My last few days in Halifax before my return to Boston are filled with last-minute visits with friends, errands, and packing (that I have yet to do...). Thursday I had made plans with a couple of friends to meet up for lunch around noon, just enough time to head to yoga with my Mom in the morning. We were in the class when half way through it, I felt my blockage pain pulsate in my upper belly and just like that, I knew I was knee-deep in another blockage. Luckily I was on my mat closest to the wall, so each time we would turn to it I would make a face of pain and hold back tears. However stupid, I wanted to finish the class and when it was over, told my Mom that I was having a blockage and needed to get to the hospital.
But, what about my plans? I wasn’t going to see these friends for another six months, so I decided that I’d go and meet them for lunch and then meet her at the hospital. Stupid? Probably. But, I operate on a purely stubborn system and so I set off downtown to go to lunch. I even had some salad, what the heck I figured, it couldn’t make things worse (well, maybe). I dropped my friends off and set out to the ER.
They say French food consists of butter, butter, and butter. By the same logic, the ER consists of waiting, waiting, and waiting. Finally I was taken to a room and then the process of stabbing (aka putting in an IV) began. I was given a Johnny shirt to which I said, I’d rather not. The nurse looked at me and asked why, to which I replied that they weren’t very attractive - followed by the fact that I was in leggings and a t-shirt and could lift whatever needed lifting for their exam. She made me put it on. Why? Do I have to be in uniform? Apparently. I’d like to think I’m patient and whatnot, but when you’re coming at me with a very sharp needle and aiming to put it in the inside of my wrist, I’m not the happiest camper on planet earth. In my experience, that is the worst place to have an IV and then she proceeded to stab (I use the word stab because it was exactly that) my other hand for bloodwork. But bruises aside, the tasks were completed and I set about listening to playlists on my iPod as the fluids slowly dripped in. Pain medication is fully necessary during a blockage - or really, any painful experience - but they make me so loopy and like my head is going to float away, and then they make me want to throw up. I began to upchuck on my bed before a basin could find it’s way under my mouth.
But 8 hours and four bags of fluids and injections of pain meds later, I had turned my metaphorical corner and was feeling better. In my family, returning from the hospital means the traditional stop at Burger King for fries, even at 1 AM (thank goodness for 24 hour drive thru’s). They were delicious - even if I sat in the passenger seat throwing up as my Mom ordered them and then threw them up at home, they were delicious nonetheless.
I passed out in my bed, my head spinning with my impromptu ER plans. And with my head pounding with an incoming headache compliments of pain medications, I rolled myself in my covers and went to sleep.
My last 24 hours were eventful, but not the fun kind, the annoying Crohn’s kind. At the hospital, I said that I had begged for a port or some sort of permanent access line and that I never got one. My Mom said, “Well, that’s because we always thought it would be the end.” To which I replied, “It’s called chronic for a reason.” This summer I have been to the ER five times for blockages, which is a little much if you ask me. It can be difficult to stand up and pick up the pieces of my life after I keep being pushed down.
The land of the healthy is a lovely place to be if you can appreciate it. And sometimes, 24 hours is all it takes to do just that.