Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Losing Lily: Part II

We left the hotel with two sets of directions to two different hospitals. The front desk had given us one, but my father-in-law gave us another that he thought was closer. We found neither. We drove for what seemed like forever, but couldn't find any of the roads we were supposed to be on. We finally stopped at a red light, and a police car happened to be next to us. My girlfriend suggested that we ask him for directions, which we did. We kept driving, and eventually saw a building in the distance that looked promising. We noticed the big white cross on the front, and we were sure that that had to be a hospital.

We got inside; I was able to walk. They found a wheelchair for me to sit in in the triage. We were there for quite a while, and they asked me a bunch of questions. The nurse was very reassuring. She said that since I had only bled a little bit, and it had stopped, that I could still be pregnant, and not to worry too much. I still had pain however. It continued to get progressively worse, and now it was all on my right side. They took my blood pressure and temperature, and eventually someone came and took me to the ER curtain area. This was where I spent most of the time.

They decided to take blood, which was surprisingly painless. They did this in a separate room from the curtain area, where they also did a pelvic exam. The ER doctor did this exam. It was very uncomfortable, and I really couldn't tell what he found. They eventually took me back to the curtain area. They decided to do an ultrasound. Instead of having me drink a lot of water, I guess they thought it would be quicker to insert a catheter and fill my bladder themselves. This would prove to be the most painful experience they had in store for me. The insertion of the Foley was excruciating, and I sobbed. The nurse did not seem to think this was unusual. They finally came and took me to do the ultrasound. The tech filled my bladder up, and spent a very long time staring at the screen. She didn't talk to me. I looked at the screen, but I couldn't really tell what I was seeing. She said that she needed to do an internal ultrasound. I was relieved, thinking that this meant that she would take the Foley out. She said that she had to leave it in. (I complained many times about how uncomfortable it was, but was told that if they had to do surgery, they would just have to put it in again, and then I would be really sore.) She drained my bladder and started the internal. Again, she just stared at the screen, not talking. She eventually muttered that she needed someone else to look too, and called another woman in. They both stared together at the screen for a long time, pointing and quietly talking, but neither of them spoke to me. I knew they had to do their jobs, but I couldn't help but think, "I'm a person! Treat me like a person! I'm right here!"

She eventually ended the ultrasound (after about 40 minutes) and wheeled me out into the hall. She left me there for about 10 minutes, then came back and took me to the curtain area, where my husband was waiting.

At some point, they had to put in an IV. I am a big baby about this kind of thing, and cried just at the thought that they were going to do it. Something about needles mentally freaks me out, and with my low blood pressure the person always seems to need to 'dig'. The woman who put it in was also unfortunately a student, and although she tried her best, it hurt like hell, and I was sobbing hysterically once again. She felt really bad, and it just made the whole thing even more pathetic and awful.

We were there for probably six hours, enduring test after test and being told nothing, before the OB doctor came down to the ER to examine me. We still weren't being told anything of course, but it felt as if we were starting all over again because the ER doctor had given up. By this point we were mentally drained, afraid, shaky. But she was calm and had a lovely manner about her. She explained to me that my HcG levels were only at about 300, and for six weeks pregnant, they should be closer to 3,000. She took me away to do another pelvic exam. She said she would feel my uterus and ovaries to try to determine what was causing the pain. After the exam, she told me that she wanted to do surgery. She said that they couldn't find the baby on the ultrasound, and they could only see something suspicious on my left fallopian tube. This also made no sense, since the pain was on my right side.

The doctor explained the surgery to me. She would go in through my belly button with a laparascope. I might have three or four incisions overall, depending on what they found when they went in. (I ended up with three incisions.) I was taken back to the ER, and they got me ready to go. I had never actually been admitted, so they had to do the paperwork for that before I could go to the OR. I think the Man signed everything for me, but I don't really remember. My girlfriend was gone at this point, she had returned to the hotel. She was supposed to check out of her room that morning at 11am, and was pretty late getting back. She checked her bags for the time being, and tried to reach my in-laws who were getting ready for the wedding.

The doctor came in and sat with me before they took me to surgery. I was really cold, and someone brought me a blanket. The doctor noticed then that the ultrasound tech had never cleaned me up after the procedure. I still had the gel and sticky towels all over me, underneath my blankets. She cleaned me up, and we talked a little bit. We talked about our daughters, and had a smile together. She was the only 'safe' and human part of that day.

They eventually got all the paperwork together, and an orderly came to wheel me upstairs to the OR. I was shivering cold by now. No matter how many blankets they put on me, I just couldn't get warm. I just thought that it was cold in there, I never really put two and two together. On the way up to the OR, the orderly stopped and got another blanket out of a warming cabinet for me. It felt great, so nice and warm.

They parked me in another curtained area, and the Man and I waited for a little bit. The anesthesiologist came and asked me some questions, then left. I said that maybe we should pray, so the Man did. It didn't seem real, that I was going in to have emergency surgery, and that we didn't know what would happen. We cried a little, and smiled a little, and pretty soon it was time to go. He kissed me goodbye, and they wheeled me away.

They wheeled me into the OR. It was icy cold. Everything was very bright and white. I looked around at all of the faces above me, and found it funny that they were all women. The doctor came in and said "Girl! It is freezing in here!", and went and got me another blanket. Soon I had to give up some of my blankets however, as they got me ready. They plugged things into my IV, and put an oxygen mask on me. The doctor took my hand. I was so grateful to her for the only moments of humanity I had in that hospital. They told me to breath deeply, and I did. I felt like I was suffocating, it was so hard to breathe in there. I felt panic rising up in me, as I wondered what was going to happen, would the baby be ok, would I be ok? The terror was too much, I wanted to scream. I squeezed tightly onto the doctor's hand, and suddenly... there was nothing.

Part III

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