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If you haven’t heard of this outdated news, I was hospitalized on Saturday, 28 Nov. I experienced excruciating abdominal pain on Friday morning – Public Holiday in Singapore, since, pain is an unexpected friend who decides to stay in with me for a bit. hah!
I believe I have reasonably high threshold level for pain, so when I say ‘excruciating’, it’s probably unimaginable. My colon was bleeding, so when I thought I was having a bad stomach and diarrhea, I was literally passing out blood.
Any normal person would go consult a doctor right away, if not rushing to the Accident and Emergency room of a hospital. Since I am not quite ‘normal’, my ‘priority’ concern was to avoid the holiday crowd, and since it’s a holiday, many clinics would probably be closed anyway. (and I am right about that!) To be honest, I wasn’t too worried or frightened even though I was passing out blood several times later in the day. Strange, or expected the unexpected from me?
Mike urged me to see a doctor several times, but I told him that we would go see one the following day, if things didn’t improve. =P It didn’t improve…hahaha
Of course, throughout the day, it was nothing but plain pain, but rather manageable, I think. I avoided solid foods altogether to prevent further aggravation.
Oh well, I decided to go to the clinic where my sister works, when I was still passing out blood in the morning. I was to wait for an hour before I could see the doctor, so Mike and I went to the food center nearby for breakfast, which I decided not to eat anything at all in case I needed further medical investigations, and it would probably be better to fast before all the tests were to be conducted.
I was advised to go to the hospital right away, so we went. Mike didn’t want me to wait too long in queue, which is common on Saturdays and especially so for government hospitals, so we went to Mount Elizabeth instead.
You know I have high tolerance level for pain because while waiting to be seen, I saw this advertisement on the papers that read, ‘upgrade your macbook to imac…’ by one of the telcos in Singapore. I looked at Mike and said, ‘it’s time for xx to change the marketing team, their commercial sucks and they don’t even know the difference between macbook and imac!! Why would people want to ‘upgrade’ the macbook to imac? Do they even know macbook is a portable notebook while imac is a desktop?’
You see, I am a real sucker for good marketing, therefore, I fall into the trap of paying more for nice packaging. I have no idea why would anyone tries to persuade the consumers to ‘upgrade’ a notebook to a desktop? It’s almost like offering you to ‘upgrade’ your cell phone to a landed phone!!! Even if the landed phone is a super packed phone, it cannot be brought out of the house, can it? Would I carry my imac while I travel?… sorry that I digress a little from my main topic..haha
Anyway, the doctor in the emergency room called in for the general surgeon specialized in colon and rectum to examine my condition who arranged for a colonscopy to be performed on me. Oozing blood in stool is less worrying, but passing out blood is.
I wasn’t too worried still and to be plain honest, I wasn’t worried at all throughout, all I was discussing with Mike was the possibility to go home first, and come back later to ‘check in’. hahaha. I actually had quite a list of things to do, you know. We even planned to go Ikea to get some stuffs! Mike only said, ‘Of course not! You think this is a hotel that you could go shopping and then come back to check in?’
So, I was warded into a one bedder room. Nicely furnished with dresser table with mirror, built-in wardrobe with a small safe to tuck away your valuables, work desk and chair, leisure table and sofa bed (which Mike would sleep on), and most importantly, a private washroom.
It was a perfect decision, because I would really need a private washroom on my last night’s stay there.
The first thing I asked the nurse was, ‘do you have wifi in the room?’. We were given a network modem and I was able to go online and kill time. I know I might have been classified as the ‘nutcase’ as soon as I checked in.
I shooed Mike to leave for his friend’s baby’s first month celebration while I waited for the appointment time for the colonoscopy procedure. I don’t see the point of having a bored husband waiting in an empty room with nothing else to do, while he could really use that time to do his things.
I have vague impression on the entire frame of 1 hr before/after and during the procedure because I was sedated.
When Mike returned, he brought me some stuffs from home (including the very important notebook!!), and he wheelchaired me for a light shopping spree at the pharmarcy!! Wee!!!
Each time I needed to take shower or go ‘shopping’, I would need to trouble the nurse to help disconnect me from the drip for a while, and they had to flush the connecting point with saline to ensure no clogging. Then, they had to reconnect me back to the pump machine. IV (intravenous) administered drug can actually be ‘felt’ in the vein, at least I did. The drips made me feel cold all the time too, so cold I actually needed 3 layers of blanket to keep myself warm.
