They’re In My Corner!

” I’ll give you the sedation now. It will take effect very quickly.”  The Doctor had two syringes in his hand. The needles were very long. But I knew they would go right into the IV in my arm. I would not even…….

Wait!  I must start at the beginning.

Friday.

I had my lesson with Belinda and we worked on the canter pirouettes and the canter half pass zig zag from the Intermediare 1 test. At the end of the lesson we decided that doing that test for the Eastern Canadian Championships was going to be a stretch and decided to just enter the local Championship as for that I only had to ride the Prix St. George. Doing the Inter 1 at a schooling show  would be ok but not Championships with Olympic level judges. I was happy with this as it meant I could still ride before those judges but do it with a test Biasini and I are confident with.

After dinner I got a stomach ache.  I took a couple of Tums. Went to bed and slept till 3am. Stomach ache was worse. More Tums. Not much effect.

Saturday

Got up and had a small breakfast that did not sit too well. Went back to bed. Got up at lunch time but just had some chamomile tea.  By 3pm I made the decision to go to the ER. As some of you may know I have a colostomy following surgery for colorectal cancer 18 years ago. With an ostomy you do not want to “wait and see” with stomach pain in case it indicates a blockage.

My husband David and I go to the hospital that is 20 minutes away. I go through Triage and then register. I am sitting in the waiting room with the others who are waiting to be seen. All regular ER Saturday afternoon stuff: a kid with an ice pack on his forehead, an older man with a not stopping nose bleed, a woman vomiting,  all the usual things.  I start to feel nauseous.  I ask David to get one  of the cardboard kidney dishes as I think I may throw up.  He brings it just in time. I retch a couple of times, then a hoark and then ….then I vomit bright red, fresh blood. Blood. Bright red just like they have in the movies and I always think it looks too red to be real.

“That’s not good,” David says . He takes the kidney dish, brings me another one and takes the blood filled dish into the triage nurse , ignoring the fact that she is interviewing another patient. She looks at it, stands up and calls another nurse who comes over to me with a wheelchair. I get into the wheel chair, throw up more blood, and am hastily taken into an ER room.  A Doctor will see me. Less than a minute later the  Doctor is there and starts to ask me questions. Then she tells me they will hook me up to IV fluids ,will take blood and will call in the Internal Medicine doctor.

I throw up again. This time is it blood and bile mixed. I take that as a good sign although I have no knowledge to base this on. I vomit again and it is only bile no blood.

I have blood taken , I am hooked up to IV fluids and also a medication to block the acid in my stomach.  I am asked several times if I take anti-inflammatory medications . I say no. I am asked how much alcohol I drink. I say very little and not on a regular basis.

Some hours later I am moved to a room in a different area of the ER. This is the area for people who are not ambulatory and who will be staying in the hospital.  The pain in my stomach is now severe; it didn’t like the throwing up activity. I ask for pain medication and I am asked to describe the  pain. “It is like someone has stabbed me with four sharp knives,” is my reply.   A doctor is sent for . I give her the same answer. She prescribes morphine which is added to the bags of IV fluids that  are going into me. Within minutes the  pain begins to subside.

I fall asleep.

The Internal Medicine doctor comes to see me. He goes over my medical history which includes few interesting things but no history of stomach ulcers.  He tells me I will be admitted to the hospital when they can find a bed ,they will do more blood work, take x-rays and do a gastric scope.

I have stopped vomiting.

When the nurse asks me if I would like to go to the bathroom I say yes and she gets a wheelchair. I think I can walk. I stand up. Wrong! My legs do not belong to me anymore. I sit in the wheelchair and am happy to have her help to get onto the toilet.  I realize I will not be going to that horseshow in two weeks.  Even if I get better quickly I will have lost fitness enough to mean I cannot be at my best.  But relatively speaking that is a minor issue. Minor! In my mind I am thinking……do I  have an ulcer? How could I have an ulcer just overnight like that? Do I have stomach cancer? What is wrong with me?

Midnight. David goes home and I go to sleep. I am in a room by myself and the  hospital is quite quiet. This ER is not an inner city ER and even on a Saturday night things are not too dramatic.

Sunday

The first bed that comes available for me is in the Palliative Care ward.  I do not really notice this as I am wheeled in to a nice room with a bed by the window.  I am feeling much better. No nausea, no vomiting, no pain(and no pain medication!) and I am able to walk around the ward pushing my pole with the IV bags. I notice that all the  other patients are considerably older than me and I am a Senior Citizen myself.  I am the only patient walking around the ward. In the lounge the people I see are clearly friends and relatives of the patients.

