Hey! For those who missed it, I spent three nights in the hospital due to an ulcerative colitis flare.
I’d tried telling two different doctors at various times throughout January that my medicine stopped working, but nobody listened to me.
For a week before I was admitted, my doctor’s office ghosted me. I called. I emailed. Nothing. No answer. Radio static. (Long story here. If you want more details, call, text, or inbox me.)
I felt like Demi Lovato singing “Anyone” at the Grammys.
Turns out, shocker, that my colitis had spread further into my colon, and I needed a blood transfusion to replace the blood I had lost.
Because. Nobody. Listened. To. Me. Seriously.
But I won’t get into the entire story right now because:
- I’m still really upset.
- it should have never happened.
Because. Nobody. Listened. To. Me.
Enough of the negativity. Here’s what I learned during my hospital stay.
- Beware the pretty pills. My nurses ooohhhhhed and awwwwwed over a lovely, jade-colored pill, presented to me in a tiny plastic cup. We never get to see colorful pills! Look how pretty! They said. All we ever see are plain-colored pills! Considering the sheer number of medicines overwhelming my system, I missed all the warning signs that this “pretty green pill” was the Green Fairy in Moulin Rouge. After achieving mind-blowingly high status twice in four hours, I, slurring my words, accused the nurses of slipping me roofies and refused to take more. Unfortunately, my mother called both times I was baked, and I had to hang up on her. Sorry Mom! Also, if you texted me while I was drugged, and I promised I would steal you some roofies too, come see me later. (Just kidding!!!!) (gif credit)
- If you spill your water all over your bed, you don’t get a new bed; you get put on a puppy pad. I felt properly shamed. Don’t worry. At least they didn’t try to stick my nose in it . . .
- Teacher expectations are ridiculous. Sorry. Here’s the negativity again. What was I doing before getting a blood transfusion? Typing up emergency lesson plans. Posting student instructions on Google Classroom. Trying to line up a sub for the next day–while I had IVs in both arms. Just to make sure my students weren’t given short shrift by my emergency absence. How insane is that? Read what I just wrote again. Insane. Utterly insane. If you are outside the education field, I don’t think you’ll ever understand the pressures that teachers face. My absence also created more work for my immediate grade level team members, and thank you, 8th-grade team, from the bottom of my heart for helping.
- I am officially a vampire. I’ve got someone else’s blood running through my veins! Call me Bill Compton! Edward! Dracula! Bunnicula! Waiittttt. Why are the great vampires all dudes? I need to rectify this, Le-stat! You can address me as Rampire. It has a nice ring to it. (My brother, on the other hand, thinks this equates me with a mosquito, not a vampire, and I’ll need a reinforcement coven to convince him otherwise.)(gif credit)
- Never doubt the medicine of a good laugh. Two of my friends came to visit, made me laugh the entire time they were there, and brought me this hysterical card. My bestie from high school sent me these flowers with this funny card. And the Facebook-requested memes and videos brightened my days. Here’s my favorite gif that I received during my stay. (Sorry not sorry for the crass humor. This is hilarious.)
And while humor helps, what happened to me is no laughing matter. If you suffer from any illness, whether invisible or visible, you are your own best advocate. You are the only person who knows what the pain feels like, and if doctors aren’t listening to you, keep speaking up–even if it feels like nobody is listening to you.
(I respect all doctors, and I am not doctor bashing here, friends. This came down to ineffective communication within a doctor’s office and between doctors’ offices and medical bureaucracy. What happened to me could have been prevented. I’m just relaying how unnervingly unheard I was.)