I'm typing this not even sure if it will be published or not. Maybe I just need to type it and it can sit in my posts which are only saved. In 1997 I had a wee girl who was one year and four months old, a husband of six years, I was working professionally, and my husband and I owned a gift and home décor store in a small town. We had moved locations of the store and spent a lot of time fixing up the building so it would be just right for our style.
We attended the wedding of the man who was our best man in our wedding. The wedding was at the end of August. I began to get ill about the second week of September. By ill, I mean I had uncontrollable diarrhea, at times bloody, was so weak I had trouble standing, felt nauseous... was just a mess. I stopped work because I was put into a small town hospital, put on IV fluids for dehydration and my own doctor was in the process of moving her practice, so I was left in the hands of whoever happened to be on call. Trust me when I say you do not want to be extremely ill on a weekend as it never seemed that doctors could be reached, or decisions could be made.
I won't go into all the sordid details, but all told, I was in three different hospitals, was told I had ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease. A nasty little piece of work doctor stood at my bedside and told me I would be looking at a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. At the same time, I was put on a variety of medications, including a central line being attached into the side of my chest while a sweet young nurse held my hand because I was terrified of having a tube inserted into me while I was still awake. One of the medications was called prednisone. It is used for severe inflammation. One of the rare side effects of prednisone is a form of psychosis. I developed that rare side effect. Slowly but surely I lost myself, unable to explain to anyone what was happening. I didn't want to see anyone, I sunk into a horrible depression, I had no muscle strength and couldn't even get myself out of a bathtub or walk down the hall. My eyesight became effected and I had difficulty seeing. All this time, I was in hospital, having clear fluids, graduating to semi-solid food. Two of the hospitals were quite a distance from our home. My husband came when he was able, but he also had work, as well as run our store, as well as our little girl to take care of. His parents came to help out for a little while, when they could. My own parents, especially my mother, were not strong enough or capable of helping.
Finally, after two months, and another colonoscopy (my first one was an emergency one), a doctor informed me that I had an ameobic infection. Entomeoba histolitica . I never had any of the terrible diseases they said I had. I was sent home, still suffering the effects of the prednisone, and given a horse dose of antibiotics which would clear up the dysentery. Unfortunately, with being bed bound in hospital for so long, and apparently another possible side effect of the prednisone, I developed a DVT in my right leg (blood clot). I was so messed up on the mind altering drugs, I just assumed I'd pulled a muscle somehow. When I did end up going to the hospital, I was told to go directly to a bigger hospital in a town farther away (husband was with me - I was incapable of driving or making decisions). Through ultrasound, they determined I had a bad blood clot and was immediately given a blood thinner which would "keep me alive" (direct quote from a hospital staff member).
So now I'm still mentally very messed up, can't sleep at all, or so it seemed to me, was in horrible pain and swelling with the blood clot, now had to have injections of blood thinner in my abdomen from a nurse who just wanted me to learn to do it myself, and my mind won't allow me to believe that I don't still have Crohn's disease. My husband called the doctor himself, so I could hear it again and the doctor seemed utterly bewildered that I didn't believe it.
In the end, a nurse pulled my husband aside, outside of the hospital and told him that "mistakes were made" on me, which we believe was about lab tests not being done properly, or results not being communicated. I also ended up going to a hospital and was seen by a psychiatrist who admitted that prednisone was likely the problem and prescribed anti-psychotics which I took while I slowly decreased the dosage of the prednisone.
I ended up being off work for about seven months, had long lasting repercussions with the leg that had the blood clot, developed a solid mistrust of people in medicine, and was quite damaged psychologically. There are many other things that happened while in hospital that don't need to be written about, but it was the hardest thing in my life that I've ever been a part of.
Why do I write about this now? It was twenty some years ago. Well, I've been dealing with some bowel issues for the past two weeks. Not nearly as horrible as the first time this happened to me, but enough that it wasn't going away, so I tried to see my doctor. Yes, in Canada, we have free health care (to a certain extent), but I can NEVER see my own doctor right away . Often it is a two week wait. There is a nurse practitioner who you can also see, but she was sick! So I went to emerg. and told my symptoms. I was asked, in triage, if I had been out of the country in the past 21 days. I said no. Then when I was seen by the doctor on call, she enquired further and I said that we had gone away for a week at Christmas (that was more than 21 days ago) Where, she asked. Mexico. Did you leave the resort, she continued. Yes, we did. So she sent me away with a recommendation of the BRATY died (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, yogurt) and a lab requisition and many little bottles in which to put "samples". You may not be aware, but this is a holiday weekend for us, with Monday being "Family Day". I delivered my samples on the Friday and Saturday, cringing at the thought of anything being done on a holiday weekend. I will only be told if something is found. I will hear nothing if the tests are negative. However, I am aware that these tests aren't foolproof and sometimes it takes many samples to find the needle in the haystack. I will need to see a doctor again to ask for more lab requisitions if I don't hear anything.
There has been a lot of gastro-intestinal illness and bad cold and flu viruses as well. I am around the public constantly. Could this be something that just isn't working its way out of my system? Perhaps. Could I be harboring some kind of parasite in my intestines? Perhaps. Do I have Crohn's disease. Not very likely, but my brain still goes there. My brain still fears the tests, the mistakes, the drugs, the screw ups...
I don't know why I'm sharing. This isn't my usual blog post. In fact I rarely, if ever, share private information. It's about a health topic that isn't generally discussed, people tending not to talk about their bathroom activities. My logical brain tells me I'll be fine. My scared, wounded brain continues to mess with me. Have you ever had a misdiagnosis? Have you ever suffered ill effects of a prescription medication? Thank you for reading and understanding that certain things can take you right back, even though you've grown up and lived a lifetime of wonderful things since then.