I Think I Fell Down the Rabbit Hole


It’s such a long story and I thought I had to tell it all at once.  It’s been a long time and it’s a long story, so I’m going to take my time.  I hardly know where to begin.

I have been very sick this past year, the pancreatitis and the gastroparesis have been horrific.  My weight dropped, I still vomit constantly quickly become dehydrated and as a consequence my diabetes becomes very hard to control and I find myself in DKA.

Sarah spent the night at home in April and found me in septic shock the next morning.  This was a Friday and except for getting into the ambulance I don’t remember anything until Sunday.  This is what I’ve been told.  My temperature was 94, I was in acute kidney failure.  I had a GI bleed so I was getting blood transfusions and I think my blood pressure was 80/50.   The first thing I remember is hearing the doctor tell me they almost lost me.

Rudy went home to grab a bite a come back and the doctor called and told him to hurry back.  I didn’t know I was so sick.  My usual symptoms weren’t there.  I wasn’t vomiting but I do remember Sarah coming in my room all night and telling me I was sick.

Since November of last year I have been admitted to the hospital at least every month, several times I’d only been home for a few days when I would have to go right back in.  While I was in the hospital Rudy and Sarah moved me to the downstairs bedroom because I started randomly passing out.  Probably a good decision but I loved my huge bedroom upstairs and hate being downstairs.

For a while, I truly thought I was dying and perhaps I was.  I was also starting to feel ready to go.  Turns out I’m a lot tougher than I ever gave myself credit for.

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!

What I’m Thankful For


     I really do have much to be thankful for. God has blessed me with an amazing family.  Statistics show that more women with a chronic illness will be left by their partner than men will.  Rudy tells me that the thought of leaving me never occurs to him.  It is a rare thing these days to have a man of honor in one’s life and it’s not something that I take for granted.  Between Rudy and I we have 5 children that never cease to amaze me, and watching them grow to see the young men and women they’ve become has truly been a privilege.

     I also have a few very close friends that I can count on for anything, in fact in some weird way I could say I’m grateful for the chronic illnesses.  My life has  challenged me and forced me to step outside of my comfort zone.  I’ve learned who my friends are and perhaps just as importantly who my family isn’t.  More on that at another time.  As much as I miss her, I’m so thankful for having Michelle in my life for the short time that I did.   It’s all these  threads that have woven themselves into the tapestry of my life.

Reflecting, After all, it’s Been Two Years


     It’s been 2 years since I started blogging,  I’ve re-read it from the beginning and just reflecting on everything.

     I’ve covered a lot of things The Coma,  I thinks I’m going to do all of these in capital letters, they had that much of an impact with me. Now I have to start over and in no particular order.

The Coma

The Pancreatic Tumor

The Sepsis

Removing My Port

Replacing My Port

Central Lines

Chronic Pancreatitis

DKA

Countless other procedures

Tranfers Via The ALS Ambulance

     Well, I think I hit all the hight points  anyway.  Now I want to set some goals this new year.  I’m thinking I want to try the cymbalta.  Depression kind of creeps up on me slowly without me being aware of it until I’m mired in it.

     Daily exercise, and for sure much better control of my diabetes, I feel like I’m always putting out fires instead of preventing them in the first place.  To that end I’m going to appeal my insurance companies to approve the insulin pump for me.

     I’ve also done much that I’m proud of,  I went to Texas for a couple of weeks and made it to New York with the family for a long weekend.  Of course it was when they were breaking records for temp and humidity.  I went skydiving, I tried sushi.  Note to self:  Do not try the skydiving and the sushi in the same day.      Rudy and I noticed and commented on how peaceful and loving our house had become.  We were in a very good place, the equilibrium was palpable.  That being said, there were some challenges.

    It was a tough year, emotionally, and mentally.  My sister and her crazy girlfriend moved in and it was very difficult not getting entangled in their drama, then just my sister was here.  That was hard.

     My sister moved back to Kentucky about a month ago.  Rudy and I are getting our mojo back.  There’s a lot going on right now,  I’m getting my sewing room set up, I’m on the hunt for a dress form.  I want to try reworking vintage clothing, it appeals to the hippy in me.

     I also want to give a big “Thank You” to all of my readers, I have learned from you as well.  Keep reading and commenting.

I Won’t be a Lesbian in Kentucky


     Right before I left for New York, I saw my doctor to go over my MRI results.  He said my shoulder showed a lot of inflammation and for that to show up on an MRI means it’s really pretty bad.  My C-spine showed 3 herniated discs in my neck.  Normally, he would try steroid injections, but he had some concerns,  Steroids lower the immune system and send blood sugars through the stratosphere.  Soooo, it’s off to see the neurosurgeon.

     I really don’t want another surgery.  I’ve been getting pins and needles down through both arms that I assumed were neuropathy, really painful that lasts all day long.  Evidently it’s from the herniated discs.  As much as I don’t want another surgery, if I could get a significant reduction in pain maybe I could go back to work.  How in the hell did I manage to herniate 3 discs anyway?  It certainly was not from looking at hot guys in speedo’s.

     I guess I’ll know more after I see the surgeon.  A friend of mine just had surgery for 2 herniated discs in her neck and she has a 90% reduction in her pain and gives me a lot of hope, that’s the doctor I’m going to see. I know they go in through the neck and that sounds pretty high-risk to me.  I’ll post an update after I see him.

     I know the hospital has internet, so who knows,  I might just update while I’m in the hospital.  Of course the last time I did that, I emailed my sister and told her I was going to move to Kentucky and become a lesbian.  That took some explaining.