I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to become a teacher in Hawaii. Five years have passed since the beginning of that chapter and after everything that’s unfolded in that time period, Sean and I can both say without hesitation that we’d do it all over again on a dime. Every risk we’ve taken, we’ve grown. I’ve learned that dreams are better than plans — plans change, but dreams unfold and assimilate and readjust course. Everything we thought we wanted ended up evolving into something else, but I have yet to be disappointed by how fantastically our life has unfolded. Sometimes, along the way, it hurts — in fact, I think most times, living hurts — but it’s always been worthwhile. I have no desire to get to the end of this life without all kinds of dings and dents and bruises — after all, what the hell kind of ride would that be?
The day that my Hawaii State Teachers License came in the mail, my husband and I excitedly danced around our kitchen. We tacked it on our bulletin board and clinked our coffee mugs to celebrate.
My husband tells me regularly that my heart is too big for this world. I spent two years teaching in an English inclusion classroom. I quickly became attached to the enormous hearts of my students; I wanted to help them uncover their potential through literary analysis and writing.
The school year began smoothly, but that only lasts so long. As the weeks went on and the honeymoon period waned, I felt the pain that they brought with them to school every day. They presented their troubles in different ways. Some wanted to talk my ear off during lunch, while others used attention-seeking behavior. As I grew as a teacher I learned how to give my students the tools that they needed to overcome their circumstances and streamline their energy. Some of them utilized the tools, but generally, those that displayed attention-seeking behavior were addicted to acting out.
One of my students that regularly displayed attention-seeking behavior showed up to class high as a kite one day. He walked in giggling and came over to my desk to say hello, an audacious move since I wasn’t born yesterday. He reeked of marijuana.
All of the other students whispered and laughed. I got the class started and he began disrupting the class immediately. I changed the plan around a bit in my head and had students work in small groups for a few minutes as a distraction while I called down to an administrator quietly to let them know that I was quite sure one of my students was under the influence. The administrator told me to take the student to the nurse because we couldn’t accuse him of being under the influence – the nurse had to diagnose him.
I asked the student to step outside, leaving the class with my co-teacher in charge. The student and I began the long walk to the nurse’s office.
He asked if he was in trouble. Being mindful to not accuse him, I beat around the bush.
“You’re not in trouble – but you just don’t seem like yourself today. I just want the nurse to take a look at you and make sure you’re okay.”
“Miss, I’m fine. I’m high. Let’s go back to class.”
“Yes, I know. That’s why we’re going to the nurse. Feel free to tell her that yourself.”
He laughed, and we kept walking. When we got there, she looked him over and asked him a few questions. I asked him to tell her what he told me. He said he couldn’t remember what that was, in an effort to backtrack. The nurse sent him with me back to class, and the administration said there was nothing they could do.
I followed up with a phone call to a different administrator. Two weeks later, the situation was finally dealt with, and he was suspended for a day or two.
But the damage was already done. Every student knew he was high. Every student knew that the consequences weren’t immediate, and the consequences that did occur were a student’s idea of a vacation. So, as can be expected, this wasn’t the first time or the only student that this situation happened with.
This incident was the platform for my realizing the issues I and every other teacher are facing: the lack of school culture and clear set of expectations for behavior, as well as the lack of support for especially the inclusion community to come together in unison to have clear academic expectations for our struggling students, as well as preventive measures in place to keep them on track, and social service opportunities to meet their needs.
Between my husband working full time as a carpenter, and my full-time salary as a teacher, we were hardly staying afloat. The used car that I bought, to avoid having a car payment, died within months. We grocery shopped with a calculator to make sure we stayed within what was available in our dwindling checking account. We put the utilities on a credit card every month and crossed our fingers.
Later in the school year, I received an email late one night from a student asking if she could meet me in the classroom early in the morning. I agreed, and when I arrived, I quickly realized why. She walked in with a broken nose and bruises all over her face. I felt that familiar feeling of my heart dropping into the pit of my stomach. I quickly battled in my mind the best way to react: do I show her how much I care, and let myself cry, or do I play the tough cookie that is going to give her the tools to overcome this?
I held myself together because tears were not going to help her — she didn’t need my tears.
We sat down and she recanted to me the events of the night before. After first period started, I walked this student down to the counselor’s office, and the police and Child Protective Services were called.
