But that is not the case.
I hadn’t been feeling well for a while. Nothing I could put my finger on. No specific complaints…. at first.
Then about eight weeks ago I got a sinus infection with an infected ear as well. No big deal. Dr gave me antibiotic. It was Zithromax. If you’re not familiar with it, this antibiotic is an excellent one, with only five days of dosing. (I love that: Two on the first day followed by one a day for five days! )
All was great until the fourth day. Although I’ve taken this medicine before with no problems; this time was much, much different. Suddenly I started having horrible bouts of diarrhea. (Yep, I’m actually talking about THAT! But bear with me because you are not gonna believe what happens over the next eight weeks!)
I called the doctor &, of course, she said to discontinue the medicine. Ok. I’ll be fine in a day or so. Or so I thought. TEN days later, it’s the same situation! So I thought that since the antibiotic actually continues to work for ten days, that’s what was causing all this. And, what do you know, after about twelve days it’s gone & I’m fine. YAY!
I was good for about four days. Then it all started again. What the heck? Now I was taking Imodium regularly. I closely examined what I’d been eating & what I was taking as far as medicines, supplements, etc. Then I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that this episode was due to the fact that when I first became sick I hadn’t ordered one of my supplements that I’ve been taking for so long I didn’t even remember how long I’d been on it. It had to be a withdrawal symptom from not having it. (Hey, it’s possible!)
Perhaps now is a good time to mention that I was a Nurse many years ago & that we, in general, are NOT good patients. We love to diagnose ourselves, treat ourselves, & don’t like to bother the doctor too much. Well this time it almost cost me my life!
So I ordered the supplement & began to take it. Viola! The diarrhea subsides. Feeling rather smug, I proclaimed to family & friends that I was better.
Until it started AGAIN & this time it didn’t stop! By now every time I ate, I was running to the bathroom. Eventually even a bite of food sent me running. But at least I was drinking fluids! I realized that I was losing more fluids than I was taking in so I drank lots & got some Gatorade too. All the things they tell you to do. And I was still taking the Imodium. But taking way more than I should. Which I DO NOT recommend anyone doing! There are serious side effects when you take more than directed. But by this time I wasn’t thinking right. I’d gone through many boxes of this stuff since this all started. It didn’t help at all now.
I called the doctor again. She ordered a lab test for C-Diff & blood cultures. The C-Diff comes back negative. Blood cultures were clean, no bacteria. Well that’s good.
I waited for another two weeks & went to the ER. They hung one bag of fluid (think I could have used about five, seriously!). They did another test for C-Diff & cultured my blood, again & sent me home. A few days later they called to give me the results: C-Diff was negative & blood cultures were clean. They told me I might want to try some Imodium. Gee thanks. The ER doctor said he would treat me for C-Diff anyway because sometimes it just doesn’t show up in someone has had diarrhea for so long. He prescribed another antibiotic, Flagyl.
So I was drinking the liquids & taking the med. NOTHING was helping. I’m weak. I know I’ve lost a good bit of weight but will probably just gain it all back when I’m able to replace the water. (Darn!)
Another week goes by. I had become so weak. Not taking fluids well. All I want to do is sleep. I didn’t know what was wrong with me & I didn’t care – Just fix me!
After I’ve slept straight for a day & a half, hubby called the doctor & talked to her personally. She said to go to the ER & tell them she wanted me to be admitted. That’s all well & good but she’s not on staff at the nearest hospital. So they say, “We’ll see.”
They did all the tests again. Same results. But this time they did other labs plus an CT scan of my abdomen. My pancreas was enlarged & my pancreatic enzymes were elevated quite a bit — Diagnosis: Pancreatitis! I’m admitted to hospital. The only problem is I didn’t have ANY of the symptoms of pancreatitis! My admitting doctor thought that was weird too. So he decided to dig a little deeper, do some blood cultures & do some additional tests as well. By now they’d mostly stopped the diarrhea, but I was so dehydrated that they were concerned about my heart! I was put on a heart monitor & given major doses of potassium via IV as well as some magnesium.
My admitting doctor called for a consult with a surgeon to do a colonoscopy, which Id never had before. I wasn’t thrilled but we had to know what was going on in there. It really wasn’t bad at all. They have this wonderful med they give you & the next thing you know, you wake up in the Recovery Room.
The surgeon came in the next day & gave me the news along with full color photos… I have ulcerative colitis! I was sure he had to be mistaken. But then again, there were the pictures & he’d taken biopsies to confirm exactly what type of colitis it was & those would be back in a few days.
How does this happen? Why? Why now? I never had anything like this before. If anything I’ve always worried about an opposite kind of problems. Good Grief! I cried.
UPDATE: I’m better now but tired a lot of the time. Even after I was re-hydrated I’ve lost a total of 23 pounds. It IS ulcerative colitis. I’m still learning about this whole thing. I’ve found out that now I’m allergic to eggs & dairy products although I’ve eaten them all my life without incident. It’s very strange to have your body suddenly change. They say they don’t know why this happens. It can start as a child & sometimes stop in adulthood. Or it can start out of nowhere when you are a mature adult & just stay.
I found out after I was home for a few days that the doctor had told my family that if I had not gone to the ER that day, I probably would not have made it through the night. <Gulp!>