Mike, Ibuprofen, and Bleeding Ulcers

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May 14, 2005
We arrived at Bolsa Chica State Beach campground Wednesday evening. Got all set up. Mike said he didn't feel real good. Felt bad all day Thursday and had black stools (see, RV Forum conversation always get around to black tanks and what goes in them). Friday, I convinced him to call the VA 24/7 nurse line. All she said was "you need to get to the ER." So at 4 pm, off we went, 8 miles up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to the Long Beach VA. When it was his turn for triage, they took him straight back in. This is one of those times where you want to wait, the sickest go first. His blood pressure was very low (85/55), his pulse was high (99), and he was light-headed. They did blood tests and an exam. His blood count was less than 8 when it should be up around 14-17. They admitted him Friday night into the DOU (one step down from ICU) and started hinm on IV fluids and ulcer medicine. This morning he had an endoscopy that showed 2 ulcers that were healing. He wanted to go home tonight but his medical doctor recommended against it. She said that he should stay one more night, with one more liquid meal and a regular breakfast tomorrow morning to make sure that he tolerates regular food ok. So I'm picking him up tomorrow morning and bringing him home where he belongs. And, NO, we will not be stopping at the In N Out that's on the way home.

Now, all this started the first day we got to Bolsa Chica. We had 4 nights in one space and then were supposed to move to a different spot on Sunday. If you have any experience with site-specific campsites, then you know that meant I had to move the motorhome on Sunday while Mike was in the hospital. And I did it ! Unhooked water and electric, pulled in slide, moved over to new site, got level (no leveling jacks, we use legos), hooked up electric and water and put slide back out. The camp host did help guide me into the spot. He was great. So, my point here is that if you travel in an RV, I don't care if another person does certain jobs, YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO THE BASIC THINGS like hook up and unhook utilities, back into a spot, level the RV. Just learn how to do it and if you never need to do it, well, great. But it sure is nice to be prepared.

And if you're in southern California, stay off PCH tomorrow morning because I am really pushing my luck driving back and forth to the hospital.

Bolsa Chica State Beach
Wendy, sorry to hear about Mike.  Hope he heals fast when he comes home.  Yes we should know how to do everything.  I have done it but it was years ago when we first went full-time.
Wendy, I'm proud of you and best wishes for Mikes instant and complete recovery.
Wendy, good for you convincing Mike to talk to that nurse!  Sometimes we males can be way too pigheaded for our own good.

Here's hoping Mike has a fast and full recovery when he's back in familiar surroundings!

    Pass along Donna and my best wishes for a speedy return to health.
    I always thought that a man's ulcers were as a result of all the pressure put on him by his spouse.  So, what Mike needs is for you to be especially nice to him and agree with everything that he says  ;)
    Since you proved that you can do it, you'll just have to set up and take down all the time, while he sits back sipping on a coke, giving instructions.


Were the ulcers caused by ibuprofen?

Praying for a speedy recovery for Mike and the drivers along PCH (just kidding). Good job, Wendy. Maybe now I will stop procrastinating and learn how to do all that stuff.

Wendy, hope Mike is feeling better.  If I were a bit closer I'd offer to help.  As it is, we left So. Cal. last Monday and currently are in Benson AZ.  If memory serves me, about a year ago, when we were in the Tucson area, you and Mike were enjoying the California beaches.  Maybe we should coordinate our travels next fall.  We could meet half way and get together for dinner.  :)
    Thinking of traveling, are you 2 still planning on coming to the Canadian east next summer?  If so, what is your timing looking like?  We have the cottage in July, my brother has it in August.  So, if July, you can set up in Shediac and use that as a base for southern New Brunswick, or if August, we can do some traveling with the coaches.

Best of luck to Mike. I've been thru the same process. My wait in the ER was shortened when I passed out and fell off the chair while waiting. With some rapid fluid infusion, I woke up in bed.

While we should all know better, it's hard to convince some of us to call for help or accept it. Toughing it out comes natural.

Bland diet, prevacid, and no stress. It worked for me, it'll work for him.

[quote author=tstumpf ]Were the ulcers caused by ibuprofen?[/quote]

I had the same question. My (12 years older) sister developed a condition that she thought had been caused by "taking too many pain pills over the years"; In her later years, her stomach was unable to tolerate oral medications, especially pain pills, without causing more pain than they were intended to ease.

We're all wishing and hoping for Mike's speedy recovery.
I hope mike feels better, when he does you guys should stop in at O'Maley's on Main in Seal Beach for a much better meal for him than In & Out.

Well, I typed a long answer and it went into the twilight zone. I think the beach air got it.

The GI doc said that as more and more people take Ibuprofen and aspirin, she's seeing more and more of these knds of bleeds. She told him he should NEVER take Ibuprofen and aspirin. So I guess he'll be getting something else for his ankle pain.

Ed - Yes, spousal units are usually responsible for stress. But I suspect he'd be more stressed watching me do the set up than doing it himself. And as for sitting down with a Coke, his Diet Coke guzzling days are over. The GI doc said soda wouldn't cause the ulcers but it would worsen a pre-existing condition. So I am cutting off his unlimited supply of soda ! As Linda Stock once said, I'd rather be a witch than a widow.

Gary, We do seem to be here when you've not, don't we? We'll be back in January between the Indio FMCA and Quartzsite Forum rallies. Any chance you'll be around? We have reservations at Bolsa Chica.

Ken - I'm certainly glad that he didn't pass out in the waiting room ! We actually only spent about 15 minutes in the waiting room before being called to triage and then going straight back into the ER. Scared the hell out of me. Also kept me from bitching about waiting in the waiting room for 5 hours as others were doing !

Thanks again for all the good thoughts and prayers.
[quote author=Wendy]She told him he should NEVER take Ibuprofen and aspirin.[/quote]

Did that mean to not take them together, or not take either one?
Glad to hear Mike continues to improve.  Hope you bring him home soon.  I'm interested in knowing what the doctor recommends for his ankle pain since he can no longer take ibuprofen or aspirin.  BTW ... congrats for excelling on the blue jobs.  :D

I'm interested in knowing what the doctor recommends for his ankle pain since he can no longer take ibuprofen or aspirin.

I think many of us would like to know that.

Continued prayers for a speedy recovery!

Wendy,  The VA gave me 800mg Ibuprofen 3 times a day for many years (like 40) which caused many problems including a marginal Kidney. I am praying for Mike. I really don't know you all except here on the forum but hope to make the acquaintance in person some day. Hang in there. I really need to get my wife where she can drive this coach and do the things that you did. Maybe when I get the coach back from Freightliner I will make (well try to make) her do it.

Get Mike well and let us know what they give Mike for the pain. Right now I just tolerate the pain rather than take anything that might tip me over to doing Dialysis.
Wendy we are praying for Mike and think you are brilliant for making him call the nurse! May he soon recover and feel better than he has in a long time.

I cannot agree with you more about everyone knowing how hookups etc work. This week I took ours out to the beach- just me and the little girls. I was so proud when I got us all hooked up and operational in 20 minutes- including leveling. Just knowing I can do it is such a relief.

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