Thursday, December 21, 2006

All The Gory Details

*Warning: Post below is long, grimy, detailed, shocking, sickening and not too full of the Christmas spirit. I have decided to allow a few days of feeling sorry for myself and being pissed off at the world until I can surround myself with friends and family who can help me lessen the pain of this whole experience.

Okay…I’m sure you all remember my ectopic pregnancy of just last month. Since the day I spent in the ER getting the injections that were to “get rid of” that pregnancy I have been going for weekly vampire sessions to determine that the drugs were doing what they were supposed to and that my hcg (pregnancy hormone levels) were going down as they were supposed to. Each week following those visits I get a phone call from my specialist’s office telling me that my numbers are going down nicely and that there is no need to come in for an appointment – just go for blood work the next week to ensure that all is still well.

This past Saturday afternoon I’m on the phone with a friend when I begin to get cramping in my lower abdomen. It’s pretty painful but after about 15 minutes it goes away. I brush it off as something that I’ve eaten that my silly body is not agreeing with. A few hours later I’m making dinner and wham! All of a sudden I get hit by another wave of cramps – only this time it’s worse – within ten minutes I’m swearing and crying. The husband calls and says he is just leaving work – says I sound funny. I tell him I am in some pain and just want him to come home.

Twenty minutes later he comes in to find me panting on the couch, supper is turned off and I’m moaning and trying to stop crying. He immediately goes into nurse mode and says he’s taking me to the hospital. My specialist has always advised me to call his office and speak to the doctor on call before going to the hospital should anything like this happen.

I call the office and am hooked up with the paging service, they tell me the doctor should get back to me shortly. He calls me about 6 minutes later and I tell him I am in severe pain and it’s all in my left lower abdomen, where the ectopic was, and I’m scared, should I be going to the ER? He asks if I have any Tylenol with codeine in the house, says take 2 and to call him back if I really feel that I need to. In short, he makes me feel like a real hypochondriac for calling him at all.

The husband gives me a couple T3’s and after another 45 minutes of rolling around on the bed and a lot of tears, the pain subsides and I fall into a fitful sleep.

Sunday morning I wake up, my abdomen is sore but I don’t feel too bad and manage to do some stuff around the house and go out to the drug store and pick up some Tylenol 1’s in case I have more pain today. While I’m out walking around my stomach begins to hurt more but I chalk it up to the fact that I was in so much pain the night before that this is just the aftermath. I get a few more cramps throughout the day but am fine until later that night.

The husband goes to bed at around 10 pm that night. At 11:30 I am yelling at him from the living room couch to come help me. He comes out to find me writhing in pain on the couch, and I ask him to warm up the hot water bottle so that I can put it on my abdomen. I pop two Tylenol 1’s and lay there. At this point I can’t walk. After 45 minutes I drag myself off the couch and half crawl into the bedroom. I figure I’ll feel better after lying in my own bed. At 2 am I wake hubby up again – telling him that I can’t take it anymore – I’m having trouble breathing and the pain is not going away. He is up in two seconds, pulling on clothes and telling me he’s taking me to the ER. I struggle into some clothes, stagger part way down the hall, dive into the bathroom and puke. Ten minutes later we’re pulling into the ER parking lot.

We walk in, the nurse talks to us, I explain what’s been going on with the whole ectopic thing and she says to sit down until someone calls us. We sit down for 10 minutes, I tell Chris to grab me a garbage can because I’m going to puke. He does and I do. After I’ve been wretching for 3 minutes the nurse comes over and tells me I can’t puke in the garbage because those pails are meant for other things and she takes it away from me! She’s lucky I had stopped for a moment or otherwise I would have puked on her.

They put me into a room where I have to explain again why I’m there, then tell me that they’ll have an IV hooked up shortly with pain medication and Gravol to stop the nausea. Whatever, I’m just moaning and trying not to pass out at this point. The first nurse pokes me 3 times trying to put an IV in, tells me she’ll be right back because she can’t do it. One hour later I poke my head out of the room and she’s standing there at the desk. I say “Is someone coming in here? I can’t take this anymore.” She tells me that whoops, someone was supposed to be coming but they got sidetracked. But not to worry, the doctor is seeing me next.

I turn around and sit on the edge of the bed, start to heave and the doctor walks in. I will not go into the details of this doctor - I will only say that if I would have been in my right mind I would have ripped him to shreds. Not only did he give me a lecture on coming to this ER (which is two minutes from my house) instead of going to the one downtown because they have a gynecologist on call all night, but he also made me tell him again why I was there. He didn’t stop questioning me while I puked in my hair, while I puked on my gown and when I ran past him into the bathroom. He stared at me in total disgust and finally said “Ew, let’s see if I can get someone to help you.” Then he walked out while I was standing there wiping tears from my eyes and trying to stop puking.

Twenty minutes later another nurse came in and got an IV started on the third try. Within half an hour I was passed out from all the fluid, Gravol and Morphine being pumped into my body. I vaguely remember Chris coming in and me telling him to go home because they were keeping me until sometime the next morning.

At some point Monday morning a nurse came in and told me that I was going for an ultrasound at 12:15. I was so sore, yet so high, that I just told her whatever, that sounded good to me. When Chris came back to the hospital I told him what was going on and he decided to wait with me until they came to take me for the ultrasound.

When they wheeled me in for the ultrasound I was kind of sitting up on the stretcher. Of course I had to lay down for the exam so the tech fixed the stretcher so I could lay back. As soon as I laid back I got a case of cramps so bad that I couldn’t breathe. She helped me sit up and it took 10 minutes for me to stop gasping for breath. From the second I had walked in the hospital I hadn’t been breathing properly – it ended up taking over an hour to finish the ultrasound - then, as per usual, I was told that I would have to make an appointment with my specialist after I was discharged to get the results.