When I get back to the room I meet my roommate. We chat and she tells me she has been moved from a different ward on another floor. She tells me she has been pleading with the doctors for an assisted suicide.  After she tells me how diminished her quality of life is and how much pain she is coping with I can understand why she would choose this.

Sunday Night

There is a death watch in another room down the hall. It is quiet but I can see family members walking up and down the hallway long after visiting hours are over. Some are crying quietly.

I go to sleep.  Until….BEEP,BEEP,BEEP.BEEP!   My stomach medication IV bag is empty and the pump is relentless in its’ demands for attention. Nurse comes in and replaces it.  I cannot sleep. The sound of an elderly woman moaning and crying out makes sleep impossible. I think about the maternity ward.  How different the sound of the women in labor, lusty roars of pain and then the wondrous squawk of a new born baby. Life begins. Here a life was at the end of its’ energy.

The medical staff meet outside my room to discuss how to help the woman. “Oh, for goodness sake.” I say to myself. “Could you not go somewhere else or at least lower your voices or close our  door?”  My brain was churning  now. I wondered if they do not close the doors of the rooms in Palliative Care so they can hear the patients or …..or what ….I don’t know.

It was dark. I was not ill enough to be zoned out of what was happening. I tried to focus on meditation techniques and prayer but  they barely scratched the surface of the whirling in my head. I thought about my horse Biasini. I brought a clear picture of him to my mind and then I patted him on his neck just behind his ear. I could feel the softness of his coat and I told him what was happening but that he was not to worry because I was feeling better and would see him soon. I felt like he was there in the room with me and that saved my sanity that night.

Monday

X-rays, the  daily blood work and a visit from the Gastroenterologist  who would be doing the gastric scope. I had not been able to eat or drink anything other than clear fluids the day before and nothing by mouth  since midnight.  I was getting quite grumpy which I felt was actually a good sign. If I was deathly ill I would not care if I ate or drank. I was told I would be taken down for my scope at 1:40 pm. I was very grumpy about that and went for a walk with David to the lounge and grumped on about it for a good five minutes. David is a Saint!

At 1:30 pm, just as they told me the porter was on his way up to collect me, my phone gave a little “you’ve got a new text” ping. I looked and saw this wonderful photo.

20914732_1113834802051348_3078128500056717539_n

I almost cried. It was my Oakcrest Farm family. From the left: barn manager Carl Callahan, my coach  Belinda Trussell, my beautiful horse Biasini, friend Barb Sinclair, barn assistant Erin Haug and assistant trainer and rider Lynsey Rowan.

It was a good omen.  This scope was going  to be OK!  My Oakcrest Farm family was in my corner. They had my back.  And I had David who came down to the Endoscopy area with me.

I’ll give you the sedation now. It will take effect very quickly.”  The Doctor had two syringes in his hand. The needles were very long. But I knew they would go right into the IV in my arm. I would not even…….

I woke up and the scope was over. It was the best sleep I’d had in three days.  The  GI specialist came to see me and told me that they had not found any tumors, or an ulcer and that the bleed was most likely caused by a tear when I had been retching.  The  stomach inflammation was gone and any evidence of the tear was already healed.

What had happened? My personal theory, although not  backed up the doctors, is that I had an allergic reaction to a Whey protein recovery powder I had started using the previous week. That caused the stomach ache and nausea and some lower esophagus inflammation predisposing me to the tear.

I don’t have stomach cancer. I don’t have a bleeding ulcer . I am alive and well and although I may miss that Championship show I will be back and riding. I will say a  prayer for my roommate and for all those in that ward who are in life’s last struggle.

This is my response to this week’s Photo Challenge: Corner. It is also a true story of what happened to me this past weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

74 Comments Add yours

  1. NorCal Zen says:

    I hope you get all your strength back, and more, very soon! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      No worries I have come back from far worse! thank you for the supportive comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Array says:

    What a scary event. I hope you are back to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it was scary. I am feeling fine now. Medical profession does not have an answer as to what caused the whole thing but I’m going with the whey protein drink causing the start of the trouble! Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad that you at least have a suspicion so that you can stay away from the whey protein. I’m also glad that you’re better.

