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.


Fears and Repercussions

     My last post I wrote soon after getting home from the hospital.  At the time it was the hardest thing I’ve been though emotionally and physically.  I didn’t know that things would get worse before the summer was over.

     I’m really such a lucky woman, when I broke down, and believe me I broke down I was able to go to one of my best friends and just unload everything on him.  I didn’t want to break down with DH, he was going through his own mental freakout.  When I went to my friend and unloaded everything on him, he just sat and listened to me, and that’s what I needed more than anything.

     I think about my 16-year-old daughter dressing my by herself so I wouldn’t be naked when the fire department and EMS arrived.  My neighbor was here when the ambulance brought me out and was sure I wouldn’t be coming home.  Even now, if DH can’t reach me on the phone he panics, and I spent weeks afraid to fall asleep, scared that I wouldn’t wake up. 

     I remember vomiting so much the night before, that cognitivly I wasn’t able to put together that the more I threw up the more my blood sugars would increase and I couldn’t seem to wrap my brain around the fact that I needed to get to the hospital.  My family and I sure learned alot.  I printed and posted the symptoms of DKA, so we would know what to do if this happened in the future.  I remember my ribs hurt when I took a deep breath, but I kept telling myself it was just a panic attack and all I needed was a good nights sleep.  I guess that explains the pneumonia.

     I’m still having effects from the coma.  My short term memory seems to have left me completely, I figure it’s either the coma or all the pot I smoked in high school coming back to haunt me.  I prefer to blame the coma.

The Coma, or How I spent Easter

Sick people in the hospital should not be allowed on the internet.  I have alot of emails to explain.

     I wrote this soon after I came home from the hospital.  Instead of retyping, I thought I’d just let this post stand as is.  I knew I was sick the night before, but I thought I was throwing up diet Pepsi.  I didn’t know it was blood.

  Rudy tried to wake me up about 9am Easter morning and I was completely unresponsive.  I had not been feeling well the night before.  Rudy called 911 and they got me to the hospital in Starke by 10.  At 1 that morning they called Rudy back in to sign transfer papers, they said I was dying.

I don’t remember anything until Wednesday when I became aware that I was in a hospital in an ICU Bed.  They told me my blood sugars were in the 1100 range and that I had been in a diabetic coma.  They were also treating me for pneumonia, pancreatitis, and that my blood pressure was 40/20.  In addition to my port they were also running in whole blood through IV.

The theory is that the celebrex I was taking for my shoulder had given my a GI Bleed.

I got home from Laporte hospital on Saturday, and did spend the night in Pulaski Hospital Tuesday for some lung treatments and pain control and I got home last night.  I am completely in official freakout mode and I feel like I’m in the middle of a mental mind fuck, pardon the term.

I don’t know what I would have done without the support and great love of my friends and family.  Angie and Lisa called every day, I think Michelle was on the phone to the ICU nurses every other hour.  Howie, Janet who fed me.  Kevin, who I almost have talked into dying my hair for me this weekend. Bill who asked Rudy about me daily and last but not least Sara and my husband Rudy who both give so much to me and only ask that I love them in return, and I do…very much.   I have the most loyal and kind friends and family who would do anything for me, I need only ask.  I don’t want to forget Rudy’s mom who will frequently listen to the ravings of this crazy woman.

I can’t forget Tommy and Heather…Tommy who called me in the hospital even though as he puts it it breaks his heart and Heather who promised to get me the hell out of here for a couple of weeks.  I love all of you and I’m humbled by your love for me.

I promise that I am going to take better care of myself and I am going to get better.

     As for the emails I had to explain:  I felt lost in the hospital, scared to death even, because I was in ICU I had no phone in my room and no one thought to tell my that my husband was calling hourly to check on me.  I was so confused I felt abondoned enough to email my sister and let he know I was going to become a lesbian and move in with her in Kentucky.  It was a good plan except for the part where I’m not actually a lesbian.  I just thought since it was working out so well for her that I could give it a try.  To her credit, she did remind me that my plan would have never worked given that I’m not actually a lesbian.  Months later, I can actually see where she had a point.