For your convenience a glossary of terms is located at the bottom of this blog
As the weekend came to a close, I kept noticing black stool[i] which was unnerving but only a major concern if I happens multiple times. This is the case for me, because I bleed often. As previously stated I was exhausted this weekend, and a lack of blood will do that do you. The stool and tiredness continued into Monday morning so I packed up an overnight bag and had my dad drive me to Urgent care. After explaining my situation they dropped by about an hour later to start hooking me up with IVs and a heart monitor.
My right arm was set up, and everyone was pretty calm about the whole thing… until I asked for a barf bag.
Within a manner of moments the taste of popcorn filled my mouth as a fountain of blood spewed forth to the unprepared receptacle. It turns out, when you vomit blood, shit gets serious, fast. Within five minutes, I had an 16 gauge[ii] in my left arm, and more heart stickers for the next heart monitor. The paramedics were right and ready to go, they threw me on a yellow mat to make sure if I vomited again, I would make a mess of things. The most interesting part of all of this is that somehow…somewhere the idea that I have C.DIFF[iii] came into play.
Which required everyone to wear protective gowns and gloves, I just assumed it was because I was bleeding profusely and have Hep C. In either case, upon arriving at the ER I expelled the remaining contents of my stomach; there was…a lot…of blood. As I was wheeled over I was introduced to my ER nurses. Wait, I want to say something here… my ridiculously hot ER nurses. They began the transfusion and gave me some things for the pain. At this point it gets really hazy; they transferred me to the ICU, and as the number of drugs in my system increased, they performed the upper endoscopy[iv]. During the endoscopy they found six bleeders, which resulted in six bands[v]. Every time I swallow I feel the tension against the bands. I was lucky enough to have another excellent nurse in the ICU, and in all my time at hospitals she was by far the best.
Recovery the next day was a blur of sleep and pain medication, my concept of time here is completely garbled. The next nurse on my final morning was unfortunate, besides being late, mixing up my drugs, leaving the door open and locking the bed so I was stuck in the upright position, I think the only part I liked about dealing with her was leaving.
I’m glad to be home now, it was a hell of an ordeal, and I get to go back in two weeks and have another upper endo, hopefully, without the blood loss this time. J
[i] Black stool is poop that contains a large amount of blood, typically denoting bleeding from the GI tract.
[ii] The gauge denotes the thickness of the needle, the higher the number; the smaller the needle, 16 is typical for transfusion.
[iii] C Diff is this nasty bacteria that resides in your colon and messes with your colon and stomach if you don’t naturally have it.
[iv] Upper endoscopy is when they fill the stomach with “air” use a camera and tool to cruise down the esophagus and correct any bleeders.
[v] Bands are tiny little elastic bands that deteriorate over time, and are attached to bleeding varacies, they basically tie them off causing them to fall and regrow properly.