The Swollen Colon

bethany-hospital-visit

Can I write a hospital update on myself?! Is that weird??

It is. But its also weird that I’m in here in the first place. Because, c’mon, I’m one of the healthiest people we know… right?! I work out 5-6 days a week, I take my vitamins and supplements, and I had started Whole30 on January 1st and typically eat a pretty healthy diet anyway. My coworkers tease me because when we have team lunch at Red Robin, they say bells and whistles must go off when I order because certainly I’m the only person in the history of the restaurant to ever order the bottomless broccoli.

… what?? I love broccoli, ok?!

And call me crazy but sometimes I eat a turkey burger and veggies for breakfast. So weird, I know, but I crave those healthy foods, and since doing Whole30 last January (which is basically a form of Paleo) I have chosen to eat mostly paleo foods in order to be able to have the sweets that I want to have. Its all about moderation, right?

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all wondering what the heck I’m doing laid up in the hospital for the past week. Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that one out too, but here’s a quick rundown of what happened.

Monday morning I woke up super early to be able to go for a run with Brittney and about halfway through, I had to stop and walk because my stomach felt extremely bloated and I wasn’t sure if I had a stitch in my side or what was going on. It was really cold out, and early, so I couldn’t really figure out why my stomach was being so weird. Anyways, after I finished the 3 miles, I got in my car and sped home, because I thought I was going to be sick. Long story and lots of details short, I ended up staying home from work Monday and Tuesday because I thought I maybe had the stomach bug or norovirus or something and was in a ton of pain. Mid-morning Tuesday, I called Brandon in tears while he was at work and told him I just couldn’t do another day like the day before. He got off the phone with me and immediately made an appointment with my doctor for later that day. I am so glad he did.

When I went to my doctor’s appointment, they ended up doing an ultrasound (at the time they were worried I was having an ectopic pregnancy or had a hemorrhagic cyst that was bursting) and found an abnormally large amount of fluid in my abdomen. They were so concerned that they sent me immediately to the Emergency Room.

I think at this point I was so weak and tired from being in pain and being so sick and not eating for 2 days that I was unable to really grasp the severity of the situation. I was barely able to stand up in the line to check in at the ER and when I finally sat down in triage, the nurse took the buzzer from me (like the kind you get when you have to wait at a restaurant) and said “oh sweetheart, you won’t need this anymore. We’re taking you right back.” At that point I knew it was serious. There were tons of people in the waiting room, and they were taking me right back?! Whoa. From working in a hospital previously, I knew this was a big deal. I was really, really sick.

After getting in a room, there was such a flurry of activity, that I didn’t have time to really think and I was still in so much pain. A bunch of labs and tests and doctors and exams later, I was told I was not only going to be admitted to the hospital, but that I would be heading up to ICU.

ICU? Less that 48 hours earlier I had run 3 miles and now I’m going to spend the night in ICU?! This was blowing my mind.

bethany-icu-hospital-visit

After having spent the last 4 and a half days in the hospital, I can say several things definitively now:

  1. I have walked a mile in Brandon’s shoes and gotten a small taste of what he’s been through and have a whole new appreciation for that man I am blessed enough to call mine.
  2. I may never eat jello again.
  3. Nothing matters except getting the pain to stop when you’re cross-eyed and belly up.
  4. Sometimes going to the doctor is OK. It might just save your life.
  5. After you don’t eat for several days, you truly are not hungry. It’s weird. I didn’t understand when Brandon was in the hospital and didn’t eat for 10 days, but now I totally get it.
  6. I have the best mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law for dropping everything to help me.
  7. You really do learn something new everyday. Colitis is an inflamed colon. (Hence the title of this post “The Swollen Colon” bahahha) There’s your new fact. You’re welcome. If you already knew that, did you know that taking too much ibuprofen could cause it? Yeah, I’m throwing my Advil bottle away too.

Maverick-Bethany-hospital

My kids have had a blast staying at their cousins’ house this past week and I can’t thank Brittney and Cole enough for watching and caring for my kids like their own. They have packed an extra lunch and dropped off 2 extra kids in the morning, and picked them up in the evening. They’ve fed and bathed and loved on them and sent me funny stories and pictures to get me through. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I hope they know that should they ever need it, I would do the same for them.

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To my poor mother and mother-in-law, who both dropped everything and rushed from work to come to the Emergency Room (and have done this more times than I can count in the past 2 years for us), thank you. You have helped us navigate more emergencies than you should have to, and we’ve put your nerves through the wringer more than we should. (Oops) I’m sorry and thank you. Thanks for sitting in uncomfortable plastic chairs and waiting long hours for test results, just for us. Thanks for feeding me ice chips and helping me pee and getting the nurse when I’m in too much pain to do it myself. My sweet mother even washed my feet for me. That’s love yall.

So, for now, the diagnosis is acute colitis, and the plan is to try and get better… but seriously. Each day depends on how I am feeling and today, I was progressed to a soft foods diet and was able to eat a whole 6 bites. Yaaaaay!

hospital-food

Tomorrow I’ll have a repeat CT scan to compare it to the one from the other day, and then most likely I’ll have a colonoscopy to try and see what’s made my colon so mad at me.

Pray for continued improvement and less pain, wisdom for the doctors and answers. Definitive and clear answers. So far I’ve been a bit of a mystery case and baffled the physicians. I don’t like that. I want them to know that I have X and that in order to get better I need to do Y and that if I do that Z will happen. I don’t like the fuzzy abcdefg-crap in the middle.

Pray for my babies. They are so confused. I want to just sit and cry when I think about my poor sweet babies and how their little lives have been scattered with one parent or the other out of commission and how disruptive that is to the structure that kids crave. I feel awful. Also, its taxing on Brandon and everyone who has to help us. Life is just easier when no one is in the hospital, amen?

Pray for Brandon. He’s trying really hard to wear the husband/daddy/employee hat and finding out just how hard it is to do all of that completely when your spouse is in the hospital. He’s frustrated and wants to be able to fix it all, and has to keep the house running by himself. Pray for this man, that he would stay in good spirits, that he would be a positive rock for the boys, that he would be able to get good rest at night and stay well. Pray that the stress would not creep in and let his Crohn’s flare. Lord knows we can’t have both of us in the hospital at the same time! What a disaster!!

I know the Lord has a special plan in mind for the Delk family. He is preparing us for the future and I don’t mind weathering the storm. I know He is carrying us through this time and that at some point, maybe years down the road, we will be able to look back and see how all the pieces fit together, but for now, we will blindly trust Him, because that is what is required. Thanks friends, for praying for us, and for all that you’ve given to us. Your love has overwhelmed us again and we thank God for each of you.

If you missed the first part of this crazy week, you can read Brandon’s update. Or you can catch up on Brandon’s journey.

2 thoughts on “The Swollen Colon

  1. Bethany, I posted a comment on Brandon’s page, but I want you to know that we are here to help in whatever way two elders can ( 77;81). We are praying in our mind and heart, and out loud as we see your name posted on our windows, side tables, etc. The Lord knows what’s going on and he will make sure you all 4 are okay, cause you’re His kids. Lov u bunches, Nana

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