The last month was kind of rough for us. Dave was feeling distinctly…. meh. By which I mean, he was debilitated. Like someone crash tackled him out of life and firmly benched him. He was sick of being sick. He needed IV’s like a fish needs water.
He’s had a week and a half of IV’s so far and things haven’t really improved objectively. Subjectively I think he is slightly more involved in life. Involved enough, for example, to drive me to Emergency on Thursday evening with fairly significant abdominal pain. He waited with me for a while until it became clear that I was going to be sitting in a chair and wriggling in pain for quite some time before I had any pain relief, tests, diagnosis or treatment. There was no point exhausting him too so he left for some shut-eye. I called him back at 1.30am when people were threatening to stick a tube up my nose and down my throat into my stomach. At this point I was under the influence of heavy-duty pain meds and unable to make good decisions or advocate for myself. Plus, it’s a procedure I was hoping to go to my grave without experiencing as an adult. I needed my hubby.
The nasogastric (NG) tube ultimately didn’t happen. I managed to limit my projectile vomits to an acceptable tally of two and made it very clear that a NG tube was a last resort option as far as I was concerned. Ditto for surgery.
The theory is that after thirty-one years of content my small intestine decided to create an obstruction. I have adhesions (internal scar tissue) from previous abdominal surgeries that appear to have accidentally twisted about, knotted up some bowel, and prevented anything passing through, like a kink in a garden hose. They can’t entirely rule out the possibility that I have a bowel blockage simply because I have CF and am not very good at digesting my own food. People with CF tend to get bowel blockages in a particular area. My obstruction/blockage is not exactly in that area but is not too far away. Perhaps it’s a bit of both issues. No one will ever really know.
The surgeons displayed remarkable restraint and I have been managed conservatively. I fasted for about forty-eight hours and was pumped full of IV fluids to give my bowel a rest and the opportunity to untangle itself. Finally I was allowed clear liquids. I don’t think there has ever been a person more excited about ingesting water, vegetable broth and lime jelly. I was even more excited to skip the yoghurt and custard phase and graduate to eating real food! Real food makes me feel uncomfortable and sends my tummy into gurgling overdrive but hasn’t made me regress thus far. From the surgeons’ perspective I’ll be in hospital at least another night to make sure I am even closer to how I normally am.
Meanwhile, the respiratory team are taking the opportunity to do a mini tune up. I’m having antibiotics to keep my lungs healthy whist I’m conjoined to a drip pole. We’ll see where my lung function is at before the respiratory team make a plan about when they will let me go home and what sort of treatment, if any, I may need to have in addition to my usual routine once released.
It’s a waiting game.