After my workout on Sunday night, I started having epic stomach pains. I thought it was really bad gas at first but the pain got so bad that for a moment there, I really thought I was having a heart attack. The pain was shooting up and down my left side almost like being stabbed. Since I am too stubborn for my own good, I thought I’d just deal with the pain and if it still felt bad in the morning, I’d head to the doctor after work.
Monday morning I felt fine! I went to work but as the day went on the pain got worse and worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t walk upright, bend over, pick anything up… At one point I was balled up on the floor in a cold sweat trying desperately not to scream in agony. I hung in there till it was the end of my shift, drove my kid to the doctor to have her PPD checked and on the way to the pharmacy after, the pain got to the point where my child was helping me walk. She insisted I go to urgent care to get checked out. That little girl very likely saved my life.
Due to the extreme pain, I was transported to the emergency room. I was given an x-ray and the doctor said I had air in my abdomen under my diaphragm and I needed a CT scan to find out where the air was coming from. Turns out it was a perforated ulcer in my stomach and they were getting me into the operating room right away.
I had never had surgery before. I’ve had a few stitches, I sprained various things, and obviously, I’ve given birth. But I have NEVER been put under for anything so I was freaked out. The doctors were pretty shocked that before this I had never had any major stomach issues such as acid reflux or heartburn. When the doctor got in there, he saw the ulcers were caused by overuse of anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Long story short, all those Advil I was popping burned a hole in my stomach.
They did the surgery laparoscopically, and I was in the hospital recovering until Friday afternoon. I’m at home now. I can’t lift anything, I’m still on a liquid diet, I’m not allowed to drive for two weeks, and I’m on prescription strength antacids. I have three healing wounds on my stomach (two from the surgery, one for the drain) that are itchy as hell and I have learned several painful lessons:
- Easy on the Advil, you moron
- If it hurts, go to the doctor, you moron
- Getting healthy does not mean breaking your body, you moron
Those insults are intended for myself and I deserve them. I scared the crap out of a LOT of people because they know I’m the type to power through anything so if something lays me out, it’s serious.
I will be more careful in the future; less pain meds and I’ll voluntarily keep up with some antacids to let my stomach heal. And if you’re wondering how I kept posting while I was in the hospital; those were scheduled posts. They would have gone up, surgery or no.
Sadly, no running for me for at least a month. I had a virtual 5k that’s supposed to be done before the end of the month and if I’m feeling feisty, I’ll walk it. I really miss moving around and eating actual food.
I used to always joke that I could eat gravel and it wouldn’t upset my stomach. It appears that’s not the case.