All posts filed under: Hospitalizations

Birthday Obstruction & Trying Out a New Hospital

I had the weekend planned out for myself. As I finished work on Thursday, I was looking forward to the following day, which was to be the day before my birthday. I had purposely scheduled several treatments that day so I would be feeling my best and completely relaxed for the weekend, and to celebrate my 35th birthday on Saturday. Friday was supposed to start with a morning workout, followed by a massage, then a pedicure and finally a cut and color to round out the day. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. But it was not to be. I got home from work that Thursday evening and walked the dogs, enjoying the beautiful evening. My husband was traveling for work in San Antonio and wasn’t due back until the following afternoon, so I didn’t have to worry about cooking dinner. I thought I’d get in a strength training session at the gym that evening, but just before I was planning to go around 8pm, I began to feel some cramping in …

Intermittent Fasting Update/Upcoming Posts

So, I’m a week in to my little experiment with IF, as I wrote about last week.  While I don’t have a ton to update on at this point, I want to at least check in on it week to week, as I think that will help me process whether or not it’s having a positive effect on my symptoms.  My goal is to do it for a month and then really evaluate whether or not I should continue with it. First, I will say it hasn’t been as bad as I expected.  Choosing the fasting window that I did (8pm through noon the following day) probably helped with that.  I still have my green tea with a little honey and lemon juice first thing in the morning, and I drink lots of water with my Nuun hydration tabs all morning.  I start to get hungry around 11am, and at that point, waiting an hour isn’t really that bad.  I’ve kept my diet constant, and I have lunch at noon, though I have added a …

Chronic Disease From a Physician’s Perspective

***Please note that this is not a post I have written, but rather an article on a Crohn’s Facebook page I follow.  I thought it was a great read and wanted to share, but for some reason the link was bad.  –Michelle A LETTER TO PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC DISEASE July 14, 2010 by Rob Lamberts Dear Patients: You have it very hard, much harder than most people understand. Having sat for 16 years listening to the stories, seeing the tiredness in your eyes, hearing you try to describe the indescribable, I have come to understand that I too can’t understand what your lives are like. How do you answer the question, “how do you feel?” when you’ve forgotten what “normal” feels like? How do you deal with all of the people who think you are exaggerating your pain, your emotions, your fatigue? How do you decide when to believe them or when to trust your own body? How do you cope with living a life that won’t let you forget about your frailty, your limits, …

The Soundtrack of Life – and Surgery

Most moments in life have a soundtrack, if you think about it.  From iconic movie moments like Judd Nelson raising his fist in the air as the sound of “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays while the credits begin to roll in The Breakfast Club to Matthew Broderick lip synching “Twist and Shout” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, music recalls a specific time, place or moment for many of us, good or bad. Music has been used in medicinal arenas going back thousands of years, when ancient Greeks identified Apollo as the God of both Healing and Music.  One of its more recent proponents, Dr. Evan O’Neill Kane, supported the use of music in the operating room, as he felt it helped “to calm and distract the patient from the horror of the situation”.  And he should know.  This man operated on himself not once, not twice, but three times, in order to better understand the experience of surgery from the perspective of the patient.  In 1919, he performed a self-amputation of one of his …

Do No Harm

Another week, another hospitalization.  It had been a somewhat bumpy week after my discharge from the hospital mid-month, and after struggling with what felt like a partial obstruction this past Monday night, I woke severely nauseous on Tuesday morning, and was in the car driving myself back to the ER by 10am that morning while my husband was at work.  It says something that I felt comfortable enough to do this, as a hospital is supposed to be a place of respite and recovery.  Vomiting twice on the 15 minute trip over, I shuffled back into the ER, grateful that I would soon be relieved of my horrible abdominal pain and nausea by the staff there.  So as not to worry my husband, I waited until I was hooked up to IV fluids and had received some anti-nausea meds and happy juice before I called him to let him know I was back in and doing just marvelous.  Everything is marvelous on morphine.  I told him I was fine on my own for a while …

