I have no idea how to even begin to explain everything that has happened over the last several weeks, so I thought I would construct a timeline. I want to remember all of it (although I’m pretty sure I will even if I don’t write about it). Some of it may be TMI, but I’ve lost all sense of modesty when it comes to bodily functions. 🙂 The timing of this post is brought to you by Prednisone, which keeps me up at all hours of the night.
October 12: I started to experience diarrhea but didn’t feel too bad and managed to run a 5k the next day.
October 16: I was still having diarrhea, but this is the last day I truly felt well. I ran 4 miles that night.
October 18: I started to feel worse–nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite.
October 20: While in Memphis celebrating my upcoming 31st birthday, I ran a fever.
October 21: Made my first trip to convenient care and was told I had a UTI. I still don’t know why I didn’t argue with that diagnosis, but I have never had a UTI before so I trusted the doctor and took the medicines he gave. He said for me to come back in 2 days if I didn’t feel better.
October 23: I was not better at all, so I went back to convenient care. At this point, I experienced abdominal pain every time I walked or even just stood up. I was sent for a CT scan, which showed that my colon was inflamed. I was given 2 different antibiotics to treat the infection (Flagyl and Cipro).
October 24-26: I still felt bad but tried to work and retain some sense of normalcy. At this point Stephen was pretty much handling everything at home.
October 28: I went back to convenient care and felt like I was going to pass out when I stood up when my name was called. The doctor ordered stool cultures.
October 30: The doctor called and told me I had tested positive for C diff. He increased my dosage of Flagyl and discontinued the Cipro.
October 31: I made it through about 30 minutes at our church’s trunk or treat with Charlotte and then felt completely horrible the rest of the evening.
November 1: I established care with a primary care physician, who told me I needed to give the medicine a little more time work.
November 2: I ran fever and got sick to my stomach that night and felt miserable all weekend.
November 4: Charlotte fell and cut her ear, requiring a trip to the hospital. She had to be admitted so the plastic surgeon could put 12 stitches in her left ear. The whole experience was awful in itself but was compounded by the fact that I felt like I was dying the whole time we were waiting in the triage room. I even talked to the doctor there about how I was feeling, and he advised that I just go home and rest. Even though it killed me to miss my baby’s surgery, I also knew I just didn’t have the energy for it.
|Snuggling with Daddy in the triage room|
|Smiling even at 1 a.m. the night she was admitted|
November 5: Charlotte came home, doing really well given the circumstances. My mom, however, determined that we were going back to the emergency room and that someone was going to listen to me about not getting better. We got there at 2 p.m. and did not get called back to a room until 9 p.m. It was the longest 7 hours of my life, and I went to the bathroom literally every 30 minutes. My pulse was 118 (as though I had been doing a light cardio workout), and my potassium level was dangerously low. I had a repeat CT scan that night, and my colon was still inflamed. I was admitted into the hospital.
November 6: My doctor in the hospital, Dr. Lofton (whom I really liked) decided to repeat the C. diff test, and it came back negative. I never had C diff, but I had been treated for it for 2 weeks. On this day I also met my GI doctor, Dr. Szych (it was a God thing that he happened to be the one on call because I had previously had an appointment to meet with him on November 7). I worked on eating with my right hand, since I couldn’t bend my left arm due to the IV being there (they had started it in my right arm initially, but it stopped working while I was still in the ER).
|My dinner one night. Yum.|
November 7: I had a colonoscopy (never thought I’d have THAT before age 50!). Dr. Szych felt pretty certain that I had ulcerative colitis, but he wanted to wait until the biopsies came back before he confirmed this. I was started on IV steroids.
November 8: The biopsy results confirmed a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, and Dr. Szych told me that I have a pretty moderate to severe case. After being on a liquid diet since being admitted, I was thrilled when I was allowed to have soft foods at lunch this day, but my stomach didn’t tolerate it, so I went back to full liquids at dinner. In other news, I don’t recommend pureed egg.
November 10: This was a good day. I got the IV in my left arm removed , so I was able to use my left hand more freely, and I got to take a shower using both hands. My sweet nurse that day also brought me a large sweet tea from Chic-fil-A, which was amazing because the hospital tea was basically brown-colored water. They placed the new IV in my right hand, so my mobility was much improved. I was on the same floor as the newborn nursery, so I took short walks in the hopes of catching lots of baby cuteness, but I think I saw about 3 babies the whole time I was there! Selfish mommies must have kept them in their rooms with them all the time. 🙂
November 11: I was feeling some better and hoped I would get to go home, but the doctors decided I needed one more day.
|Snuggles with my baby.|
November 12: I was finally discharged! I got home around 5 p.m. and got to miss the hospital’s meatloaf. I am taking Prednisone and another medicine called Asacol, which I have to take 3 pills 3 times a day.
|Lots of pills|
It has been quite the roller coaster since I have been home. I didn’t feel significantly better the first few days, and on Friday I actually went back to convenient care because I felt so dizzy and weak and had lost 14 pounds just since being home, but all my lab work came back normal. Sunday, however, I think I finally turned a corner. I went to church that morning for the first time in 5 weeks, and on Monday I even worked a half day of work (though it completely exhausted me). Charlotte is also doing better, although she has understandably been super clingy. After not seeing her for the better part of week, I will take all the snuggles I can get!
Some might look at all of this and think I have very little to be thankful for, but I couldn’t disagree more. This whole experience has given me an entirely new understanding of the Lord’s goodness and mercy in my life. He has more than made Himself known to me in my time of deepest need, and I know now more than ever that He is true to His promises. I have said more than once that if it took all of this for me to see God reveal Himself and refine me in this way, then it was all worth it, and I would do it all again. The love of Jesus has seen me through this, and the love of Jesus can see you through whatever you too may be facing. I can’t tell you enough how much you need Him. I can have the healthiest body in the world, but if I don’t have Him, I am lost. If you have questions about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, please comment or email me. I would love to tell you all about Him.
10 thoughts on “Through It All, I See His Love”
Oh my goodness, Erin! I had no idea things got this bad for you. I am so so sorry, Erin. I'm so glad you're feeling better. What a terrible thing to happen. I'm going to that look to read more about your diagnosis – is it something that will eventually be cured or is this something you will have to live with?? I hope the first one. God bless you.
That is a long time to not feel well especially with a little one at home! I hope you get better soon!
Heather, yes, it is a chronic condition. It can only be cured if my colon is removed, and while that does sometimes happen, I think that is a last resort measure.
Wow! I'm so glad you are feeling better!
By the way, I thought of you – I was reading a new health/cookbook I bought, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, and there was an entire section on what to eat to heal ulcerative colitis! And I thought, I know someone who has that! It was bit strange because I have never heard of that and then twice in 2 weeks.
So glad you're back at home!
My momma has battled Crohns disease her entire life…and reading your story of misdiagnoses and doctors saying “Give the medicine time to work” sounded a lot like her story. I'm so happy you finally have a definite answer. You can't manage something until you know what it is!
I have a really testy digestive system, and while most things I eat cause mild pain, it is manageable. I have only had two excruciating “flare ups” in my lifetime that I believe are due to Crohn's, though I've never been officially diagnosed.
All that to say, I'm glad you posted this blog entry, because I'd been getting partial bits of the story here and there through instagram/fb but I wasn't sure what was going on. Your positive attitude is contagious, and while we don't know each other super well, I'm happy I know you.
God is good, and you are an inspiration. 🙂
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