ICU, Diverticulitis, and a Colostomy Bag

Tap…tap…tap…Is this thing on?

It’s been weeks since my latest blog post in which I left you hanging with my OvuSense Review and I apologize. My presence on my social media Facebook page, Waiting for Baby Bird, has also not been as active, for that I also send my regrets. But I have a good reason. I had a medical emergency that I am still struggling to recover from.

On Father’s day, June 18th, I went to the emergency room at 10am with severe abdominal pain and by 2:30pm I had found my way to the Intensive Care Unit due to diverticulitis in my colon that had ruptured, therefore sending my body into the beginning stages of sepsis. Many people have asked….”So what happened? Did you have any warning signs?” 

And the answer is no…or at least I don’t think so.

Saturday evening (June 17th) around 5:30pm my left side began to feel bloated with a dull, aching pain. I shrugged it off and thought maybe it had to do with a new prescription medication I had taken just an hour earlier. Or perhaps it was “just gas.” And the thought that maybe I just needed to “drink more water” crossed my mind.

Regardless, I thought nothing of it.

But within two hours that dull, aching pain had me in fetal position. I couldn’t sit up. I couldn’t lay down. I couldn’t do anything to get comfortable or relieve the pain. The warm bath didn’t help. The four Tums I frantically chewed and swallowed didn’t work. The Pepto I chugged didn’t make it better. And the prayers I prayed didn’t seem to bring me relief.

By 4am, I was not only in excruciating pain (a mix between intense gas cramps and a pulled muscle), but I also had flu-like symptoms (nausea, weak, dizzy, chills, sweating).  My husband kept begging to take me to the emergency room but for someone who rarely goes to the doctor, let alone the emergency room, I just couldn’t bring myself to make the hour-long drive for possible “gas pains”. Besides who wants to pay thousands of dollars for someone to tell you that you just need to go home and poop? Not this girl.

However by 9am, with tears streaming down my face, and my Daddy stroking my hair as I lay helpless in bed, I agreed it was time. And friends, I am so thankful I didn’t wait even another hour.

My emergency room visit was nothing like I had expected. After waiting only 15 minutes in the general waiting area,the male nurse called me back to his small office and after he took my vitals, in which my blood pressure was 80/58 and my heart rate a whoppin 122, he stood up, whipped my wheel chair around and through the double doors we went!

As he walked very briskly down the hallway I heard him order a team of nurses to room 24 where a glucose test and EKG were needed ASAP. I will never forget it. I expected room 24 to be small where I would need to wait once more for the doctor to mosey on into, but nope. Huge room. Lots of machines. Big table. Five nurses charging in behind me. One taking my shirt and bra off as another one helped me onto the bed. There was a male nurse to my left telling me not to be alarmed as he would be pricking my pointer finger. Then as I looked to my right I saw another nurse putting in an IV, while one more was close to my head smashing stickers all over me.

As I lifted my head to find Dan, my hunky husband, I saw him sitting in a chair up against the wall with my purse on his lap staring straight ahead, as if he is waiting on a bus. I am not going to lie, it kinda made me giggle as I put my head back down and closed my eyes. I just couldn’t believe I was topless in a room full of strangers all because of “potential gas.”

But friends, it wasn’t gas.

A CT scan revealed that I had diverticulitis and it had perforated. Many of you might be wondering…what is that? And I get it because until this happened I had no clue either. Basically the condition starts with diverticulosis, in which small pouches begin to protrude from the walls of the intestine. If the pouches became inflamed and infected, the condition becomes diverticulitis, and it is accompanied with symptoms such as abdominal pain, tenderness and nausea. At this point, there is a risk that an infected diverticulum could rupture, leading to perforated diverticulitis. And friends, this is what happened to me. Mine ruptured and the infection began leaking into my abdomen causing me to go septic. Typically when this happens it requires emergency surgery for treatment.

