I went in recently for a routine endoscopy. My GI doctor had planned to carry out an esophageal dilation due to my swallowing issues. I arrived at 8:45 a.m. and left at 4:15 p.m. by ambulance for the hospital. The doctor had to put in four clips because of a tear during the procedure — prompting an unexpected four-day hospital stay.
If you are admitted to the hospital, I recommend you have someone advocate for you during your stay. My husband took two days off work to spend time with me. He asked the doctors and nurses questions, helped with my johnny modesty, untangled my IV, got me ice chips, and stayed with me while I threw up the barium drink. He kept me distracted with trivia quizzes and watched me while I napped.
On day three, they finally did the barium swallow test because my husband told a physician assistant that we were frustrated by the delay. She assured us I would have the procedure that day. So, I had the test late on Sunday. If you’ve ever had a barium swallow test, then you know how completely disgusting it is. I was tested for Clostridium difficile because the doctors were concerned about my bouts of diarrhea. I’m happy to report that the test results were negative.
The hospital’s staff members were very responsive, compassionate, professional, and incredibly kind. However, it’s going to take me at least a week to recover from the lack of sleep, pain medication, and noise overload.
This was my first hospitalization since my diagnosis. It was challenging and stressful, but I found pockets of joy: a nurse who sat and talked with me so I wouldn’t feel alone; the first incredible bite of gelatin after three days of being nil by mouth; my own pillow instead of what passes for a pillow in hospital. I believe that it’s important to advocate for what you need and to be thankful for the little things that minister to your heart.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.