Gut Feelings….

Back at the end of May, we were back at Mayo for an additional incisional hernia repair that developed.   It was an “easy” surgery and we were home pretty quickly.  When we got home I ended up back in the local ER with abdominal pain and a diagnosis of a bowel obstruction.  This was another week in the hospital being NPO, receiving only IV fluids and suppositories.  Not a great time.

This leads into all summer I have felt that I still had some type of obstruction.  I told my local drs, er drs, and my mayo team during my visits in July and August.  I had X-rays and scans and was told that there was a lot of stool in my colon but no blockages.  OK…who am I to disagree, I am just the patient.

I kept having very severe bouts of pain that would physically take my breath away but didn’t last terribly wrong and it was just explained as pain from adhesions.  The first part of November I was admitted to the hospital locally again due to a flare up of my asthma/COPD and possible pneumonia.  I had also passed out at home a couple days before from very low blood pressure.

My lungs were improving and then while in the hospital I was hit with the breathtaking pain again.  Of course all my family had just left for the evening.  I sat there clenching my abdomen waiting for the pain to go away but it just kept getting more intense.  I called my nurse and she basically blew me off.  I waited several minutes and called her again and told her I wanted her to call the dr.  She rolled her eyes and told me it was probably gas.  She came back in the room and gave me some milk of magnesia and again told me it was probably gas again.  At this point I am crying.  I ask if she has called the dr yet.  No, she wants to see if the milk of magnesia helps me first.   I am begging her to call the dr, she rolls her eyes again and walks out.

At this point I call my family and ask them all to come back.  I KNOW that something is terribly wrong and I cannot get my nurse to even page my dr.  Long story my family gets back and this nurse is just as terrible to them.  We ask that she be replaced and and get the nicest nurse ever.  Drs are called, scans are scheduled and now finally after hours of excruciating pain, they are finally ordering me pain medication.  They start dilaudid and it does nothing.  It seems like it takes a truckload of it just to get to where my pain is manageable.

I have CT scan and my bladder is about to burst from urinary retention, I have an ileus and what they believe to be an obstruction and part of my colon is herniated up into my chest through my diaphragm.  I am immediately catheterized to empty my bladder.  That in itself was a huge relief.  Then we finally got my pain to a tolerable level.

The next morning mayo was called and they said they would just manage my care from there over phone and video.  We were so relieved to not have to leave.  Moments after we celebrated that news with our pastor who was visiting.  An hour or so later, another call came from Mayo.  My team there had furthered reviewed my scans and wanted me there for treatment.  Arrangements were made for me to be flown by lifeteam from Kansas to Rochester, MN.  This happened first thing in the morning.  I was taken by ambulance from the hospital to airport and loaded into the lifeteam airplane.  These are the most awesome caring people ever.  I had a PA and a paramedic as well as pilot and copilot with me.  The total flight was an hour and 45 minutes.  This is usually about a 9 hour drive for us.

I arrived at Rochester airport and was picked up by an ambulance there and then take to Mayo Clinic St. Mary’s Hospital campus.  This is where my “team” of drs are and where all my prior visits and surgeries have been at.  I was alone when I arrived as my husband was driving up so we would have a vehicle to get back home.  Little did we know that this was the beginning of another long stay and surgery.  Thankfully only 19 days this time……



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