However according to the surgeon on call, he was afraid that due to the severe inflammation of my intestines, if he were to perform immediate surgery I would need to wear a colostomy bag for 6-9 months (maybe longer) due to my colon possibly crumbling when he would try to sew it back together. No beuno! Thankfully his conservative approach of pumping me full of strong antibiotics, combined with morphine and a clear liquid diet for 2-3 days worked. *Sorta*

As of today, nearly 3 weeks since my luxurious five-day hospital stay, I am no longer on the medications as the infection is gone but I am still in a lot of pain despite bed rest and sticking to a “soft food diet”. In the upcoming weeks I will have my first colonoscopy at the ripe ol’ age of 33 in order to see the extent of the damage and if parts of my colon need to be removed. It’s crazy for me to think about…ya know, having a colonoscopy before I even have my first mammogram.

According to the doctor’s this is an “older person’s” problem and I am one of the youngest patients they have seen with this issue. Go figure, right? It appears I have the egg quality of a 60-year-old woman and the intestines of an 80-year-old grandma. Not to mention, this also hinders me from being able to conceive and shatters my dreams just a little bit more. But all that aside, the purpose of me even writing this blog post is tell you this: I need you.

Every single one of you.

I need your encouragement. I need your well wishes. But most of all I need your prayers. I have had far too many meltdowns over the last few days as I worry about what is ahead. I have never had a cavity let alone surgery, therefore I ask that you pray for God’s grace in this situation as the surgeon doesn’t find anything that would cause concern and therefore require parts of my colon to be removed, or a colostomy bag to be part of my daily wardrobe (because let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time for surgery. Not to mention, colostomy bags aren’t exactly cute. And if I were being honest, I struggle thinking about being intimate with one…Ay, yi, yi!) However, despite my feelings and fears, I know that regardless of the test results and regardless of the outcome, God has me in the palm of His hand. He is faithful and I have no reason to be anxious or to worry about what the future holds. He already knows the beginning from the end and because He is true to His word, I know that He will use what the enemy is meaning for my harm, to somehow and in someway come together for my good. Therefore I will cling to one of my favorite verses which says, “He will fear no bad news for his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord.” ~Psalm 112:7

On the bright side (if there is one), I have lost 12 pounds on the “grilled cheese and Miralax diet” and I have finally been able to see what all the hype was about in the TV series, “This Is Us.”  Wow! What a great show! I have also binge watched Desperate Housewives (I know, probably not the most appropriate) and caught up on all my emails. Or so I think…if you have messaged me and I haven’t responded, please send it again!  Chances are it got lost in the mix.

Thank you in advance for your support, encouragement, prayers and well wishes!  Each one keeps me going!


I would love to get connected with you on a more personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on Facebook, or come follow me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!

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60 thoughts on “ICU, Diverticulitis, and a Colostomy Bag

  1. I’m praying for you sister. Lord Jesus, we just ask that just as your body was that Elisha’s body is. Your body was perfect lord. And we can claim that for ourselves. We claim healing in Elisha, from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Lord we ask for knowledge for the doctors and nurses that treat her. For herself and family to be knowledgeable for her health and decisions. Lord we ask for complete healing and miraculous test results. Lord she has your favor, she is your child and you are her protector. Protector from any sickness and harm. Thank you lord that we can ask you for these things, thank you for always being with us and loving us through these tough times on earth. We love you lord Jesus. In your holy name we pray, Amen! 💗

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  2. Colonoscopies aren’t that bad (I have them every five years due to pre-cancerous polyps and a famoly history of colon cancer). The clean-out is the miserable part!! If they give you the horrible stuff I had make sure you have warm drinks on hand as I was freezing from it which I later found out is very common.
    Wishing you a very quick recovery!

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  3. Praying for your healing. Take care of yourself. Because those babies are on the way! Warmly, Camelia

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are in my prayers!! I sure know how scary this situation is. We have messaged a few times back and forth on Facebook and I know I have mentioned all my past issues but seriously I am a professional (unfortunately) when it comes to colon problems. I had my colon removed in 08 due to Ulcerative Colitis (which now they think I was misdiagnosed and it was Crohn’s all along) and had a ileostomy for about a year. I had two different surgeries that allowed them to remove the ileostomy and I could once again have a somewhat “normal” life.
    I have also had more colonoscopies than I care to count and I do have on tip that has helped me tremendously. My Dr. lets me drink the Mirilax instead of the nasty stuff so that makes it much more doable. Some doctor’s will and some won’t but it is worth asking because I simply can not drink that nasty stuff.
    I will be praying for you and please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or need anyone to talk to. I have been blessed to be able to share my story with others and I feel that is a mission God has given me. I will be glad to share my tips and tricks I learned during my surgeries and time with a bag.

