Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It must run in the family

,On Sunday afternoon my little sister calls me, crying. Now to let you know how significant her crying is, you'll want to know 2 things. First off? She's an officer in the "hole" of a supermax prison. The "hole" houses the worst of the worst, prisoners that are far too dangerous to be in the general population of even one of the countries toughest prisons, a prison that houses the worst offenders from all over the country, people no one else will even take.

The second thing you'll want to know is that before Sunday, the only time I had ever seen or heard my sister cry since she was wearing clothing who's size ended with a T was last March, the day my son died. My sister does not cry. My sister does not ask for help, show fear, or even accept help.

So you can see why her crying made me panic. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Hello?
Her: Hey Kats, I need to ask you something....
ME: Ok
HER: Well, I've had the stomach flu since Tuesday, haven't kept anything down..... and well today I went to get into the shower and blacked out, I woke up on the bathroom floor and I don't know how long I was there. And I have really bad stomach cramps.
ME: OMG, are you ok right now?
HER: (crying) yeah...
ME: I'm coming to get you and take you to the hospital. Call 911 if you need to go before I get there.
HER: OK.....

Now, I live hours from my sisters house. It's another half hour from there to the hospital where she needs to go. I have 5 of my kids plus S has a friend over, C is at work. Thankfully I was able to get ahold of him and he was able to find a replacement. I called my mom and she came and picked me up and we drove to my sisters house.

When we got to her house she could barely walk. We got her in the car and to the hospital and they of course wanted a urine sample. She took it to the bathroom and when she came out she was very pale and turned to me and said "can you take this into them? I can't walk that far". I grab the biohazard bag with the cup in it and glance down to see that her urine is the color of red wine...

I take it back and the nurses do a double take. I went back out to sit with her and she just got more and more pale. Now my sister is about as white as a white person this side of albino can be and she got WHITER, I thought in a minute we'd be able to see through her.

They called her back again and my mom and I sat in the waiting room for a bit. After a while I couldn't handle it anymore so I went back in the ED and found her to sit with her. She had an IV in and they said that her urine showed she was very jaundiced (apparently red wine urine is bad...... ya think?) and they were waiting on her blood work and ordered an xray, she was quite content with the big ole dose of Dilaudid they gave her though. She went for her xray and when she returned the doctor came in and said that her blood work showed that her liver enzymes were elevated, not surprisingly with the bili level of the urine. He asked her what she did for a living and when she told him you could see the "oh shit" look in his face. You seee, a good 1/3 of the prison population has Hepatitis C and the department of corrections can't be bothered to buy nice quality gloves for thier officers.......

When he left I asked my sister if she had been knowingly exposed at work. She said "not lately". I did not offer my worries that she may have hep C but I think she knew what I was getting at.

They sent her down for a sonogram of her belly and thankfully her liver was not enlarged. Her gallbladder however was full of stones and one was completely blocking the common bile duct, which was causing her liver to respond in such angry ways. They admitted her and had her gallbladder and common bile duct (which was severely inflamed and infected) out less than 12 hours later.

I ended up driving home Sunday night and driving back monday morning, all with about 2 hours of sleep. My sister was discharged today and is bored but healthy at my moms house right now. Oddly enough, my mom and I lost our gallbladders within a year of each other (I was 24 at the time) and now my sister had hers out at 26, word of warning little brother....... lol

1 comment:

Trista said...

ahhhhh another gall bladder bits the dust, the nasty little things!! can't live with them, cant eat normal without them! Hope shes feeling better! AND WHY DON"T YOU CALL ME TO WATCH THE KIDS?!?!?!?!

lova ya!

T