Thursday, October 29, 2009

journal notes from my hospital stay

(Friday October 9th) - I had to go to the E.R. today because I was in severe pain and all night yesterday and this morning I have been throwing up (or dry heaving) almost every single hour! My sister drove me down there and my mom met me at the hospital.

I had been feeling kinda sick - but then on Wednesday night the left side of my stomach and lower back were hurting so bad I couldn't move. I have had kidney stones and kidney infections in the past so I knew the pain and I knew that's what it was. My mom picked me up and drove me to an InstaCare and they said that it looked like I did have either an infection or a stone. So they gave me pain medication (thank God!) and anti-biotics and sent me on my way. Then we get to Thursday night and today. So I went to the E.R. and we found out that I had a really large kidney stone.  They said that it was impacted and there was no way I would be able to pass it on my own. So, they admitted me to stay overnight and I am going to have the surgery in the morning and then go home. I've never had surgery so I am kinda nervous. 

(Sunday October 11th) - Well, things took a unexpected turn and really scary turn yesterday.  I am still not sure what's going on.  I am in the intensive care unit with an oxygen mask on because I am unable to breathe on my own.  I don't have very much energy but wanted to write in here about what's been happening.  Yesterday morning, I went in for the surgery. My urologist was there and they told me to relax and just breathe... The next thing I remember is waking up and the doctor was saying "Jenn, breathe for me! Come on, take a deep breathe! I need you to breathe for me! Jenn, do you know who I am? What is my name? Breathe! Come on Jenn, you need to breathe! Look at me - do you know where you are? Can you breathe for me? Come on Jenn!" The doctor and the nurses were all around me and I was shaking so bad and I had an oxygen mask on and I started to cry (well, tears running down my cheeks was all my body was able to do). Then I remember waking up again in the ICU. The doctor came in to talk to me and he seemed pretty worried. This is what they told me happened. When they went in (through the urethra) to get the stone out, it turns out it had been blocking the kidney from emptying which caused the kidney to swell and become distended. So there was a lot of fluid and stuff in the kidney which caused a pretty nasty infection. Also, from all the throwing up & dry heaving I somehow aspirated and when they put me under the anesthesia and put the breathing tube down my throat it made that worse and I developed aspiration pneumonia. My body wasn't strong enough for everything that was happening and my blood pressure plummeted and I went into septic shock and acute respiratory distress. Anyways, the official diagnosis was...

nephrolithiasis (or kidney stone)
hydronephrosis & kidney infection
pneumonia due to aspiration & other septic bacteria
acute respiratory distress

So in other words, I am pretty lucky to be alive right now considering what had happened. My body was already in very poor condition due to my eating disorder and that's why all of this stuff happened... My body wasn't strong enough. So, now I am in the ICU. I am feeling pretty horrible, weak, tired, you name it - I am probably feeling it.

(Monday October 12th) - Today is my third day in the ICU. I am doing a little better. My oxygen levels are getting a little higher but are still dangerously low. I am on so many iv medications & oral medications it's crazy! and they keep coming in to take blood tests & other sorts of tests. I have a catheter in so I don't have to worry about attempting to get up and go to the bathroom since I can barely sit up anyways. They are moving me to a regular room today and out of the ICU!! That means things are slowly getting better!

(Tuesday October 13th) - I am in my new room now. I am so weak and have no energy and I hate just laying here all day long, everyday but I can't do anything else. I have had a few visitors yesterday and today and that has been nice. My mom comes and stays with me as much as she can but my dad is at home recuperating from double knee surgery and so she is trying to juggle being in two places at once. I told her that it's fine for her to not be here with me and to be at home with dad because I have nurses and doctors watching over me. My therapist found out I was in the hospital when my mom called this morning to cancel my appointments. He called me on my cell phone this evening but I was not in the mood to talk so I let him talk to my mom. She updated him on what happened. It was really nice of him to call. I know he cares about me, but for him to make that extra effort just shows that it's true - especially since he has been super tough on me lately (well, to be fair... he has been tough - even mean - but it's been necessary because I was slipping and he knew it a lot more that I did because I have been living in my world of denial & disassociation and not wanting to accept how bad things were and he was trying to stop something like this from happening).

(Thursday October 15th) - The past few days, have pretty much been the same. Doctors and nurses coming in and out all day long to talk to me, give me meds, check to see if I am eating, giving me breathing treatments, taking x-rays, ect. (and by the way, they have really turned into the food police with me!) Since they knew I was suffering from anorexia, I guess they feel like it is their duty and their job to get me to eat. I mean, I am used to it because that's how most people in my life are right now...but it doesn't make it any less annoying. They took the catheter out on Tuesday so I have been able to get up and use the bathroom. But I have to push my IV pole in one hand and my oxygen machine in the other and then slowly waddle into the bathroom. By the time I get there I am already tired and out of breath! The nurse tries to help me but I guess I am too stubborn and tell her I am fine. I should let her help me though. I got in trouble last night because I really had to pee and I was tired of waiting for the nurse to come help me because it takes them so long, so I decided to just hurry and take off the oxygen mask and just take the IV pole and hurry into the bathroom. When I got out of the bathroom, the nurse was in my room and I got in so much trouble for not taking the oxygen with me...oops! Also, I finally got to shower and wash my hair today!! I was so excited but I almost collapsed in the shower because I didn't have the energy or breath for it so I had to stop and my mom had to help me back into bed.   It's so scary to not be able to breathe very well.  This whole week has been really scary for me and I keep having nightmares about those moments when I came out of the anesethia and couldn't breathe and everyone was around me frantic.  I can't get it out of my mind.

(Friday October 16th) - I get to go home tonight!!! Last night and all day today I have been breathing without the oxygen. I am still very sick and very weak but I am stable enough to leave the hospital. I am going to stay with my parents for a few days to make sure I am okay and then I am going to go home. It will be nice to be out of the hospital. 


This past month has been so frightening for me.  My body is still struggling to recovery from everything that happened while I was in the hospital.  I still have a hard time walking around or exerting any type of energy without struggling to breathe and feeling worn out.  But slowly, I am getting better day by day. 

Throughout my eating disorder, I have had a lot of close calls with my eating disorder - but this has been the worst one by far!! I am NOT invincible and my body WILL shut down if I continue to let the eating disorder control my life.  This whole experience was a wake up call for me.  I can't keep living the way I am.  I know this.  I need to find a way to fight this and beat this illness!  I hate my ed and everything it has done to me and taken away from me.  So why can't I let it go!?!?

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