Much Goings On


Hospital

Hospital (Photo credit: José Goulão)

     I know I know, it took me awhile to get around to my blog.  Apologies to all my readers, life has been crazy.

     I’ve always written that I want to be honest and true to myself in my writing, otherwise what’s the point?   It really was a rough summer for me and a personal low.  I think I already wrote about my new ulcer, if I haven’t just know that I have a new ulcer.  I think it was July when I landed  back  in the hospital and my labs were really good so I thought I would be going home, I didn’t realize that right behind me my blood pressure decided to do something ridiculous like be 50/30, so once again I found myself in ICU

     I think I’ve always made it clear to everyone that I’m a chronic pain patient in pain management and on some pretty heavy pain medication, and when I can’t keep anything down that includes my pain medicine so by the time I get to the ER I’m in pretty rough shape from the pain.  However I knew there wasn’t a lot they could do for me with my low bp, but by the next morning it was back to normal.  The doctor came in to make rounds and I asked him to put me back on my oral pain meds or injections and imagine my surprise when he said no that every time I’m in the hospital I’m on morphine and  I was a drug seeker.  Really?  I had my meds in my purse not 5 feet away from me.  I explained that to him to no avail.  I was so upset I left and I just managed to stay out of the hospital until last night.  A couple of trips to the ER aside.

     evidently, he was the only doctor on staff who felt that way, because every time I’ve been in the ER I’ve been given pain meds and no, I didn’t ask for them.  I guess I’m now a little defensive about the whole damn subject.

     Last week, my husband had to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and he’s been out of work for the better part of a month and I can’t remember a time when we’ve been this  broke.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re getting by day by day but wondering where the grocery money is going to come from is stressing us both out.  Did I mention we’re supposed to move in about 11 days and I have no idea where the money to close is going to come from?  I’m keeping the faith the Lord will provide.

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.

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.

One Ballsy Ass Nurse! What a rush!


None - This image is in the public domain and ...

Image via Wikipedia

     Check this out, I find myself in the ER Wed. afternoon, my 2nd night in a row.  I bet now that Doctor on Tues., wishes he would have just admitted me.  I was throwing up for the 2nd day in a row and to say that getting IV access or a blood draw was going to pose a challenge would be a clear understatement.

     What I can only hope is the varsity team comes in 3 sticks and nothing but a blown skinny-ass vein to show for her efforts.  3 sticks for the next person and the lab tech made a valiant effort getting a blood draw, but he too came up empty.  Now the doctor was in there ordering phenergan and dilaudid as soon as they get a line in and the next 6 tries were made on my feet.  Even with “juicy” looking veins there,  it wasn’t going to happen.

     If you’re keeping count we’re up to 15 sticks so far.  The next nurse wasn’t messing around.  She assessed the situation, quickly put me in trendellenburg position grabbed a 18 gauge catheter and proceeded to get jugular access.  Wow did that hurt!   I swear the doctor was looking on this whole thing nervously and I remember her asking the nurse if she didn’t want to save that move for a last resort, and the nurse told her “We’re there.”  

     I was nervous as hell, wow.  Without a doubt the most painful IV ever.  Believe me the phenergan and dilaudid were well received.  I might add deserved.  I was glad it was over, impressed as hell with a new respect for this particular nurse.  We actually do our patient satisfaction surveys on a laptop while we wait for our ER disposition and I was more than happy to point her out as someone in particular who had helped me out.

     I have a new port now.  Thank God

Pain Management, A Stroke, and How I Hurt My Arm


A picture of a golf cart.

Image via Wikipedia

     I saw a pain management doctor last week.  He took me off the percocet due to the Tylenol and my liver enzymes, and changed up some of my other meds.  I really liked him.  He got into how my pain is affecting my life and thinks we can maximize my pain meds to improved my level of functioning.  I’m definitely feeling “stoned” from the new meds but he assures me that my body will adjust.  I’m doing more at home and I’m looking at the meds a little differently,  instead of seeing them as a crutch, I’m seeing them as a tool that allows me to participate in my life.  As Martha Stewart would say “It’s a good thing.”

    A very scary thing happened Saturday evening.  Rudy and I went for a golf cart ride and he ran over the mailboxes in front of our house.  I didn’t really think anything of it except that it was an accident and kind of a funny one at that.  When he turned around he narrowly missed the utility pole and I thought he was just being a smart ass.  We continued on and he was driving so close to the right hand side of the road that it was starting to scare me.  I still thought he was being a smart ass.  He hit a tree that caught me in my right shoulder and pulled it all the way behind me.  The pain hit so fiercely that I immediately vomited and started yelling at Rudy to take me home.  He was looking at me blankly and wouldn’t stop driving.   He kept narrowly missing everything on the right hand side.  I was starting to panic and was yelling at him to either take me home or stop so I could walk home and he kept driving past our street.  He finally dropped me off, and I ran into the house cradling my arm.  A neighbor of ours was sitting outside and he later told me that Rudy hit his truck twice and the fence leaving again.

     When he got back he came into our bedroom and kept asking me why I was so mad at him.  All I could say is “Are you kidding me?”  I told him what he was doing and I noticed he still had a blank look on his face, when it suddenly hit me what might be wrong.  I googled stroke symptoms, asked him a few questions and had him take his blood pressure.  I knew we had to get him to the hospital, but he was so hostile with me it was like he didn’t even know me.  I went to our neighbor and one of our best friends and told him I think Rudy is having a stroke, please come down and see if you can help me talk him into going to the hospital.  That’s when he told me about Rudy hitting his truck and the fence.  He came down and told Rudy what happened and he finally consented to letting us take him to the hospital.  Cat scan showed no brain bleed and we followed up with our own Doctor on Tuesday who told us this could absolutely be a residual effect from the electrocution.  He also said this might never happen again, but he wants us to follow-up with a neurologist as a precaution.  Basically he thinks Rudy might have thrown a clot.  He referred to it as a transient ischemic stroke aka a warning stroke.