On Fridays, during lent, I would make my family linguine with clams. For those of you who are not Italian, it’s a big dish in the Italian culture. Both my girls loved it. The 2011 Easter and lenten season would be a memorable one…for the whole family.
While my kids were feasting on their linguine, I was starting to get the bad cramps that come with a Crohn’s flare. The cramps get so bad that your mouth gets dry; then the chills come rolling in, followed by the cold sweats, ending with the sprint to the bathroom. Let the games begin!!
Many of you, who suffer from Crohn’s, while reading this, are saying, “OH, MY GOD..THAT’S ME.” Trust me, I’m not hiding in your toilet, but I’ve got the bathroom routine down to a timed science.
When I went to the bathroom, I felt a ripping sensation that took over the “hiney hole.” I screamed and screamed. I was holding on to the side of the vanity because the pain startled the “shit’ out of me. Todd was banging on the door, along with the girls screaming, “Momma, let me in.” I refused to look in the potty. But I could tell you this: Ed McMahon was not waiting in the toilet with a check from the Publisher’s Clearing House. Nope…God had a bigger plan for me.
I turned around and my white tile wall was covered in bright, red blood. It wasn’t confined to the walls only, either. It affected the whole bathroom. Ava was crying (what else is new) to come in. I’m screaming, “Don’t come in.” I looked to my left, and there’s Ava, with linguine hanging out of her mouth and Francesca is just staring. Francesca didn’t talk much, from 8-12 years of age and stared a lot, while Ava screamed her head off most of the time.
I told Todd I wanted to clean the house before we went to the hospital. There looked like a heinous crime was committed in my bathroom and there was no way I would leave my house looking like that. While I’m still in the bathroom, I heard my mom say, “Honey, let me in so I can look.”
Come on…what the fuck is going on in this house? One kid doesn’t speak, the other has spaghetti hanging out of her mouth, and the old woman wants to look in the toilet.
Once I’m in the ER, the ER doc insists on doing a rectal. Absolutely, unequivocally not. I just had my rectum torn to pieces and he wants to play down there. He promised me that with all the IV Dilaudid, I wouldn’t feel a thing. They gave me 4 milligrams and I felt EVERY SINGLE THING! Stop or I’ll shoot!!
I get admitted and they explained everything a person could possibly want to know about fissures, fistulas, and fudge covered Oreos. My head was spinning from all the Dilaudid. I just wanted to sleep. But I knew I had a miserable night ahead of me. The special part about fissures and Crohn’s is you get to relive that pain over and over again because you have to go to the bathroom an additional 30 times before the meds start to work.
The hospitalist comes in and I don’t understand one word he’s saying. He’s either from the Middle East or Maine. I can’t differentiate because I’m on too much Dilaudid. He had a thick accent. Between the accent and the Dilaudid, I just shook my head and said yes. I do remember him saying he doesn’t agree with the use of Dilaudid and thinks pain meds should only be used for fractures. Here we go. Surely, somebody warned this poor, young innocent doctor about me.
I asked him to play the game “Pick One” game but he didn’t understand. I said pick one of the following that you would like to have with no pain medication: a fissure, fistula, kidney stone, bowel obstruction, NG tube, catheter (that’s an easy one), or a severe migraine with vomiting. He didn’t pick any. But, doctor, you dumb animal, you just told me you don’t believe in pain medication. The “Pick One” game sometimes puts things in perspective for the anti-pain-med doctors.
Right then, Father Eddy, the hospital priest came in. The young doctor asked Father Eddy if he knew me. He said, “Claudia’s the reason I chose celibacy.” (I love my priest.)
They introduced my hiney to nitroglycerin cream. The minute you apply it, it lowers your blood pressure and gives you a blinding headache. No, thanks….I’ll stick with the Dilaudid for now.
In 2011, the pain medication epidemic would present itself and start a nationwide dialogue; do we give people suffering with chronic illnesses pain meds, or do we paint all with the same brush?
(NOTE: To all my readers: I, unfortunately, have another kidney stone and I came out of remission this past week so I’ve been sleeping a lot. I thank you ALL for reading and sending me beautiful messsages regarding “The “C” Word.” Thank you so much for reading and sharing my blog with others. I’ll be back in remission in no time!!)