When the police arrived, they walked in and looked at her, and the one said, “What did you do to deserve that?”
After I picked my jaw up off of the floor and reattached it to my head, I respectfully let the officer know that it didn’t matter what my student did or didn’t do, she was all of ninety pounds soaking wet and a child, and no one had the right to touch her. To my shock and dismay, Child Protective Services did nothing. End of story.
My heart sank.
I went home that afternoon and got in bed. My body ached. My shoulders and neck were tight from holding my breath for eight hours. My back burned. I curled into the pillow I’ve had since I was a kid and couldn’t muster the tears to cry; I only felt numb.
As I went through the first year, the stairs up to my classroom became harder to climb. I was already living in a constant state of disease activity but I was about to spiral. I increased my Prednisone just enough to get me through. I propped up my knees after long days and iced them. At the end of the day, sometimes I couldn’t even take my bra off from the swelling and pain in my shoulders, elbows, and hands. By the end of each day, my jaw clenched with swelling from talking. I was a teacher — talking was a bit of a necessity. I put ice packs on that too.
Protesting at the Hawaii State Capitol building for Hawaii’s schools to get air conditioning. Our classroom reached 100 degrees regularly.
As the year went on, I tried to channel my frustration in more productive ways. I found a group of teachers that were just as aggravated but were focused on finding a solution. We discussed the issues that plagued our system: chronic absenteeism, lack of common academic expectations, as well as issues like individualized professional development differentiated between veteran and rookie teachers. We also discussed the importance of allowing teachers the time to focus on teaching instead of administrative tasks that take up the majority of our time. I felt inspired by the conversations.
I was inspired enough to convince myself that I wasn’t going to be another statistic; another one of the fifty-five percent of teachers in Hawaii that leave in the first five years…but inspiration doesn’t pay the bills.
As I looked over the budget and crunched the numbers, I realized that we were still in the red at the end of every month. A friend of ours told us that if we wanted to make it here in Hawaii, we had to hustle. Sean took on weekends and I picked up five to ten hours a week in the afternoons tutoring students home on medical leave from school, I freelanced for a local magazine and babysat several nights a week. We scraped by.
I hustled between campus, tutoring, babysitting, and policy meetings. When I got home late at night, I propped up my swollen, arthritic legs on pillows while planning lessons and grading papers.
As I started the school year in August of 2014, I felt revitalized and ready for the challenge of the year.
I wasn’t, however, ready to accept that every time I ate lately, it felt like little people with knives were doing jumping jacks in my belly.
I was due for a colonoscopy, as people with Crohn’s are required to get one every two years since we are at a greater risk for colon cancer. I hadn’t had one since before well before we moved and knew I was overdue. On August 23rd, I had a colonoscopy and was told that I had ulcers and several areas of inflammation.
Ok, well, I can live with that.
On I went with my life. I was busy. I wanted to do my part to help heal Hawaii Education. I wanted to save the world. I didn’t have time for ulcers. No thanks.
On nights, weekends, and breaks, my policy colleagues and I would take teachers on ‘field trips’ to observe and engage with other educators. With my notebook in hand, I recorded these experiences with great detail; one of the experiences led to a series of educational activism articles that explored the relationship between public and private schools. It stirred many conversations. Part of that conversation came in early December when one of my administrators called me during 4th period, while I was teaching a class, to let me know that she had just returned from the DOE offices and they were asking about me. Apparently, parents were flooding the DOE phones and asking why their kids weren’t getting the education that the Punahou kids were getting. She then let me know that if I wanted to be successful in this school and in this state, I would tone down the articles a bit.
Up until then, I was able to justify pushing myself through my constant physical pain with my joints if it meant that I could have some sort of purpose – but then I realized that this was so much bigger than having policy meetings and trying to effect positive change for Hawaii’s students. The Hawaii DOE is a well-oiled nepotistic oligarchy, and it had no desire to have the apple cart upset.
After I had to stop teaching, a friend that knew how lost I felt invited me to work with her students for an afternoon.
As the middle of December rolled around, it felt like my stomach was too. I was in the bathroom several times a day and was dropping more and more weight.
Over a fifteen year period, I was on Prednisone almost constantly — during brief respites, I was hardly able to function, so back on I’d go. It was a vicious cycle. My doctors knew how damaging it was, but nothing else worked. I was so desperate to not be disabled that I’d take the moon-face, a little extra weight, and all that chronic Prednisone entailed just to have a semblance of normalcy. I couldn’t stand the idea of a life unlived, and a 10 mg dose of Prednisone let me grasp at just enough straws to manage to be able to get through the day, even though I’d come home from work or school and not be able to physically move.
