Monday Morning Thoughts: My First Intestinal Blockage, Teaching a Puppy to Swim, and Team Boomer On Top of the World!

Another Monday, another Monday Morning Thoughts…

My First Intestinal Blockage

The respiratory side of cystic fibrosis gets most of the play, but I think the GI side is arguably worse. I’ve had my fair share of GI issues over the years from pancreatic insufficiency, to acute pancreatitis and 7 years (and counting) of g-tube feeds. Pancreatitis was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. My heart really goes out to the people who deal with chronic pancreatitis. Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to add partial intestinal blockage to the list! I figure 27 years of life before my first battle with DIOS isn’t so bad. At least that’s what we think it was. I’m one of those people that is far too stubborn to go to an Emergency Room unless it’s a serious emergency. I mean we’re talking red alert, crisis emergency, which, sadly enough, has happened before. I didn’t think I was going to die, so no trip to the Emergency Room this time around. The pain started last Tuesday afternoon, and continued through Thursday evening. The hint that indicating a blockage and not pancreatitis was that it suddenly passed. Here is the horrendously gross sequence of events:

  1. Abdominal pain sets in Tuesday afternoon. I mistake the pain for a strained muscle after setting a personal record length for planking in the gym. I decide a little pain won’t kill me, so I don’t think much of it and eat dinner.
  2. I wake up Wednesday morning (4th of July), still in pain, but think it’s still a pulled muscle, so no problem! Wrong. I stupidly decide that since it’s a holiday I’ll go to my favorite homemade doughnut shop and pick up some doughnuts. I begin to enjoy my doughnuts and coffee only to feel the pain suddenly get horrendously worse. Maybe I tore a muscle? I eat through the pain because the doughnuts are so damn good.
  3. Since it’s 4th of July I decide I want hotdogs for lunch, but just to be safe (from my now torn muscle), I figure it’s best to take a couple Aleve with the hotdogs. Wrong again.
  4. Now the pain begins to get worse as the night goes on, and I start to think that maybe, just maybe, I’m having a GI issue. Pancreatitis is the first thing that creeps into my mind because the pain is localized, gets worse with eating and has just started to radiate towards my back. My experience with pancreatitis in 2011 has also been burned into my memory. The pain, however, isn’t quite a crippling as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is like the worst thing imaginable, so I figure maybe a gas bubble? I pop a Gas-X and decide to eat dinner again.
  5. Now I’m curled up in a ball on the couch, heating pad on. Everything hurts.
  6. I wake up the next morning, the pain is still there, though has subsided a bit, and so I think it’s probably appropriate to call the clinic. Pancreatitis, we think! But it’s impossible to know without labs or imaging. I still shrug off the idea of going to urgent care or a local hospital because I’m away with family and friend, and I’m not dying. Let’s try holding off on everything, but a liquid diet (pancreatitis treatment 101).
  7. After 2 popsicles and a bowl of chicken broth, the pain is still there. I think it’s best to keep the fetal position going strong. Pancreatitis takes a couple days to subside.
  8. Suddenly, while I’m watching a movie, the emergency bathroom alarm starts going off in my stomach. Pain is suddenly crippling. I run faster than I’ve ever run before and barely make it to the bathroom in time.
  9. Old Faithful begins erupting.
  10. In what can only be described as the most painful bathroom experience of my life, something moves. I walk back into the TV room under the wide-eyed guise of my guise of my sister and girlfriend, when, suddenly, every bit of pain evaporates from my body. I am totally fine.

More than anything else, I felt vindicated in NOT going to the Emergency Room. I called the clinic the next morning and it was determined that I likely had a partial blockage, since I had been going to the bathroom (poop) throughout the course of the above 10 step process. We say likely because it’s something that happens to people with CF and the symptoms and sudden resolution fall in line with it, but there was no imagining or labs to corroborate the guess. For the time being, I’m fine with the guess. My quality of life is back to where it was before. If you’ve had DIOS, was your experience like mine?

Teaching a Puppy to Swim

Free of pain, we decided it was an appropriate time to teach Blink how to swim (mostly because she now fits into the life jacket that we got for her). There were some up’s and down’s, but let’s just say that initially, things didn’t work according to plan…as evidenced below.

Team Boomer On Top of the World

My college roommate, Vince, has summited Denali and snapped this pretty cool picture with a Team Boomer flag!

Vince was able to raise close to $20,000 through individual sponsors in support of the Boomer Esiason Foundation fighting cystic fibrosis!

…and that’s what I’m thinking about this morning!