On the 7th of February, 2019 I was admitted into the hospital for severe dehydration and diarrhea. It’s a long story. Let’s talk about it.
It all began on Wednesday 6th Feb 2019. It was a normal day when I came back from school in the evening my stomach started acting weird. I had a few episodes of diarrhea, I didn’t think much about it. At around 9 pm I got a fever and I took an Advil for it. I honestly didn’t feel too bad, I just felt a bit sick.
1:30 am 2/7/19
It was a restless night and I woke up at 1:30 am. I went to the bathroom and that’s when it all went south.
You know when you feel like something is really bad is about to happen. Yeah, that’s basically what happened. When I got into the bathroom I collapsed on the counter. I was too tired and I had no idea why. I looked at myself in the mirror. I knew there was something horribly wrong with my body. My breathing was fast paced and my heart rate was spiking. I was too exhausted to stand up. I truly felt too tired to do anything. I felt like giving up and staying there, but I knew if I stayed there the situation would get much worse. I would pass out. My dad came to check if I was ok and I was only able to muster out a few words. I told him I am feeling too tired. As I was walking out of the bathroom I passed out on my parents.
They pretty much got the message and they immediately called 911. My feet were turning numb and my head was spinning. I had a huge headache. It felt like the world was spinning. All that was running through my mind was, “What is wrong with me.” The paramedics came and they helped me down the stairs. I could see my unfinished homework laying on the table and my computer still on. It was like a moment frozen in time. I was carried onto the driveway where they put me on a stretcher and then loaded me on the ambulance.
When you’re going through something like this, everything feels so foreign. Walking down the stairs of my own home felt so different. Looking outside of my house seeing my whole neighborhood felt foreign to me. Everything was moving so fast. Within a few minutes I had been fine and now I could barely walk and I was getting in an ambulance. I was thinking about friends and family and what was next for me. Everything that had been on my mind earlier had been replaced with this reckoning fear of what was occurring.
The next thing I knew the ambulance was driving towards the hospital. I have always been intrigued by what it feels like to ride in an ambulance because the last time I was in an ambulance was when I was really young. It’s not exactly fun when you are in pain and you are having a horrible headache. I watched as familiar streets zoomed past me. The paramedics monitored my heart rate and blood pressure. My mom was right there in the ambulance watching it all unfold while my dad was following us in his car.
2:00 am 2/7/19
I reached the hospital at 2:00 am. I was taken into the ER where they took my blood and they ran some tests. They asked my parents a bunch of questions on what had happened. They asked me how I was feeling. I had no idea what was happening to me. All I could tell them was that I was too tired to do anything. It was the best response I could give them. They decided to insert an IV and put me on fluids. Everything was happening so fast. Not long after that, I got a fever and I had to take more pills. I went to sleep.
Over the years I have faced many fears. From watching horror movies to being pranked from my friends. All of these have given me a jolt, but do you know what scares me the most. Probably what scares a lot of people the most. It’s the fear of not knowing what is wrong with you. That is the worst feeling. When you are down on the ground and you have no idea what’s wrong with you. It was that fear that was taking me over at the moment.
I woke up sometime later I thought I was feeling better, but apparently, my body didn’t think the same way.
A lady came into the room where I was being kept. She was the head of the observation unit and she wanted to admit me into their care. An observation unit is where the doctors keep you in the hospital for 24 hours (the longest they can hold you without you being officially admitted) and they basically, you guessed it, observe you. Me thinking that this would be a quick and easy thing was a big mistake. The reason they said they need to observe me was that my blood pressure was very low. My heart rate was also dangerously spiking. It hit 130 BPM at points. They had no explanation for this. All they could say was that it was probably because I was severely dehydrated.
Several things clicked in my mind when they said that. I had heard, in books, about all of these things happening when you are severely dehydrated. Extreme fatigue, heart rate spikes, BP drops. They said that this stomach virus had turned my body into a war zone within a few hours. It had already caused me to get several fevers.
I stayed in the ER for a really long time. In the time I spent there I met a really nice child-life specialist. Child life specialists are incredible people whose main mission is to make you happy and play games with you. She brought a pack of Uno cards, a book, and some coloring pages. We played a game of Uno while we chatted about our favorite movies. I enjoyed that.
4:00 pm 2/7/19
A few hours later they put me on a wheelchair and they moved me to the observation unit. There they continued to monitor me and check my vitals. I stayed there for multiple hours. There were multiple times when my blood pressure dropped and when my heart rate spiked. As more and more fluids were being pumped my condition was slowly improving. I was beginning to be able to walk, and I thought I would be out pretty soon. It was quite a boring wait. I didn’t do much. They had a TV and I watched some Friends on it. Talking about friends, I also got in touch with some of my school friends to tell them about what I was going through. Everything was going pretty good until I started to get fevers again.
7:30 pm 2/7/19
While I was able to walk and stuff, my BP and heart rate were not normal yet. Whenever I woke up my heart rate would abnormally spike and my BP would drop really low. They were unsure why and looking at my history of cancer, they didn’t want to let something like that just fly by their radar. The same lady who had visited me in the ER came to my room again to talk to my parents. She said that I would need to be admitted into the hospital and that I would need to spend the night. There were many other doctors who stopped by to talk to me and my family. There also ran a few EKGs to find out what was up with my heart.
11:00 pm 2/7/19
I WAS MOVING. I was sleeping and I woke with a startle. They were moving my bed up to the seventh floor. They rolled me down a bunch of hallways and corridors. Not going to lie, I kinda enjoyed that ride. I got to my room and they checked my weight and ran a few more tests and they just went over some details about what would happen while I was admitted. The room was huge. There was a section for two beds and there was a large bathroom. There were also two nice TVs so that meant more Friends.
5:00 am 2/8/19
I was again woken up. There was a nurse checking on my vitals to see how I was doing.
7:00 am 2/8/19
Did you know that you can’t sleep in a hospital? I was again awoken by a nurse monitoring my vitals. I decided to stay up from that point. I was feeling much better because I had been hooked to the IV for the entire night so I had received quite a lot of fluids. My dad brought me some breakfast from the hospital’s cafe and I had a chance to take a shower. Here’s a fun fact.
– Taking a shower with an IV is not very easy.
10:00 am 2/8/19
I saw many different faces that day. All of the doctors were there to help me. At one point they had the entire team come to check on me. They do that with each admitted patient. There was a group of around 15 students, interns, and doctors who discussed what was next for me. They talked about how I was doing better and how they may discharge me later that day. I also heard a helicopter landing on the hospital’s helipad. That was cool.
1:30 pm 2/8/19
It was a miracle! I had been given my discharge papers. They had given me the clear to leave the hospital. My heart rate and BP was much better and I wasn’t severely dehydrated anymore.
As I was walking out of the hospital into the parking garage I could see patient passes stuck onto the walls of the garage. There were hundreds of them.
Each one was different.
A different person.
A different patient.
A different room.
In a sense, it was a celebration of each person’s discharge. A celebration that signified the strength of each and every person in that hospital.
This entire experience had been so crazy. Starting on Wednesday and ending on Friday, my entire system had been flipped on its head. It was a scary experience. There is still some time until I fully recover and return to a hundred percent, but I am glad that I am feeling much better.
I want to thank all the doctors/nurses who helped me, and every single person who made me feel better and who made my recovery possible. These people work so hard and spend long hours helping others and I believe they deserve a lot of credit for that. I also want to thank my family and my friends who were there for me when I was at my lowest and who wished me well.
I guess a major takeaway from this is to drink a lot of water.