Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Ouch...Ouch...OUCH and I'm back

So it's Wednesday after the operation and everything went well..ish. I mean the operation was fine, if not VERY VERY painful, although the doctors had to put a drain in me too to get rid of the extra water from my stomach!? ewwwww... 

Urgh, I just wanted to get out of there but it was so painful..and still is quite, I wish that I could have these horrible patches off and return to being able to walk normally!

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Operation Time!

Right, its the evening before the operation and I am scaring myself about it waaayyy too much by watching videos on YouTube of the operation or threads set up by other people who had the operation - full of horror stories - not a good idea!

I know its really stupid to be so worried about a routine operation that is done every day, I will go in tomorrow at 7.30am and be out just after lunchtime at the latest. But it's not a nice thought that I will be asleep while some doctors makes some small cuts in my stomach, blow it up with CO2 (gross again!) and then cut out my gallbladder before deflating me (like some sort of human hot air balloon!) and stitching me back up. Sounds great, doesn't it??

Now can you understand why I'm not looking forward to it? Urgh!

Wish me luck! 

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

What is it?

That's about all of it so far...I mean I am going in for my operation tomorrow and hopefully, that's the last step I'm going to have to take for the moment. At 17 you're not supposed to get ill, I mean not properly and I know I'm not the only one as there are thousands of other people my age and younger who are much much worse, but you just don't expect anything like this to happen to you. 

So what really is pancreatitis? Well, I guess it is caused by a blockage of the duct from your gallbladder to your pancreas, in my case anyway, a gallstone escaped from my gallbladder and inflamed my pancreas which caused 1/3 of it to die. This means I am going to have to be very VERY careful with alcohol in future, oh well! 

A normal person doesn't have gallstones, and the formation of them is either due to alcohol abuse (not in my case) or bad luck, and trust me at 17 this is bad luck, apparently 1in4 people have gallstones aged 70, or it is more likely to happen when you are middle-aged, but not this early on in your life.

The gallbladder is there to produce a type of bile that breaks down fatty acids and contracts to produce this bile, so when there are gallstones in there, it hurts to contract, and as one of these stones escaped, it caused pancreatitis. Basically, that's it in a nutshell. So for my operation, I am going to have to have my gallbladder removed, which you can live without as my liver will produce this 'bile'. So lots and lots of fun for me! 

For more information I found this great website to help:

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Still in Hospital

I was in the hospital for another 5 days until on Friday 1st June, the doctors eventually told me that I would be allowed out for the Jubilee weekend. It was nice to be out as I managed to get used to home life once again. I took it slow, just managing to get out once or twice, down to the local shop, into town briefly as now there were no more needles or drips, just the daily Omeprazole pills which I am still on - and who knows how long for! 

On Tuesday we had a little party and it was nice to see lots of friends and families again, but again, was hugely overwhelming and exhausting, to say the least. 

Wednesday 6th June was back to the hospital for more blood tests, and a day's wait to find out that the infection had gone down and I was allowed home again, finally discharged. Back home I had to take my pills and take it easy really. 

I managed to survive the next week with very little interruption, I even went to Exeter University Open Day, although it tired me out hugely. 

It was on Thursday 14th June I went in for my pre-op assessment which was fine although I was very very nervous, and still needed another blood test. We came home, in my poor broken car :( and everything was ok until about 3.30pm when the pain started again, similar to before but not so bad. After about 5 minutes Mum drove me back to the hospital, and back into A&E where I was given morphine and once again, was completely out of it, just as I was being transferred back to the children's ward the pain returned so I was pumped with liquid paracetamol and fell asleep. 

The next morning we saw the doctors who just guessed it could have been another gallstone releasing or something, nothing major though. Great! And I was allowed straight back out again which takes us really back up to today. 

Tomorrow is operation day which is really really freaking me out. I don't want to have it done, although I know I have to. It really sucks but hey, that's that.

Oh, and here's my lovely bruised arm, and compared to a few weeks ago when I was entirely black and blue!

