Much Goings On


Hospital

Hospital (Photo credit: José Goulão)

     I know I know, it took me awhile to get around to my blog.  Apologies to all my readers, life has been crazy.

     I’ve always written that I want to be honest and true to myself in my writing, otherwise what’s the point?   It really was a rough summer for me and a personal low.  I think I already wrote about my new ulcer, if I haven’t just know that I have a new ulcer.  I think it was July when I landed  back  in the hospital and my labs were really good so I thought I would be going home, I didn’t realize that right behind me my blood pressure decided to do something ridiculous like be 50/30, so once again I found myself in ICU

     I think I’ve always made it clear to everyone that I’m a chronic pain patient in pain management and on some pretty heavy pain medication, and when I can’t keep anything down that includes my pain medicine so by the time I get to the ER I’m in pretty rough shape from the pain.  However I knew there wasn’t a lot they could do for me with my low bp, but by the next morning it was back to normal.  The doctor came in to make rounds and I asked him to put me back on my oral pain meds or injections and imagine my surprise when he said no that every time I’m in the hospital I’m on morphine and  I was a drug seeker.  Really?  I had my meds in my purse not 5 feet away from me.  I explained that to him to no avail.  I was so upset I left and I just managed to stay out of the hospital until last night.  A couple of trips to the ER aside.

     evidently, he was the only doctor on staff who felt that way, because every time I’ve been in the ER I’ve been given pain meds and no, I didn’t ask for them.  I guess I’m now a little defensive about the whole damn subject.

     Last week, my husband had to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and he’s been out of work for the better part of a month and I can’t remember a time when we’ve been this  broke.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re getting by day by day but wondering where the grocery money is going to come from is stressing us both out.  Did I mention we’re supposed to move in about 11 days and I have no idea where the money to close is going to come from?  I’m keeping the faith the Lord will provide.

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Better


    It’s been a rough couple of weeks.  Rudy had to take me to the ER four times I think, and I was admitted twice.  I simply could not stop vomiting.  The phenergan doesn’t seem to be working as well as it did.  In fact one doctor gave me a shot of Thorazine, that knocked me out for a good 6 hours.  As soon as I woke up though I was still  throwing up.

     I could go into ketoacidosis very easily, fortunately I never got to that point.  The gastroparesis has gotten really bad even though my glucose readings are good. 

     I had to have some minor surgery, I was discharged the same day and damned if I wasn’t back in the hospital the next day.  I have to follow up with a gastroenterologist. 

    What scared my husband is that I went over a week without eating anything.  Chicken water and jello doesn’t count.  He’s watching me lose more and more weight and it really does bother him.

     On the other hand I’m feeling much better now and I’m looking forward to spending time with him.

     I found out more things from my hospitalization in March when I was on the ventilator.  My nurse told me I was septic and the reason I was so combative was that I wasn’t breathing.  That’s not what was in my head though.  In my head I just wanted them to slow down and tell me what they were doing.  evidently there was no time for that.  I’m still having some anxiety over all that, but it is getting better.

     I’m looking forward to this week with my husband, thanks for listening.

One Foot in the Grave and the other on a Banana Peel, and then I Slipped


     It’s been a bad few weeks and I don’t even know where to begin.  I guess I’ll start with the bladder infection, only because any time I get an infection of any kind my blood sugars spiral out of control very quickly and I end up chasing them.  It doesn’t work, I just get sicker and sicker and the sicker I get, the higher my blood sugars get and all cognitive function and reasoning flies out the window.

     All I could do was sleep, and that should have been my first clue that things were going to spiral out of control.  I just didn’t see it.  I had a change in my pain meds, and some other meds and I attributed my sleepiness to that.  What a fool I was, and this time it almost cost me my life.

     My daughter Sarah came home on Friday and immediately knew that something was very wrong.  I had been vomiting and she emptied my basin for me and told me I needed to get to the hospital.  I’m ashamed to say that all I could do was beg her not to wake up her dad and I do remember telling her that if I didn’t feel better the next day I would go.  It was extremely unfair of me to put that burden on her.  If I had died I can only imagine how she would blame herself.  When I see her this weekend I’m going to tell her that when I’m that sick she should ignore whatever I’m saying and just do what she thinks is the right thing.

