Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting Better Acquainted with Hospital Staff

As I limped into the ER on Thursday night and then gratefully slumped into a wheelchair - brought over to me by a concerned nurse - I never thought that I wouldn't have been leaving that night.
I mean, I know I was sick.  I know I needed major help.  I know that I would not have gotten better at home had I just "waited it out."
I just didn't know how seriously sick I was till - after an hour or so of being there - a nurse came over and said to the doctor, "So, what's going on with her?"  (she's pointing at me)
The doc says, "She's not going anywhere except for upstairs to a room."

I am ahead of myself here.

I am sorry.

But, you must forgive me.

I've been -and this is putting it very mildly - under the weather.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a jolt.  My eyes got real big.  And I could tell that I didn't have much time between realizing it was going to happen and it actually happening.
I grabbed the slightly dusty "puke bucket"  from under the bed and prepared for some very painful vomiting. I tore my glasses from my face, pulled my hair from out from around my face, and started to throw up very violently.

I didn't go to bed feeling badly at all.  In fact, the next morning, my cousin had plans on coming over to my house to cut Olivia's hair (before I dropped her off to go to school)

But, there I was.  Crying, puking, crying, and puking some more.

Normally, I try to vomit as quietly and as calmly as possible.  When I was preggers with Olivia, I did my fair share of throwing up, but it quickly got to be annoying for all of those around me.  My cat would get scared and run away.  Well, excuse me Spot, but I am trying to grow a human here!My husband would quietly sit there, my hair in his hands and let me do my thing, only to ask me later (as nicely as possible - and he truly was very sweet about the whole thing) to try and not get so upset during those times in my life when the things inside of me desperately wanted to be on the outside of me.  His thought was that if I was a bit calmer that it wouldn't hurt so much.  And he was right.  The less of a spectacle I had made while throwing up, the easier the whole process was.

So, years ago I had mastered the art of stealth vomiting.
This time, though, there was zero stealth in my puking...
I had nothing to vomit, so all that was coming out was bile - or whatever lies in your stomach while your stomach awaits for it's next meal.

So, Wednesday was not a good day.

Thursday, I had started to feel much worse.  By Thursday, the vomiting had ceased, but I had developed a cough that was increasingly getting worse.

That's when I decided to pay a visit to my family doctor.

He had diagnosed me as having bronchitis.  By my appointment with him, I had started to run a fever and my energy level had started to plummet.  So, he threw some antibiotics and some cough medicine at me (ok, well, he didn't really throw anything at me, instead he gave me prescriptions)
By 5 pm, having skipped dinner and taken my first actual dose of antibiotics and cough medicine, I was off to bed.
I remember falling asleep too.  I can remember thinking that as far as bronchitis went, this time it wasn't too horrible.  I was in a very comfortable sleeping position.  I wasn't coughing that annoying cough that comes with having bronchitis.  My medicine must be working.  I thought to myself that I was going to kick this one very easily and very quickly....

But I was wrong...



So, I woke up at around 11 pm Thursday night.  I suddenly felt as though I was drowning.  Drowning is the only word I could come up with.  My chest felt as though there was a building sitting on top of it.  I couldn't catch my breath.  I was trying to catch my breath, like desperately trying to catch it, but with each breath I tried to take came a new level of panic that it is really indescribable.

I didn't yet feel feverish, but I knew that something was seriously wrong.  I couldn't breathe.  I just couldn't do it.  When I did breathe, my chest felt so heavy.  I said before that it felt like a building was on top of me.  (and for a fleeting moment, I thought this how some of the people must have felt back in the olden days of the Salem witch trials when people were put under the severe weight of rocks until they admitted to being witches or knowing of witchcraft)

So, with thoughts of buildings and the Salem witch trials I ended up in the ER department of our local hospital.

I - as urgently as possible - explained to them the chest pain I was having and the breath that kept evading me.

I was quickly handed a paper to sign, and a bracelet was put on my wrist and I was whisked away to the triage unit of the ER.
I was hooked up to an EKG machine and asked a barrage of questions and told within a relatively short amount of time that I was being admitted to the hospital.



Turns out that I had a fever of 103.5 Fahrenheit.  I had learned that while I was on the table hooked up to the EKG machine.
I can kind of remember some of the questions being asked of me.  But, I was so sick.  I mean, I never felt as sick as I did... I can't ever remember feeling this sick.
Lots of nurses and doctors and hospital personnel would ask me questions.  Simple questions that I - under normal situations  - could answer with ease and a smile on my face.  Thursday night, however, I couldn't form a thought, let alone an answer to a simple question.
I had zero strength as well.  Holding the pen in the entrance to the ER proved to be a slightly impossible task for me.

So, there I was.  No strength.  No clear thoughts.  Just the lack of breath, the high fever, the really high blood sugar and the fear that - despite being in a hospital - that I was surely going to die.

About 2 am or so, I was wheeled to my staying quarters.  A hospital room with enough space for two beds, although I was the only occupant at the time.  There was a large flat screen TV on the wall, a bathroom barely big enough for me plus a medical cart with IV's hanging from it and two closets in the back of the room.
I was given loads of steroids, loads more of antibiotics, and lots of different pills.

During my stay, I was poked - it seemed - hundred of times.  I was told by several nurses that I had "bad veins".  My veins were quickly dubbed as "rollers".  I had no idea that my veins were that much trouble.  As a type 1 diabetic, I had my fair share of blood work done, lots of lab work under my particular belt. Any of the phlebotomists I ever met never ever had trouble with my veins before.  But, here I sit, with dozens of holes in my hands and arms - each with it's own black and blue mark to prove that my veins are indeed rollers.

I had stayed hospitalized with pneumonia a total of three nights.  All of the docs I met thought for sure I was going to be there at least a week.  I was told that I was in the early stages of septicemia when I entered the ER, according to their lab work.  And as a type 1 diabetic that it certainly could have been alot worse.  But, I went in early enough, and it was caught in enough time.  And I responded very well to the antibiotics that was administered to me via the IV drip....

I am one lucky girl...

Or so one doctor had said.

So, there you have it...

I had my first (and hopefully my last) battle - although it felt more like a war - with pneumonia.

I still feel very weak.  I still feel as though I was hit by a truck.  But, slowly I am starting to feel like my old self.  Although I'd like to feel like a newer version of my old self, this will be just as good.  I will settle for this...

John and Olivia were both worried for me.  Quite frankly, I was worried for myself as well.

But, I am feeling better and on the road to recovery.
I will probably be taking a very short blogging break to give myself some time to heal even quicker.  So, I will say I am sorry now for my absence....

Oh, and one more thing before I hit "Publish" and scoot off to bed where I belong...
The hospital let me check and control my own blood sugar, thanks to me wearing the insulin pump.  Something I was very grateful for.  After my fevers had subsided and I was again thinking clearly, they said that pump wearers usually took very good care of their diabetes.  And they weren't wrong.  My numbers - after the steroids had stopped being given - were quite good during my hospital stay.

So, I guess that is it for now.
Thanks for reading, and take care!!!!

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