When Health Takes A Different Turn

Medications

I’m still at the hospital. But I’m in much better shape when I came into the Waterbury Hospital ER, last Sunday. Now, I’m sitting in a chair in front of my laptop, writing this blog in my Yale-New Haven Hospital room. What a journey it has been so far, and I still have a long way to go. Let me tell you, what happened, and what I know so far.

Saturday night, we’ve got the Christmas tree decorated in the front room. I stepped with my camera outside to capture photos of the tree in the front room window, when I began to feel nauseous. I took some deep breaths to no avail feeling better. I went back into the house to put my camera down, telling Kevin how I feel and that I go to the bedroom upstairs. Resting in bed for about five minutes, I had to go to the bathroom. I had really bad diarrhea and blamed it on the hotdog, I ate earlier in the afternoon. But when I looked at my bowel, I’ve noticed something concerning: it was dark brown, almost black. After I laid back down, I could sleep for two hours . I felt fine, until I turned on my side. I was sick all night. And in the morning, I had the same color in my vomit. I let Kevin look at it to confirm, if it was blood. He wasn’t sure, but looked concerned as well. That’s when I said: “I’m not messing around with this. I want to go to the ER! A doctor needs to see this. Especially knowing, I’m chronical anemic.” Kevin agreed with me. Later that day I found out, this was a lifesaving decision.

In the ER I’ve got a bed fairly quick, granted how busy the place was that day, after I stated: “Nausea, vomit, diarrhea with possibility of blood in vomit and stool”. After a CT scan, ultrasound, urine & stool samples, and a couple of other bloody puking episodes, I’ve got an answer: “Pancreatitis with the possibility of an ulcer in my stomach; not even to mention my portal vein”. At that point, Kevin and I knew I would stay in the hospital overnight.

The following days more tests were done. And I kept finding out more as we went. Meanwhile, the doctors put me on an intravenous liquid diet to keep me hydrated. No water, no food for three days, due to tests and healing. On Monday, I’ve got an esophagogastroduodenoscopy done. Later, I found out I had some bleeding in the esophagus and a stomach ulcer. The doctor also discussed my history of portal vein thrombosis, the possible cause of a hemorrhage and narrowing in the portal vein, and that I might need Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Insertion (TIPS). A team of doctors began to communicate with a team of Gastroenterologist at the Yale-New Haven Hospital about my health situation. On Wednesday, I found out I’ll get a transport to Yale. While waiting for my bed in New Haven, I finally was put on a Clear Liquid Diet. Thursday night, a room and a bed was ready for me. And I arrived at Yale at about 1 am on Friday. At 4 am, a doctor discussed with me my health situation, more tests, the TIPS procedure, a possible timeline, etc. and I pressed for some iron infusions as well. WTH, I lost a lot of blood already. And my hemoglobin level is in the basement. I do not want another panic attack episode, due to anemia ever again. It sucks!

Since my arrival in New Haven, I’ve got another CT scan done, can eat on a regular hospital diet, and found out a bit more about my portal vein problems. Unfortunately, I have another blood clot in my vein. But the GI doctors will discuss more, how they will put that shunt in my vein to keep it from bulging out, bleeding and narrowing due to a former nasty blood clot, I had back in Summer 2018. I will stay very positive, because I feel I’m in good hands of a great GI team here at Yale. Doctors keep me updated as they go. Due to today’s medicine and technology, there is a great possibility, the doctors can remove the clot, while they do the TIPS procedure. The nurses are wonderful in both hospitals. Now, I’ve got the weekend off with tests and can relax a little bit. There is not much that I can do than follow the doctors’ advises to have a positive outlook, eat and drink on a hospital diet, take my medication, and keep my mind busy by reading a book, watch TV, write my blogs, communicate with family and friends online. One doctor said: “We will have you fixed by Christmas. This will be your Christmas present.” Well, it definitely will be a very nice Christmas present. I can’t think of a more precious gift, than a healthy life.

12 thoughts on “When Health Takes A Different Turn

    1. Thank you, Ms. T.!
      I’m in very good hands. This evening, I had the chance to talk to one of my surgeons. I’m an interesting case. Things will be alright. I’m glad, I’m not bleeding right now. Hopefully, the surgery will fix it for a long time. πŸ‘

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    1. I hope so as well.

      Today, I found out I will have surgery on Wednesday. The surgeons have all their plans together. I’m glad, it’s finally scheduled. After that, I can heal up. In the meantime, I’ll keep my mind occupied with reading and other activities.

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        1. They do a TIPS procedure on me, to guide the blood flow in the different direction. Since I have a narrowing in my portal vein, a lot of blood flows to veins leading to my esophagus and stomach. Too much blood congests these veins, they begin to bulge out and bleed. That was the cause for the blood in my vomit and bowel. The stunt, they’ll insert, is a bridge to make “traffic” flow smoothly again. In the meantime, they also try to remove the clot out of my portal vein. It’s a mess! But it’s not my first rodeo either. Other than that, I’m doing alright. I’m on medication to prevent me from bleeding. I take it day by day to stay sane. Tomorrow is the big day. I’m scheduled for 4 pm EST. That gives me the opportunity to take a nice hot shower in the morning. πŸ˜ƒ

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        1. I definitely will listen to the medical team. No doubt! This is scary! And I would love to live several more decades. Yale has a great team of doctors & nurses.

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    1. Yes, I have a history with blood clots in my portal and splenic vein from back in Summer 2018. Heavy periods, caused me to become chronically anemic. Therefore, I went to my OB/Gyn, who prescribed me the birth control pill. The pill caused the dilemma with the blood clots. I was on a blood thinner, got underwent an uterine ablation procedure and the removal of my fallopian tubes. Six month later, I was off my blood thinners.

      Three years later, we find out I have a narrowing in my portal vein and the blood looked for a different vein to flow. These are the veins in my esophagus and stomach. Imagine, you are on a freeway. When there is a construction zone and rush hour, the freeway becomes congested in the city. Now, people try to find another route to exit. One car, two cars, … no problem. Hundreds of cars become a problem at this exit. Again, it becomes congested on the new route. In this case my veins got so congested, they bulged out, and began to bleed. And this is what caused me to have blood in my vomit and stool. Now, the GI Team has to build a bridge (TIPS), remove a new blood clot, and make sure, I won’t have any heart, liver, and other organ problems. I might be on blood thinners for a short time or even for the remainder of my life. Who knows? But I’m willing to take that risk.

      In the time between writing this blog and replying to you, I chatted twice with one of the GI surgeons. Yesterday, he explained to me in more detail, what is going on in my torso. Today, he came in with the plan, how exactly the GI Team will perform this procedure. I’ve got my surgery date on this upcoming Wednesday. Tomorrow and Tuesday, I have to undergo more tests. And then it’s game time.

      Thank you again for your sweet well wishes. I appreciate them all so much. ❀

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