20 July 2011

A Rough 10 Days

The last week and a half has not been so good, hence no updates in that period.

I started the TPN 8 July, and after a visit from my GI consultant earlier that day, he seemed happy for me to go ahead and eat whatever I liked so long as I did not make myself too sick. Of course, after not eating any solid food for nearly a month, I was keen to try eating something. So I indulged in some mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner, Rice Krispies and bread with jam for breakfast, and more mashed potatoes and a yoghurt (if I was feeling hungry enough) for lunch over the course of the weekend. As far as I remembered, none of these types of foods had really bothered me prior to my admission to hospital, and I thought they would be OK. But I was wrong. By that Sunday afternoon, I was fighting some intense nausea that even the oral Cyclizine wasn't helping to quell. When I'd asked for it previously, it'd worked surprisingly well, especially compared to other oral anti-sickness I'd tried in the past. When it came time for another dose of anti-sickness, I smartened up and made sure to ask for intravenous Cyclizine. Not only was I hoping it would be stronger, but I had just been sick when I rang for the nurse, and I didn't think I could keep the pill down long enough for it to work.

Intravenous Cyclizine is amazing. Not only does it work well on the nausea, but when it first hits my bloodstream, I get the weirdest high from it. It's like everything in my body relaxes, and I could just blissfully fall asleep for a bit. It also makes it incredibly difficult to concentrate on a task for about the first 30 minutes it's in your bloodstream. Things like trying to message friends via phone, read emails or even talk to other people become a bit more work, and the falling asleep for a bit becomes the best option. Actually, spacing out and staring at the TV is also good, especially with some of the mind-numbing things that are on during the day.

After asking for Cyclizine pretty regularly for the past week, the doctors finally ended up prescribing it as a regular drug for me this past weekend. Yes, that's right, even though I've not touched any solid food since the weekend of 9 July, I've been fighting nasty abdominal cramping/pain and nausea ever since. Today is actually the first day in that time I don't feel horrible (touch wood!). Fingers crossed things will stay this way.

My GI consultant met with some colleagues at the Royal London Hospital to discuss my case and essentially get some second opinions on my behalf. The consensus is that I  need to have surgery. However, I need to get my nutrition under control and start gaining weight first. Since this could take time, he is looking into transferring me to another hospital that is part of an NHS trust that has a program for administering TPN at home. He said it is also likely that I would have my surgery at the same hospital since they are more specialised in treating patients with digestive problems. I think I'd just be happy to leave this hospital for a bit to see some of the outside world; getting treatment to get on with life would be icing on the cake.

As an aside, and getting back to the original intent of this blog, the BBC recently published an article titled Americanisms: 50 of Your Most Noted Examples. Essentially, readers submitted American words or phrases that have seeped into British culture that really annoyed them. This was my favourite submission:
"14. I caught myself saying "shopping cart" instead of shopping trolley today and was thoroughly disgusted with myself. I've never lived nor been to the US either. Graham Nicholson, Glasgow"
Disgusted with yourself?! Really? Perhaps I should be disgusted with myself for adopting British-English spellings and using mostly British-English terms for things, essentially giving up my identity as an American? At least I'm holding onto my American pronunciations for words like "aluminium" and "laboratory."

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