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.


What Was this Doctor Thinking????

     A couple of months after the hospital visit in Indianapolis I got really sick again.  I’m 5’6″ and got down to 110 pounds.  On my large frame it looked terrible.  I was having a pancreatitis flare-up and I was throwing up so much.  My poor husband said I looked like I was wasting away, and told me I really needed to get back to the hospital.  I knew it but was trying to avoid it.  It was time.

     I didn’t go to my usual hospital, I couldn’t deal with the 10 mile drive as sick as i was feeling so I went to the one right down the road from me.  They were bought by another hospital and I was starting to hear good things about them.  I should have known better.

     When I got there the nurse was one that I knew and was very kind.  I told her what had been going on with me and gave her my updated med list.  The doctor came in very quickly and asked me about the dilaudid and morphine, he wanted to know if I had the bottles with me in my purse.  I told him they were at home in a lock box and should I have someone bring them in.  He said not to bother that he would just verify with the pharmacy.  No problem though I thought it was unusual given that it had never happened before.  I also gave him my history and one of the things I mentioned was that when I was on antiflamatories before I got a GI bleed so severe that it put me in a coma and when I arrived at that very hospital my blood pressure was 40/20.  Easily verified because it was at the same hospial.

     He ordered phenergan for the nausea and torodol for pain.  Torodol is an antinflamatory which I refused due to the high risk of GI bleeding.  Then he hurt me.  He ordered a shot of nubain which is a narcotic with an opiate blocker, though I didn’t know that at the time.  He knew and verified with my pharmacy that I was on daily narcotics, the dilaudid and the morphine.  Anytime one is on daily narcotics they develops a tolerance to them and going off of them abruptly will cause physical withdrawal symptoms.  The pain medicine he gave me put me in instant withdrawal thereby making me sicker.  It took a good 6 hours to wear off and at that point I really did want someone to bring in my dilaudid and morphine.  I looked up the nubain when I came home and the manufacturer clearly states that it is not to be used with someone who is on daily opiate/narcotic maintenance, due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

     I’m so angry, why on earth did that doctor do that to me?  What was he thinking?  As a patient I have the right to appropriate pain management and that is not what I got.  How could I address this in the future?  I feel like anything I do or say is only going to make me appear “drug seeking.”  I wasn’t seeking drugs I have them at home.  I was however looking for pain relief and that is not what I got.  I feel like the doctor saw my med list and made judgements based on that.  The lab work supported that I was sick and in fact was admitted to the ICU.  The doctor making rounds in the morning would not change the ordered meds and I can only wonder if this is the hospital culture, to avoid the use of effective pain medicine.  I gave them my pain managements number and urged them to call him.  Of course that did not happen.  Please comment and hospitals workers please chime in.  Should I avoid this hospital al together?  That’s what I’m thinking now.

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.