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The Fine Line – Pt. 3: Tap Out

Check out part 1 and part 2 of The Fine Line.

With my dad en route to pick me up, I used the remainder of my energy to refresh the contents of my Go-Bag. The bag was recently used a week before my cruise to Mexico, so it needed a few things. I packed the bag to the brim, and even had a second smaller bag for a few creature comforts.

Staying in the hospital for a little over a week last time had taught me the value of packing for everything. This time I was far  better prepared.

From Vacation to the Hospital

My dad picked me up and we headed to the ER. While we drove along I called up my gastroenterologist (GI) to explain what was going on, she agreed that the tap would be the most likely course of action, and she prepped the ER for my arrival. The belly pain began to hurt more and more as we approached the hospital, and I grew increasingly tired.

My heart rate had dropped to a dangerously low pace while my blood pressure remained extremely high. The ER docs knew that the tap would probably not be the final answer. With a local anesthetic I watched them do a diagnostic tap.  The IV in my arm covered the bruises from weeks ago, while they began to pull twelve pounds of fluid from my body.IMG_20161101_163226811

Getting Scary News

With the results of the diagnostic tap back, they informed me of the frightening news.

The fluid they’d pulled, and additionally the blood in my body had been subject to sepsis. They informed me that I had developed something called SBP or spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and it was infecting my blood. With few choices regarding pain medication due to the high blood pressure and low heart rate the doctors gave me a dose of Ketamine (a strong pain medication) and I became a floating bag. While I was in twilight they fitted me with an I-J or Central line.

It’s a special type of IV that goes directly to heart via the arterial jugular route in the neck. unlike a typical IV, blood can easily be drawn from it, while medicine is being distributed into it, as it has multiple ports.

Check back for more from Rick’s series “The Fine Line”

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