Hospitalized for the First Time in My Life


Going to hospitals and doctors has always been a struggle for me. I believe it started with having knowledge of some of the things certain races and cultures have endured, historically, when it comes to seeking help medically (or even being used as experimental subjects). My discomfort also stemmed from the fact that one of the people I've most loved in this world, my maternal grandmother, died while in a hospital. I was a child and I blamed the doctors and the hospital. That stuck with me for a while. I never understood why they couldn't save her.

Having matured, and having more life experiences, and getting closer to Allah helped me to see that life and death is in the hands of Allah not in the hands of humans. So, I was able to get past it somewhat. Yet, I still hesitated to allow myself to be seen. I'd choose home remedies and prayer over going to the doctor. Thankfully, before last month, I'd never really had any reason to be hospitalized. I thank Allah for his favor.


So, when I got sick, and remained sick it was extremely scary. There were a few nights where what I was feeling was so intense that I thought maybe God would not wake me up in the this earthly body the coming morning. There were times where I was doubled over in pain or on the floor unable to get up or find any comfortable position. I wasn't able to eat properly. My energy was so low I couldn't do all the things I'd normally do on a day-to-day basis. I was losing almost a pound a day on average. This lasted for about 2 weeks, some days it was more severe than others.

I woke up, drank some cold coconut water and shortly thereafter, I was on the floor in extreme pain, overheating and having difficulty breathing regularly. I made my way to my phone and called 9-1-1 from the floor. I was crying out of fear and told the operator that it was my stomach and my chest and I was had no idea what was happening or why. She told me to unlock the door and that she was sending help. I couldn't unlock the door. What I was feeling made it difficult for me to get all the way to the door. My husband was nearly an hour away at work. I called him. He stayed on the phone with me.


They checked my vitals and said nothing came back abnormal. So, what was this pain? Why couldn't I eat? Why was my breathing pattern disrupted? What is wrong with me? They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said no. Thinking back ... why did I say no?When the paramedics were with me they helped me so much. I was overheating and had to come out of my robe. I had to go to the bathroom all of a sudden and they helped me (with all of those EKG things stuck to me). One was a lady and one was a man. They both understood but the woman understood some things without me even having to say it. She helped me with the intimate things. She was motherly and kind. May Allah bless her.

With them, I cried. I cried out of embarrassment. I cried because of the pain. I cried because I was dealing with having to admit a family member into a hospital for drug abuse & psychiatric help just the day before. I cried because I was tired. I cried because another family member had recently been incarcerated. I cried because I've always been able to take care of me and now here I was on the floor unable to do so. I cried because anytime I've had to call 9-1-1 it was always for someone else. I cried because I realized I'd been carrying a lot emotionally and it was now pouring itself out. I cried because I could hear my husband's loving voice as he spoke with the paramedics over the phone but I couldn't see him. I cried because I was crying.

Just to accept the fact that, for the first time in my life, I had to call 9-1-1 for myself was very humbling.


The pain and other symptoms intensified and I knew I couldn't keep ignoring my body or waiting for it to just miraculously get better. A few days later, it was maybe 3 something in the morning, and I told my husband we need to go to the emergency room. I was losing weight, unable to eat, energy was shot, couldn't stop going to the bathroom, had a high temp at least twice, etc. How many more signs did I need?!!

He had wanted me to go sooner but I had refused. Why? I don't really know. I suppose I was having trouble admitting to myself that something was seriously wrong me with. I didn't want to go the hospital as my grandmother had gone and she'd never left. Maybe that was in my subconscious. I don't know. Finally, we went.


They were so nice at first. But, about 4 hours later, after giving me pain meds and hooking me up to monitors - they told me someone else needed the room. I was told that he was in worse condition than I was. And, since nothing appeared wrong with me I would be sent home. The doctor never even came into my room. She spoke to me before I got a room and afterwards but she never came in to even examine me. Nurses ran a scan and did an ultrasound (since the pain was in my lower right abdomen). They put me in a wheelchair and wheeled to the release area. As I was waiting there the doctor came to me and explained that all of the tests came back and that nothing seemed wrong. She said maybe a cyst had burst, prescribed pain meds, and we were on our way home.


