I’m living in Day 11 of my second bout with the intestinal infection known as diverticulitis and I felt obligated to write a note for the ages that warns others with this ailment–This is nothing to play around with.
During the past 11 days, I’ve spent 5 of them in a hospital bed. There were two before going into the hospital. That leaves four that I’ve been out.
At this writing, I’m still very weak and tired. I’ve basically quit eating as I’m not really hungry, but at the same time, I am hungry and nothing sounds good, and I’m afraid to eat anything that is going to get stuck inside me and make me start hurting insanely again.
In The Hospital
I spent my time in the Texas Regional Medical Center in Sunnyvale, Texas. This is a brand new facility. Everything is new. It’s clean. I sat in the ER waiting room maybe for five minutes and from then on, I was in a bed.
Before I went upstairs and was admitted, I had blood work done, had a CT-Scan, and time with a caring doctor who gave me options on how I was going to be treated.
Upstairs with my nurses, they change shifts every 12 hours at 7 am/pm, were professional, caring and pleasant to work with. They were responsive to my needs and constantly were checking on me.
Clear Liquid Diet
The first thing I was told was that I was going on a clear liquid diet. That translates to beef/chicken broth, some clear jello, and a Popsicle for lunch and supper. I also was allowed to drink my unsweetened iced tea.
This went on for four days. Just thinking about broth right now makes me want to think about hurling, but it really was what I needed. A few nurses let me have chocolate pudding cups, but that got stopped by one of the nurses.
When I awoke Saturday morning after having been admitted, I expected the doctor to send me home. That wasn’t even on his radar. He said, “We’ll continue the clear liquids a couple more days and then we’ll see how you do with soft foods.”
Remember, most hospitals are trying to kick you out as fast as possible. That told me I was sicker than I thought.
My First Bout
When I had diverticulitis the first time, I was so intent on keeping up with my work, I even went on a trip from Dallas to Mobile. My doctor at the time freaked out. I was miserable and wound up coming home early, but that time, I didn’t realize the seriousness of my ailment, nor did I realize the impact it was having on my body.
The Second Time Around
This time I’ve been more respectful of the ailment. It would have been madness to have come home from the hospital last Saturday to take care of myself at home. Every four hours at the hospital, the nurses were pumping pain relief meds, plus antibiotics straight into me via an IV. This would not have happened at home.
There is absolutely no way I would have conformed to the requirements of the clear liquid diet at home either. I would have been nibbling on hard and high-fiber meats and such and just been clogging myself up again, causing more and more pain and discomfort.
My ER doctor soon told me I was not obstructed, that things were getting through my intestines, and if I was obstructed and had diverticulitis, the results would be “catastrophic.”
That translates into I would have died.
The other danger with diverticulitis was if one of the pockets that have formed in my intestine had burst, much like appendicitis, spilling my guts into my guts. That would have been far worse, too.
A Couple Recommendations
1) Diverticulitis is no game. It’s not a picnic, nor is it any fun to endure. It’s highly painful and energy draining. When your doctor tells you you’re going to be down for awhile, you’re going to be down. Don’t try to speed up the process. You cannot.
2) The TRMC in Sunnyvale is a very good hospital to go to when you’re in need. I highly recommend it. It’s still something of a secret so it’s not crowded, the rooms are clean, and my room was a single-bed, so I didn’t have to listen to the drama of someone else ailing in my room with me.
3) Forget about taking trips with diverticulitis. That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done.
4) Follow up with your doctor after getting out of the hospital. This is a very serious ailment and one you don’t want to come back…
- A Stay In The Hospital – Daddy/Daughter Time (daddyclaxton.com)
- Is Surgery Necessary for Diverticulitis? (everydayhealth.com)
- Can diverticulitis require intestine removal? (zocdoc.com)
- How is diverticulitis treated? (zocdoc.com)
- What is diverticulitis? (3news.co.nz)
- Did CLL Progress to Colon, or Is It Diverticulitis? (everydayhealth.com)
- Can diverticulitis result in bleeding during bowel movements? (zocdoc.com)
- Diverticulitis: What Exactly Is Wrong with Brock Lesnar? (bleacherreport.com)
- Diverticulitis (shawnmwilson.com)