nurses called David to come get me and I waited for him to bring the car around.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally I texted him.  His response (and I quote) "I'm standing out in the cold of the hospital parking lot looking for someone with jumper cables..."
Thus continued our adventure.  No jumper cables could be found.  We got mom's CAA number and tried to call them.  We couldn't get through.  We found a phone book and called a towing service to come jump the car.  They showed up in good time, considering that the storm was still raging and the roads hadn't been cleared.  They tried to jump the car.  No go.  The starter was dead.  I was still stuck in the hospital since I couldn't go anywhere until a car was waiting for me at the front entrance.  Our van was being towed and David was going with it.
Enter wonderful family friends.  A quick phone call and a handsome man came to our rescue, picking me up from the hospital, picking David up from the shop and taking me to Wendy's to get something to eat.  Then we went back to his house.  But before we got there...
We got stuck in the street before his house.  He trudged through the snow to get his cute little snow blower and blow a path out while David drove.  Safely inside we made a decision that we were not going anywhere that night anymore.  The snow was still falling and word from home was that things were still nasty.  An air mattress became our bed and we bunked down with friends for the night.
The next morning the sun was shining and we headed for home, our GI-normous adventure completed.  I don't need another one like that for quite some time!

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