Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lesson Learned

So I know you all want to know what happened to me and why I ended up in the hospital for four days. 

Wednesday night I thought I would throw a little gluten in my diet and we ate dinner at The Olive Garden.   I ordered the Fettucinni Alfredo.   Later that night my stomach started to hurt.

When I woke up Thursday, every muscle in my abdomen hurt like I had done a thousand sit-ups, but I haven't been doing any ab exercises.  My intestines also felt like they were tied up in knots.   Of course I just chalked it up to eating the pasta.  My hands were all tingly as well, but I just assumed that it had to do with my neck injuries and I was going to go see the physical therapist that morning anyway.

After the physical therapist I went to Chik-Fil-A to hang out with some of my friends.  My tummy still hurt, but I didn't think it was anything serious.  After Chik-Fil-A I went home.  Around 1pm I was feeling extremely short of breath.  I couldn't walk across a room without hyperventilating.  Everytime I would sit or stand up I would have sweat pouring off me and felt like I was going to pass out.  I decided to take a nap until it was time for me to do my crossing guard duty at 3:30.   I lasted about 15 minutes and nearly passed out in the street.  I felt so sick I just left and drove home.  I checked my blood pressure and it was 90/60 and my heart rate was 137.   I thought I was having a heart attack and promptly drove myself to the hospital.  I felt so awful I honestly was afraid I was going to die if I waited for someone to come get me.  Thankfully, we only live one mile from the hospital.

When I got to the E.R. counter all I said was shortness of breath and they rushed me to the triage room.  I didn't even get to finish telling them what else until a little bit later.  I had to wait in the triage room for about 10 minutes while they found a room to put me in.  I almost passed out in the triage room waiting.

Of course in the E.R. they did a million tests.  I still thought that my low blood pressure/feeling faint and my stomach pain were unrelated.  My white blood count was 23,000 and the normal range is 3,000 - 10,000.   They also did a lactic acid test.  My level was 2.8 and the normal range for that was 0.6 -2.2  This meant I had lactic acidosis, which apparantly is bad.   Also because of all the digestive problems I have had over the last few months they did a CT scan on my abdomen which showed that my intestines were inflamed.   They assumed there was an infection in my intestine.   They did urine and blood cultures to tet for bacteria, started administering antibiotics, and admitted me to the hospital.   The E.R. doctor made it quite clear several times that I was very, very sick when I came in to the E.R. and it was a good thing I went in when I did.

I was in the E.R. room for six hours.  Remember that tingling I had in my hands earlier that morning?  Well it started travelling all over my body, but stayed mostly in my hands and face.  The dr. said that it was most likely due to my blood pressure being so low.  My blood pressure stayed around 90/60 for quite a few hours.   I was given oxygen for a couple of hours as well which REALLY helped with my breathing. 

I pretty much just slept the rest of the time.  I was getting two different antibiotics pumped into me plus saline.   They actually had to turn the saline off because it was making my blood pressure too high and my hands and feet looked like balloons.  They were pumping 200ml/hour into me.  That doesn't mean anything to me, but the nurses said it was a lot. 

Yesterday morning the dr. gave me the choice between going home last night if I could keep a meal down or staying until this morning.  I decided to stay just to be on the safe side.  When the dr. came to see me this morning she said that the blood and urine cultures came back negative for anything.   She lectured me sternly about eating the gluten.  I asked her if the gluten really could make me that sick and, of course, she said yes.  

I have read up some on Celiac Disease and I know it is an autoimmune disorder.  So apparantly what happened is that I ate too much gluten and my body started attacking my intestines.  It really was kind of like a severe allergic reaction.  

So there you go, that is the whole sordid story.

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