I looked around the very crowded emergency room and was very worried that we would be waiting a long time to see a doctor. I approached the reception desk and explained the situation and how sick Rick was getting. I was handed some papers to fill out, and in my anxiety and fear I proceeded to fill out my name. I stood next to Rick as he sat in the wheelchair looking very sick and a little on the pale/green side. I was trying to finish filling out the paperwork when a concerned triage nurse pulled Rick into the triage room and started checking his vitals. I told him that I was parked in a no parking zone and he got the security guard to open the gate to the doctor's parking so that I could move the car. I ran to the car and back because I was scared to leave his side.
Rick was then "fast tracked" back to a room. By that time he was getting very chilled and was asked to take off his shirt and then just left there without a gown to put on in its place. I grabbed his shirt and sweatshirt to drape over him so he wasn't so cold. The nurse was not the nicest of people. A doctor was in the room very quickly and asked about the ERCP. He felt Rick's abdomen and discovered that it was EXTREMELY tender. The doctor was very worried about what might be happening. His biggest worry was that there might be a hole in the bile duct somewhere that was leaking. That could have been very dangerous. He ordered a CT scan to be done to check on any leaks. The nurse then attempted to get an IV started and draw blood. Unfortunately Rick was so sick that it was almost impossible to find a vein. And Rick is usually the easiest poke ever.
After MANY pokes she was finally able to find a vein. All the while Rick is very out of it. He spent most of the time asleep. He was feeling nauseous but had to drink four cups of contrast for the CT scan. I kept pouring him the glasses and cheered him on as he drank it. He was able to get those down. Soon after that is when things got much worse. He suddenly was shaking bad and his pain had skyrocketed out of control. He said his pain was a 14, and the nurse said that the pain scale only goes to 10, but Rick insisted it was a 14. His jaw just quivered and his neck got very stiff. He was basically writhing in pain. It was all I could do to hold it together. I was so scared as I watched him get progressively worse and worse. I was afraid that I was watching him die. I am not exaggerating. I just rubbed his head and told him that it was going to be okay. My mom was there with us and she was out in the hall trying to find someone to come give him something for the pain. The nurse finally came in and gave him something but it didn't seem to make any difference. It was at that time that I decided that it was time to have his parents come to the hospital. They were staying at home because they had our kids.
The radiologist came to take him for the CT scan. At the same time our friend Heather was arriving with some food for me. I decided to stay back in the room and my mom followed him to the CT. It was then that I lost it. I just couldn't believe what I was watching. I thought that I was losing my husband. I also knew that I needed to eat so that I could be strong for him. So that is what I did.
It wasn't very long and Rick was being brought back into the room. By that time he was extremely nauseous and shaking violently. My mom actually went into the CT room with him because he was so sick. It is really hard to explain how I was feeling at that point. I don't think there really are words to describe what it is like to watch someone that you love so much in such excruciating pain.
His parents arrived at the hospital soon after that and there was a room full of people just staring at him. I just stood by his bed and stroked his head. Then a nurse came in to draw some more blood to test for an infection in the blood. She couldn't use the IV to draw the blood though and had to get a certain amount of blood from each arm, so that meant several more pokes because a vein was not easy to find. You would not believe the amount of bruises and needle pokes he has on his arms right now.
Finally the doctor came in and told us that he had pancreatitis. The CT scan showed no leaks. The doctor looked me right in the eye and said "thank you for bringing him in, he is very sick." That was a scary statement. It was right after that that the puking began. And it lasted all night long and into the next day. He was throwing up fairly continuously for a few hours. It was horrible. And none of the anti-nausea medications were helping. Every time he started in again my mom and Heather would leave the room. Normally I am not much of a vomit person, but I was going to help him no matter what it took.
Pretty soon nurses were hanging IV antibiotics and rushing around getting him ready to be admitted. Before I knew it I was following him down the hall on the way to his hospital room. He was sitting up on the bed throwing up into a cardboard bowl as he was being wheeled down the hall and into the elevator.
I don't really know how I was able to hold it together as well as I did. I just knew that he needed me and I needed to be there for him. My legs felt like jello and my heart was pounding, but there was no way I was going to fall apart in front of him. He was too sick to see that and I was going to prove that I could be strong for him.
I will continue tomorrow with the rest of our hospital stay. Right now I am going to cuddle with my hubby.