I felt relieved. Okay, I told myself .. if it was just a cyst then I should be fine no later than tomorrow. A ruptured cyst is not even something that is always felt. I'm thinking maybe I had a bad one and it popped. I was feeling fine during that moment but it was because they had given me morphine and because I hadn't eaten anything. Later the pain and the other symptoms returned.

I tried the pain medication - Tramadol. It was way too much for my system. I was angry now. The doctor had only wanted to dope me up, because she didn't know what was wrong ... or because she dismissed my pain and figured I was making it all up.

I took that medication only twice and both times I felt like I was a million feet in the air walking on rainbows with unicorns. I saw a few images flash through my mind that were not reality. I see how people get addicted from pain meds. If they like feeling that way and experiencing that type of thing, I suppose. But, I hated it so I didn't take it anymore. I knew it was doing something extreme to my brain - not worth it. It's trash. Yes, the two times I took it, it did take away the pain but I was so loopy and that scared me so much. Actually, it did not take away the pain - it tricked my brain into not realizing that I was indeed, in pain. I do not like medication. Never have. Still don't ... even more so after that experience.


Finally, after we realized the emergency room doctor had been wrong because I was still in pain and having other symptoms ... we went to see my personal doctor. She had performed an HSG on me the day before the pain and other symptoms started. We'd called but the office was closed so we got in as soon as could. At the appointment it took her a few minutes to realize that something was seriously wrong. She gave orders to a nearby hospital (at which she had privileges) for them to admit me right away. She figured it was an infection that had occurred after the HSG she'd performed on me. She did not know for sure but she was going to do her best to figure it out and she had a course of action in place. I trusted her and felt, finally a doctor was listening to me and believing me.

Turns out, she was absolutely right. Thank God! It was an infection that had developed in my lower right abdomen. If she had not acted as fast as she did it could have spread even more and caused more damage than it already had. I'm grateful it did not make its way to any of my vital organs. Alhamdulillah.


Before the HSG was done my doctor had prescribed Doxycyline (an antibiotic that is supposed to prevent or kill an infection that may occur. I was told to take my first one the morning of the procedure and I did just that. I remember waiting eating some banana and drinking either water or coconut water to take the first pill. There was no issues and no side effects at that time. Who would have known though ... my body actually rejected the Doxycycline. So, in fact, an infection did develop and that is what started all of pain and other symptoms. I was very sick and didn't realize how serious it was. Evidently, that is a rare occurrence but it happened to me.

After being in the hospital for 3 days they realized that m body still rejected the Doxycycline (even when they tried to give it to me through IVs). So, my doctor had to to change the antibiotics she'd ordered them to give me. The new ones worked. My body accepted them. Under the care of my doctor and the wonderful staff at Houston Methodist West, after only 3 days I was able to go home to continue to heal. I was discharged and put on a medication regimen for 2 weeks. The main concern was this - will the pain return? All praise due to God, it did not.


I am now much better. My only qualm is that my taste buds are still not back to normal but Alhamdulillah (all praise due to God) I am able to eat regularly again. The infection my have done some internal damage but Alhamdulillah, I am here and there is no pain. All of the other symptoms have disappeared as well.

I tell you this story to remind you that sometimes we need help. I tell you this to ensure that it is okay to get help. It is okay if we can not always do it all on our own. Sometimes Allah will test us with certain things - health, finances, grief, etc. We are tested, I believe, to see how we respond. We are tested to see if we have the faith we say we do ... sometimes for purification and/or expiation. We are tested sometimes so others can receive their blessings by helping us and vice versa. And, we are tested sometimes for reasons that only God knows. But, we will be tested. That's for sure. I don't believe any of us are exempt.

To anyone who may struggle with getting help from others - whether it be physical, mental, emotional or any other form - do it. You know yourself and you know if you are going through something that you may not be able to handle all on your own. It may be embarrassing, difficult, and awkward but do it. Call the doctor. Call the therapist. Call the preacher. Healing (in all forms) starts by realizing we need help.

To my sweet husband who held my hand through all of this - I am so very grateful for you. May Allah bless you and all that you are.

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