Reflecting


     I know I really missed my mom when all of this was going on.  There’s just something about being sick that makes a girl want her mom.  As good as my husband is now taking care of me, believe me he didn’t come out of the box that way.  He fixes things and gets frustrated when he encounters a problem he can’t fix…aka me.  I think we’ve been together long enough now that we’ve already fought over and negotiated the perils of marriage when one partner is not well.

     I had one sister in Rehab, another sister who is so judgemental of everyone, myself included that I think she’s a narcissist.  She came to see me one time.  It can be very scary being in the hospital.  The pancreatitis attacks seemed to be coming more frequent and more painful.  As long as I was in my small town hospital I do believe my pain was frequently  under treated.  That situation always improved when I was transferred to another hospital.  I’m not sure why that was, but it did seem like there was a whole other culture in the other hospitals when it comes to pain management.

     The medical blogs I’m reading now mostly feel that anyone coming into the ER with pain are drug seeking addicts.  I can’t deny that I was drug seeking…of course i was.  I was in unbelieveable pain.  It wasn’t chronic at that time, just several acute things going on.  I will say that I rarely went to the emergency room that didn’t require admission.  A huge part of that is that I hate going to the ER or just being in the hospital in general so I would have a tendency to wait and try to treat myself at home, so that by the time I did get there I was really sick.

     I remember one time on the med/surg floor seeing other patients walkin in the hallway with their IV poles and they would have one or 2 med bags hanging off their poles, then when I looked up at my own I saw 8 bags of meds.  I had a panic attack, it was like “OMG, I’m really sick here.”  Fatigue was just kicking my ass and even now I don’t have the energy I used to.  I hate the fact that when my youngest daughter looks back on her life, what she’s going to remember about growing up is that her mom was sick all the time.

     While I’m on that subject I can’t fail to mention what a wonderful daughter she has been to me.  She helped me with the colostomy when I had it and now she pretty much helps me with anything I need her to.  My mom had chronic pain and I don’t remember being as patient with her as my daughter is with me.  My mom would work all day, put her eight hours in and for the most part when she came home she was in her jammies and was just spent.  She always said she had given as much as she could for the day.  I would like to tell her that although I didn’t get it then, I surely do now.

     When my husband started his own company with his dad, we went without insurance for a period of time, which is why I currently owe my small town hospital somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000.  There were a few trips to the ICU, a couple surgeries, countless antibiotics and it all added up pretty quickly.  We see no way to ever be able to pay those bills and the only answer we see right now is bankruptcy.  Do I think we need health care reform?  Absolutly, I just don’t know what it looks like from here.

     We didn’t set out to go without insurance.  My husbands job disappeared when the owner went into retirement, and I got laid off right before I would have been covered, not that I would have been able to work for much longer with as sick as I was getting.  We got some quotes for insurance but between DH’s bad knees and what I’d been going through, there was just no way we could have afforded it.

     The colostomy was very hard on me, not just physically, but mentally as well.  I don’t care how long you stand under the shower, it’s just hard to feel clean when you’re wearing a bag of poop at your waist.  It’s also hard to feel pretty or sexy in any way.  Thank God for my husband, who turned the lights on, took my robe off and kissed me from head to toe telling me what a beautiful woman I was.  I also got on the internet and found message boards just for people with ostomy’s and that also got me through it.  To actually be able to talk to people who were living with a colostomy and were probably going to be for the rest of their lives.  It made it very hard for me to feel sorry for myself knowing that mine was only temporary.  Continue reading