        Like

  3. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    So sorry to hear about that!! I’m sooo glad you’re doing better, and I love your positive attitude. ❤ ❤ Keep getting better!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Elizabeth. I am back in the saddle and my coach is working me just as hard as ever.

      Like

  4. I was so happy to read this. Your positivity is so wonderful and contagious. Get better, rest well and there will no doubt be heaps of chamionships in the future.
    Freddy and I send you invisible hugs
    Mel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much to both you and Freddy!

      Like

  5. Your post made me literally hold my breath.
    Maybe I’m just tired, or overly sensitive tonight, but I too, got teary eyed from the barn support picture. What a great support team you have!

    I’m glad the worst is over, and I trust that you’ll take extra care and be careful for some time…
    Some of the similarities between us are eerie, although I’m just a little bit younger.
    Some years back, I was put in the hospice room after a lengthy stay in Intensive care. Appendicitis, two major abdominal surgeries, an abscess, more surgery, followed by four blood clots in the lungs. I watched the other patients closest to me resign to not going home. Those months (because of course there were complications and I had to go back.), created the most profound change in me.
    Relating to your experience all the way – sending a hug now that it’s mostly over.

    (Sidebar – my body no longer accepts any gluten, whey, or any type of milk products in any form, and only limited grains. Took me a while to figure that out. Don’t take as long as I did.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my! That was a ghastly scenario for you. The whole abdominal surgery thing is a real struggle. I had the major one for rectal cancer and then a year later another for a blockage. But I got away without complications from either surgery. I also would agree that it changed my attitude to life and that has remained firm in the 18 ensuing years. This recent drama has taken the mental stuffing out of me a bit and I know that the Palliative Care ward contributed to that in large measure. The other patients were maybe 10-15 or more years older than me and I don’t want to look down that road. Also my husband had an older friend who had died in that ward two months ago so that was also tough for him. Anyway thank you so much for your comment I really appreciate it. All the best to you and someday we must meet up. Perhaps at WEG next year?

      Like

      1. You have gone through a tremendous amount of “life lessons”… Every time something like this happens, I think it makes us a little more compassionate, a little softer perhaps. And yes, a whole lot more scared.

        One day I’d love to come see you compete! Would be awesome – I don’t travel much because of my kids, but hopefully we can make it happen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I would love that too. Could you send the kids with their Dad to visit some of the other Florida sights and you could do some horsey things? There is the Winter Equestrian Festival with all the jumpers and hunters as well as Dressage. I hope one day you could do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That would be a dream come true haha! They could have a blast doing other stuff and I could go all out with the whole Florida horse scene! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad that you are okay, Anne Leueen! I will be praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much. I am on the mend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh Anne. This is so sad to hear about what you have been going through. Our thoughts and prayers are on you for a speedy recovery. What a great get well card from your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for your support it is much appreciated. I am feeling much better and almost back to normal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is good to hear. Please be patient with yourself! Recovery is a process as you well know.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Indeed. I am doing my best to appreciate the virtue of patience.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This is good. Patience is something we’ve been hard at work learning, lol. We’re optimistic.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. nelkumi says:

    Wow! My heart pounded fast, and I teared up reading this. Please do take good care of yourself. I’m sending you a cyber hug. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you for that cyber hug! I have had a lot of support from fellow bloggers and friends on Facebook and my real life friends at the barn and , of course, my husband. I really appreciate your HUG!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. starboundeq says:

    By the way… very well written. I was on the edge of my seat the whole read.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. starboundeq says:

    I’m glad you are better. My mother recently won her battle with colon cancer, so I understand the worry anytime your stomach is bothering you.
    Also, Whey Protein has been known to irritate peoples stomachs pretty bad. Especially, if they have issues with Dairy. My mother had to use vegan protein. It’s hard to find one that tastes good -I don’t drink it, so I can’t help – but it may be the best route for you if you are looking for an additional protein. Or just add egg whites to a traditional smoothie. They are pasturized out of the carton so safe to drink raw and you can’t taste them. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much for this. I appreciate the information and will take note of it. Next week I am going to see my GP and I am going to ask for some allergy testing and see what turns up. In the meantime I will check out the began protein.

      Like

  11. lulu says:

    Not a fun experience but at least you had a positive outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes indeed. Thank you.