     Rudy was getting an idea already that I was getting pretty sick, but I’ve become a master at hiding from him just how sick I am.  The rest of the story is based on what I remember, which is pretty sketchy and filled in by what Rudy, Sarah and the Doctors and Nurses at the hospital told me.

     It was now Saturday and I don’t remember if all of this took place before or after Sarah’s shift at Walgreens.  I remember that she was pretty mad at me for not going to the hospital like I promised her and for not letting Rudy know just how bad it had gotten, I didn’t realize how sick I really was.  It must have been late, he had fallen asleep on the couch and he tells me that something, he doesn’t know what, but we credit it to God woke him from a sound sleep telling him that he needed to check on me.  He said he could smell the acetone on my breath as soon as he opened the door and I remember him saying that I had to get to the hospital.  Even then I tried to argue with him that I wasn’t that sick.

     He said I was slurring my words and I looked like I was dying.  I heard him tell Sarah to call 911 for an ambulance, even then I thought he was overreacting.  I remember him dressing me before the ambulance got here and I remember him saying that if it didn’t get here in a minute he was going to put me in the truck and take me himself.  He picked me up and carried me out of the bedroom into the living room.  I remember seeing the ambulance pull up to our door and Rudy lifted me up and carried me to the gurney and walked me outside.

     Our town just within this past month went from strictly EMS service to advanced life support with paramedics, and what a blessing that was to me.  Rudy walking me outside is the last thing I remember before getting to the hospital. 

     I remember only a few minutes of the ER., and I’m ashamed of every one of them.  I was surrounded by doctors and nurses and it seemed they all had their hands on me at once cutting off my clothes and doing things to me, all without talking to me and I was extremely combative.  I remember trying to fight them all off of me and in my head I was thinking I just needed them to slow down and tell me what they were doing.  That’s the last thing I remember and the next thing I knew was that I was in a room and there was a cna in there and I asked where I was.  I was told in ICU and then I asked what hospital I was in.  I had no sense of time lost even though it was almost 3 days later.

     It was my husband who told me I was intubated in the ER.  Evidently my efforts to breathe was not moving oxygen.  I do know that my first day of awareness, I was hallucinating.  I don’t know if that was residual effects from the sedation drugs or not.  I kept hearing Rudy call my name when he wasn’t in the room.  I also remember thinking or knowing that I was hallucinating but not to tell anyone or I’d be heading to the “One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” hospital.

     This is what I know now.  I’ve been sufferring from anxiety attacks ever since I’ve been home and I’m afraid to fall asleep when I’m here by myself.  I don’t know if you can get PTSD from a hospital stay, but I really do feel shell shocked.  The ER doctor told Rudy that had he waited another hour I would not be here.  I’m frightened,  and I don’t remember ever feeling quite so vulnerable as I do now.  I don’t know how to cope with this, it’s beyond me.

My Apologies


     I’ve never gone this long without a post and I’m not sure I know why.  Getting through the holidays was hard for me this year.  Four months later and I’m still struggling with the loss of my best friend, Michelle.  I’m feeling mired in the mud and the muck of depression.

     I ended up right back in the hospital only a week after my last discharge.  I had a pancreatitis flare up that was as bad as it gets.  I was vomiting constantly for well over 2 days and I hardly had the energy to actually get up and go to the hospital.  Rudy kept telling me I needed to go, and for some reason when I’m that sick, my mind is telling me I’m not that sick.  It got really bad this time.  In fact while Rudy was at work, something in me finally told me I needed to get to the hospital RIGHT NOW.  I actually called him at work and told him I was going to call an ambulance.  Out of nowhere a feeling of impending doom came over me.  I thought I was going to die.

     In the morning my blood sugars were 148, a little high but I chose not to take an insulin injection due to not being able to keep anything down if they were to go too low.  When I checked again they were at 248, so I gave myself 3 units.  It was an hour later that I called Rudy and he came home immediately to take me.  When they drew my labs my blood sugars were just over 900!  I couldn’t believe they had gone that high, that fast.  One of my enzymes, I forget which were supposed to be in the 200 range were 1200, and even the next day instead of going lower went higher to 1500.