We stopped by the staff cafeteria after the pharmacy shopping, as Mike wanted loose change to use later at the vending machines for hot drinks.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I vaguely recalled that the doctor mentioned something about bleeding points, ulcers, and something else which I couldn’t remember, because he told me the important stuffs right after I woke up from sedation. I think the right thing to do is to have the accompanying person present when the diagnosis is explained. I guess the doctor didn’t have a choice since Mike wasn’t around during and right after the 2 separate procedures. We didn’t think it was important to have a sober person around, now we know.
I was excited with the hospital meals!!! I love hospital meals, for some reasons, the less greasy meals suit my taste buds very well!!! The only problem was that I was having quite a bad digestive issue, so I was advised on no-food or soft diet. I had porridge while Mike had quite a sumptuous meal. =(
It was very disruptive for sleep when the nurse had to come in every hour to take the blood pressure and temperature. Mike and I are very light sleepers, so Mike was woken up each time the nurse came in for the routine blood pressure and temperature taking, or when the drip was due to be replaced, or the pump machine buzzed off when occlusion occurred.
I have colitis and gastritis. Accordingly, a very LARGE portion of my colon was inflamed and infected, and there were several bleeding points which were fixed during the colonoscopy. Snapshots were taken and explained to us (when I was fully sober) and that 9 samples from different locations were extracted from the colon and sent for lab tests. We wouldn’t know the result until probably the follow-up visit though.
The doctor made copies of the procedures in DVD for us, and we watched it on the notebook. It was a little boring since there was no verbal explanation on the procedures. We could however see blood streams, ulcers, and inflammation though.
I have not watched the 2nd DVD on the gastroscopy though. I might watch it later after this post. When I received the photos and DVD, all I could think of was to post the images up to terrorize my friends on facebook. hahaha.. I think I am having too much fun from this short episode of hospitalization?
The last night at the hospital was horrendous! In order to prepare me for the scope scheduled on the next day, I was given a horrible solution to be consumed orally, to ‘flush’ out the contents in my stomach. I had diarrhea alike rushes and the toilet marathon began from around 8.30pm to nearly 3am!!! It was initially decided that Mike didn’t need to ‘lodge’ in for that night, because the following day was a work day, I didn’t want to tire him out. He was too sweet to let me sleep alone, so he came in eventually.
I might not be the favorite patient to most of the nurses, I think. I had too many strange requests, one that topped the chart would be requesting to have the drip tube switched from my right hand (I am a right hander) to the left hand, because I could clean myself better with right hand. I really do have OCD problem. Of course, that was refused, because I would be putting myself at a higher risk of infection. =P
We nearly scared the lovely nurse out of her wits when we told her we wanted to pop by Paragon for a light shopping spree, after we saw the gate of the pharmacy close shut. (Paragon is located next to Mount E) After the doctor came in on the second morning for the review, we told him that I would love to be discharged on the same day of the procedures scheduled for the next day. He was flabbergasted!! As long as I feel fine, I could always be using oral medication in place of the IV medication though, so he allowed me to go home after the procedures.
The short stay at Mount Elizabeth was pleasant and rather ‘fun’, a little painful, but it’s quite bearable. I firmly believe that if we keep our spirits up, we are able to better contain the discomfort that we experience physically. It doesn’t exactly help to foul up our moods and tempers and make everyone else feel bad about the situation, does it? Who says a sick person is forbidden of laughter and fun? As far as I am concerned, that room I stayed in was filled with silly laughs because of the crappy tv show (you have no idea!!! That same crappy show repeated several times everyday!!), and the silly jokes we made.
We should welcome new ‘behaviors’ and ‘attitudes’ as long as they are positive and productive. It is time to take down the stereotypes. We should not expect patients to look glum and cranky, although we should not expect every suffering patient who is in great pain to behave abnormally happy too!
What I am saying is that if we keep an open mind, we could expect better things to happen in life.
I may not be the gloomiest patient during my stay, that doesn’t warrant to lesser pain I was in. Moods, of all things, might not always be a total reflective indication of a person’s present physical state. In pain management, one of the tactics is to ‘distract’ yourself, let’s say I am trying to ‘balance’ the negative physical condition with a more positive mental approach. So far, it’s working well for me.
The stay in Mount E was made pleasant because of the great care rendered by the nurses and doctors who displayed nothing but excellent professionalism and tender care. The meal server was always polite and smiling, that made a great deal of difference too. I am thankful for such wonderful people who attended to me during this short episode.
It would always be my first option as long as my insurance pays the huge bills!
I might post up the snaps of the some images from the dvd when I have time to do that. I am trying to catch up with work. =P