Monday, September 22, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride

I am kind of emotional, I think because of the pain meds, but for family, here's an update. For those of you who have no idea what's going on, well lucky you, you don't have to ride the worry train like the rest of us did!

Last week I was having moderate chest pain. Since I had been coughing for a few weeks I went in and the doctor did a chest x-ray, which ruled out pneumonia or a cracked rib. I figured it was a pulled muscle or something, took Advil, and went on with my life.

By Friday I was in excruciating pain. I had tender areas that would cause me to scream if touched, I could barely walk, and it hurt to breathe. I felt like large knives were stabbing me over and over again, in multiple places. I called Hubby and one of my friends crying, I could barely speak.

They took me to the doctor who sent me to the ER. Since the pain was so intense, and because of the presentation and location, my doctor, and then the ER staff believed it to be my gallbladder. They sent me for an ultrasound, and prepared me mentally for the possibility of gallbladder removal.

Upon returning from the ultrasound, I was in so much pain, they doped me up. The pain never went away, but at some point I was so sleepy and dizzy, I didn't care.

At some point, the ER doc came in and told us that the ultrasound indicated that my gallbladder was fine, but that I had a small adenoma on my liver that appeared to be bleeding.

The ER was going to send me home with pain meds, but my doctor wanted a surgical consult. The surgeon wanted a CAT scan. So they did the CAT scan, which was inconclusive apparently, and then someone ordered an MRI. Since they couldn't do the MRI until Saturday, I was admitted. For that night and most of Saturday it was difficult to get out of bed to walk to the bathroom, but by Saturday evening I was feeling better.

Anyhow, after being placed on anxiety medicine so I could make it through the hour and a half hold-my-breath-even though-it-hurt-like-hell MRI, we waited, and waited, and waited. At this point I didn't know if what I was feeling was my original complaint or side effects from all of the medications, not being able to move my arm since my IV was in my elbow crease, the hard bed and not being able to get comfortable (the bulging disk I have in my lower back started to flare up), blood being drawn, being kept on a clear liquid diet "just in case," etc.

Since the ultrasound indicated bleeding, the one doctor would not let me go home. The surgeon on staff that weekend wanted to send me home and said nothing need to be done to my liver "yet" (we never did figure out what that meant). And NO ONE READ THE MRI until Monday morning, so there I sat in the hospital all weekend.

Finally on Monday, the MRI was read and it was determined that I have some (I never got a clear answer as to how many) hemangiomas, which are around 5cm, on some part of my liver. Apparently vascular tumors aren't that rare and aren't that big of a deal unless they get too big to cause symptoms. The GI doctor that finally saw me did not believe from the test reports and his assessment (where he pushed on all of my insides and on my tender areas) did not believe the hemangiomas were the source of my pain. He believes since I was coughing for so long, that I had chest inflammation, muscle issues or something to do with my ribs. The surgeon said he "didn't think it was my ribs", and my primary care didn't think my original presentation (when the pain went from bearable to excruciating) indicated chest inflammation, but they I described how the pain moved when I went from sitting to laying flat, that it was liver/gallbladder.

So really we never did find out what was wrong, but the pain is much better after being immobile for 4 days and doped up. I am now resting at home, trying to move around but not over do it. The pain is back to bearable, I am just dizzy. I go back to the doctor on Friday.

The plan is to request all of my records from my ridiculous hospital stay and take them to a liver specialist for a second opinion just to make sure.

My poor kids were shuttled everywhere and were so stressed. At one point Bubba screamed at me on the phone: "I am so angry! I am so angry mom!" He apparently crumpled up a picture of me and daddy and also asked Ma-ma if I was going to die. Poor guy. It was really hard to hear him so upset.

I felt awful for the roller coaster ride we put family and friends through, but you never know what to tell people or if you should hold back until you know more. So to family and friends, I am so sorry you had to worry along with us. The amount of support we got with the boys and all of the prayers and well-wishes were amazing. We are very lucky to have that kind of support and love in our lives. And as someone else said, gave my dad something else to think about, so all of a sudden he started doing much better. I guess there's always an upside! I also know to tell my OB that hormonal therapy might not be the best way to address the hormonal issues I have going on.

Good news, for now I am OK, no surgery is needed, and I am back home. And a word of warning: hope to God you never get admitted to a hospital on a Friday afternoon.


Niksmom said...

Oh my word! Ange, I am so sorry to hear about that nightmare experience! I sure hope they figure out what the heck is causing your pain and make it go, yesterday!

Mrs. C said...

This is awful! And if I'm reading right, it still isn't all solved. Or paid for. And wow, getting back into shape is gonna be tough. I hope your kiddos have an "easy" week *somehow*.

nellieoleson said...

Yuk. Unexplained pain is the worst. Feel better. -Kelly

Stimey said...

This is horrible. I am so sorry to read this. I hope you get answers soon, and I hope your pain decreases past "bearable." :(

And your poor little dudes.

Take care of yourself!

Shephali said...

I hope you're feeling better. And know that we're along for any ride you share with us -- that's what friends do for each other. Love ya and we'll chat soon! I'm not bugging you until the weekend :-). SG

Sarah and Jack said...

Oh man. I see the previous post says you were coughing a lot? When I was pregnant with the Jack attack I got this damn cough that wouldn't go away. I coughed for like 6 weeks and suddenly I had a terrible pain in my left side. I kept telling them something was wrong, and a million x-rays and tests later and still no source.

Then one night I sat up in bed, coughed, and finally cracked the damn rib all the way through.

I told them I thought my ribs were broken and they couldn't find it until like 2 weeks later!

(And that sucker hurt for a long, long, long time. I hope you have a better outcome.)