So, we left off where they sent me home from the hospital with meds after a night on the IV. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were more of the same. I didn’t improve at all. No sleep, couldn’t hold anything down. Couldn’t drink, couldn’t eat, nothing. CSP put buckets all over the house because I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time most of the time. I was feeling even more weak and light headed. When they released me from the hospital Wednesday morning they told me if I wasn’t better in 2 days to come back because I’d need to be back on the IV. Well here it was Friday afternoon and no better. I called my doctor’s office to see if they could do an IV there but apparently you have to go to the hospital. So we went.
We sat in the ER waiting room for almost 4 hours, but what do you expect on a Friday evening, right? Luckily there was a restroom in the waiting room. There was also some entertainment. This one woman, picture her in your head, tiny white shorts, orange tank top that doesn’t quite make it all the way down her torso, flip flops that barely stay on her feet, belly pooched out over her shorts. Got it? Ok, so she shuffled over to the vending machines, which were right across from where we were sitting. She spent the next 20 minutes arguing with the vending machines, dropping coins everywhere, dropping her chips, soda. It was hilarious! A couple hours later she shuffled back wrapped in a blanket complaining of the chill. Mid May in NC? There’s no chill.
Finally we were called back. A few minutes later the doctor came in and OMG I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH MY DOCTOR! Seriously? I’m in the ER because I’ve been puking (and more!) for almost a week and I have to have a mini high school reunion? FUN! Luckily he was really nice and cool about it all. Good thing because by the end of it he’d seen me in all my naked hospital gown glory. Dr. High School ran a huge battery of tests. Blood tests, urine test (after a failed attempt to catheterize me he let me pee in a cup), ultrasound. Meanwhile I was still having issues.
Finally Dr. High School came back and and told me I had picked up some sort of virus and all the issues the virus caused me caused me to flush out all of my potassium. I had hypokalemia. Apparently potassium is in charge of contracting your muscles, including your heart. My blood pressure was out of control. One reading was 199 over 103. They measure potassium where a normal range is 3.5-5.0. My potassium was 2.6. They said that because the range is so small that any deviance can be bad and my level of 2.6 was scary low. So Dr. High School looked at me and said “We’re going to have to keep you”. He admitted me to the hospital and they started me on a potassium drip in the IV. My level was too low to bring it up with just pills. I had never had potassium put in me before. Let me tell you something. It BURNS. Liquid fire going into your veins. Not fun. Thankfully my nurse was fantastic. They mix it with Potassium Chloride and after the initial burn she found a balance that wasn’t too bad. She was funny. At one point she said “Oops”. CSP said “Oops? What oops?” and my nurse said “There are just so many buttons!” Hilarious!
They moved me up into a private room around 5am Saturday. I stayed on the potassium drip through Sunday afternoon. By the end of the day Saturday my potassium level had come up to 3.2. By the end of Sunday it was up to 3.3. Still not in the normal range, but better. I continued to have those same gastro issues through Sunday. CSP stayed with me on a recliner each night.
Because they had me hooked up to the potassium through my right arm they had to go in to my left arm each time for blood. But because I was dehydrated my veins weren’t making it so easy for them to draw blood. I ended up really battered and bruised. I’ve had many, many blood draws but man, when they went between my fingers for one and the underside of my wrist for another, it hurt so badly I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two.
CSP’s boss was really great through the whole thing and was very flexible, but CSP did have to go in to work for a while Sunday afternoon. Because I was so contagious he was my only allowed visitor. I was SO bored! Thank the Lord for the iPhone! I realized too how spoiled I was from the dvr. Live tv sucks! Plus there’s no clicker, you have to press the channel up or down button to change channels. I ended up watching a marathon of Hoarders at one point. Beyond that I didn’t watch much tv. Couldn’t bear the commercials.
My nurses were fantastic. I plan on writing a letter. We did have some excitement each night. The first night my IV machine kept beeping if I’d roll over or move my arm. I ended up having my arm propped up and keeping it stick straight. Not comfy. Once I tried to go to the restroom and forgot about the IV until it tugged my arm. Ouch! And one night I was sort of sleeping (you don’t really sleep at the hospital- too many interruptions and noises) when there was a huge crash right behind my head! I hit the nurse button and they came in to find that this metal notice holder thing had fallen off the wall and clanged on the floor just behind my bed, narrowly missing my head! All the nurses were aflutter over that one!
By the way, when they weighed me upon admittance I found out that in one week (I was just weighed at our adoption physical last Friday) I’d lost almost 21 pounds due to the vomiting (and more!) and not being able to eat or drink. Nice to lose a few, but lousy way to do it. I was able to start keeping solids down mid Saturday, but hospital food barely counts as decent food so I didn’t eat much while I was there. They released me late Monday (around 5pm). I was SO ready to go home! I missed my puggies and my own bed.
My stay in the hospital meant that CSP & I were in very close quarters for a few days. He had picked up a nasty plague bug at work and by late Sunday my throat was killing me. By the time I was released I was full on sick with his plague. Ugh. Out of the frying pan! Like I didn’t have enough going on! Thanks, honey! Doctor’s orders were to take it easy and stick with mild foods until the nausea passed and I could build up my strength again. Who knew a virus could cause so much trouble??