My doctors brought up the possibility of Osteoporosis over the years, because of the combination of chronic Prednisone use as well as typical Crohn’s malabsorption issues, but I’d kinda shrug it off. I felt like that was the least of things to worry about; old people had to worry about that. The only thing I had on my side was youth — surely, my bones weren’t going to let me down.
While in Hawaii, my rheumatologist said it was time for me to get my first bone density. I complied and didn’t give it a lot of thought.
When I went back to her for the results, I was just looking to go in and get out — I had a policy ‘pau hana’ that night with other educators in the area to go over education policy and network to build up the nonprofit I was working for.
I knew immediately by the look on her face when she walked in that the results weren’t good. She went over the details and I listened and sunk into myself. I held it together while in her office, made my way down to the parking garage, and fell apart in my car. I texted Mike, my friend, and colleague, and told him that I couldn’t make it to the pau hana. I sat in the parking garage, in my car, melting into myself for a long time before I could muster the wherewithal to drive home. After having spent fifteen years feeling like a 90-year-old, now, I also had the bones of one. It was another reminder of my own mortality — how does someone get lucky enough to grow old when their entire youth is spent elderly?
I carried on. I kept myself busy; my main focus was to somehow get our bills paid and keep my students engaged. I picked up more freelance writing jobs when I could and took on more tutoring and babysitting.
As December crept up, colleagues complimented me on looking slimmer and asked what my secret was – I was too shy to say, Well, actually, my secret is that I’ve been so stressed from this insane job that I’m pretty sure the inside of my colon looks like Fredy Krueger’s face! So instead I smiled and thanked them. I hadn’t accepted yet that things were spiraling out of my control.
I thought I’d feel better after Christmas. We were going home for the holidays and thought it would refresh and revitalize me so I could return in January with fresh eyes.
Instead, my symptoms spiraled out even more as I started up the second semester. I was up all night in the bathroom, every night. As it progressively got worse, I ran to the bathroom throughout the workday, praying to the toilet gods that there wasn’t a line. A week later, I was so malnourished that I struggled to put thoughts into words. At the end of January, on what ended up being my last day of the school year, I was in the bathroom seventeen times by second period.
In the three weeks that followed, I rarely left my couch. Sometimes I slept on the bathroom floor. The pain was unbearable. My doctor at the time, considered one of the best gastroenterologists in Hawaii, told me to take Imodium. I didn’t have any Prednisone, and he wouldn’t prescribe it. (Oh, it gets worse with him, just wait, darling.)
In a matter of fourteen days, I went from a curvy 142 pounds to an emaciated 110 pounds. My husband woke in the middle of the night to find me throwing up and shaking from dehydration. We were in and out of the emergency room several times. I was terrified. I was afraid to go to sleep for fear of not waking up. One night, my husband woke up to find me sitting on the toilet with diarrhea, while at the same time throwing up violently into the bathtub. I hadn’t eaten in days and was only able to tolerate small sips of water at a time — there was nothing in my body left to come out except for bile. I was so dehydrated that I felt a type of headache I’d never felt in my life — my brain felt detached from my skull. Later that night, I barely held myself over the kitchen sink as I continued to throw up. I shook like a leaf. Sean held my hair and when I turned around, the look on his face broke my heart because I knew he was terrified. We knew that either the ER had to admit me that night, or I was going to be in significant trouble.
Luckily, they did.
There are several inflammatory markers that doctors look for when checking blood work of people with inflammatory diseases. One is called the CRP, another is the sedimentation rate, and another is the white cell count. Normal CRP ranges between 1-10. Mine was 168. Normal sedimentation rate is below 20. Mine was 77. My white cells were so high that I was in leukocytosis.
I was in the hospital for twelve days on a morphine drip and IV Solumedrol, which is a steroid anti-inflammatory. I dropped more than thirty pounds in a couple week period. The doctors gave me a PICC line, which was my only option to get nutrition.
Even with high doses of steroids, I was still in the bathroom over a dozen times a day.
I title this picture ‘Highly Medicated.’
