SBO small bowel obstruction has become my latest medical trial to deal with. The incident in July was repeated again in August but I was able to ride that one out at home. This one first started Wed evening 9/13 at, of course, midnight. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I was in the midst of a chemo treatment so I rode that one out until 3:30 am when it finally let up. By “let up” I mean the cramping stopped. Of course that was followed by violent vomitting every 15 minutes until 5 am. At that point I was done in and slept on and off all day Thursday. Friday I woke up feeling much better and kept my diet to soft foods. On Saturday my wife and I went to the outlet mall in Clarksville, MD. I made the mistake of thinking I could have the Orange chicken from an Asian restaurant in the food court. Yeah BIG mistake.
All afternoon Saturday I was uncomfortable with rolling stomach cramps. I tried to work through it as I had a project in the garage I wanted to finish. By 5 I had finished my project but was totally wiped out from whereas really a minor effort. I skipped dinner all together and went to bed early.
Why is it the worst cramps always seem to come on at midnight? While not nearly as bad as Wed evening they just wouldn’t let up. On the old 1 to 10 scale they were a consistent 3. Just enough to make me hold my stomach and grimace. Not being able to sleep I found myself reading articles on the causes of SBO and what kinds of diets to go on. On the plus side I found a wonderful sounding teriyaki salmon I think I’ll be trying when I get out of here. Not wanting to wake my wife I sweated it out till 5 am. At that point I took a shower and told her I was driving myself to the hospital. “No”, she said, “I’ll drop you off.” Which is exactly what she did – dropping me off at the emergency room entrance at 6 am – because that’s the way we roll at my house! In all seriousness having just gone thru this in July we knew what the drill would be and there was no reason for her to sit in the ER with me.
Since I wasn’t vomitting they decided not to put in an NG tube but did help manage the pain with morphine and got me on a saline drip. Dr. Ansari came in and asked me if I remembered her from the last time I was in. She is part of the surgical team at the hospital and if things went South would be my go-to doctor. Never a good sign when a surgeon remembers you. When I asked her about surgery she said I’d have to be a lot worst off before they’d think of operating. Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to recovering from an obstruction which was fine by me. As my wife is fond of saying you’re on hospital time, meaning things happen in their own due time. While I knew I was going to be admitted getting a room wouldn’t happen until the afternoon.
Monday started out well enough but around 1:00 the pain came rolling back in and I got extremely nauseous. Back in went the old NG tube which quickly alleiviated the pressure and the pain, but I felt like I was taking another step back given how well the previous night had gone. Thankfully the next couple of days would see me getting progressively better. Thursday I was started on clear liquids and Friday they put me back on a regular diet. Friday evening I was able to go home and enjoy a nice dinner out with my wife.
Praise God for seeing me through this again!