Hunger. And thirst. And having to choose… Do I want to drink a little more today than I did yesterday and then still be hungry? Or do I want to eat something and know I won’t be able to drink the rest of the day?
You know what else pisses me off? Dehydration. And the feeling that if you could stand next to a lake, you would want to drink the whole thing, if you could. And hunger… although the gnawing pain of hunger is slowly starting to not bother me anymore. But the slow and steady dehydration is annoying me to no end.
You know what else pisses me off? Stupid doctors. Not the kind of doctor that makes an honest mistake but is really trying. But the doctor that just doesn’t seem to care.
That is what I have dealt with. I went to the Emergency Room last night because I couldn’t swallow anything anymore. Let me back up and explain something.
When I first burned my esophagus, I could get fluids down my throat. Not as much as before I burned it. I would drink whatever my body weight divided in half. So I weighed 203 pounds. I was drinking 120 ounces of fluid a day. I’m dyslexic… I also like to drink stuff.
After burning my esophagus, I was able to drink 80 ounces but couldn’t eat. I was okay with this, although I really wanted to drink more. Later, I was down to 70 ounces, then 60 ounces. Now, 1 week and 5 days later (or is it 4 days?) I am so thirsty I wish I could drink. The last few days I have been able to drink (in order of days) 30 ounces, 24 ounces, 28 ounces, 20 ounces. I am so thirsty and hungry right now!
Back to yesterday. I was so hungry that I figured I would find the slickest food and eat something. I made hard-boiled eggs because they were the slickest food I had at the moment. I managed to eat a few of those. After that, I swallowed a few sips of blueberry pom juice. And then, I couldn’t swallow anymore. I was taking teaspoon sized sips of water and juice. It got to where my mouth started to feel like cotton. I started taking a sip and just holding it in my mouth because my mouth was so dry it hurt.
I debated on going to the hospital. Since I can’t take my anti-anxiety medication (because I can’t swallow pills) I couldn’t get myself to go. I finally decided to go and go brave enough to actually leave the house. I figured, if nothing else, they would do the skin pinch test and give me a bag of fluids. Right? WRONG!
I went in and explained to the nurse what was wrong. The doctor came in and said there really isn’t much he can do for me. He did give me a GI cocktail. I choked it down. Literally. I choked and gagged on it. It felt like I was swallowing rocks… but at least I was swallowing, right. I waited for it to set in like they did the time before. I figured they would bring something in when it was time to drink, like the last time.
The doctor came in and asked if I drank anything and I said no. He asked why not. Seriously? I told him there was nothing to drink and figured they would bring something when they wanted me to drink. The asshole actually scolded me for not asking for a drink!
The nurse brought in some ice-cold water. And by ice-cold, I mean “felt like razor bladed rolling down my esophagus”. I took one sip. It felt like it sat at the top of my throat for a second and then SLOWLY slid down my esophagus. The doctor asked me to take another drink. I took another sip with the same results. He asked me to take another drink. I did, with the same results. And then they released me with the instructions to drink water. You couldn’t even tell I drank anything from the bottle, that’s how little I managed to swallow. No IV fluids. He said I didn’t LOOK dehydrated. No pinch test. That’s the first thing the Navy doctors always did if you said “I feel dehydrated”. Then they’d run blood work and give you fluids until they were happy with your hydration level.
Here, at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, I’ll have to be close to death and they probably still won’t do shit for me.
I went home, thirsty as hell, and fell asleep. I woke up this morning thirsty as hell. I’ve managed to force 16 ounces of juice down my throat. It’s starting to close again so I know I will have a few more ounces before I can’t drink anymore. I am hoping to hit 24 ounces before I can’t take anything else.
I try to always be positive, smile through everything, joke and laugh… but this time, I am over the happiness part. I am miserably thirsty. I peed once today about 5 hours ago and I have no need to go for now… or anytime soon. I can pinch the skin on the back of my hand and it slowly goes down but stops while there is still a peak. Out of boredom, I made a mountain ridge across my hand this morning just to see if I could. I can.
But what pisses me off the most is the fact that I know if I need medical care, I am not going to get even the basic care here. And that worries me. Especially now.
They shouldn’t have built a new hospital. They should have built more helicopter pads and just flown people out of here to a hospital that cares just a little bit.