After only a couple of days, the hospital doctor suggested that we put a PICC line in because of my inability to eat — he said they’d give me ‘Burger in a Bag’ basically through this stuff called TPN, which really worried me, because I am a surprisingly literal person, and was still a vegan at the time, but he explained that it’s just a bag filled with a combination of fats, proteins, and other necessary nutritional needs. He explained how the line would be put in and go from my bicep all the way to my chest and that totally freaked me out, so I told him that he needed to give me a good sedative before threading an eight-inch line into my body. He laughed and said okay, and within hours, the PICC line nurses arrived.
I was a nervous wreck. Now I know I didn’t need to be, but the whole thing just weirded me out. I didn’t even ask what they were giving me as a sedative, as long as it made me not care. Whatever it was, it worked, while at the same time made me awfully chatty.
These two adorable Filipino ladies were the PICC line nursing team and came in smiley and chipper, and now, because of my meds, I was too. They had me lay back and put my arm out, with Sean and my mom in two chairs at the other end of the room. They got started, and just to keep the conversation going, said to me, “So, Kelly, what do you think about living out here in Hawaii?”
Most people would take this as an opportunity to talk about the beautiful, pristine beaches, the carved and rigid and majestic Ko’olau mountain range, and you know, normal things, but nope — not Kelly, especially not high-as-a-kite Kelly.
I sighed deeply and said, “Well. Where do I start? The education system is a disaster. I don’t know how the state thinks that what works for a kid in Kailua will work for a kid in Ewa Beach. The federal and state policies that keep schools unable to work autonomously without fear of losing funding is unacceptable and puts student learning on the back burner and provides not nearly enough autonomy for teachers to focus on their own curriculum and assessments. And teachers are always so god damn flooded with meetings that could have been summed up in an email and professional development that is hardly differentiated between veterans and rookies that they have zero time to even breathe let alone do the job that they are really there to do. And don’t even get me started on the fact that our kids on the leeward side are basically cooking in classrooms, so who the hell can expect them to pay attention to frigging Macbeth when the classroom is literally ONE HUNDRED DEGREES? I kid you not — the classrooms on my campus, including my own classroom, hit one hundred degrees every day. How can anyone expect a teenager to learn when they are just trying to regulate their body temperature? It’s absurd. And don’t even get me started on the national bullshit being passed down, the Educator Effectiveness System is a joke and we’re all practically watching the state build a ship while trying to sail it at the same time, and now our pay is being tied to hormonal teenagers doing surveys on pedagogy, which should only be used for teacher’s to self-reflect, but nope, instead, is being tied to how well (or not well) they are paid. It’s a joke. On top of it, school administrations are over-worked and unable to provide teacher supports because they are so tied down to paperwork that there’s no time for anything else. Further, instead of focusing on retaining the best and the brightest teachers, we instead watch as the state puts band-aids on the problem and then doesn’t have enough teachers so brings in ‘emergency hires’ that many times are substitute teachers that don’t have a teaching certificate or any formal education beyond high school, and now are thrust into a classroom, learning how to swim in the deep end. Further, I cannot believe the socioeconomic gap that I witness every day here between the haves and the have-nots, and Papipi Road in Ewa Beach alone is like driving down this Twilight Zone that encapsulates all of that. What has been done to the Native Hawaiians in our colonial quest is heart-wrenching. They have been driven to the driest part of the island and what little they’d been given as our sorry-attempt at restitution for stealing their land is just a disgrace, and the cycle of oppression shows no sign of ending. The rampant homelessness is a disaster and no one is showing the tent cities to the tourists because god forbid they see anything but a luau and engorge in some Mai Tais. Christ, it’s a mess, it’s just a mess.”
I finally shut up and found Sean and my mom laughing their asses off at the end of my bed, and the PICC line nurses asked Sean, “is she always like this?” and he responded, “Well, yea, but usually with a little more regulation and better timing.”
I don’t have much to say about this picture other than that it makes me sad.
Other than that, being in the hospital there provided other sources of entertainment as well. The residents (doctors but technically also still med students and have to report to the attending doc) were assigned to me were quite the pair. Now, people generally ask if I’ve always been as happy and sweet, even in the midst of such physical pain — and the answer to that is yes. During this time in the hospital, as my abdomen writhed in pain, (prior to getting the morphine pump), I’d press the call button for my nurses and they’d come in and I’d say, “Hey (so-and-so), how’s your night going? Patient across the hall still screaming and giving you hell? God, I’m sorry. People suck, right? That’s terrible. Hey, my pain level is about a 12 right now, can I please have some morphine when you have a moment?” They all got a kick out of me being the nicest person in pain that they had ever met, and the med students were equally charmed — so much so, that they liked to start their day with me… with their 5:30 AM rounds.