Latest Hospital Stay, My Thoughts on Hospitalists, and Why I Am a Pain in the Ass Patient

So I had another post all ready to go up, but then I was hospitalized again last Monday night due to another bowel obstruction and a few things came up during that visit that I thought were a bit more important for the time being.  I can’t really say that this hospitalization came out of the blue, as I unfortunately missed my weekly dose of Humira at the very end of January because my husband and I were stuck in Boston for five extra days due to the blizzard that struck.  We had flown out there for the annual memorial service for my father-in-law, and at the time we left, no storm had been predicted for that weekend.  With my pills, I normally bring a few extra days worth in case of emergency, as I did this time, but traveling with injectable medications that need to be refrigerated at all times is a major pain in the ass.  Specialized kits tend to only keep the medication cold for a limited amount of time, and airlines …

Getting Fit in the New Year

With the New Year fast approaching, lots of people will be making those often ill-fated “resolutions” in the eleventh hour, promises that they will better themselves in every possible way, eliminating any bad habits for good.  For many, one of the top resolutions is some variation on the theme of getting in shape, losing weight, etc.  Such a goal is often difficult for many, particularly for those with a chronic illness and possible physical limitations.  The inclination tends to lead more often than not to the extreme, the dramatic and the not-very-sustainable category, one that can be particularly detrimental to those whom are already working from a physical and nutritional deficit. Gyms and other fitness centers will hop on this all-in-or-bust attitude, and discounts on memberships and personal training sessions abound during this time of the year.  It is certainly tempting, and can be a great thing if you use your head.  I am all for getting in shape and using exercise to help combat stress and enhance one’s mood, but there are a few …

Thanking Your Pit Crew

Just a quick post today – as I’m sure the case is with everyone, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and things don’t let up until next week.  My energy levels are lagging this week due to work and holiday engagements; while fun, late nights definitely take their toll.  Last night was our company holiday party that I set up and we feasted on Argentinean cuisine from a local restaurant, so I just finished some leftover empanadas with chimmichurri for lunch.  It was delicious, but now I’m ready for a serious nap. Anyway, of course it’s the season of giving, and if you can make the time, it is always a good idea to give some small gifts to your team of doctors whom you work with regularly.  Given the multi-system nature of Crohn’s, my team or “Pit Crew”, as I like to call them, is made up of my PCP, my GI doc, my Hematologist, Surgeon, Chiropractor and masseuse.  The gifts don’t have to be anything fancy, but I think it is important …

My Year In Review

As I write this, it has been almost a year to the day that I walked out the door of my hotel for the last time and took the proverbial “jump off of a cliff” into the unknown.  As I was walking the dogs this morning, I marveled at how a year could have passed already, and wondered where the time had gone and what, if anything I had accomplished.  If you’ve read anything I have posted before this, you know “accomplishment” is something very important to me and, like it or not, something I use as a scale by which to rate myself.  It may not be healthy, but it is what it is. Of course, I am also painfully aware of some of the limitations that I have based on having Crohn’s for so many years, not to mention surgeries, etc; I have become much more sensitive to this over the last year, that is for certain.  This time of year when the social engagements are many and my obligation to some of …

Surviving a Hospitalization

It goes without saying that at some point, if you have IBD or a related autoimmune disease, you will likely be hospitalized; some more than others.   This is why I always travel to the ER with my at-the-ready overnight bag, because you never really know when an admission will be needed.  Everyone’s “necessities” may be different, but below is a list of what I usually keep in my bag: Basic toiletries Toilet paper & Cottonelle wipes (the hospital grade TP is murder on my poor bum) Earplugs (helpful for blocking out noisy IV pumps and possible snoring roommates) Sleeping mask to block out light from the corridors Cell phone charger Reading material Loose, comfortable clothing with open necklines to allow for access to my port (tanks with built in shelf bras, yoga pants, etc.) Socks and a robe Heating pad (they hardly ever have them in the hospital anymore, and I’m spoiled by my awesome infrared model, so “Sparky” comes with me) If you are in the hospital often enough (hopefully not), you may also want to invest in …