A Liquid Diet, Sponge Baths, and a Drainage Bag Named Mary

Isn’t it crazy how in the blink of an eye your whole life can change?

One month ago today I was rushed to the emergency room and later admitted into ICU for ruptured diverticulitis (you can read more about that here). And one month later, to the date, I am still struggling. Let me explain…

After I was released from the hospital on June 22nd I did everything I was instructed to do. I stayed in bed (mostly). Ate the correct foods recommended for those who suffer from diverticulitis. I took my antibiotics. And I went to my follow-up appointment. Everything seemed to be going well as I was no longer in pain and the swelling in my side had decreased.

But all of that changed when I woke up on July 6th to tenderness and slight discomfort in the same location as before. I also began to experience flu-like symptoms of chills, nausea, and body aches. Everyone advised me to call the doctor but because the pain wasn’t “as intense” as before, and due to our foster princesses adoption hearing scheduled for the next morning, I refused. I was afraid if I called they would want to admit me again, and y’all, my little girl has waited years to hear a judge tell her that her last name will be Kearns and I just couldn’t take that away from her. She had been looking forward to July 7th for weeks and even referred to it as her “special day”. So I took some pain medication, crawled into bed and talked to Jesus about the gift of healing He had for me and how much I needed to open that package.

Unfortunately six days later, the pain became too much for me to bear that I found myself no longer in my bed talking to just Jesus about my healing, but now a hospital bed talking to a doctor about it as well. As it turns out a new CT scan had revealed a large abscess had formed on my colon where it had ruptured three weeks prior, and in order to possibly avoid surgery, I was told a tube would need to be inserted inside left section of my abdomen in order to drain out the infection.

No biggie, right? It’s just a tube, right?

Yeah….

I realize most of you don’t “know” me (as in, reaalllly know me), but let me just throw it out there that I have never had a cavity, or a broken bone, and I can possibly count the number of times I have had a splinter. Therefore to be told a tube would be inserted inside my abdomen (while I am awake) sent me into orbit! And I made sure everyone knew it. I begged to be sedated but according to the doctor’s, nurses, and radiologists, it could create more complications, which understandably so, they were trying to avoid. So instead what did they do in order to calm my nerves was tell me “not to worry as it was a simple and routine procedure with mild discomfort that would take just a few minutes.

But friends, my dear sweet friends, words cannot even begin to describe this hour-long  “procedure” and the recovery afterwards. They said it would be mild discomfort…but those were lies. All lies!

My body shook uncontrollably.

I was dripping in sweat. Yet cold.

The pain…oh goodness the pain! It was and still is indescribable.

I felt like a watermelon was growing inside of me.

And my heart was beating out of my chest.

My blood pressure felt as though it was plummeting (but wasn’t).

There were tears.

Lots of tears.

And more tears.

(*Note: this all occurred after I was back in my room)

But I am happy to report that after only 3 nights in room A507, I am now at home, in my own bed and wearing my own gown. (Side Note: Have you ever thought about the stories those hospital gowns could tell if they could talk? Ay, yi, yi)

You might be wondering (or maybe you could care less) how I am doing since coming home and let me just say that recovery has still been hard. My left side, where the tube is inserted, is very tender. I have to flush it 3 times a day and while it doesn’t “hurt”, it is uncomfortable. I also have trouble getting in and out of bed alone, which means I basically need a babysitter at home in the event nature calls. Furthermore, I am not allowed to shower (pinches nose), so sponge bath it is. My dad, who is amazing and deserves an award, or a Father of the year neck tie, comes over to wash my hair while my husband has the unfortunate task of washing me with a soapy rag. He says he doesn’t mind, but let’s be real….

As far as my diet, it consists of chicken noodle soup, Jell-O (strawberry is my favorite), applesauce, saltine crackers, and canned peaches. I also have to drink a Boost with every meal (vanilla is where it is at) in order to get as many nutrients as possible. I am on day 8 of this diet and so far the side effects I am experiencing are visions of fried chicken legs dancing in my head and moments of rage when I want to punch my husband and steal the bowl of cereal he is eating. I also can’t stop thinking about hot dogs (I know, gross), pizza, or even eating a lettuce leaf.

I know it sounds horrible but I choose to look on the bright side of things and so far, that bright side is this: Soon, unlike most of you, I will no longer be a lying fool as I will be down to my driver’s license weight…the weight I probably wasn’t even at when I got it. And even if that doesn’t happen, I can at least say that I stayed on a diet passed breakfast.

#winning

I have also decided to put into practice the ol’ proverb that says laughter is good medicine. For instance, a little fun fact about me…I like to name everything. Therefore I would like you to meet Freddy (see picture below). Freddy was my IV buddy. For three days we went everywhere together. The last IV friend I had when I was admitted 3 weeks ago was Herman (Hermie was his nickname). I had trouble finding a name for my disgusting drain bag but then I decided on Mary…as in Bloody Mary. But we will just call her Mary as to not frighten the children. And no, I am not “friends” with her like I was with Freddie or Hermie. Instead, we can best be described as “frenemy’s.” You see, I truly appreciate her ability to help, it is so nice of her, but I do talk bad about her and I can’t wait for her to no longer be a part of my life.

(I hope the feeling is mutual because if it is, she might get her job done faster.)

Furthermore, in addition to naming my medical devices in order to keep things interesting, I have also coined a new phrase at my house when someone or something is being a major pain in my side and it is this:  “Don’t be such a Mary!” or “She/He is being such a Mary!” Get it? No? Never mind. Moving on…

As far as the next step in this crappy (no pun intended) journey, me and Mary will hang out together until Friday, July 21st, in which I will have a repeat CT scan to see if she has done her job in a satisfactory manner and drained all of the infection. Also at this time, I will be able to see if the hole has closed. Annnnd this is where I need your prayers!

