Monday, 14 March 2016

In hospital

Sorry to be radio-silent, but I am just recovering from a 11th day in hospital. And as the purpose of the blog is to document what is going on in my life (or maybe it's a healing process to write it down) (or that I just like to write), I will share it with you the best that I can.

So... what happened?

First of disgusting pics
On a regular Sunday I was doing nothing special and in the end of the evening my belly felt very full, stuffed like you had overeaten. But I hadn't overeaten, heated some leftover shoarma, but in bed the feeling kept me awake. Anyway, I saw 01:00 on the alarm clock, 02:00 and by three I decided to call our doctors post. In most parts of the Netherlands there is one joint night post where you can go in case of a medical emergency and your own  medical practice is closed. In Delft in the Netherlands they have put them next to the emergency room of the hospital so they can send you through if needed. Anyway I was examined by the night doctor first, and then being redirected to the ER. A Quiet night. Maybe not the only customer but one of the few. Anyway blood work, urine samples, heart film, blood pressure, you know. The works. And at 07:00 I was released from hospital. Nothing to be found, we blame it on the shoarma. And looking at the picture, who can blame them for blaming it to the shoarma...

Monday I stayed in bed. You know, relieved it's nothing to worry about. So I don't. Did not feel so bad then. Tuesday morning my fever was quite high 39,4 so I made appointment with my regular doctor. And at 15:00 hours I had appointment there and at 16:00 hours I was back at the ER of the hospital. Like it was yesterday they did blood work, urine samples, heart film, blood pressure, you know. The works. And this time a ultrasound of the gall bladder. And they did find it a bit enlarged. I was told I had to stay in hospital.

Medical mumbo-jumbo

You may want to skip this heading, because it is all to understand what was going on. 

What Is the Gallbladder?
Your gallbladder is a 4-inch, pear-shaped organ. It’s positioned under your liver in the upper right section of your abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a combination of fluids, fat, and cholesterol. Bile helps break down fat from food in your intestine. The gallbladder delivers bile into the small intestine. This allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Inflammation of the gallbladder is called cholecystitis. Cholecystitis can be either chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term). Chronic inflammation is the result of several acute cholecystitis attacks. Inflammation may eventually damage the gallbladder, making it lose its ability to function correctly.

In cases of severe inflammation, the managing physician may elect to have an interventional radiologist insert a percutaneous drainage catheter into the gallbladder and treat the patient with antibiotics until the acute inflammation resolves.

First night in hospital.

Ok, from the first aid wards to the "Acute Admission Ward". A clinical ward, where patients with an unplanned tally 24/7 are included. It is focused on rapid diagnostics, drawing up a treatment plan and the initiation of treatment. The maximum recording time is 48 hours. Within this time a patient goes home or to the right ward. The wards have 6 beds each and I was on the first of the left hand side. There I was. No clothes (I sleep in the nude), nothing to communicate with, and uncertain what will happen. My wife got off to bring the bare necessities (like my Ipad). A nurse came and tried to insert a Venflon iv needle in my left hand, as my right hand is my dominant hand. But the veins are so deep and invisible in my left hand that she tried twice in my left hand, without success. The third try in my right hand was more successful. So I got my fluid antibiotics that night. My wife said she would buy some pyjamas tomorrow, said she loved me and was gone.
I did not sleep one minute that night. In the middle of the night a bed was wheeled out and came back with a man that was screaming from pain. The door of the ward stayed open and it was bright lit in the ward itself.  As the ward lights got out at 21:00 hours, the sleepless night lasted nine hours.

Transfer to surgery wards

Halfway the next day I was transferred to the surgery wards, four floors up. That is where I stayed the next 10 days. These are four beds wards and when I came there was only an elderly man and I, but that soon changed. I got antibiotics, but on the fifth day (on a Saturday) the doctor decided that I was not getting better and a drain would be needed to make the gall bladder cool down. After that a very horrible week happened. I got a  pneumonia on top of it all and felt really ill. A strange thing happens: when you are in pain your brain stops working. Much later I realized that the smell of gall (horrid smell) took away a appetite. I stopped eating. Every little thing took more energy than I had. After they disconnected the bag of gall (some 2500 cl came out) and but a plug on the tube, I slowly regained my appetite, got eating again and felt a bit better. The infection of both lungs and gall got better. (How did they know? By getting two tubes of blood each day in that left hand they cannot find a vain). The inflammatory values in my blood dropped slowly but steady. I got more antibiotics for pneumonia as well, and well. I slowly felt better. 


Times that people are admitted in hospital have been cut back over the years and I have seen quite a lot of people come and go on my ward. I was planned to be discharged from hospital on Friday 11th. But there are many people working in a hospital and it is difficult to communicate clearly so a nurse came on Thursday morning to my bed and said I was going to be discharged today. Today, today? You said Friday? My wife took leave from her work to pick me up from Friday. Confusion. 
OK, I could stay until Friday. Phew. There was a lot of hassle at work to get a day off for my wife... 
Two more bottles of blood, OK, like I have enough... 

And Friday came the doctor saying the blood tests yesterday were not so great and they will wait for they results of my blood work of Friday to decide if I could go home or not. Around 10:00 the doctor would take a look at the blood values. 
My wife came, and I told her we would have to wait. And in the afternoon the doctor released me finally from hospital with a load of: if this happens,and that happens you should call in at once, and oh yes, I should check in next week and not wait for three weeks...

Home again

I still feel a bit weak. I will keep the drain in my body, that feels alien, a tube out of your chest, for a few weeks. Maybe they will operate and get my gall bladder out after all. Next week I will learn what the plans will be for the next future. It's good to be back home. It's good to sleep in your own bed.

And it's good to blog again.


  1. So sorry Han. Hope you're feeling better and all issues get resolved sooner rather than later.

  2. Oh Han, what a horrible time for you. I'm so glad you're starting to feel better. As somebody who experienced gallbladder issues, and now has none, I can sympathise with the discomfort, but pneumonia too!
    Take care of yourself. I had wondered at your prolonged absence and hope to see you start posting again when you're ready.

  3. I am sorry, Han, you had go trought this.
    All pain.
    Take care, dear Han!

    Mona Lisa

  4. So sorry you have been so unwell, hoping the doctors sort things out soon. I am glad to see you blogging and happy that you are home, you are right, it is good to sleep in your own bed.

  5. Ah,,I have been worrying about you. Glad you are back home and on the mend. A couple years ago when i had my turn at being in the hospital twice for long visit...gall bladder ...was the culprit also. Take it easy my friend, the body recovers in its own time...and it is longer than we would like. You can find some more interesting posts for us:)...
    hugs abby

  6. oh my goodness.
    Welcome back but, oh my goodness.
    Let's hope that qualifies as enough for you to be "DONE", tyvm.

  7. Oh Han I am sorry you've been so sick! My husband had to have his out and like Abby says, your body recovers when it does! Rest and take care of yourself!

  8. Oh Han...sorry you have been so very sick! I also had a bad bout with my gall bladder being infected and ended up with it having to be removed...then spent 3 months going for weekly blood tests due to complications from that infection. Sending lots of prayers and healing energy your way. Take good care of yourself my friend.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

  9. Han, I am happy for you that the worst seems to be over.
    Please, take good care of yourself.

    Warm greetings,


  10. Sorry to hear you had such a terrible time. Hope you will be back to full strength soon!

    Rebel xox

  11. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them all Leigh, DF, Mona Lisa, Julie, Abby, Jz, Minelle, Cat, Appy and Rebel. I'm a little better now, but not quite how I wished I felt.
    I take it easy, one day at the time, and will be better soon. Thank you for all your nice warm words.



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