Earlier this week, I had my first trip to the emergency room for Crohn’s-related issues (actually my first trip to the emergency room for any reason…I’ve been a lucky lady). I’ll begin by saying that I actually had a good experience at the emergency room, and am glad that I went. And I’m feeling better now. So here’s the story…
I woke up and had a normal breakfast, and soon found myself with major abdominal pain. For the rest of the day the pain continued and I couldn’t really bring myself to eat. Even drinking a little bit of water made me feel worse. By night time, I was dry heaving after drinking water, and the pain continued all night while I tried to sleep. I even took a Tylenol to hopefully allow me enough relief to sleep, which is basically unheard of for me (I have this philosophy that if I’m in pain, I want to feel it so that I know what’s going on in my body). Once the sun rose, I gave up on trying to sleep and tried having a sip of water. A few minutes later I was dry heaving again and this time green stuff came up (gross! the internet tells me this was probably bile), so I made my decision then to head to the emergency room. With Crohn’s and the drugs that I’m taking, I’d rather get things checked out than try to ignore scary symptoms and end up with a serious issue.
When I arrived at triage, they took my blood pressure and a blood drop from my fingertip for a glucose test. Within a half hour after arriving, I was admitted and they took a urine sample and gave me a bed. Then a nurse took blood, noticed that I was very dehydrated while she was getting my blood samples, felt my abdomen, listened to my abdomen via stethoscope and heard normal bowel sounds, and set me up for IV fluids (2 liters). The doctor came in next, and he also felt my abdomen. He said he’d try to talk to my GI specialist to check on her treatment preferences, but he couldn’t get a hold of her (she doesn’t work on Mondays and that’s why I went straight to the hospital instead of calling her). Then I was wheeled out to have X-rays of my abdomen and lungs, and wheeled back into my room where I was given an anti-nausea drug by IV. I was offered some morphine as well, but declined because by that time the pain wasn’t bad anymore.
After all of that excitement, I pretty much tried to snooze and read while the IV fluids got me rehydrated…but then a roommate arrived, who both loudly complained and threw up constantly. So I didn’t do much reading or sleeping with that going on on the other side of the curtain, but after 2-3 hours my IV fluids were all set. After a bit of waiting, the doctor came back and told me that the X-rays showed that I had a bowel obstruction at my terminal ileum (the area of my small intestine that has had the most inflammation and is narrowed because of that), but not too serious or I’d be constantly throwing up my guts. He gave me prescriptions for anti-nausuea medication and a hard-core painkiller and said they would fax the records of the day to my GI specialist. I left about 6 hours after arriving. Everyone that treated me was really nice, especially the guy who pushed me to X-ray and then offered me a ride home when he saw me waiting for Jeff to pick me up.