My disease has always followed a circadian rhythm. During rough periods with my colon, I was generally able to make it through the daytime with minimal diarrhea, but then all of a sudden, around 8 PM, the cycle began and I’d be in the bathroom a dozen to two dozen times between 8 PM and 4 AM. Then things would start to slow down and I’d finally be able to get some sleep.
However, being in a hospital and having the residents want to start their day with my sunshine is taxing, to say the least — especially how they went about it. I’d no sooner finally fall asleep, and these guys would come in, all chipper because they are young idealistic professionals and all intrigued by me because I’m a walking episode of Unsolved Mysteries, so they’d come a’strolling in around 5:30 or 6 AM, and they would literally pinch my big toe to wake me up and ask how my night went.
I was so physically weak and emotionally exhausted that I couldn’t turn on the Tony-Soprano-New-Jersey-‘tude and tell them they had to frigging stop it right now before I used their white coats as toilet paper — I was too tired to even think that — so, my mom, who had flown in from New Jersey, set up a cot at the foot of my bed, slept there for three nights, and when they’d come in, instead of waking up to them pinching my toes, I’d wake up to the sound of her turning her New Jersey on and telling them to “get out right now, she just fell asleep, finally, and you have to stop coming here first thing in the morning. Go away, no, I’m serious, go. away.”
Flustered and young, they’d run away, and then they’d wait for her to go get her coffee, and they’d run in quickly, and pinch my toe, start to ask questions, and she’d eventually make her way back in and chase them out.
Lucky for me, I had some great roommates during that time. People cycled in and out. The first roommate I had was the only bad apple; she only lasted three hours, and checked herself out because the doctor wouldn’t approve a specific pain med that she wanted. I was half asleep and half high-as-a-kite from my own Dilaudid, and she wouldn’t stop talking and my normal wit was completely unarmed and medicated and unable to respond, so I was thrilled to see her go because she would not shut up about how “lucky” I was to have the “good drugs” while she wasn’t getting what she wanted. She was basically a walking red flag.
After she checked herself out, they brought in someone really quiet, which was nice, until we found out that she had some deadly and highly contagious infection and they had to put her in full isolation, and that I had to vacate the room immediately due to being exposed.
But, other than that, my roommates were great.
I had one very sweet native Hawaiian lady from Molokai — she and I bonded immediately — and after she left… wait, oh yeah, there was actually one more annoying patient after her — she was from Philly and I’m sure was a nice person on the inside, but loud in the most obnoxious way possible and inquiring at every step. I couldn’t walk past her bed to go to the bathroom and have explosive diarrhea without her constant commentary and inquisition.
After her, though, I then had this lovely couple come in — the woman was undergoing some kind of surgery. They were there for the better part of a week. They must have been in their late seventies. Her husband stayed with her every day and every night around the clock for her entire week-long stay. He had this air of a little bit of New York and maybe a slight hint of Army vet mixed with a dash of The Quiet Man. He slept in a chair next to her bed and I don’t even remember seeing him eat.
At one point, I overheard her say to him, “I love you, you know.” He responded with, “I love you too babe. You’re a good catch. Good wife. A very nice lady. I’m lucky.”
She then did something and he said, “God you are such a stinker, it’s a good thing you’re pretty.”
And then I burst into heaping piles sugar and spice and confetti because oh my god.
They kept to themselves and I was able to walk past their side of the room to poop a dozen times or more every night and not have to deal with commentary on my shitting schedule. Not only were they adorable, but they let me poop in peace, and honestly, what more could a girl really want?
During that first ten days in the hospital, I was in terrible condition. They had me on 120 milligrams a day of Solumedrol via IV. I could hardly think straight from the combination of the steroids and overall weakness from diarrhea and living on TPN. Only a few days into the hospitalization, we celebrated nine years together, and my heart ached thinking about the possibility that our last anniversary ever could be spent in a hospital room.
Our nine year anniversary.
