Last Tuesday I woke up around 1 am with excruciating abdominal pain.
Within ten minutes I was completely drenched with sweat from head to toe, writhing around in agony on my bathroom floor.
I have never in my life experienced pain like that.
It was horrible. The pain subsided somewhat, but definitely didn’t disappear.
I didn’t sleep much the rest of Tuesday night.
I got the kids off to school on Wednesday and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon on the couch
I had major abdominal and lower back pain, but I also had a swim meet that afternoon, and I don’t have an assistant coach, so it was either tell my AD I was sick and reschedule the meet, or suck it up and head to the pool.
I headed to the pool. It was a rough couple hours.
On Wednesday nights the kids go to their father’s house, so when I got home from the meet I went straight to the couch.
I was still in quite a bit of pain, but figured it was a virus from hell and decided if I didn’t feel better in the morning I’d go to urgent care.
On Thursday morning I woke up and went to the bathroom.
I looked in the toilet and it was full of blood.
I know pooping blood is not good.
I had a slight panic attack and made the first available appointment at Urgent Care at 10:30 a.m.
When I typed in the reason why I was making an appointment a warning came up on the screen:
YOU MAY HAVE LIFE THREATENING SYMPTOMS.
Or something like that.
I tried not to completely freak out, and I took a picture of what was in the toilet just in case.
Urgent Care was running behind and I had to wait about 45 minutes before I saw the PA.
When the nurse brought me into the exam room and asked me what was going on, I explained. Then I showed her the picture I had taken.
OH MY GOD.
That was the nurse’s response. Not very reassuring.
They sent me to the ER for a CAT scan.
It was about 12:30 when I got there.
I was registered and triaged within an hour.
The ER was pretty packed, especially for a Thursday afternoon.
I found a chair in the waiting room and tried to make myself comfortable. I was prepared to wait for a couple hours.
I wasn’t prepared to wait for seven hours, though.
A nurse came out to the waiting room to take my blood pressure around 4:00.
I asked her if she thought I’d be out of there by 8:00 because that’s when the kids were coming home.
She looked at me and tried not to laugh.
“Definitely not,” she said.
I called my parents and told them I needed them to come up to the house for a little bit until I got home.
There was a man working in the waiting room. I’m not sure if he was a volunteer or not, but he was doing a really good job of taking care of everyone who was waiting.
He brought me a heated blanket at 7 pm.
I asked him if he had any idea where I was in line.
He told me that was impossible to predict because you never know who’s going to come walking (or wheeling) in to the ER and it depended on the severity of everyone’s situation.
I was so uncomfortable and so tired from not sleeping much in the past two days and I just completely broke down. I was sobbing in the lobby and this poor man was so nice to me. But it didn’t really make things any better.
About 15 minutes later my parents walked into the ER.
I had just stopped crying and now the waterworks were flowing again.
They stopped in to give me a hug before heading to my house.
At 8:30 pm I was finally taken back to a bed.
It was 10pm by the time the doctor came to talk to me. He ordered a CAT scan. Things started to move a lot more quickly.
They hooked me up to an IV and around 10:30 the CAT scan was done.
At 11:00 the doctor came in to talk to me.
“You’ve got diverticulitis,” he told me.
My mind went directly to the old school SNL Doug and Wendy Whiner skit when Joe Piscopo is in the hospital.
I’VE GOT DIVERTICULIIIIIIITIIIIIIS.
I was given a prescription for two different antibiotics, and I was discharged at 1 am and home around 1:30. It was a long day.
So it’s not cancer which is where my brain went as soon as I saw large amounts of blood in the toilet. That’s a relief.
And at least now I know what’s going on.
Not eating so many of my favorite foods is going to be an adjustment.
But I don’t care.
I’m terrified of having another attack, and I’ll do everything I can to never go through what I experienced on Tuesday night ever again.