From my understanding, a hole in your colon does not typically close on its own and surgery is almost always performed so that they can cut out the section damaged. Based upon my reaction to having a tube inserted into my abdomen, one can only imagine my fears, tears, and often times bouts of screams in regards to having sections of my colon cut and discarded. I mean…I kind of like my colon…and we are kind attached (once again, no pun intended). Not to mention, I was told there was a high probability I would also need a colostomy bag for a year until the colon would no longer be super mad (aka: inflamed) and ready to be reconstructed.

And so this is why I writing this post and sending out my SOS.

I ask…no beg…that you not only pray, but your sister, your brother, uncle, aunt, Pastor, dad’s best friend from college, your annoying (or maybe not annoying) neighbor, the sweet old lady you see every Sunday on the front row pew of your church, and anyone else you might share Earth with, to also pray that when I have my next CT scan, the abscess on my colon is completely drained and the hole can no longer be found.

This bump in my already bumpy and infertility pot-filled road has not only been hard on me but also on Mikayla (our 6-year-old foster princess whom we just adopted last week). She is confused. Obviously scared. And as you can imagine, misses her normal routine. We don’t tell her much about the situation, however kids just have that hunch when something isn’t right, ya know? And right now, she has that hunch. She also isn’t staying at home but rather with my parents; and because they live 30 minutes away, I am only able to see her when my mom brings her by for a short time during the day, which goodness y’all…it’s just not enough. I miss her. But at the same time, I know that I can’t care for her and sometimes even being around her high energy, Chatty-Cathy-sweet-self is simply too much as it doesn’t help me rest and heal.

Therefore back to my request…

Can you perty please (pretend I am on my knees) have everyone you know with a pulse pray and in faith believe in my complete and miraculous healing? I am standing on Isaiah 53:5 which says that by His stripes I am healed. I love that this verse doesn’t say I “might” be, “could” be or “can” be healed, but it says that I am. And by golly if Jesus took a stripe on His back for my diverticulitis rupture, then I want to receive it and walk in it.I want to be a vessel used to show the mighty healing hand of God. But if not, I declare today that He is still good.

Thank you all so much! Me and my family appreciate it more than you will ever know!


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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24 thoughts on “A Liquid Diet, Sponge Baths, and a Drainage Bag Named Mary

  1. I am praying for you! Things with the colon are so hard! I have Crohn’s disease…not the same as diverticulitis but a lot of the same complications can happen with your condition as mine. Please please please…when they tell you that you can advance your diet, move extremely slowly! I know it’s so hard to not eat foods with substance but it’s very difficult for your colon to manage food with the damage it has. Boost and ensure are your best friends(best served cold with a straw as I’m sure you have found out 😏) I have found with the damage to my colon, the slower I move with foods and testing out new ones…the better. I pray you feel better soon and you heal up well in there!

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  2. From someone who had surgery with younger children…clue them in! Without being too gross of course! Give them the expected time line that you have. This relieves their stress! To not clue her in is to be behaving like Mary! 😉 But yes prayers added on your behalf! God speed on your recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have clued her in. She knows where i have been…she knows (abd has seen Mary) and she knows that while i cant get up to move, I am okay. We just don’t allow her to see me in this condition all day, every day as she says it makes her tummy hurt.

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  3. Oh you poor thing. I’m a nurse and when I worked in the hospital, I had “patients like you” all the time. And you know, it’s so humbling reading about hospital stays from the perspective of the one in the bed. We as nurses tend to not really delve too much into the emotions surrounding a hospital stay and what the person has to go through. It wasn’t until my own six day stay in the hospital with my daughter that I truly “got it.” So I’m praying for you love, for healing both physically and emotionally from all this. Sending you a hug.

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    • Oh, girl! Don’t get me wrong, my nurses were amazing! They were right there with me all the way. When i came back to the room from the procedure they did everything they could to help.

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  4. Oh my friend, this sounds beyond miserable. I’ve been having my own undiagnosed gut issues (not as sever as yours) and it’s just miserable. Also my dad had part if his colon removed due to canacer and didn’t end up needing the bag as they were able to reattach everything during the initial surgery. I’m despertly hoping you can also be so lucky. Anyways, I’m hoping you start feeling much better soon! Sending all my love.

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  5. Praying for you!! Colon’s are so sketch…so necessary, but when things go wrong with them – the payment can be pretty dear. I pray for full healing and recovery – and then reunion with your sweet girl! Hang in there, and take care – abiding by the rules will hopefully help you to heal completely, and with speed.

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  6. Be gentle and kind to yourself during this time. It is so hard to do when you have others you need to care for, but make sure you take care of you right now as it is so necessary during your recovery. Prayers are being sent your way from WI!

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  7. Keep believing in miracles, because they do happen! When I had my colon removed, the doctors constructed a “j-pouch”…basically a fake holding tank so that my ostomy could be reversed. About 2 months after my surgery, I got really sick. Turns out the j-pouch had torn and everything was leaking into my body. They discovered this on a barium study, there is a live video of it. Yes, when the doctor went in to see whether they could repair it or if my previous surgery was all for nothing, they couldn’t find anything! No word of a lie, doctor after doctor came in to try and find it. A fake mechanism that was man made, can’t just fix itself…that was God right there! So prayers will be sent your way!! I ended up with other complications down the road and kept my ileostomy, so if you do end up with a “Gucci bag,” feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

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

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