When I was in the hospital this last time I was given IV Phenegran. Several times. I learned a few summers ago that IV Phen and my veins do not get along. Last time it took 6 months for my veins to recover from the damage. I had made a mental note to protest getting that med again. Due to a series of events (okay, a series of mind altering drugs) I allowed them to again administer the med.
Fast forward a few weeks. My veins were hard and sore but it was what I has experienced previously so knew what was going on. Monday I noticed the pain was much worse and there was a nickle sized red knot. And my chest was killing me. I consulted with a few Facebook friends, one who is a nurse and one that was kind enough to call one of the docs she works for, and was told it was possible I had an infection and/or a blood clot. Seeing as how my chest was hurting I was urged to call my doc who informed me the urgent need to wheel to the ER to make sure I wasn't in danger. So Sara came to get me and off we went. The ER was packed. They bumped me to the front of the triage line and it was determined I wasn't dying right then and that yes, I needed to be seen that night but not urgently enough to not have me wait 3 1/2 hours to even be called back. It was a great 3 1/2 hours despite the fact I was in miserable pain since I got to catch up and chit chat with Sara.
So...an EKG, chest xray, 2 IV sites, and 6 tubes of blood it was determined that I do have a small clot in my arm as well as an infection in the vein. The clot is small and superficial so it's not the type that breaks off and shoots into your lungs. It will dissolve with time. The chest pain is actually the same nasty bacteria I was diagnosed with in the hospital. The ER doc was pretty sure it's an actual ulcer now. He treated me with a pain killer (sweet relief), Zofran for the nausea, and an acid neutralizer (all through the IV). I was given strict instructions to see my GI ASAP.
I saw the surgeon/GI yesterday. He's a really nice guy with a thick middle Eastern accent and rather hard to follow. The clearest thing I heard him say was...you need to eat. Gee, thanks, hadn't thought of that! He said it is possible I have developed an ulcer but the only way to know for certain is to do another scope. The treatment is the same whether there is an ulcer or not so we are trucking along. I have to finish the wretched antibiotics I was given a few weeks ago (I stopped taking them after a week. They made me sick and didn't seem to be working. Please, no lectures on the proper way to take antibiotics. I know all of that. I'm stubborn, and probably a bit stupid. There, I said it). He tried to find me different antibiotics that are 'friendlier' but sadly, I am allergic to all the other choices. I have to be re-scoped in 6 weeks to make sure we've gotten rid of all the bacteria. I'm not sure what happens if it isn't gone.
So, another week, another unplanned hospital visit and the IV bruises to prove it. If my arms ever go more than a few weeks without a bruise on them I will consider it a miracle.