FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE-Take Charge of Your Health in the Hospital
Heart to Heart



altTake Charge of Your Health in the Hospital Let me preface my experience by saying that I am not a doctor or a nurse and that I am not advocating that you refuse medication or insist on being released from the hospital earlier than what is safe. Everyone is different, and every medical case requires different consideration. What I am advocating is that you take charge of your health by thinking through your choices, praying, and then making your decisions.


Recently I was admitted to the emergency room and then the hospital after my internist and gastroenterologist insisted that I go. I was running a 106 degree fever with diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. After pushing a 500 pound bale of hay over 40 feet shortly before this episode, they thought I might have ruptured my bowel.


Although the hospital doctors (I had five) shared with me that my medical records from prior hospital visits reported that I refuse medication, it did not stop them from recommending medicine. Naturally they wanted to administer medication to reduce my fever. I politely refused, telling them that it was God’s mechanism for fighting infection, and I preferred letting the fever run its course. If they had known that my normal temperature is 96 degrees and that I was really running a 106 degree fever, they would have been much more persistent than they were.


ACT scan and two ultrasounds discovered nothing but gallstones. They suggested surgery to remove the gallbladder. I declined their offer, as I did not want it removed unless my life was in danger.


My primary care physician told me later that many people live with gallstones without ever having any trouble from them. Furthermore, removing a gallbladder to alleviate pain does not guarantee that the pain will cease.


Two doctors suggested a urinary tract infection and ordered an antibiotic. I refused this as well based on the lack of conclusive evidence of an infection. Not only had the urine analysis come back negative, but also there was no inflammation or pain. I understood that they were covering themselves, but I did not want to take an antibiotic needlessly. I am thankful that we have antibiotics, and I would take them if my life was in jeopardy, but not unless that was the case.


The hospital also wanted me to stay a third day. I asked what further testing they intended. They said that they just wanted to observe me. Knowing that they cannot keep patients against their will, I politely insisted on my release, as I could just as easily be miserable at home.


It turned out that I had Campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning. For your information: Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts about one week. Some infected persons do not have any symptoms. In persons with compromised immune systems, Campylobacteroccasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious life-threatening infection.


Campylobacteriosis usually occurs in single, sporadic cases, but it can also occur in outbreaks, when two or more people become ill from the same source. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. Outbreaks of Campylobacterhave most often been associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry, and produce. Animals can also be infected, and some people get infected from contact with the stool of an ill dog or cat. The organism is not usually spread from one person to another. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/campylobacter/