|Finishing my first 50k|
|Happy to be finished|
Friday morning, January 17th, around 2 a.m. I woke up from a deep sleep in excruciating pain. The worse pain I have every been in. Worse that gallbladder attacks, labor, and the last few miles of an ironman combined. Worse than that. My screaming woke Joel up and he jumped out of bed and rushed to my side. Seeing my clenched body, the anguish on my face, and my screaming in pain, Joel quickly got dressed, put shoes and a hoodie on me, told Loraine were were heading to the hospital, and quickly rushed me to the emergency room.
Upon arrival we were in an exam room right away, they started an IV and tried giving me pain medicine intravenously , but none were strong enough. I was still on the exam table clenched in pain. When the doctor was pressing on my abdomen it was even more painful. Joel had no choice but to leave for a few hours, Loraine had to leave for work and the girls needed to get ready for school and get on the bus. During this time I had a CT scan done.
Shortly after the CT scan Joel returned, and I was relieved to have him by my side again. I was getting scared as the pain was getting worse and worse, I thought I was dying (which I was, slowly). A surgeon came into the exam room almost frantically. He briefly introduced himself and said I would be going into to surgery soon, within the hour. He told us exploratory surgery would be done first laproscopically to see how bad the damage was. An ulcer at the spot where my gastric pouch meets my intestines had ruptured (causing it to be a hole) 5-6 days prior, and for the 5-6 days air, fluid, gastric juices, food, everything, had been seeping out from that hole and was now causing infections in my body cavity. My body was septic. We were given some scenarios of what could happen in surgery, but all would depend on what they would find during the exploratory surgery. Best case scenario would have been being able to fix the rupture laproscopically and also being able to clean out my body cavity laproscopically. The worst case scenario would have involved a large incision and being put in a coma.
Right before I was whisked off to the surgery prep room, someone from admissions came in and asked me and Joel some questions. Apparently I would be staying in the hospital for a few days no matter what the outcome of surgery would be. Now I was really getting scared, terrified. I was holding Joel's hand, thinking about my girls, hoping I would come out of this on the other side.
In surgery prep they gave me the medicine that relaxes you, and my excruciating pain was finally relieved some. Joel had posted a little of the situation on Facebook and showed me all the people who were praying for me, that gave me comfort. I held his hand all the way until they told me it was time to go. I kissed him good-bye and told him I loved him. Soon after being wheeled into the frigid operating room I went under and woke up in what felt like seconds later (anesthesia is crazy!)
Waking up I was relieved to see I had laproscopic surgery. I was so groggy. They wheeled me to the room I would be spending the next few days. Joel was waiting for me and I was so relieved to see him. He told me how my surgery went, and that is took about 2 hours. A few hours later my surgeon came in to tell me how surgery went. The rest of Friday was a blur.
Saturday and Sunday brought some visitors, as well as some insight as to how this happened. This is how my surgeon explained it to me. At the 50k I was very dehydrated ( I felt that way too), and because of the dehydration, my body had to send blood to other parts of my body during the 50k. During the 50k, I lost blood flow to the ulcer, it essentially "died" and perforated, becoming a hole. As mentioned earlier, all sorts of junk was leaking into my body cavity causing lots of infection, which is something that kills people. My surgeon was able to patch the hole with healthy tissue, as well as remove most of the infection. He saved my life. Sometimes in this case patients are so full of infection it is too late to save them, I was fortunate.
For five days I had something deadly festering inside me and I had no idea. I drank with Joel after the race, went on two coffee dates with friends, went grocery shopping, went running twice, pretty much was going about my life like normal, having no idea of the horror going on beneath my skin. My hospital stay was 3 nights, 4 days, the whole time being pumped with antibiotics and pain killers. Joel stayed at my side in the hospital the whole time and slept on the chair bed next to me.
|walking the hospital halls to prevent blood clots|
|Joel catching a nap|
|Loraine during one of her many visits|
|My girls on one of their visits with me|
Some would think I would be upset about this prognosis, but honestly, I'm not. Even Joel, who has to hear me blab all day long, says he is surprised I am taking it so well. The truth is, I almost lost my life, and I am here right now sitting on my couch typing about this situation, how could I possibly be upset? I am still alive, and I will eventually make a full recovery. For that I am grateful. Besides, once I recover and can put in quality training, I can find my potential as a short course triathlete, I think that is going to be a lot of fun!
Blog posts my be sporadic over the next few months, but know that I am here, supporting all of you