Go straight to ICU, do not collect $200

The past few days have been nothing short of a frightening whirlwind for both myself and my loved ones. It isn’t until now that I even feel that I’m in a place to talk about it.

My last post was pretty positive. When I last left you I was discharged from the hospital, home, and looking forward to settling into normalcy outside the sterile white walls of the fourth floor at Women and Infants. I had taken the next day off from work purposely to give myself time to regroup before heading back to the office.

It’s a good thing I stayed home because everything took a serious left turn quickly.

I woke up Monday morning with pain in my abdomen, the kind of pain that I’ve felt time and time again with a bowel obstruction. As the pain increased to maximum intensity I ended up driving to the ER and checking into triage. From triage to where we are at present is where events are a little hazy for me but my family has been kind enough to fill me in. It’s not like I was totally knocked out or anything. I just remember in segments, like a scrapbook where the pages are out of chronological order.

It turns out the the bowel obstruction wasn’t totally resolved so we had that to deal with. WIH was kind enough to send me over the Rhode Island Hospital to have an NG tube placed. The purpose of the NG tube is to suction out any stomach contents/acid so that your intestines can actually rest. This time it inserted under fluoroscopy so they could see the hose being guided down into my stomach. This was to avoid last week’s debacle where the hose coiled over my hernia and didn’t make it into the stomach. I was technically awake for this but as I’ve written before, it’s a pretty traumatic and unpleasant procedure. They loaded me up with medication to make it more tolerable. That said, I just remember going there and then waking up back at Women and Infants.

I wish I could say that my situation improved from there but this is where it got scary. In the middle of the night I went pale, spiked a fever, my heart rate sped up, and blood pressure plummeted. I was given a blood transfusion because my hemoglobin was too low. I don’t remember much about this part but I do remember my room just flooded with nurses and doctors. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was in septic shock.

My understanding of septic shock is that it is a bacterial infection in the bloodstream. The cause of why I ended up with it is still unknown. They scanned me a few times to see if I had a bowel perforation but they were not able to detect any holes of the intestine. The doctors told me that it’s possible with all of the bowel obstructions, the walls of the intestine experience pressure and bacteria can get in. .

There were a few things that became challenging in the ICU. First there were a lot of “cooks in the kitchen”. There was hardly a moment where someone wasn’t in the room with us, examining, asking questions, administering medication, taking vitals. I didn’t sleep more than a few minutes at a time for three days. I felt delirious. We also didn’t have a source of the sepsis so periodically there would be a different doctor from a different team making a different suggestion. Everything from colonoscopies to stints to surgery. It got to the point where my family was like “you need to talk to our oncologist, period.” We weren’t about to do anything, especially invasive procedures, without Dr. Robison.


So in a small nutshell that was my time in the ICU. It was scary and stressful and high pressure. My poor family. I was lucky to have my parents and Cory there right away. My brother Adam even flew out to be with us and slept in the chair next to me all night that first night in the ICU (although I use the term sleep loosely).

As of yesterday I was well enough to return to Women and Infants.Thank god. It’s so much quieter and calmer here. I have a nice room with a pretty view. A small silver lining within this big shitty mess.

I’m a lot more liberated today as I am not tethered to so much “stuff”. They took the catheter out, I’m not on oxygen anymore, and I’m no longer hooked up to the vitals monitor and blood pressure cuff. I do still have the “nose hose” and a second central line in my neck but I can move around more freely than before. I took a walk for the first time today down the hallway and was able to move about to the bathroom on my own. It was nice to have the scrap of freedom.

I have some goals for the next week:

1.) Improve/restore my lung capacity

2.) Get the nose hose out and eventually eat real food.


TPN: Current breakfast, lunch, & dinner

3.) Take no less than 3 walks a day around the unit

4.) Hope to God I get discharged by Friday so that I can attend Saturday’s 2016 commencement at Bryant.This is the first class that I’ve advised all four years and many of these kids mean the absolute world to me. It would break my heart if I missed this day.

I’ll keep everyone posted as we continue to make progress. Thanks for sticking with me everyone ❀





14 thoughts on “Go straight to ICU, do not collect $200

  1. Jess – Prayers and any strength I can send to you, is with you —— God Bless —- All healing vibes are with you
    ! Much love `

  2. Praying that you will continue to improve swiftly so that you will be out of the hospital & be able to attend that commencement at Bryant on Saturday…..but take it easy on Saturday!!! Prayers, Love & Hugs to surround you, your family, & your very special friend Cory …πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ™…πŸ˜Š

  3. My first thought was how happy I am that you are blessed to have a wonderful support team of doctors, nurses, family and friends. I don’t know what will be thrown at you next but I am praying, with heart full and open ~ that the spirit in you will will bless and keep you safe from all the intensity of these procedures. Sending my love from a distance. Your friend Fran xoxo

  4. Jess, not sure u got my comment earlier. Anyway, wanted to let u know that we did a mishabera (prayer) for u yesterday.
    Hopefully, u will have a quick recovery from this bout and be up and around by the end of the week.

    Thinking about all of u.

  5. Well hell’s bells girlfriend, this just has to stop! And it is going to, in a day or so, because I believe the universe is benevolent and compassionate, which means you WILL be at commencement. Perhaps I more than most understand how important it is for you to be there. So while you are lying in bed, decide what outfit you are putting together for commencement, and who will go with you – probably not a good idea to go solo. You will have this Jess – you always do – because you are that woman – the woman everyone else admires and envies and wishes they could be like. What a role model you are for young women!! So let us know how commencement goes – sending you oceans of healing light and love and energy. Hugs, Susanxoxox

  6. Jess praying for you sending hugs and good wishes. Stay positive and keep on trucking. Miss you but you are inu heart. πŸ’˜πŸŒΉwishing you will soon be eating whatever you want. πŸ”πŸΊπŸŸ

  7. Oh my – miss a few days posts look what I find! You are continually in my prayers Jess. You’ve been through the ringer. I’m hoping that you are feeling better and moving toward going home and to commencement.

  8. Jess,
    You continue to amaze and inspire with your frank and on-point posts. Despite everything the world has thrown at you, you exude kindness, compassion and spirit. I am so grateful that my girls have such an amazing role model in their lives. In a world of Kardashians, you are a shining example for us to aspire to! Sending love and Florida sunshine!

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