Don’t take your health for granted… it can change so quickly. This is something you hear often, but until you experience it I don’t think you will really understand. I know I didn’t. Over the last few months I have had colds, viruses and aches and pains. They were all easily explained away. Symptoms were confused with various aliments and even though doctors today know more than ever, it can still be a guessing game as they try to match symptoms. Trying to put into words how you are feeling is hard and are you really doing yourself justice? Searching out things on the internet to try to explain symptoms may only confuse the issue.
Let me take a step back. I have been feeling poorly as I said for months. Thinking it was busy work, a cold, and a tummy bug. Each time though I felt like I never fully recovered. Eventually the pain, that was always a discomfort, became worse. Finally it got pretty bad and kept me awake. Now I was listening to my body and made an appointment to see a doctor. After an ultra sound and tests they discovered a kidney stone. Painful and fit the symptoms I had. After a month the stone hadn’t moved and I sometimes had a fever, but blood work wasn’t showing infection. Sometimes I had such bad pain and was rushed to the doctor, which happened on two occasions. Pain killers didn’t help and symptoms would roller coaster from constant to extreme levels of pain.
My room for 8 days
The doctors I had never gave up, explained it away or thought I was ‘silly’. Instead there was some wait and see and more tests to keep searching. Finally when my doctor wasn’t available a different doctor decided to send me for another CT scan. Where I described the pain wasn’t where the kidney stone was, so he thought we should look into it. Maybe there was another? After this scan something else was discovered… a cyst. Now my blood work showed high levels of infection, so I was given 3 antibiotic treatments over 2 days. I felt better. I could walk without a limp and some of my energy came back. It was short-lived. Sunday night the pain returned… Monday another trip to the doctor. My fever was now high and the doctor was concerned for me to stay at home in case of incident. I had 45 minutes to go home, pack a bag and call my parents. They would pick me up in a car and drive me to hospital. The doctor came with us to get it all sorted along with one of the ladies from the office. I was admitted into a nice large private room with a bed for John.
View out of my hospital room
Two more days of antibiotic treatment and no improvement this time. Finally the pain got worse and the last resort had to be done… surgery. Within 30 minutes I was prepped and being wheeled through the hospital. I was scared. I never had an overnight stay in hospital before never mind surgery. John came with me and kissed me at the door where he was directed to a waiting area. The hospital didn’t look so fancy, but the operating room was pretty high-tech. I thought I was inside a space ship! The head doctor was there and she held my hand and told me not to worry. Seconds after that I was out and woke as things were finished; hours later. I was told everything went well and I was OK. A few minutes later I was wheeled back to my room. We always joke the Chinese are bad drivers and the same goes for wheel chairs and beds. Every bump and nick along the wall sent me moaning in pain. Getting back into bed was excruciating.
Nurse’s station… getting ready for Christmas even though it was a Chinese hospital.
The next few days are a blur of sleep, pain, emotions and more IV medicine. I had at least 7 in one vein alone… so many total we lost count. I later learned that it was in fact was not a cyst, but a 4cm tumour that had adhered to 5 different things/organs and became infected. The pain and difficultly to walk was now explained. The pain was now gone, but 6 small incisions still hurt. Soon I was up walking around. First only short trips to the bathroom and then around the room. Next I had enough energy to walk the halls.
All this took place over my birthday. Many people say what a terrible way to spend it, but I think I really got a great gift. My health.
Worst thing about any hospital stay -the food! It all smelled funny and no fish apparently doesn’t include shrimp! After the operation smells made me nauseous. The food did not help my situation.
People from work, the doctors, the nurses, ladies from the doctor’s office and especially John made it special. I felt so blessed from the texts, visits and emails. People brought us treats, flowers and offered anything we needed. It really made this entire experience so much easier having such great support, care and love around. I cannot express how much I appreciated all the help. I dedicate this post to them. I will be forever grateful.
After nearly 5 years in China I think this will be the most memorable adventure and the hardest to forget.
As I get back on my feet and slowly return to work I will be back to write more on a regular schedule. Thanks for being patient already… and as always for staying tuned 🙂