Home diet One Year Ago Today: The Illness that changed my life (Part 2)

Read Part one here

{Disclaimer} I’m about to get really real about the illness that I came down with last year, if you have a queasy stomach, or don’t like hospital stories, run away…now! I forgive you 🙂

Fast forward to 2am, I had puked everything I could. I was now dry heaving. The pain got worse with every single minute. I knew I should go to the hospital but I didn’t want to spend all night in the ER, I had class the next day! (Funny, how the mind works when you are in serious danger)

My husband found me lying on the floor of our bathroom with puke everywhere. He called my mom, 911, and the ambulance took me to a different hospital this time.

They gave me very strong pain meds when I got there, and after my scans, more and more doctors kept coming around me, and were whispering to each other. (I had later found out from my mom that they were deliberating on whether or not to put me in the ICU.)

It wasn’t a matter at all if I was going to be admitted. It was how long they were going to keep me.

Turns out I had gallstones that had formed in my gallbladder, huge ones, and one slipped into my pancreas. My pancreas then became inflamed from being blocked from doing its normal function and there was where the new pain came from.

The monster gallstones, however, was the prime suspect of all of my other trauma.

They put me in a 24 hour monitoring room, which I understand now was for my good, but being in a room with 6 nurses and 4 patients (round the clock), and nobody sleeping—is pretty awful. I wasn’t allowed to walk; I had a catheter put in and a constant fluid in my IV as I wasn’t allowed to eat.

I would not be released until my pancreas reduced to its normal size and my levels had regulated.

Day 1 I was ok. Day 2 I was ok. Day three I was so depressed. I was so tired of getting new IVs everyday, of not sleeping. I missed my son more than life. Because the floor I was on contained really sick patients, I couldn’t see him. I had never missed a human being so much. I told everyone not to visit that day because I just felt so so sad. Being away from your child is just torture, especially when you can’t do anything about it.

By Day 4, I heard rumblings of my release. They started me on a very light diet of jello and applesauce. Let me tell you, after not eating for four days, hospital applesauce is the BEST THING EVER.

By Friday afternoon (Day 6), I was released. I was to schedule a surgery to remove the gallbladder within 2 weeks. I was put on a no fat diet and sent on my way.

I was very hesitant about surgery and I researched every single alternative. I wanted to continue to work out! I was doing so well with my fitness…the surgery would sideline me for at least 3 weeks. And to be honest, I didn’t want to miss that much time from the gym! (crazy, I know)

I finally decided to go out on my own and find the BEST gallbladder surgeon in NYC and get booked with him! I did. However, he didn’t have any openings until 12/23, which sucked because I wouldn’t be able to eat for Christmas…but I accepted anyway.

On Thursday, December 16th, my department had training. It was a full, long day. I had been sticking to my no fat diet like no one else. But I broke down and had a mini croissant.

By three pm, (in the middle of training!) the familiar pain was back. My doctor was paged, and he told me to go to the hospital immediately, they would be doing the operation on Friday.

Going into any surgery is scary. This one however, happened pretty quickly (around 2 hours) and I was not in very much pain at the hospital (again, lotsa good meds). They made me walk the next day and asked me if I was okay to go home, I said yes of course, I knew I should have stayed one more day, but again, I missed my son.

When I got home, the real pain began. Just getting in and out of my bed, going to the restroom or to the fridge to get a drink were now impossible tasks. The pain in my abdomen was just awful. My job thankfully allowed me to work from home for a week while I recovered.

Just two weeks later I was on my feet again, fully recovered.

There were a few things this experience taught me:

  • Stop Running: I was so focused on losing weight, getting my certificate, volunteering etc etc that I didn’t pay attention to the warning signs my body were giving me.
  • Your friends may be there, and they may not: My best friend came and visited every single day, held my hand, and sat next to my bag full of pee. I will never, ever forget that. On the flipside, I also had friends that were lost during that period, friends that got mad at me because they could not understand they seriousness of my situation. I saw the best and worst of people at that time.
  • Angels do exist: Since I volunteer on my church staff, a mass email was sent to the entire staff (1800 people) that I was in the hospital and that I needed prayer. A woman named Andrea whom I have never met before, came and sat with me. She held my hand in the daytime when no one else was there. She listened while I cried. She prayed diligently with me. Every single day. She was my angel.
  • Misdiagnoses Happen ALL the time: I was misdiagnosed a total of three times before they found the source of my pain, a total of three times before my body decided to take matters into its own hands. All of the doctors were ridiculously confident in their treatments and I believed all of them. Keep investigating if something still isn’t right!
  • · Stay consistent: I think if I was more consistent in my treatments and investigation, I wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital and in so much trouble.
  • · Daddies can do it too!: My husband did everything for my son while I was in the hospital, I was so proud of him! He was an amazing support system for both me and my son. And when I got home our apartment was SPARKLING!

I am so thankful to have made it through when it could have easily gone the other way.

Thank you for reading my story.

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33 comments

Fatoutofskinny November 1, 2011 - 10:24 am

Glad everything ended up ok. Quite a journey!

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jaclyn.vernace November 1, 2011 - 1:17 pm

I’m glad that everything worked out! It’s crazy all the silly things that go through your head right before surgery. Good thing your not like me…I would have diagnosed myself with every life threatening disease known to man.

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Alida November 1, 2011 - 8:21 pm

I can totally identify with your story…it took a month for me to get diagnosed before finally having my gallbladder removed. It was such a relief to be done with all of the pain of the attacks. Surgery was truly a blessing!

