A person laying on their side, coming from their midsection is a set of clock arms.

Passing Time in the Hospital

Crohn’s is a tough disease. It starts out of nowhere. I had no issues before that horrible November 2006 night. When I was first diagnosed, it was pretty much under control.

I went for a scope and then was given pills to regulate it. My Crohn’s was in remission. It wasn’t about six months later that I had symptoms due to Listeria. That really dragged my Crohn’s out of remission and into a whirlwind of problems.

Admitted to the hospital for Crohn's

When all of my options were up and I was admitted to the hospital or what was supposed to be a five-day stay, I had no idea that my body was so depleted.

I don’t remember the first few days after the fourteen-hour surgery. I know I was in the ICU for a few days. An interesting thing happens to your body. Your bowel actually goes to sleep. It literally has to wake up.

Too much output after surgery

After the third day in the ICU, I was moved to the regular floor. I remember looking down at my ostomy site and seeing that there was a lot of waste in the bag. I didn’t think much of it. I thought that a lot of stool in the bag was a good thing. I was wrong.

Apparently, my fecal output was way too much so my colorectal surgeon had a few tricks up a sleeve. He first started me on Opium liquid. 

This was supposed to slow down my bowel, which would slow down the output. It really didn’t work. We also did a few other medicines that would help slow down the output. Nothing worked. It looked like I was not going home. I had to find things to pass time.

I needed to find ways to pass the time in the hospital

As I was finding things to pass my time, my doctors were finding ways to lower the output. They decided to stop my food and drink intake. Even though it was not enough to begin with, they thought that being NPO was going to help. That is when things started to really go downhill.

They started me on TPN, which is nutrition through a PICC line, in my arm.

I could not taste anything, and they were using this to give my stomach a rest. I was starting to lose my mind, as I was always hungry. I had to find things to pass the time. The bad thing about the PICC line is the infections that come from them.

Increased complications and a longer stay at the hospital

These infections are because of the sugar added into the line. This causes infections. When this happens, the doctors have to pull the PICC line, and culture it to see what grows. The symptoms of the infections were 104 F fevers, rickets, and total exhaustion. This was the start of even bigger problems.

I started having trouble breathing. I had gotten a very bad staph infection. I also got MERSA. This was the beginning of my breathing problems. I remember the night before being put on life support. I really was out of it and was confused. It must’ve been the medicines. Was I going to make it out alive?

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