Saturday, 7 July 2012

First Days in the Hospital

I thought I could rule the world. Fool the doctors. Look stubborn in front of the hospital staff, not eat, and be kicked out of the hospital for noncompliance.

I was dead wrong.

I hardly ate the first two days in the hospital (I was still in the ER, waiting for a room). After two days, the nephrologist (kidney doctor) showed up in my room.

"Your kidneys have shut down. They have shrunk to the size of a three year-old's kidneys. They aren't working properly. You need to eat and drink, if you do not want to die", he said.

I smiled at him smugly. These words meant nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. It's not that I did not understand him. I did. But the thought of eating and drinking was too scary. Maybe I'll eat and drink some more, I thought. Just to keep myself living. Perhaps my kidneys will get better if I do. NO! Don't eat. Don't drink. You can't. You will get fat. Is that what you want? ALl your hard work, done with? To be fat, obese, with everyone making fun of you? You don't need food. The doctors are just trying to scare you. You are stronger. You'll show them. Okay ED. You are right. I don't need to eat. These doctors are trying to use scare tactics to get me to eat. Well, I'll show them whose boss.

Or so I thought.

After half an hour, the doctor ordered that I have a 50% dextrose solution IV. I went hysterical. I instantly grabbed my phone and searched how many calories were in dextrose. To my horror, I read that 50mL of dextrose had 3 CALORIES! I argued, protested, and wailed at the doctor. He looked at me and said, "This won't make you fat. Heck, it won't make you gain weight. We are just trying to keep you living".

Humph! Well, I thought, if they are getting calories into me through this nasty IV, I'll eat less. I look back now and regret it all. Because before I knew it, the doctor came in and announced that I would be getting a feeding tube - also known as a nasogastric tube.

"NO!" I howled. "I'll eat! I do not want that nasty tube up my nose. Just give me a chance, I'll eat".

"You had a chance to eat before," the doctor replied. "And we have seen that you cannot do it. You are getting the tube. Now, lay down on your back. And swallow when I tell you to".

I had no choice. I cried as I swallowed the tube, feeling its rubbery end scratch my nostril and throat as the doctor pushed it up my nose. Now, I apologize if this sounds nasty. But it is what really happened. A nasogastric tube is basically a tube that is put up a patient's nose. It reaches down into their stomachs. This tube is connected to a machine that has a bag. The nurses fill the bag with some kind of weight-gain formula, such as Ensure or Resource. And so, you get 'fed' through your nose. Needless to say, it is NOT a pleasant experience.

And so, I vowed that I would eat more, hoping that they would take the stupid tube out my nose. I ate the meals that the hospital would give me. But the stinkin' tube feedings kept going. The doctor refused to remove it.

I thought I would be out of the hospital relatively soon, especially since I was eating more now. I expected to leave within two weeks or so. That was assuming that nothing else went wrong - that I didn't have any sudden complications or problems.

I wasn't that lucky.


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