Once I saw that things weren’t improving at the hospital after several days of treatment, I thought this was it, that I was going to die. No one told me I was going to – doctors didn’t allude to it or anything – but I felt it. My entire existence just felt different – my soul felt different. My bones and skin, the part that holds me up and keeps me contained, that has always felt like my house. But, inside my house, my cells and muscles and tissue and organs and nerves, that all always felt like a dysfunctional family that drank too much and screamed and slammed doors, but at this moment – it felt slow, still painful, but now hollow. It felt like it would have felt if all of a sudden, the doors weren’t slamming anymore and the screams went silent, but the people were still in the house, knowing that there was no fixing this, and each of them felt that hollow pain of loss and despair. That feeling – being in my soul, and looking at my body laying before me, knowing that on the inside, that was happening – that they were all giving up – that’s why I thought I was dying.
I had somewhat made peace with it. I was tired. For 13 years leading up to that point, I fought. I never made it obvious to anyone how hard it was to live in my skin — I had to make my life about more than Crohn’s disease, and I worked hard to. I didn’t let people take my picture when I was at my worst. I was dead set on being more than my disease. I knew my limits but often surpassed them, even if it meant that I couldn’t get out of bed for days after. Maybe this wasn’t the smart thing to do, but I did it anyway, and I would do it all over again. But at this moment, in the Kam 3 wing of Queen’s Medical Center, I was tired in every way. If this had to be it, I knew that I had made those 26 years count — because no matter how bad it hurt, I had lived.
I decided that I needed to have a talk with Sean. At that point, we had been together for nine years. We are two peas in a pod. We know how to argue with the other when arguing is necessary. He cleans the k-cups and I dust and I zig and he zags and somehow two imperfect people found each other and it just really worked. I was sad that we weren’t going to get to be 100 together, but I had to accept that the doors inside my body were no longer slamming and I had to force myself to somehow be okay with that – and I was – but I wasn’t okay with the idea that Sean would spend the rest of his life grieving over mine.
He came to visit and I needed to get out of the room to have this conversation with him. I asked him to wheel me down to the courtyard so I could get some air. He and the nurses set me up in a wheelchair, TPN bag, morphine pump, and all, and out we went.
Now, he tells me that he knows what I wanted to discuss with him based on the look on my face, but I had a hard time getting it out at the time. Finally, I worked up the courage to have the talk with him that no young couple should have to have. I told him that I didn’t see this going well, that I felt my body shutting down, and that I was coming to terms with the fact that I may not be leaving here. I told him that he was too young to not move on if I died and that I needed him to re-marry, have children, and have a happy life even if it couldn’t be with me. I told him that I was no longer afraid of dying — that all I feared now was that he’d stop living.
He listened intently and then said, “no.”
Confused, I asked, “no?”
“No,” he said. “I’m going to do all of those things with you. You’re not going to die, so get that out of your head right now. I refuse to accept that.”
I have to say, I was surprised — I didn’t quite see it going that way. I knew it wasn’t going to go well, but I thought he was going to be able to see that this whole thing was going to hell in a handbasket. My soul was so tired, at the time, I thought, “Christ almighty he’s being really difficult about this.” But now I know that I needed him to be — I needed him to be in that state of denial.
Now, looking back, he says his brain didn’t have the ability to compute that much sadness, so he refused to. He says he had to remain in problem-solving mode.
I never brought it up again, and we carried on, just trying to get through the days.
During that time, the doctor that recommended that I get through this terrible episode with Imodium came to visit a few times while I was there. About nine days in, he came in and said, “Ok, numbers are looking better today, keep it up!” and the very next day he returned and say, “Hmm, not looking great, I think we need to begin discussions and planning to remove your colon.” My response to that was that of a very sick person, and out of my mouth came, “Go ahead and take the bastard, he hasn’t done shit for me in years.”
My husband and mother, however, weren’t as quickly sold as I was to part with one of my vital organs, though to me, didn’t seem so vital at the time, so they began searching for Plan B.
In my mom’s online search, she found that the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota was world-renowned for it’s IBD clinic. She called them from my hospital room, and the doctors at Mayo immediately took over my care. Everything that happened from there on out had to go through the Mayo doctors, which really enraged my “go take some Imodium and let’s remove your colon” doctor. He was pissedddddd.
But, whatever they did to alter my care, it was enough to get me out of the hospital and only a few days later, on a plane to the Mayo Clinic.