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  5. Praying for you! This is scary, for sure, but you’ve got this. This time last year my sweet sister-in-law was in and out of the hospital every week or two because of her Ulcerative Colitis. Finally, I can say that she is healthy once again, but the road there was long and heartbreaking. She had an ostomy bag for many months, three major surgeries (a few exploratory), her colon removed, and new internal mechanisms built to get rid of the bag (and not the end of the road for her to conceive!). It was awful to watch her go through it, but she made it- just as you will move through this with God’s love and healing. Thinking of and praying for you ❤

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  6. Elisha! Absolutely praying for you and I’m so sorry you are going through this! If you’ve never listened to the song “Take Courage” by Kristine Dimarco of Bethel Music I would recommend it! Praying God’s strength over you!

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  7. Girl, your humor keeps me laughing and your faith keeps me inspired. You got this and of course, you are on my prayer list. I’m so glad you are feeling somewhat better. May your recovery continue to improve. Hugs to you sweet friend.

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    • Thank you so much! I am not worried at all about the colonoscopy itself…that should be a breeze. Its the results, possible surgery, and poop bag that i am anxious about.

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  8. I am praying for you, Elisha. And I have been praying for you. I started following you on FB right before this all happened.

    This is scary stuff, but our God is bigger and stronger than all of it. Lifting you up!

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  9. I am sending you hugs! What an ordeal. I hope things will now go better and the results won’t be as bad as you worry. You are not 80 years old yet!

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  10. Dear Jesus,
    tonight I lift up our dear sister Elisha, who has been such a source of encouragement to us as we all battle together. But today, she needs the encouragement. I ask that You would just love on her and shower her with Your perfect joy and peace. I ask that You would touch and heal her body, because You are the Great Physician and You know better than anyone what her body needs, because You formed it with care and purpose. Please bring her comfort and rest and perfect healing, so she can be ready for the next miracle, which we all humbly ask would be her little Baby Bird.
    In Your faithful name we pray,
    Amen.

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  11. Prayers your way!
    I am 28 and I had a colonoscopy in January. Oh man! Apparently, I had a panic attack when I woke up the first time and have no recollection of it. What I do remember is crying like a small child when I woke up. In all fairness, I know several people who have had them and they wake up fine. I had a mini panic attack in the shower the night before. The thought of anesthesia freaks me out! Must have something to do with my desire to control things hahaha

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  12. I can’t believe this, how scary! So glad you went in when you did and got the care you need. I am sending my support and encouragement your way along with prayers for your health and healing!!!

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  13. I am so sorry you had to go through all of this..I am praying that through the blood of Jesus your body is healed from this and you are a living testimony of His miracle!

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  14. What a scary situation! I can’t even imagine! I’m praying for you and know that the lord definitely has big things in store for you. Keep your head up and go Day by day-before you know it, it will be in the past. Thinking of you!

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  15. Sending prayers your way! I know it is not easy to go through abdominal surgeries and colonoscopies. I was sick when I was younger and have had more than 10 surgeries and plenty of colonoscopies and other tests you don’t even want to know about. But what I do have to say, is there is nothing wrong with the so called “poop bag.” I actually call mine my Gucci bag. And am so grateful for mine because without it, I wouldn’t be here today. Ostomy bags are not gross and they don’t cause any problems in the bedroom either. As my hubby says, it is a part of me, it’s no different than my arm. Try to keep a positive outlook. Everyone is different and unique. I’d like to think that I am not gross just because I have an ostomy bag. And even with my ostomy bag and having my large intestine removed, I was still able to carry a healthy baby boy. There are positives in everything 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It truly does help. Its not that i think it is gross, its just a big change and hard to wrap my brain around. I am sure if i were to need one i would eventually get used to it.

