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.

On a Mission


     I love my primary care doctor, he’s been wonderful to me and actually listens.  However, he’s almost 30miles away and we’re not even in the same time zone so I thought it would be good to have a pc doctor in the same town I’m in.  So last week I had an appointment with a female doctor about 5 miles from here.  I’d heard some good things about her.

     Oh my goodness she is definitely not going to be my new doctor.  She argued with me about my diabetes when I told her my endocrinologist is fighting with my insurance company to get approved for an insulin pump.  She said I didn’t need one.  Also told me that I wouldn’t get pancreatitis as often as I do if I would just stop drinking so much, and while she was on the subject I go to the ER far too often.  I explained to her that when I do go, I’m almost always admitted to the ICU unit and I swear she looked at me and laughed.  Wow, I would have walked right out if I wasn’t on my last insulin pen and needed a script for more.  In fact I was out of quite a few of my meds and needed scripts for most of them.  All but my pain meds because I have a pain management doctor for that.  She also thought I should be off the pain meds as well and should take NSAID‘s instead.  Told her the last time I tried that I ended up with a GI bleed that put me in a coma needing a blood transfusion.

     So, I’m thinking my quest has only begun.  I will not subject myself to a doctor who won’t even listen to me.  The search continues.

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

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     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!

Reflecting on this past Year.


     Christmas is right around the corner, followed by New Year’s.  It’s this time that I find myself reflecting on this year and thinking of what I want to change for the next one.  There have been so many changes this year, I’ve accomplished more than I thought I would and less than I planned.

     I made my annual pilgrimage to Texas to spend time with my adult children, my granddaughter only to discover that I had more family there than I knew.  I jumped out of an airplane with my daughter and tried sushi for the first time, as well as sake.  I like the sake more than the sushi and like the skydiving way more than the sushi.  I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t have done both on the same day however.

     I found my worth and value as a human being in Texas.  Given that I seem to be a perpetual patient I didn’t think I had any anymore, but I found out otherwise.  I learned that I still have something of value to offer beyond being sick, and I also learned that how I feel about myself relates to how I’m doing physically.  For the first time while I was in Texas I didn’t have to go to the hospital.

     I also made another trip, this one to New York.  It was my second time there and I learned that I could still travel and have a good time with my family.  I also met Kelsey Grammar and Betty White, that was a hoot.  I also learned not to take my shoes off on the plane because there was no way I was going to get them back on.  I also learned that if I leave my left overs in the hotel room while walking Times Square with Sarah, my husband was going to eat it all, including my cheese cake.

     I don’t know how many times I was in ICU this year, I lost count.  It feels like it might be less than last year and I’m hoping more than next year.

     I lost my best friend this year and I miss her every day.  I also found closure in helping another friend, no daughter find closure in a horrific part of her life and now she is able to put it behind her and move forward.

     I’ve found some friends in the blogosphere and made old friends new again.  I’ve also gotten my sister and her crazy girlfriend out of my house, and if that was the only thing I accomplished, believe me it would be enough.

     What can I say about my husband?  We’ve been together 17 years now and it seems that our love just grows deeper.  He’s sweeter and kinder than ever and I love him.  As my caretaker he has more patience than I give him credit for.