Stones…

This is the first entry that I’ve made to my blog since 4/28. It’s a good time because there are some questions around my recent hospitalization and what has happened since. Oddly enough, it’s a lack of updates about this on my twitter that has caused the questions. That and the fact that it’s automatically updating my Facebook status.

Thanksgiving, I went with family to San Diego. There was a lot of family there that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. There was also a lot of food that I don’t normally eat. I wouldn’t say that I ate more than normal, but I definitely did try a little of everything. We eventually came back home. I proceeded to go to my cousin’s house where we played Left For Dead (and oddly finished whatever mission we started) and some Rock Band 2. At about 4:00 am I started getting a stomach ache. I thought it was odd considering so much time had passed since we ate, but there it was. My cousin and I went to Best Buy shortly after they opened. We pretty much left as soon as we got there. It was a freakin’ zoo. I eventually drove back home.

When I was driving, the aforementioned stomach ache got worse. When I got home I of course tried to go to the bathroom, but nothing was happening on that front. This reminded me of this time I had bad edamame and I started throwing up. Could this be food poisoning? I started going through a list of all the food that I had during the day and assigning probabilities to each that it caused my pain. Eventually I threw up. Twice. Thing is, there was no food at all. Just liquid. I thought that the whole throwing up thing would have spelled relief of some sort. It did not. The pain just got worse. I laid down in my bed hoping that the pain would dissipate. It didn’t. I went into the hallway on the way to the restroom only to fall to my knees in pain. I couldn’t even stand anymore it hurt so much. I knocked on my roommate’s door. I couldn’t even speak properly when she reacted. I knocked again and muttered, “Can you take me to the ER?”

When we arrived at the ER for Glendale Adventist, I was escorted into a room to answer questions about me. The technician who took my information was surprised that I didn’t have a regular doctor “at my age.” In my head I kept thinking, “keep the damned commentary to yourself and get me in the fraking room.” This technician eventually finished and then calmly said, “Have a seat and the doctor will be right with you.” This was after she asked me to assign a number to my pain, which incidentally I said, “eight, eight and a half.”

Eventually I was brought into the ER area by a nurse who took all my vitals. I was then given a gown and a bed. I changed and plopped myself on the bed. I don’t remember much during this time because the pain was so bad. I just remember being given an EKG and getting hooked up to an IV and all the monitors. Doctor finally came through and said that based on what I have told her and other results that I either had pancreatitis or gall stones. Neither sounded good to me. Doctor then said that I would be going to get an ultrasound to find out. This ultrasound wasn’t effortless like in Juno or something. There was poking, deep breathing, and it seemed infliction of more pain in the general affected area. I was rolled back to the ER.

I forgot to mention that at this point my parents were on site. My roommate texted my sister, who then told my parents, who then came. I’m not going to lie, I was glad they were there. See, if you know me, you know I don’t have anything to do with doctors. I never go to them. I’m hardly ever sick, so that helps, but I don’t like doctors. Because of that, I wasn’t sure of much of what was going on. It paid off that both of my parents are in the medical field.

It seemed like such a long time that I was just sitting there on the ER bed. I was given IV pain killers which worked for sure, but knocked me the heck out. Hours actually passed before the doctor came to see me. When she did she said, “You have gall stones. Not just a few, but a good concentration of them. We’re going to admit you. We’ll give you antibiotics to see if you can break them down and pass them, but more than likely you’ll need to have your gall bladder removed.”

Yes, it isn’t the biggest deal, and from what I’m told it’s a routine procedure, but I was freaking out. I’ve never had a broken bone, much less a major surgery! Then of course I started thinking that my size (I’m quite large) wasn’t exactly going to help things. It was going to be like one of those things where I’d get taken out even though it was a routine surgery. I started making all kinds of stories in my head.

I got rolled to the room that I would be staying in. It didn’t help that the corridors and rooms that I passed seemed eerily similar to the hospital in Left For Dead. I realize that this has gotten quite long – longer than even I originally intended, so I’ll fast forward a bit. I mentioned earlier that my parents are in the medical field. Well, my entire family is. When the doctors were saying that I needed surgery, the parents of course started calling the world. The world responded and said, “if he’s no longer in pain, then he doesn’t need surgery.” There were long back and forths with the doctors at Glendale Adventist where they kept recommending the surgery. I got to the point where I felt like giving up and just having the procedure done. I eventually listened to the family and opted out of immediate surgery so that I could speak to another doctor.

I was discharged on Sunday and given a stern warning from the doctor. She basically said that I was postponing an inevitable surgery but if I wanted to get another opinion, she couldn’t stop me. She prescribed me antibiotics and other such meds that don’t make me too happy. She also ran down a list of things I should no longer eat: fried foods, cheese, all around fatty foods, and no alcohol for at least a month. If I took any of those things, I’d be lighting the fuse for a bomb.

I’m home now. There’s still ancillary pain. The Tylenol my roomie got me today is glorious. I’ve also had a ball of a time passing the radioactive dye that they injected me with. Yes, radioactive dye. Didn’t write about that because it was actually quite boring other than I got injected with radioactive dye. I’ve been eating throughout the day what I probably ate in one meal before. Earlier tonight, I was full from jello.

This was all brought upon myself. Obviously, I didn’t get as big as I am by eating salads and such. Guess it all just caught up to me. Good news from the labs was that the rest of my blood work was good (sugars, cholesterol, etc.). I guess that this will finally give me the motivation to get healthy, not just with what I’m eating, but also being more active. Hey, maybe I’ll start blogging again too. :)

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~ by Francis Orante on December 2, 2008.

2 Responses to “Stones…”

  1. Well, I’m glad you’re okay for now! I was worried. Do what you need to do, we only get one life! We all need to take better care of ourselves, none of us are getting any younger!

  2. Hey Francis,
    Hope you are having a fantabulous birthday…when are you going to update your blog??? Miss you!
    Rebekah

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