First off, a warning. In this post, I'm going to be talking about illness and bodily function. If that offends you or will make you see me in an uncomfortable way next time we meet, stop reading now. For the rest of you, suffice to say, everybody poops (but hopefully most of you won't ever have to deal with my condition).
After spiking a fever of 101 on last Thursday, July 7, I spent most of the next four days with a constant fever of 101 to 102 that wouldn't respond to Tylenol and with unrelenting symptoms from the UC. I went to work Friday and felt the chills, fatigue, and inflammation getting worse. I was also running to the bathroom at least a few times an hour with diarrhea, no matter what I'd eaten (or had not eaten). By the weekend I was totally out of commission (and, as I know now, I probably should've just called my GI doc at that point). I stayed home from work Monday feeling just as awful, contacted my GI doctor, and got in for an afternoon appointment for a flexible sigmoidoscopy (if you're curious, look it up). The results of that led my doctor to have me immediately admitted to Riverside Hospital, luckily right around the corner from his office.
The next few days were kind of a hospitalized blur. My first night there, Monday, was the worst. Because of (I think) pretty severe dehydration, it took eight tries to get an IV line in my arm. Ouch! I have a pretty nasty bruise in one arm and a bunch of other needle marks from the lab-work I had done every day of my stay. Lovely. Plus, since they had not consulted with the GI doc yet and were reluctant to make drastic changes to my medications, they basically did nothing but give me Tylenol, and I ended up with a fever of 104.6 that night while watching Anthony Bourdain visit Columbus on No Reservations. That was fun. The nurses couldn't believe I had such a high temp, and they talked about it again every time my chart was reviewed.
I spent all day Tuesday requesting to see the GI doc and asking whoever would listen if I could have something to eat, since they were only allowing me ice chips--even a sick girl with chronic diarrhea needs some nourishment, people! I was finally granted my wishes by Tuesday evening and started on IV steroids and two kinds of antibiotics (Cipro and Flagyl) to combat any possible infection that may have been causing my fever. The GI doc also decided I should stop taking Asacol (which I had recently re-started in addition to my Humira regimen), as he was concerned I might be having a negative response to it. He also instructed me to stop taking Humira and started me on Remicade, which I will continue to receive through IV infusion, normally every six weeks. I was also given clear liquids for dinner.
Tuesday morning was my last high fever, so the rest of my stay was mostly me adjusting to the meds and getting rest, plus the docs running more tests. I slowly returned to 'normal' and was cleared to leave the hospital on Thursday afternoon with doctor's orders to stay home and take it easy on Friday and for the rest of the weekend.
I owe many, many thanks to my wonderful, loving family and friends and especially to Rob, who took care of Ezra and me throughout this ordeal. My parents, Ry and Bri, Lauren and Coco, and Jeni all visited me in the hospital as well, keeping me sane. In addition, a handful of willing friends texted with me throughout the days, which helped a lot. Let's hope this was my last hospital visit for a while and that the new meds do the trick, eh?
- ▼ 2010 (3)