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Monday, May 18, 2015

The start of real trouble

I've always known Kev is one in a million. He's an exceptional guy. But after the last week of events, there are actual statistics to prove just what a rare kind of person he is.

His whole life, Kev has endured painful stomach aches. As a child he remembers having them frequently. Nothing was ever diagnosed. And you know how kids are; they say they have a stomach ache, but what they mean is they don't want to go to school, or that they want to eat a cookie instead of dinner. So sometimes it can be hard to take stomach aches seriously in little ones.

Continuing into adulthood, Kev has still had the stomach aches. In the ten years I've known him, he has often said he's going to skip dinner, or just eat some bread, because his stomach was bothering him. He's taken tums and Rolaids and other pH balancers to help with the upset. It's just been a normal occurrence for him a few times a month.

But near the end of April, the stomach pains turned into severe abdominal pain. He texted me from work, saying he thought he had appendicitis. He drove himself to an InstaCare in Murray (from freakin Park City) and was given a tentative diagnosis there (80% sure it was appendicitis) so we went to the ER that night.

After a CT scan, it was determined that Kev did not actually have an inflamed appendix, nor had it burst. But the ER doctor (with whom I was not impressed) noticed irritation in a part of Kev's colon near the appendix. He recommended a follow up with a GI specialist the following day. Unfortunately, he couldn't see the GI for five days. Even after I explained the urgency on Friday the 24th, the earliest they would get Kev in was Tuesday the 28th. He had his consult then and went over the labs from the ER. It was determined they'd do a colonoscopy to investigate the Colitis diagnosis given in the ER.

Due to Kev's work schedule, the colonoscopy wasn't scheduled until May 8th. And the week of the procedure, Kev experienced some nausea, dizziness, vomiting and bloody stool. He passed out on the kitchen floor one morning, unbeknownst to me.

It was difficult to get in touch with the GI specialist at that point. He was trying to determine if the colonoscopy should still go on, or if he should meet with the GI to evaluate the new symptoms. It was determined the test would still occur as scheduled.

After the scope, the GI said nothing was found. Biopsies were taken and we expected the results to come the following week. It was frustrating to leave with no answers regarding Kev's bloody stool, upset stomach, and other symptoms.

The weekend after his scope, Kev had to work swing shift. He didn't tell me, but he had stomach pains the whole weekend. Monday he had the day off and he mowed the lawn and we all went to the farm together in the afternoon. As soon as we got home he said he didn't feel well. I fed the kids and when I went to check on Kev, he was sick in the bathroom. He was burning up and sweating and his body was trying to expel everything he'd ever eaten in his entire life.

Tuesday the 12th he went to work as usual since he'd rested so much Monday and slept well through the night. But he admitted to me he wasn't feeling well in the middle of the day. I asked if he wanted me to come get him since I knew by that point that when he admits to feeling badly, he means he's nauseous and dizzy and vomiting. I didn't want him driving like that. Of course, he insisted he could just rest and get home in a little while.

Two hours later, he finally arrived home from work. I was putting Linc down for a nap so I didn't see him come in. He was in bad shape. I didn't find out until later that he had to lie down on the floor at work, and he rushed into an empty room at the resort and got sick in the bathroom. I don't know how he made it home.

He went to bed immediately and didn't get up again. In the middle of the night I got up with Lincoln and when I was done, I found Kev sick in the bathroom. He could barely move, but we got him back into our bedroom and he slept on the floor. He'd started the antibiotics the GI had prescribed for after his colonoscopy (to be taken if he didn't feel well afterward) and we thought he was having a bad reaction to them.

By 5am, we were up for the day. He was so sick and pale. I couldn't get him off the bathroom floor. He had nothing left in his body, but he was losing a lot of blood. He kept saying he should have gone to the hospital the night before, and that's when I called my Bishop, who's conveniently my next-door neighbor. By then it was almost 6am. Bishop and his wife came over and reassured me I should call 911. They stayed with me while we wiated what felt like an eternity for the ambulance to arrive. I think they actually got lost finding our house, which is terrible because we're only a mile from the hospital (not the one they took him too, though, because of COURSE the hospital by our house isn't in our insurance network).

A huge team of paramedics arrived and attended to Kev on the floor. He'd lost so much blood he was completely white. There wasn't any pink in his lips and he passed out when they tried to help him walk out of the bathroom. They ended up strapping him to a chair to take him down the stairs and out the front door to the stretcher. And then I had to watch the ambulance take my husband away. Both kids were still in bed at this time (about 7am) although Linc had begun to stir. I desperately needed to nurse him (for my sake and his) so I felt I had no choice but to stay behind and make the necessary arrangements for the kids before I could get to the hospital.

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