Sunday, February 3, 2013

My first time being admitted to the hospital 1/23/13

The week started off strange. We were off work that Monday due to MLK day.

Tuesday, I went to work as usual but felt like I had a stomach bug, so I went home ill around 10:30am. Wednesday rolls around and I still don't feel right but went to work anyway. Through out the day, I was extremely fatigued, felt very dehydrated, no energy, light headed, etc. I called my GI to see what to do next. The nurse suggested that I drink lots of Gatorade over the next 2 hours to try and get hydrated, then call her back.

So it began, I would drink Gatorade, immediately run to the bathroom and pee it out. Something wasn't right. So after 2 hours, I called the GI back and the nurse recommended that I go to the ER to get some IV hydration. No big deal. Not my first go round. Went home to pick up Ben, change clothes, get phone chargers, then off we went to the ER.

In the ER, they hooked an IV up with saline hydration and did some blood work. Within 10-15 minutes they were back saying I had to be admitted immediately and they started hanging more bags on my IV pole. These were potassium.

I was told that they had gotten my blood work back and my potassium was at 2.3 (normal range is 3.5 to 5.2).
They called my GI and he told them to admit me immediately and get IV potassium going.

I have to tell you. Potassium burns like hell. I thought my arm might catch on fire until they were able to get it properly diluted to a strength I could handle. Not fun!!!

When I got into a room, I was given potassium pills on top of the IV and in the middle of the night given powdered potassium drinks as well. I was hooked up to heart monitors and put in the "step down" ICU unit. This was extremely scary for me!

The next morning, more blood work and the potassium came back at 2.6
It really wasn't budging much considering the amount of potassium I was being given.

So I continued with the IV and powdered potassium drinks. Eventually that day (Thursday), my GI came in. We went over a few things and it was determined that I was in a full Crohn's flare! I had NO clue. I honestly thought I was in remission. I guess I was ignoring the pain as I had gotten so used to it over most of my life. EEK!

The hospital also did a C Diff test on me to make sure nothing else was going on. This test came back negative.

So they continued with potassium and upping my normal prescriptions that I take for Crohn's.

I was now taking 40mg Prednisone daily and 4000mg of Pentasa daily. Fun times! NOT!

by afternoon of the 24th (Thursday) my potassium was to 3.5
and that evening to 4.1
By Friday morning, my potassium had crashed to 3.1

Saturday morning, it was decided that I was able to be released and I was going home with potassium powdered drinks for 3x a day for a week; then to report to my GI asap on Monday.

So off I went.

I worked only mornings at work (Monday 1/28 - Thursday 1/31) due to Doctors appts and lab work that had to be done.

I reported to my GI on Monday. After receiving clearance from my ENT (due to having surgery in December), it was determined that I needed to go back on Humira (immuno suppresant) immediately. One shot every 2 weeks. Luckily, I had 2 shots still in my refrigerator from the last go round. And it was determined that I needed to come off the Prednisone as fast as medically possible as I was beginning to develop other side effects from it that if stuck around, may not be reversed.

So, I came home Monday, injected myself with Humira and we are moving forward from there. I am on 4000mg of Pentasa. I am still on Prednisone, but reducing the dosage rather quickly.
Prednisone schedule:
Jan 25-28, 40 mg
Jan 29 -Feb 1, 30 mg
Feb 2- Feb 5, 20mg
Feb 6 - Feb 9, 10mg
Feb 10 - Feb 13, 5mg
Feb 14 - Feb 17, 2.5 mg

Then stop it all together.

Since I am weaning off of it so quickly, I have had some issues with headaches....and lower right ab Crohn's pains. But I need it out of my system.

While doing lab work twice this week, I learned that my potassium is now just slightly on the high side. and that my blood sugar (glucose) is a bit high for me as well at 119.

This is something we are watching very closely and I will report to my GI again this week, on Thursday, February 7th.

This has been a very scary time for myself, Ben, and those close to us. I am not out of the woods yet. Potassium is a scary thing to have crash on you.

I wanted to get this all written down so I would have it to look back on in the future.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we try to get this terrible disease somewhat under control. Also, please pray that I have no bad reactions to the Humira injections that I am once again taking.
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