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Nellie November 1, 2011 - 10:20 pm

Indeed! You are right it is a major relief!!

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Nellie November 1, 2011 - 10:21 pm

thank you so much! I was the opposite unfortunately trying to convince myself nothing was wrong!

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Nellie November 1, 2011 - 10:21 pm

Thank you!

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Singlemothersjourney November 2, 2011 - 12:47 am

Thanks for sharing this story. I should be doing school work but I stopped to read it (and the post before), and I’m glad I did. I’ve been having some problems myself lately and I’ve been putting off going to the doctor. Reading your story makes me want to go and stop being so stubborn. I know that had to be difficult for you. So sorry you had to go through that and hopefully all is well now. Take care.

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Mrs. Pancakes November 2, 2011 - 1:22 am

Oh wow Nellie…thank you for sharing your story! it’s so important when we don’t feel right to check it out…glad you are doing much better! i am sure this story will help someone!

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Jihane November 2, 2011 - 12:59 pm

Wow. That sounded like a horrible experience and I’m so glad you got through it. By the grace of God I have never been seriously ill, but if I were to ever experience something like that I will make sure to continuously get it checked out until my diagnosis feels “right” Thanks for sharing. <3

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Nellie November 2, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Yes, all is very well now. I will never *ever* hesitate to put my health first and neither should you! We have lives depending on us!

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Nellie November 2, 2011 - 2:43 pm

I sure hope so!

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Nellie November 2, 2011 - 2:43 pm

absolutely, the key is to stay consistent.

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Nellie November 2, 2011 - 2:44 pm

Yes, its like life all of a sudden becomes more important than health, and it should never be that way!

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Grumpy Grateful Mom November 2, 2011 - 4:33 pm

Oh, how scary! I’m so glad you found the right diagnosis you are OK now. And what a beautiful story about Andrea. I think some people are truly in tune with what others need–angels.

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Optimistic Mom November 2, 2011 - 2:23 pm

It is best to listen to the signs that your body is giving you….but I know we all try to deny things and put off going to the doctor. I am glad you finally got diagnosed correctly and are now better. Sharing this story is a good thing, you never know who needs to hear it.

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mommybags.blogspot.com November 2, 2011 - 8:21 pm

OMG thank god that sounded horrible glad everything worked out. The part with the friends sucks I know how that goes I had a major moment with my mom going through cancer and friends who I thought who are friends disappeared. It is moments like this in life were you see who your true friends are.

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Nadia November 2, 2011 - 6:50 pm

Wow that sounds super scary! I am glad that you are okay now. That must’ve been awful.

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Amanda November 3, 2011 - 2:06 am

omg! what a scary situation but thankful you got to the bottom of it and are feeling better!!! very grateful of you sharing your experience with all of us. i can imagine how hard the entire experience was for you.

it is unfortunate that peoples true colors do come out when you need them the most…

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May November 3, 2011 - 7:16 am

I read your disclaimer and got scared but finally decided to read the post…lol
So scary; I’m glad you got to the end of it. Thanks for stopping by my blog, i look forward being part of your blog..

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HarlemLoveBirds November 3, 2011 - 8:22 pm

Wow what a powerful story! Thank God you stuck to your gut feeling and you had angels surrounding you.

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 12:45 am

Yes, it was the most unexpected gift, especially the fact that she showed up when I was at my lowest point.

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 12:57 am

Thank you Nadia!

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 12:57 am

Yes exactly, it was a very eye opening experience.

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 12:58 am

Right! I was completely flummoxed I never expected that from some of my “friends”

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 12:58 am

Glad you read 🙂

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Nellie November 4, 2011 - 1:02 am

Thank you, yes, if I didn’t I don’t know where I would be!

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Misconceptiontothe hiddentruth November 4, 2011 - 12:53 pm

Your very strong and I can understand how scary this must have been… About 13 years ago the same thing happened to my mother. She ignored all the warning signs and one minute she was throwing up and begging for air the next, she was being cut open for emergency surgery. During her sugery to remove the stones, her gallbladder exploded letting out all those toxicants. If it weren’t for that doctor going pass his oath I wouldn’t have my mother today. It’s a scary thing but you had so much love around you that you made it through. After this I’m going for a check-up after work! lol

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Misconceptiontothe hiddentruth November 4, 2011 - 12:57 pm

Your very strong and I can understand how scary this must have been… About 13 years ago the same thing happened to my mother. She ignored all the warning signs and one minute she was throwing up and begging for air the next, she was being cut open for emergency surgery. During her sugery to remove the stones, her gallbladder exploded letting out all those toxicants. If it weren’t for that doctor going pass his oath I wouldn’t have my mother today. It’s a scary thing but you had so much love around you that you made it through. After this I’m going for a check-up after work! lol

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Megan (Best of Fates) November 4, 2011 - 4:26 pm

I’m so glad you made it through okay! What a scary situation.

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Deia November 6, 2011 - 12:32 am

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this. I have slow music playing and this made me teary-eyed but I am so glad that I read this (was it the slow music?). I will pay attention and listen to my body and angels. You have a wonderful husband and I’m glad you shared your story.

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Nellie November 6, 2011 - 1:48 am

Thanks Deia! Yes, paying attention is the most important thing you can do.

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Nellie November 6, 2011 - 1:50 am

🙂 Your mom’s story sounds insanely scary, and I am so glad the doctors proceeded with surgery regardless of the risk!! Check ups are very important, you never know what is going on in your body so you can never be too safe!

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Nellie November 6, 2011 - 1:50 am

Thank you!

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