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Hazy Days

Let's continue,

Oh yes, waking up on the children's ward, still in pain, I was given more painkillers, and again, blacked out and woke up in a private room on the children's ward with another hundred drips coming in and out of me. To cope with the pain the doctors gave me a morphine drip clicker thingy in which I could give myself morphine every 5 minutes or so in order to dull the stabbing pain in my stomach, although on the slightly funny side, about 30 seconds after I had a 'shot' I automatically fell asleep! :)

So I know at the most I had a morphine drip, saline drip and catheter (urgh) in as I was totally immobile, I could barely get out of bed for the first few days. Between, I guess, Sunday 19th and Wednesday 22nd May I have a very fuzzy memory as I was on so many drugs I didn't know which way was up!  Apparently, I was kinda yellow, like a Simpson, a bit jaundice-y, and at a point, they wanted to move me to intensive care and put a central line in my neck, but even in my doped up state I blankly refused!

On Wednesday I think I had gotten past the real worst of it as I was moved back onto the central children's ward, with no drips in me! Yay - fewer wires! Although I was still in occasional bouts of pain from pancreatitis, I was suffering from great back pain as I could not lay on my side or front in bed. One of my biggest problems now was BOREDOM, I had watched a selection of DVDs, read books, done most things I could think of, I ended up taking two baths a day just for something to do.

Looking back on what I can remember, it was hugely serious and at one point I heard the doctors say 'potentially life-threatening,' and yet I wasn't at all scared. It may have been the morphine but somehow I knew I was going to get through this, and for a weird reason I was more concerned about missing my last 3 AS level exams rather than anything else, which is even strange to me!

From Thursday onwards I think I was on the mend, I started to be able to try and walk again, which was hard, granted, I had to use the wheelchair a lot, but I managed to go outside in that lovely sunny weather and slowly slowly I started to be able to walk further and further, more and more unaided. 

Another problem that I forgot to mention (sorry about the whining!) Because I was only on water, on food, and liquids, I bloated up to 11kg of water, making me feel much more sluggish, but thankfully, two weeks later it all flushed out.

In the first week at the hospital, I had an x-ray, an ultrasound and a CT scan (i think!) all to check and confirm that I had gallstones in my pancreas and would need to have an operation to remove my gallbladder, eventually when pancreatitis had calmed down.

Over the next two weeks, I was in a similar routine of waking up, breakfast, seeing the doctors, taking pills, having a bath, going for a walk, having lunch, having a nap, maybe watching a DVD or seeing a visitor then dinner, and seeing my parents. Sometime in there were blood tests and injections and even more pills.

It was Sunday 27th when I was 'allowed' out of hospital for a few hours between antibiotics, (as it turned out 1/3 of my pancreas has died - so very little alcohol for me then!) my trip home was good, but very tiring, although when asking my doctor the next day apparently I wasn't allowed to go home! Oops - nobody told him I'd already gone!

More Tomorrow

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Time to get burnt...

Why don't we leap into the fire now and go to the worst part and the beginning of the problem?

So, Saturday 18th May.

It all started around 3am on Saturday morning, again with another 'episode' lasting about 2 hours, and hey, I eventually threw up, again! Lots of fun! Although I did feel a little better, I went back to bed and managed to get a little sleep, Oh and did I mention this was the weekend right in the middle of my AS exams? probably not, therefore I was trying get spend loads of time revising, and this weekend I was relying on to revise for my AS Geology exam.

Anyway, back to the point, I woke up at maybe, 9am, feeling better but still very rough, and from what I can remember (as its all very blurry) I wanted to revise, but couldn't feel up to doing anything, just lounging around in my bed for most of the day. I managed to eat breakfast and a little lunch, but by about 3pm everything started going wrong, first of all, I started feeling sick, throwing up again, at this point, I phoned Mum to come home from my sister's school fete.

By this time the pain had become intolerable, nothing was making me feel better, the paracetamol just came straight back up, now I was even throwing up water, and then nothing, and I just couldn't stop. Taking a bath didn't work, neither did a hot water bottle, none of my usual tricks.