      Like

  12. What an experience Anne and so glad you are well on the road to recovery. The photograph is wonderful and the best medicine of all. Sending you healing thoughts and a big pat for Biasini too :o) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Irene says:

    What was scary experience that must have been. So glad the ending of the story is good. Take it easy for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and I am easing back into normal life now and feeling quite well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irene says:

        So glad to hear that.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Avery says:

    Oh wow! What a scary ordeal. I am so glad all is well and that David was there and B and your barn family brought you calm peace and positivity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and Yes it did help to know that there were others pulling for me and David is a great source of strength.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sue Matthews says:

    Wow Leueen, that is quite a tale! That is truly dreadful being put in palliative care, the insensitivity of it is quite stunning! It does reflect the terrible bed shortage that we seem to find ourselves in.

    I am so glad all is well but that whole experience will have taken a lot out of you, so be kind to yourself and take your time getting back to speed. There is always another show show to ride in. I’m glad that Biasini was able to help you that night – that was a lovely image.

    Sue

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you Sue. It worth noting that Markham Stouffville hospital has recently had a huge expansion. The ER and the Endosopy unit and imaging etc are all much improved. But the area of Markahm Stouffville has grown exponentially and so the population is so much larger and obviously it putting demands on the healthcare. Still the staff are good and they got the job done.

      Like

  16. Akuokuo says:

    Sending you well wishes and happy faces 😊😊😊😊😍😻😻😻🤗😍💕❤️🦋😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh my goodness, Anne! I am so glad that all the tests came back negative! Prayers for getting back on Biasini quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your concern and prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Robyn says:

    Glad that it was nothing serious, but it sounds like you had a big scare and some really bad days. Glad those are behind you – and what a great get well text! Hope you are back to yourself soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. aghisla says:

    What a weekend! I’m glad you are well now and that you were well supported in these hard moments. The barn picture is absolutely heartwarming!
    Looking forward for posts with pictures of you back in the saddle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Biasini will probably “speak” about it when I get back in the saddle.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I am so relieved to hear that you are ok Anne! And hopefully you are back in the saddle before long.

    I think that we have a long way to go in terms of helping people to die with dignity and in a way that fits with their wishes. It’s a hard topic to talk about, but one that cannot be ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are right. we do have assisted suicide legislation here in Canada but the person must have a terminal illness. My roommate in the hospital had a lot wrong with her including Parkinsons and was in dreadful pain but she did not have the diagnosis of a terminal illness. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. What a scary weekend, am so glad you’re ok now. Such a lovely photo to receive though, shows how much they care about you. 🙂 I hope you’re resting lots this week after it. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am resting up thank you. But of course I have been to the barn to see Biasini!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m hoping you will be feeling much better soon. That photo sent to you is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you I am feeling back to normal now.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Red Letters says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad you are okay. What a nightmare for you but at least it was nothing serious.
    How lovely of your horsey friends to do that for you!
    Hayley 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes that text really helped my mental mood. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Julie Wallin says:

    Wow, how scary for you to go through such an ordeal. Very glad to hear it had a good ending! I am writing to say how much I enjoy your stories. Also, your horse Biasini looks so much like my old thoroughbred “Fonzi”. When I saw the well wishes from your friends I DID cry! There is nothing more soothing & comforting than gazing upon a beloved equine friend! That picture brought back 25 years of a wonderful partnership with my Fonzi. He was a huge part of my life & I miss him so. He passed away 16 years ago at the age of 29 & look, I’m still sniveling! Anyway, glad you are better so I can continue to read whatever you write! Take care…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my, our horses do take up a huge space in our hearts even after they are gone. Biasini is a very special horse. I have loved other horses before him especially my Dutch fellow Tommie. But Biasini is just the right horse for me at this time. He is a very talented fellow but a physical ride. If I had not had Tommie before him I woul dnot have the courage to ride a horse like Biasini. Nice to hear about your Fonzi. 29 is a great age and you must have given him a very good life.

      Like

  25. Good to know you’re well now.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. sandyjwhite says:

    What a wonderful group to have in your corner! I’m so glad to hear you
    are on the mend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it really does make you feel stronger to know you have others pulling for you. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        You are welcome. Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Ruth says:

    Hoping you feel better fast. How very scary. Love the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you I am feeling well now. And I agree the photo is wonderful and arrived at just the right moment.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Frank Prem says:

    Hell’s bells Anne, what a tale. You have to start worrying when your first stop is in Palliative Care.

    Sounds like a nasty experience all round. Glad you’re feeling better.

    In future, just say ‘no whey!!’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! Yes..no whey! Thanks Frank.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s