     As soon as the nausea and vomiting were under control I was starving.  I think at that point it had been 3 days that I hadn’t eaten.  Of course with the pancreatitis one of the treatments is complete rest of the digestive system.  I also had an infection somewhere because my wbc (white blood count)  was pretty high as well.  By day 3 in ICU my numbers were back to normal.

     I guess I’ve been getting pretty discouraged that I don’t seem to be able to have any control over my health or what my body decides to itself.

     I feel spent emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason why this pancreatitis flares up.  It seems to be out of nowhere.  Looking back I believe it was God that gave me the feeling of impending doom, given all my numbers Rudy and I both were surprised I was still conscious, and we do believe that if he had not gotten me to the hospital as quickly as he did that I might not have been alive had we waited until he got home from work.

     I’m going to spend more time in prayer and try to turn my perspective around.  I like me a lot better when I have a more positive frame of mind.  I do believe my emotions and mental state has a lot to do with my health.  I should have written sooner.  Won’t let that happen again.  Love to all, thanks for reading and as always comments are welcome and appreciated.

Tales from the ER Gurney


Seal of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Source

Image via Wikipedia

     On New Year‘s Eve I found myself stuck on an er gurney for about 9 hours waiting on an icu bed.  While it wasn’t much fun for me, it did give me insight into the many patients that came and went while I was waiting.  It was these people that gave me insight into what Nurse K and ER Doc go through all the time.

     I’ll start with the upper 20 something woman that came in at 3am with an ear ache.  Really?  An ear ache is what brings you to the er at 3am?  On New Year’s Eve?  Yes, the pain was so bad it woke her out of a sound sleep.  How is an ear ache an emergency?  Was it falling off?  Bleeding?  Was there brain matter leaking out of it?  No? Then take some motrin, take some tylenol and go back to sleep, and see  your doctor on Tuesday.  It’s not like I’m trying to eavesdrop but it’s a curtain, not a wall people.

     This brings me to my favorite guy of the night.  I didn’t catch his birthdate so couldn’t tell you his age, but if I have to guess it’s close to mine.  He was right after earache girl and he said that he was there because his wife told him he had not one, but 2 seizures the last one about an hour before he came in.  It did leave me to wonder where his wife was that he had to drive himself in.  After further questioning his seizure are now more like blackouts and the real reason he came in became quite clear to me.  Seems for the first time in 4 years he was out of his oxycontin and xanax prescription and was hoping the doctor would write him enough to “get by” to see his family doctor.  If I wasn’t a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale I would have laughed out loud.  It was all I could do not to shout out “Let me know how that works out for you buddy.”  He didn’t get his script, instead he got the er doc telling him he was going to have to make a report of his seizure to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and was probably going to lose his driving privileges until if could be medically documented that he was seizure free for six months and no, calling it a “black out” was not going to change that.

     Before I could get any more, my icu bed was ready and I was just happy to be getting off that damn gurney.  Happy New Year!

Pain is Consuming Me


     I have had the worst week.  This is NOT how I want to live my life.  My back is on fire and it’s getting me angry.  I feel like I’m fighting to have some grace and I’m losing the battle this week, it’s hard not to get discouraged.  My pain has been out of control and I just haven’t been able to get a grip on it.

     I’ve been putting off getting surgery for my 3 herniated discs, I’m so tired of it, and frankly this one scares me.  However, this morning my left leg was completely paralyzed for several hours then I spent several more hours with the worst pins and needles.  It was hard not to cry out loud and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t succeed.  The dilaudid is finally kicking in and I’m starting to feel some relief.

     So this morning I went ahead and made the appointment with the neurosurgeon, I feel like I’m at the end of the road and I just can’t live this way any longer.  I think I’m indulging in some self-pity today and I’m praying for God’s grace to help me get through this.

     I miss Michelle so much, I have to believe that depression must be part of why I’m going through such a hard time with my pain.  Never pass the opportunity to tell someone you love them.  I’m glad I did that with Michelle.