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  16. Hi! You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog as my husband and I struggled through the “fun” of miscarriage and infertility. Last year he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He now has a bag and though he is still adjusting to the idea of having it for probably the rest of his life, he is adjusting. It does not prevent you from doing anything. It just takes time to adjust. Hang in there. Colon issues can be a long and unexpected road, but there are huuuge and unexpected good things in the journey that you may never have experienced otherwise as well. I know I’m speaking from the spouse perspective, so that’s different. I so identify with your husband sitting in the ER with your purse, looking like a deer in headlights. It is a helpless feeling to watch your spouse suffer and you can’t do a thing about it, and you can’t even believe any of it is happening in the first place. Anyway, I just want to share with you that there is light at the end of the long tunnel and just today we got the news that my husband is still cancer-free, which means we can continue pursuing adoption! So just keep clinging to Him, ok?

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    • Oh, hun! I am so sorry you also know this similar road. But goodness! Your outlook is amazing and I soooo appreciate you sharing your experience with me. I have been told i have a loooong road ahead of me and to be honest, it terrifies me. I think right now i am just in the stage of shock and soon it won’t be so terrifying to me for surgery, etc.

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      • Oh gosh I’m sorry. We were told the same thing about the long road and I just kind of sat there numb. But you do get through it one day and sometimes one moment at a time. Sounds like the bag is happening?

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      • Not sure. I was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday and on thursday they put a drainage tube into my side in order to drain the absecess. I will have this drainage bag until the 21st. At that time i will have another CT scan to see if the abscess is drained and hole closed. If not…surgery 😦 Please pray for me.

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      • Kevin had an abscess as well and had two drains inserted to clear them. He also had two fistulas, which sounds like what you have. Praying for you and your husband. I know it’s so scary but our God is so present every single second.

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      • The drainage tube was awful going in and the recovery immediately following was terrible. So far they haven’t mentioned a fistula. Would a CT scan reveal that?

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      • As I understand it, a fistula is the same thing as a hole in your intestine, which is leaking intestinal contents into your abdomen. It sounds like for you this is the hole that they are hoping will close soon without surgery, which was the exact same thing that Kevin and I went through. I’m so sorry that the drain tube recovery was awful. Anything that goes through your abdominal wall or your ribs is very painful. Kevin found some relief with a Lidocaine pain patch, so if pain is what is awful, you might try that. Girl, I am sooo sorry. It’s a very hard thing both physically and mentally. If you want to email, I’m at seefrml@yahoo.com. I also re-posted our adoption website below as I think the first link I posted was incorrect, just so that you can see a little more of who we are (and that we’re not weird ;)….ok, maybe a little weird….ha!). Praying for you, and I don’t mean that in a cliche way….I do somewhat know the pain you are going through as I saw it through my husband. We are walking with you.

        Michelle

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  17. I think of you often and I’m so very sorry I read this has happen. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Your kindness during a very tough time is a testament of the amazing person you are. Keep us updated ❤️

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  18. I have had two friends, not “old”, go through this exact thing. It’s a rough road, but you can handle this. It’s a small blimp on the radar and before you know it, it will be a memory of the past. Hang in there and prayers to you.
    PS – On Facebook this morning, procrastinating on doing the dishes, I stumbled upon a local fertility clinic (I wasn’t looking, just one of those paid ads that seems to seek out those who try to hide all signs of needing it). For whatever reason, I pushed over to their page and dead center was a blog you had written: The Only One with Infertility. I thought “hey, I follow her! That’s cool!” 🙂

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    • Oh my goodness, they did?! Did they have to do the surgery? Since this post i have been back in the hospital and had a drainage tube inserted into the abscess on my colon. I find out Friday my next steps. Eek.

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      • They both did., actually. Similar stories but I think it hits genders differently. My guy friend took forever and a day to bounce back, but he did. My girlfriend, seemed like just a few weeks. She had a colonoscopy as well. She stays away from certain foods now, per her doc’s request, but has continued on without much thought.

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      • He did, she did not. (Maybe that’s why it took him some time to recover.) I wish I had something to tell you to relieve the anxiety but I can’t speak to his experience (other than he’s doing great) as he was super embarrassed about that fact and kept quiet.
        Side note, just remember FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.

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  19. Pingback: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Back to the Hospital I Go | Waiting for Baby Bird

  20. Pingback: As It Turns Out, I Don’t Trust God. | Waiting for Baby Bird

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