The Recovery: Part Deux

After my discharge from Beth Israel hospital in New York City this past Monday, I quickly flew back to California to rest and recover. The parting words from the doctor went something like:

You will probably have some pain for the next few days, but as long as it progressively gets better you will be alright. Within a week, you should probably be feeling back to normal.

With that advice, I resumed a semi-normal life back in San Francisco. For some reason, though, yesterday I started to feel almost worse than I had in several days. Throughout most of the day while I was working from the confines of my comfy bed, I noticed that my pain level was increasing. Additionally, I was pretty much in constant pain all day long — no matter what I did.

Continue reading The Recovery: Part Deux

Sunday night update

I saw my attending physician an hour ago and she was very happy with my progression. She ordered me a clear liquid dinner which went down really really well and that means that I get a real breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

If I can tolerate them with mild pain, I will be able to be discharged tomorrow afternoon. She expects me to still be in pain when I eat for the next week, but I am already 75-80% better and am out of the danger zone.

Looks like I’ll be staying in NYC tomorrow night at a hotel. Good news!

Sunday in the Hospital

After talking to the resident doctor today, my lipase levels are around 1100 and are still elevated. She insisited that I shouldn’t pay too much attention to the levels, though as long as they are going down — it’s more important to see how I feel. Pancreatitis is treated clincally rather than through tests (and I’ve heard that before).

That said, I have felt pretty good today. I got up and walked around a bit, cleaned myself up and shaved. After all that was done I was pretty much pain free, which is a great sign. It’s laying in bed that, for some reason, makes me in a little more discomfort.

The doctors (and the GI that the resident spoke to) follow the same school of thought as all of the other doctors I’ve talked to about pancreatitis in that I should start on clear liquids as soon as I am feeling hungry as that will not impact my recovery. Unfortunately, I am so tainted by my first case of this, and I really felt I was rushed too quickly to eat — and that may or may not have contributed to my lengthy recovery.

So, I asked her if anyone else came in here with pancreatitis if they would start me on clear liquids by now — and she said most likely, depending on how I felt. So, I might try some broth and jello for dinner tonight and see how I feel. I want to give myself a little more time to rest before I rush to eat, but I am definitely starting to get more and more hungry.

The fact that my first recovery took so long and I had such a bad case has really tainted my view of this condition and makes me extremely skeptical of everything.

On the roommate front, the guy next to me has some serious ulcers on his feet. He is extraordinarily overweight and the doctors flat out told him today that he’s more or less on a death sentence if he doesn’t clean up his act. He has 3 holes in his feet that are leaking (and smell absolutely disgusting) and the doctor said it’s not going to get any better unless he starts today to never “eat anything that tastes good again.” Regardless, he doesn’t seem to be paying much attention as he ordered two of every dessert when the nurse came to take his menu tomorrow. He’s definitely a character.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Here I am again. In the hospital with Pancreatitis. Less than 12 hours before I went to the ER, I was at my company holiday party telling co-workers that I hadn’t seen in months just how much better I was feeling and how much healthier my lifestyle has been since my recovery.

I have been consistenly exercising 5 days a week, eating a very healthy diet and I have not had any alcohol since July.

But yet, somehow, yesterday morning while packing my clothes and getting ready for my weekend in NYC and my Sunday flight back to SFO, I started experiencing some pain in my abdomen. I headed to work for a few hours and quickly realized that I should probably go to the ER.

Turns out my lipase levels were up around 6,000 again (when a normal level is ~100), which is an immediate sign of pancreatitis. On the bright side, my pain is much much more tolerable this time around and I am hoping that this is a sign that it is a much milder case.

My bloodwork this morning showed an elevated lipase level, still, but it was coming down. I have a strong feeling that I will not be on my flight out to SFO tomorrow — but I am hoping to be headed back sometime this week, in full health.

The first time, this was traumatic. This time it’s a fucking pain in the ass.