So far it’s been a pretty tough year. I’ve been sicker than I’ve ever been in my life and I’ve been in and out of the hospital.
My husband does industrial maintanance, and I’ve always known that it could be a dangerous profession. It really hit home for me on June 18th. I was running errands and when I came home my daughter met me at the door to tell me that his work just called, that my husband had been in an electrocution accident and was in the hospital. A couple of my friends went with me and off we ran to the hosptial. I got there just after the doctor had stitched up his face and told me that he wanted to transfer him to the burn unit in Fort Wayne, just over 1oo miles for us.
I stayed with him through his 2 day hospital stay which included some skin grafting. He got some sort of infection in his leg that put him right back in the hospital for a few days. I never left his side and got a small taste of what he’s been going through and continues to go through with me.
He was out of work for a couple of months, and we’re still dealing with the nightmare of workers comp. He has some permanant damage to a nerve in his leg, and some scarring that I think only makes him look handsomer, but other than that he’s as good as new. Once again we are some pretty lucky people. It was a 3-phase electrocution, and the survival rate is not that high. It showed me the internal strength that not only my husband has, but I have too. I thought if I could get through this with him, then we could get through anything. Little did I know that theory was about to be tested
While working at Gulfstream, one night my sister showed up with her suitcases and everything she owned. No phone call, no nothing, just I’m moving in. While I would never turn her away oh my, is she hard to live with. To make a long story short after a couple of months I had to ask her to leave…..and she did, but it wasn’t pretty.
My other sister was in rehab working very hard on a drug problem. My son had just moved out, and I was making some very bad choices.
After getting laid-off from work, my husband went into business with his father. I started doing all of the office work. I think this was one of the most difficult times in my husbands and our marriage. My father in law was so narcissistic and was constantly pitting my husband and I against each other. His mistress of over 40 years had left him, and my husband wanted to help out his Dad by keeping him busy working. My hubby’s theory is that his Dad was grooming me to take his mistresse’s place. That should tell you what a sick freak he is.
She eventually came back and married my father in law. A few weeks later I got my first case of MRSA. It was on my scalp and was so bad it put me in the hospital. It was one of the most painful experiences I ever had. The IV antibiotics did seem to be doing the trick, althouth I did not get out on time to be home when the Bears and the Colts played the Superbowl. I don’t know how to explain how miserable I was working in the office. I knew I was in way over my head and I told my father in law the same thing and his answer was to throw more paperwork at me. I would be there until well over midnight most nights while we screamed at each other. I did everything I could to help him out but at the end my husband and I were constantly at each other’s throats and we were both miserable. Maybe in some part that led me to one of worst things I ever did.
On Good Friday I got arrested for shoplifting. I ended up doing 93 days in jail and it was one of the worst times of my life. Even now, years later I don’t know how I got through it. My husband never missed a visiting day and kept me in commisary funds throughout my entire sentance. I never went to the office again.
After I got home, my husband made it clear that he did not want me to go back. While I was relieved I was also confused. It seems mother-in-law number 2 had completely taken over and found many mistakes I made. I certainly don’t deny makeing them, God knows I was way out of my element. My husband heard all day about what a fuck-up I was from his dad who would never acknowledge his own mistakes he made. To make peace in the family my husband as that I apologize for abandonging the office and leaving my mother in law to pick up the pieces. While I didn’t think I owed an apology to anyone, for the sake of making peace I sent her a half dozen roses with an apology on the card. It really stuck in my craw to do it, but I did it out of respect for him.
I also started getting sick again around this time. Mrsa put me in the hospital at least half a dozen times. Acute pancreatitis did it a few times, and diabetic ketoacidosis put me in ICU on at least more that one occasion and my weight went to do 117 pounds. I hated being in and out of the hospital, all I felt like was a patient. I had a psuedocyst on my pancreis, I was vomiting all the time and really felt like something was wrong.
There are a lot of medical blogs out there. I’m reading quite a few of them and one thing that strikes me is that most of them are written from the medical personnel perspective and not enough from the patient’s point of view. What expertise do I have in this area you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya, and I’m going to try to make a long story short.
It started in 2001 after my mom passed away. I was having a summer with one kidney infection after another that were so bad they were putting me in the hospital. This led to a cystoscopy to see what was going on. This led to the discovery that a suture had perfed my bladder during a long time ago bladder sling. This led to a gyne referral who suggested going in laproscopicly to remove any further material that might have been left behind. This sounded reasonable enough to me so I started making what arrangements I needed to. My g/f came out to take me back and forth to the hospital and I even told my husband to go to work and that I would probably be home before he was. It was a good plan. I had the surgery scheduled for a Friday, I would spend the weekend popping percocet and watching movies and back to my usual self on Mon. Well ya know what they say about making plans? Don’t.
My colon got perfed during surgery and I woke up being wheeled into recovery with a colostomy instead and pain the likes of which I was in no way prepared for. I saying “it hurts,” when a nurse leaned over me and told me they had just given me a big shot of fentanyl and I had stopped breathing, and all I could think was….WTF happenned to me?
I started hearing the word colostomy and complications and not completely understanding what was going on. I do know that every doctor or nurse that came in my room heard the same thing. “This is not the surgery I signed up for!” I also remember waking up to my husband at my side holding my hand. You’ll find that’s a theme throughout certain watershed moments in my life. My husband at my side. Just so ya know, while I’m aware that a lot of this is going to come off as complaining, I’m also completely aware that the previous fact makes me one of the luckiest people I know. I hope this blog will encourage debate and dialogue on both sides of the nurse’s station.