So Mum insisted I go to the local hospital, it is a minor hospital with only a real outpatients unit. Anyway, I was sitting on the floor in the empty waiting room, retching up nothing, no doctor came to see me, just what seemed to be a nurse who had a terrible judgement. She told me it was a bladder infection or something like that, gave me an anti-sickness injection, and told me to go home and just drink warm water for 24 hours and it would all be OK. Ha, yeah right.

We went home, just drank warm water, and that just came straight back up again, it was clear the injection hadn't worked. By this time the pain was so intense I was starting to get delirious, and this is the point where my parents have had to fill in the blanks, so Mum called an ambulance, which came within about 10 minutes. The paramedics were lovely and helped right away, I was strapped to a bed in the ambulance and they gave me gas for the pain. It is here where I really started to blank out. All I really remember of this night from now is that we arrived at the Royal County Hospital in Winchester where I was transferred to A & E. I remember being lifted out the ambulance, but I was totally out of it.

I kind of woke up in a daze, seeing blue curtain surrounding me and mum sitting next to me as some male nurses were trying to get blood tests from me and cannulas into my arms, hands and feet. This was the point at which another minor problem would occur, apparently I have small veins, which I would later find out is not the best thing when every day you need a blood test and many many cannulas changed.

Back to the point, the doctors quickly diagnosed it as 'Pancreatitis' potentially caused by gallstones. I know at some point I was given morphine along with other cocktails of drugs, I was really out of it and maybe hours later I woke up in the children's ward hooked up to a multitude of drips and machines...

Now time to take a break, I'll fill in the rest later 

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Before the Fire

So, the beginning, well where do I start?

Flashback to 18th May 2012, lying on my bedroom floor in pure agony, Imagine the worst pain you can imagine, then triple it. It has been said that Pancreatitis is the third worst pain possible, and hell they got that right.

To get the full picture, I guess I better start back in October 2011 when I first started getting the pains or 'episodes,' they may come once or twice a week, or sometimes I wouldn't get them for maybe 4 weeks, each time I was in horrific pain, maybe for 10 minutes, maybe for up to 2 days, usually ending in me throwing up to relieve the pain. It got so bad at points I would have to force myself to throw up just to get a moment without pain. I would have no idea when or where these episodes could happen or how bad they would be, painkillers didn't work, and it could put me out of action for ages.

One specific memory jumps out at me, in February this year I was planning to go on a school trip to Germany-Poland as part of the history trip, I was very excited about it, even though we had to be at school for 1.30am, meaning to leave my house about 12.30am, therefore I went to bed early in order to get some sleep before the long day ahead of us. I got perhaps an hours sleep before the pain came back, I was up for hours, and eventually had to leave, still in pain, and in the car on the 40-minute journey to school, threw up on the side of the road. Gross, I know. Anyway, I was still in pain on the flight over there, and for most of the rest of the day, and no idea what to do. Thankfully by the next morning, the pain had stopped.

Further on in the week of this trip, it was my birthday, we were halfway through the week without any more episodes, and of which I was hoping there not to be any, but of course, no such luck. We were about 6 hours into our 10-hour coach journey to Poland and were stopping at a McDonald's service station for dinner. Now, this is when it hit me, and you know you've hit rock bottom when you are curled up on the floor of a Polish McDonalds, writhing around in pain with no hope of what to do.So I guess you get the picture, sometimes this happened at school, work, but usually was in the middle of the night or late evening with the worst episodes always happening at the weekend. 

Well by now you would have expected any normal person to go to the doctor right? Well, that's exactly what I did, I went to the GP not once, not twice, but 4 times over, with 3 different sets of pills given to me each time, none of them worked and the blood tests came back with nothing showing. They just put it down to some sort of 'intolerance' that would just 'sort itself out', oh hell no it didn't. 

Anyway, that's all for tonight, wait with baited breath for the next instalment! ;)

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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