ER Evening :(
***Warning: This is a medical post and thus normal bodily functions will be discussed. If you are grossed out by medical stuff, then do not read this. If you will judge me for posting, then do not read this.
I just got home from the ER. I am really scared about things and would like to write it down.
I have a j-pouch, which is basically what they make with your small bowels after you have your large intestines taken out. Most people who have j-pouches have ulcerative colitis and have tons of experience with GI bleeding. I do not have UC, so GI bleeding is new to me.
Two days ago, I noticed some changes after going to the bathroom. I thought that it reminded me a lot of what they tell you to look for when you have internal bleeding. Since I felt fine, I just thought it must have been something I ate and ignored it. Yesterday evening, things changed even more, and I noticed dark red in the potty, and lots of it. Last night and this morning, it got much worse and I decided to email my doctor about it. Still not knowing it was from bleeding, and feeling fine, I worked some in the yard and then rested. Then I read online that pharmacies carry little test kits which can detect blood in stools, so I went and brought one. I figured that a negative test would save me the money, time, and embarrassment of finding out that the changes were just due to something I ate.
I got the EZ detect from the store and decided that I really, really wanted a ice cream smoothie from Baskin Robbins so I headed across the street to ice cream heaven. Since I had to wait for my drink, I went into the bathroom to do the test. The test is really simple, you just drop the test paper into the water after going to the bathroom. If there is blood present, the paper will turn blue. The amount of blue correlates to how much bleeding is present.
It immediately turned very dark blue. I fought the urge to flip the heck out and tried to plan my next steps in a semi-rational manner. You have to understand that the test just made me realize that all of the “blood” that I have been loosing over the last few days is in fact blood and not just something I ate.
So I paid for my drink, and headed back to Outback Steakhouse to pick up my to-go order of dinner. I drove straight to the ER. They checked me in and placed me into a room. The doctor saw me and since I needed to go to the bathroom, he went ahead and had me give a sample. It appeared to me as if the bleeding was better, and I told him so. Over the next hour and a half, I had to go to the bathroom again about every 30 minutes. Each time looked worse until the last one had the entire potty looking like a bloody Halloween prop. It scared me to see that much blood, but at the same time I didn’t understand how I was still able to walk and feel decently.
I went back to the bed. A few minutes passed and I felt myself have an accident. I looked down under the sheets and saw tons of dark red blood everywhere. The nurse came in a panicked a little bit after seeing the blood. She quickly started an IV and laid me back while taking vital signs. The other one went to tell the doctor what was going on, but he was on the phone with my RE and primary care doctor. I still didn’t understand how I could be feeling just fine after loosing that much blood.
Over the next few hours, the bleeding slowed down again. The doctor came in and reviewed everything with me. My blood levels were still up where they should be. As suspected, the blood thinning injections and aspirin regime I am on is likely what is causing me to have internal (GI) bleeding. He said that both of my doctors know me and my case very well and all three concurred that the best course of action is for me to stop the aspirin, but continue my dose of blood thinning injections. On monday, (as soon as their doors open, he insisted),I have to go see my doctor and have my levels checked again. If my blood levels drop due to the bleeding, I may have to stop the injections.
They sent me home with instructions to go back in to the ER if I noticed that the bleeding is affecting me more. The thing is, I have had this for several days now and it hasn’t affected me. It seems to kind-of come and go, so I’m just watching things very closely and myself for any changes at all. But if it hasn’t bothered me now, then I doubt it will suddenly bother me unless I start seeing a lot more bleeding. So my plan is that if I notice anything alarming to drive myself right back to the ER. I’m not taking chances.
All in all, I actually feel fine. My pouch is sore and I am tired, but that is not abnormal for me at all. I am upset that this sort of thing even has to happen, but I am glad C and Nathan did not have to be bothered with this. C would get stressed out and frustrated with me, so I’m glad he doesn’t have to deal with this right now. I am also glad that I didn’t go South with them and then go through this. I can’t imagine ruining someone’s big day (a retirement party) with a trip to the hospital. It doesn’t matter if its not my fault, I would still feel horrible for it.
It is scary as all get-out to see blood after going to the bathroom, but apparently this sort of thing is not an emergency unless it changes a person’s blood levels enough to make them feel poorly. I learned something new today: Loosing blood isn’t an emergency. Loosing too much blood is. Still, I am really, really nervous about the bleeding. It MUST stop before Monday. If not, then I will have to stop the blood thinning injections and that would be very, very bad. I can’t go into detail at the moment, but just trust me, it needs to stop. So if you don’t mind, please send good vibes, thoughts, and/or prayers for my body to behave itself.
Shall keep you updated…