About half an hour after I get wheeled back into my room a nurse comes in and tells me that I will be able to go home soon and I say I’m not leaving without pain killers. She says that’s fine and I lay there with Chris waiting for them to come in with my discharge papers.

Twenty minutes go by and we hear a lot of mentioning of my doctor’s name in the hallway. All of a sudden another doctor comes in and says it turns out that we’re not going to be able to avoid the surgery, the tube has ruptured.

Um, pardon? What tube? What surgery? A nurse just told me that she was sending me home with pain killers 20 minutes ago. Suddenly that same nurse is back in the room telling me that they’re moving me to a quieter room and that my surgery will be in an hour. Looking back at that now, I was in a total daze from all the drugs and I just remember saying to Chris “Can you go call my mom and tell her what’s going on?” She was in the city with her brother shopping and I knew she would want to know. Chris said okay, and that he was calling his mom and dad too.

All of a sudden my mom was there, and Chris’s sister and her boyfriend were there and my mom was tearing up and telling me good luck and Chris was crying and telling me that he wished he could switch places with me and I was telling him he was silly and that everything would be okay. I was so messed up that I didn’t even have time to get scared.

Then they wheeled me away to the pre-op room and Chris and my mom were there with me. My surgeon is a colleague of my specialist and he walks over to the bed and says “your tube has ruptured, the baby is still growing, I don’t know if we can save the tube.” And then I started to cry and I couldn’t even look at my mom or Chris. I signed the paperwork and they wheeled me away. I vaguely remember talking to the anesthetist and all of a sudden I was waking up in a hospital room and my mom and Chris and my in-laws were there. I vaguely remember one of them telling me that the doctors had to remove my fallopian tube before I passed out.

I found out Tuesday that the baby has been growing in my tube all this time. My hcg numbers have been going down, but nowhere near as quickly as they should have. Everything I have read says that within the first week if the numbers aren’t going down properly I should have another shot of the medication. So I had a 10.5 week old baby growing in my fallopian tube and no one told me. It turns out that when I had the surgery there was close to 2 litres of blood in my abdomen. If I would have waited until Monday I would be dead. The shitty part is that I found this out from my mom and Chris, who heard it from my surgeon after my surgery – not even from my own doctor.

So now I’m at home popping countless pills to get me through the day, my stomach looks like I have been beaten, I have to take a nap after being awake for 2 hours because of how much blood I lost and now I have an even lesser chance of having a baby.

Never in my life have I felt so little faith, especially in the medical profession. I am sick both mentally and physically at the fact that I slipped through the cracks and had it not been for Chris and I finally deciding that something was not right – I may not be alive right now. There are so many questions swirling around in my mind, ones that I'm hoping my doctor is thinking of some damn good answers to while he is away on holidays.

* Whew, how was that for depressing? I’m sure that by next week I will be feeling better and have a much better outlook on this whole situation. Thanks to each and every one of you for all your kind thoughts and prayers again. Your love and support mean so much to Chris and I.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God kept you alive for a reason! Don't give up hope or courage :) I'll be praying for you guys.


ps please call me if you need anything - Zig has my number (or email me!)

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This clearly illustrates negligence and possibly malpractice. As broken as our medical system is it allows for use of a law suit compensate you for your pain and suffering as you were ignored as some complaining and over emotional woman.

This infuriates me.

I am so sorry you had to go through this.

Now….how did you happen to have some T3 around the house??? That is good stuff.

Blessings to you at Christmas.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In the US it is common to sue anyone and everyone. Here in Canada, we don't do it as often (especially because our medical system is so different than yours). But, maybe Ali can look into it!

9:12 AM  
Blogger mr zig said...

Hey Ali! -

We miss you at work! - but, don't worry, Cat in The Hat is doing your work for you... :)

As bad as all this is, at least it happend last weekend, and not this weekend - (christmas) - Hope you manage to have a fantastic christmas!

9:16 AM  
Blogger scrapbookingguru said...

I am so saddened that this has happened! I am will be praying for you and Zig..

May the God of comfort be with you always...


10:57 AM  
Blogger Amos said...

Ali, I am so sorry. I wish I could be there by your side to give you a hug, cook you a nice meal, and wipe your tears. I know that you have family there but my heart is just broken for you and I would love to be by your side to comfort you too.

I know that Canada's medical system is much different, but I totally agree with Reggie. If any medical professional did that here in the US, they would lose their license to practice medicine. I cannot believe that you were treated so poorly twice.

My prayers for you continue day and night. There is a song that we sing at church sometimes, the words are, "God will make a way, when there seems to be no way" It may seem dim to you know, but I know that He can make a way for you and Chris to have a baby. Just Believe.

Love you!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Logziella said...

OMG! That is SO wrong! That should have never ever happened to you! I don't understand why your doctor's office did not 'catch' this with your blood draw visits. I can't believe that you were treated that way from your own doctor's office and then again at the hospital! That definately warrants some looking into and demanding answers from those doctors!! Sometimes they get too arrogant and forget they are dealing with REAL PEOPLE here! I would pursue that if I were you girl. I am glad you are doing better now. Things need to start looking up for you...REAL SOON! I sure hope you have some good quality time with your family this Christmas. Give Chris a hug too...I am sure this has all been hard on him watch you in pain and everything.



12:39 AM  
Blogger James said...

Hi Ali,

Sympathies for this terrible thing that has happened to you (which is due in large part to your doctor's negligence). We'll be praying hard for you Ali in this little corner of England.
I hope you and husband manage to salvage something nice of this Christmas and that at least the pain part is over.
Chin up girl. If I was there I would punch you on the shoulder the way guys do to each other. I think you are a very brave person. You have my respect.

2:08 AM  

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