Friday, September 23, 2011
8 Years Running... and Still Tripping
On September 23rd, 2003, I was wheeled into the OR for my first colonoscopy. I was scared, I was young, I was in pain, and I was nervous about what was going to happen. When I woke up from the anesthesia and was met with my teary eyed parents and the diagnosis of Crohn’s, I had a sense that everything would be okay.
I have no idea why I felt that way. I think it was mainly because I didn’t know what having Crohn’s really meant, I thought it was something that required a yearly blood-draw or a pill and not the reality that so many of us have come to endure.
But this post isn’t about reminiscing and being newly diagnosed and nostalgic. No, this blog post is about my current hospital stay. As per my last post, I had missed the first day of school with a blockage and had spent the day hooked up to an IV and chilling in a hospital bed. Come Wednesday of last last week, the 14th, my belly had grown tight and the pain began to spike. My goal was to wait and if I needed I would go to the ER after classes on Thursday (since one of my classes is only on Thursdays for 3 hours and I didn’t want to miss it, or my other classes for that matter). But life - or mine at least - never goes according to plan. I lived through Wednesday doing all of my activities, even having vegan pizza with my good friend Maya (because I love seeing her and because vegan pizza is AMAZING). Then I put on a Fetanyl patch, and went to bed. Come 6:30 in the morning, it was time to drag my sorry bottom to the ER and skip my classes. I was ready for another hefty day of fluids and loopiness from pain meds and draining my iPod battery, at least I was until they told me they were going to admit me. Oh. That was unexpected. I had none of my textbooks, no spare undies, no deodorant, and no idea about what I was going to do.
It was only the second week of class and I was taking my second ‘vacation’ pass. Doctors began to flood in my room, to be honest they came in so fast I didn’t know all of their names or official titles, all they were interested in was my bag. My room is on the 16th floor and since I was the first person in the room, the porter decided that I was nice and could get the window seat. It is a beautiful, two-window view of the Charles - something pretty to look at if you can forget that you’re looking at it from a hospital bed. I was scheduled for test after test, and whisked off in a squeaky stretcher all around the massive hospital. My friend stole into my dorm room (well, okay, that’s not true, the RA was with her) to collect my books and important things (cough, cough, my computer and a season of Grey’s), so I was mostly all set.
I won’t bore you with the details of the tests and the other fun experiences I have had, but this is my overall experience/moral of the story. I’ve spent several days overwhelmed and crying - doctors had differing opinions (like polar different), I was here all alone and feeling very small and helpless and directionless. How do you rouse yourself to get back up when all you want to do is throw in the towel? I don’t know, but at the very least I knew I owed it to myself to try.
Today I will (this better not jinx it!) finally get my PICC line and some fluids (for the first time in over a week). I will finish some more homework/reading. I will watch some TV. I will revel in my joy about last night’s Grey’s Anatomy season premiere (SO intense, so good, so Grey’s). Soon, I will get back to my dorm room, back to eating (product placement is incredible and I really want anything advertised on TV right now), back to classes, and back to my life. Right now I’m in pain, I’m exhausted, I’m in the hospital, I’m drugged, but hey, I’ve got a nice view.
Here’s the nostalgia if I may: 8 years ago today is a day I will never be able to forget. I can’t believe it’s been so long and more than that, I can’t believe how much has happened to my body and how much I have done in those years. As I grow older and continue to have ‘disease birthdays’, I know there will be even more things to remember, more scars, more stories to tell - and many, many more things to be grateful for.