Oct 17, 2012
Some of you are friends on Facebook with me and have followed along the past couple months of what happened to me. Some of you might not know and wondered where I been and how come there haven’t been any updates on my blog. Long story short I was in the hospital in Australia for several months where I almost died.
It all started on saturday night in early May. I got an email from my dad. My mom and him were on a cruise going around Australia. The email started with, “your mother had a stroke” my heart sank. I frantically searched for the emergency number for the cruise ship and called paying 9 dollars a minute to find out what was going on and what happened. After first calling the wrong ship, I finally go a hold of my dad and booked a flight out to Australia the next morning. The flight was 6am by the time I was done and off the phone with my dad it was 2am.
I woke up a couple house later and packed my bags. I headed to the airport and got on the plane to PHL and then to LAX. When I landed at LAX I got a call that my cat had died while I was in flight I was upset but I needed to travel on. I landed at noon at LAX and the Quantas counter didn’t open till 3pm so I had to wait 3 hours in the terminal until I could check my bags. After I checked in my flight didn’t leave till 11pm so I had to wait in the chairmans lounge for 8 hours. Longest wait of my life, but the plane flight to Brisbane was 14 hours, more waiting.
We got on the plane and then took off. I fell asleep about 3 hours in after watching the last season of mad men. When I woke up the captain was talking on the radio and I looked at my watch and we were 3 hours early wow he made great time. Then I heard the words “There was a medical emergency on the plane and we had to make the decision to turn around and head back to hawaii” Oh great. So someone had a heart attack on the plane, and we got diverted to Hawaii. When we landed the crew had to sleep for 8 hours and rest while the airline paid for hotel rooms for all of us until the flight took off later. It took us 3 hours to get our rooms. But I finally got a room took a break signed some IO’s and took a nap. We all them got bussed back to the airport and got on the plane and headed onto Australia, another 8 hours. When I finally landed in Brisbane it was wed at 2am. I had been traveling since sunday morning. They say things happen in 3’s well with my mom my cat and this guy on the plane that was 3 but there was about to be a fourth.
We were staying with some family friends and I went to see my mom she wasn’t doing well at all. She had a sub arachnid hemorrhage and they couldn’t find it at all. I visited her for 2 weeks everyday and one day I saw myself that was gonna be me in a number of years. Diabetes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, these were things I had already and they took their toll on her, and they were going to with me as well. I needed to do something I needed to make a life change for the better. Thats when I decided to has a gastric operation done.
I elected to have a gastric sleeve done and pay out of pocket for the whole operation. For those of you who want more detail I have embeded a video below describing what is done. You can see in the video below that basically they remove about 9/10ths of my stomach. I went for the consult on a friday and was scheduled for the OR on monday.
The day of the surgery I went and paid all the bills ahead of time and got prepped, I went into the OR or what they call the theater over there. When I came to I was in the hospital room with a drain in me and on a pain drip. I didn’t feel too bad but I was happy I made the change for bettering my health. The doc came in to see me said everything went great. He pressure tested the stitch line didn’t see any leaks and all was good. He wanted me to drink some green cordial which is like a sugar water drink they have over there, its like their koolaid. The reason he wanted me to drink it was to see if any came out in my drain, if you saw green in it from drinking the green cordial it meant there was a hole and the stomach wasn’t stapled correctly. When i went to take a sip I got this huge pain in my abdomen and it didn’t go away, it felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. It didn’t go away and they had to give me 15mg of morphine to help deal. The doc said it was normal and not to worry about it.
The next day I was released from the hospital. They took the drain out of me which felt like an alien was being pulled out of me, and I was released in the evening. I was told to start drinking clear fluids, broth and soup and stuff. Then I could progress in a bit to some soft stuff like apple sauce yogurt etc. By friday i was sick, I was very sick, I was weak, I couldn’t stand for long periods of time, I thought it was from being tired from not eating as much as I used to. I couldn’t walk more then 10ft without getting tired and wanting to sit or lay down.
I came back to the house we were staying at and barely made it up the front porch, I ended up getting vertigo and collapsing and hitting the floor on the hallway after slamming into a bench. You see I had a hole in my stomach, everything I ate for the past 4 days, my stomach acid, bile, etc festered in my abdomen, I had a sever infection. As I lay there on the floor I couldn’t breathe, I was hyper ventilating, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The EMT’s arrived and they couldn’t get a line in me, all my veins were flat, my body was shutting down, along with my organs. Three ambulances had to be called and one fire unit to lift me onto a stretcher to be taken to the hospital.
When I got to the ER/ICU they still couldn’t get a line in me, eventually after sticking me all over the place they got one in my arm called a pic line. It goes in your main artery in your arm and it traveled right to my heart and dropped right above it, they inserted a line a tube into my vein not like an iv an actual line to right above my heart. They tried desperately to get another in through my groin but they couldn’t that was collapsed too. Next thing I know I hear muffles and I’m out, completely out and wake up in ICU. Its been a couple days, I don’t know whats going on but I have a big scar with staples going down my stomach. It wasn’t there before, what happened.
The docs said I had a severe infection, if I had waited a couple more hours I would have died. They cut me open and pulled my intestines out of my body and cleaned me out. They said it was black and nasty, they said it was really bad. They then cleaned everything up put everything back in and stapled me up. At this point it had been a couple days. I had been under i didn’t know what was going on and I was so out of it. I was finally released from ICU and moved up to the ward.
When I woke up the infection was so bad I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t turn over in bed, I had 6 lines of stuff going into me. My IV tree looked like the the cords from one of my multi monitor setups. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, no food no water and it was this way for 4 months. It took me a while to build strength to walk again, to move on my own without anyone help, I usually needed two nurses to help me. This is where I stayed for close to three months. I had tests done every couple days, swallow tests, dye tests, blood tests, almost every day or other day. You see I still had the hole and the doctors didn’t want to go in and fix the hole, they tried to find it but couldn’t. They wanted my body to heal the hole naturally.
After 3 months in the hospital with my dad visiting my mom at one hospital and me at another in the afternoon my insurance decided to get me home. I was finally able to come home. After trying to figure out logistics, I was flown home in a private jet, a medial air ambulance. I hadn’t been so happy in the past 3 months till I saw the two guys with american flags on their flight suits walk into my room and tell me they were there to take me home.
We headed out to the FBO and boarded the plane stopping at various islands to fuel up then hawaii, to oakland ca, to nebraska and then finally to my home airport where we were met by an ambulance. I was then taken to the hospital and admitted there to see the specialists. A decision was made to have a feeding tube put in going past my stomach and into my lower intestine. I still had the hole at this point and I still hadn’t eaten or drank anything for the past couple months.
The hole ended up healing naturally, I am able to eat now and drink. It isn’t much and I’m a cheap date but its nice to be able to eat and drink again. As of this post I’ve lost over 50lbs and I’m losing more every couple days. My mother is doing well, she’s recovered almost completely. I really appreciate my dad in all this and how he was there for both me and my mother. He visited me everyday almost while I was in the hospital over there and I don’t think I could have been there alone without him. I will say this, thanks dad for eating those white chocolate tim tams and the cornish pasties infront of me when I couldn’t eat at all.
I’ll leave you guys with this, so many people spend all their life making money and neglecting their health and when they get older and start having problems they spend all their wealth to get their health back. I wanted to make a change I wanted to get healthy for the better. Sometimes we have the best of intentions but they don’t always go as we plan them to. Take care of your health its worth it.