Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Week Of Soreness

Last Saturday night I got a pill stuck in my throat and it broke open when I was trying to get it down. It burned really bad when the medicine spilled out. The next morning when I was swallowing my pills the same pill got stuck. It broke open again and burned, but this time I couldn't get it down. I tried everything all morning and then eventually all day. I really thought that because the pain was so bad the pill was still stuck, but it turns out that it was long gone. Although my throat hurt so bad it was difficult to swallow food let alone drink water.

When I woke up Monday morning the pain was even worse. I was struggling to get food down. It was like a sore throat only way worse. I pushed through it the rest of the day and Tuesday, but Wednesday I decided it was time to see what was going on. My mom took me to the ER to get it checked out. After waiting over two hours, I finally was able to see the doctor. To figure out if it was my throat or the muscles they made me drink this cocktail mixed with Maalox and lidocaine (very disgusting tasting and made me gag). Apparently since it numbed the pain she determined it was coming from my throat. She said that it would be difficult to tell if something was wrong without getting a camera down there to see. So I was going to have to come back the next day to do an endoscopy.

By this time I wasn't even eating solid foods. Everything was going into my G-tube including ensure and water. Because the procedure required me to be semi-sedated, I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight, which wasn't really a problem. They called me in the morning and scheduled an appointment for a 12:30 PM check-in and 1 PM procedure.

When I showed up to the hospital I had to wait a while before I went in. When the nurse came out to get me, she had a surprised look on her face. She told me that there must have been some miscommunication because the ER doc didn't tell them that I was a quadriplegic on a ventilator. Very key information if you're going to do an endoscopy on someone. It wouldn't be such a simple thing anymore. They would have had to actually put me under anesthesia instead of just sedate me which is a big difference.

When the doctor came in she asked me where my pain was and I told her it was in my throat. Then she told me that they couldn't do the procedure. Not only because they weren't prepared for me to do it safely, but also because an endoscopy looks at the esophagus and stomach. She said that they wouldn't even be able to tell if anything happened to my throat. She also stated that what I should've seen as an ear, nose and throat doctor. I never would've figured out the mistake made.

Wish they would've told me that in the ER before they scheduled the appointment and had me go without nourishment for so long. The doctor said that when the pill broke open it likely burned my throat so she gave me a prescription for the same cocktail I had gotten the day before. I tried it and it did work most of the time, but only for 5 or 10 minutes, just enough for me to get a few bites down without pain. I only did it for a few days.

It's been about a week since this incident happened and my throat still hurts when I swallow. Now my neck muscles are extremely sore, and the pain has traveled to my jaw and behind my ear. It wasn't as bad during the day today so I think it is going away, but very slowly. I believe that along with the burn from the medicine that I strained the muscles in my neck. That's probably what's causing me the most pain.

I might end up calling a doc tomorrow just to get another opinion. I'm hoping it will go away before my trip a week from tomorrow. I need to be able to eat whatever I want and what I want it!



Brenda said...

Sending positive and healing thoughts your way, Jenni. I hope you feel better soon and are healthy to go on your trip.

Anonymous said...

What an ordeal! Prayers.

Steph said...

Wow Jen! I am so sorry to hear that....hopefully you're feeling better this week. I should be off work by 6 tomorrow at the latest and will head over right after if that works for you. Just text me if something comes up and another day would work better. LOVE YOU!

Elizabeth said...

That sucks! If you have a g-tube, can't someone crush up the pills, and put them through the tube? I get things stuck in my throat a lot, so that's what I do. I hope you're feeling better :)