As many of you know I was hospitalized last weekend and taken in for emergency surgery. I recorded a brief video talking about my experience on instagram. Many of you have asked me to share my experience on being in an ER during a "pandemic". So here goes. First lets take it back to how this all started.
I've had an ovarian cyst for about 5 years. It never really bothered me and never seemed to have gotten any bigger, so I decided to leave it alone. Fast forward to about 1 year ago, after I gave birth to my last son and I started to develop intense back pain. It started to happen every couple of months and then increased to every month. The pain got progressively worse and more frequent. I still didn't think much of it as the pain usually subsided within 24 hours. I chalked it up to being my cyst or something that had gone wrong with my epidural.
Last weekend was the worst experience I've ever had. I was in excruciating pain for about 3 days before I was rushed to the ER. I spent those 3 days in between my bath tub and lying on my bathroom floor. I couldn't walk, I couldn't talk and I couldn't keep down food or water. I tried to hold out as long as I could because I, nor my husband, wanted me to be hospitalized during a pandemic.
Not that I was afraid of the coronavirus, I was more afraid of being tested and it coming back as a false positive, them holding me under speculation of me possibly being asymptomatic - things like that. I also knew that I would be flying solo the entire time. Nobody was allowed to be with me under any circumstance. But, I knew something was terribly wrong and I had to go.
My mother and my sister drove me to the ER while my husband stayed behind with the kids. We pulled up to the ER, someone came out with a wheelchair and wheeled me into triage. The nurses immediately put a surgical mask on me. They did my vitals, took my temperture and got me into a bed. The ER and triage area was totally empty by the way. I was one of the only ones there. It was either a slow night or hospitals aren't really busting at the seams.
They got an IV in me right away and immediately started me on IV fluids as I hadn't been able to hold down water for days. I was weak and severly dehydrated. I remember screaming in pain - which was worse than labor pains for me, yikes! And begging them to administer pain meds through the IV. Of course since I was by myself and had nobody to advocate for me they ran my tests prior to admistering pain meds, to make sure I was coherent and able to answer questions.
A team of doctors and nurses came in the room, did an internal exam and sent me for some ultrasounds. They came to the conclusion that my ovary had already developed necrosis, my cyst had burst and that I had to be taken in for surgery right away. At this point they were able to give me some pain medication and my least favorite nurse came into the room. I was forced into being tested for COVID-19. I made it very clear that I did NOT want to be tested but was told that they would not treat me if I did not have the test done. I told the nurse that I presented no signs of having COVID-19 and snapped back with "ma'am we are in the middle of a pandemic" , as if I was unaware. LOL!
The COVID-19 test was a long nasal swab that went down into the back of the throat. I got my results back within about 30 mins. They were negative. To my surprise. Not that I felt I had the coronavirus but hey, with all of the contaminated tests that were out and with fruit testing positive, who really knows, right?
I must say - being in a hospital by myself in the condition I was in was very scary. They waited until after I had been given 2 doses of IV pain meds to have me sign my consent forms. I remember calling my husband telling him I really wasn't able to pay attention to what I was signing as the meds had me sleepy and I was still in so much pain. I asked the doctor if I could take a picture of what I signed to keep for my records and I was told no because of HIPPA. Don't ask me. I just shrugged it off at the time. Another example of how important it is to have an advocate with you at all times!
After receiving my results I was taken up to the OR. While being transported throughout the hospital I was constantly told to pull my mask up, though I could barely breathe. Every floor I was on seemed to be empty. The entire time I was there I was constantly asked what my name was, what I was there for and what I was having done. I guess their way of making sure I was coherent.
I met with the anesthesiologist, my surgeon and nursing team. They explained the surgery to me and took me in. I must say I was a little surprised about the OR protocol - especially since we were "in the middle of a pandemic". I remember one of the nurses walking into the OR with no hair net, no gloves on, with her IPHONE and ear buds in hand. I mean correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the OR supposed to be a sterile environment? They wouldn't be able to treat me without being tested but this one gets to stroll in with her germ covered phone and no gloves? Ok. Again, no questions asked. I wasn't to eager to start irritating the same people who were about to remove half of my reporoductive system.
Before I knew it I had woken up from surgery and was in the recovery room. My surgeon came in and let me know surgery went well but that they were not able to save my ovary or Fallopian tube and had to remove one side. Again, no family whatsoever was allowed to wait with me in recovery. They made sure I used the bathroom, I called my mom to come pick me up and I was wheeled out to the curb lol.
I got home in the early hours of the morning nervous about how badly this surgery would set me back. I was worried about orders that should have gone out, and how I was supposed to recover while tending to all of my emails, messages, DM's etc. See, I don't have an assistant (which I am seriously reconsidering), I had nobody to help me reach out to all of my clients and communicate with them what was going on. I know how badly in a time like this everyone was looking forward to their wellness products and I definitely did not want anyone to think I was ignoring them! I got on my laptop and started reaching out to people about 6 hours post op.
I care about each and every single one of my followers, clients, and potentials. I care about my business so very deeply. Thank you so much to all of you who have been so patient with me during these times and to everyone who reached out to me offering help, and making sure I was ok.