Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Adventure

First, let me say, "Thank you," to more people than I can name. Thank you for all the kind and encouraging words, your thoughts and prayers, and your concern for my health. I have such a large circle of friends - I feel so blessed.

Tuesday last week, thinking I was having another kidney stone, I went to my urologist. They examined me, gave me a prescription, and I went home. The pain killers that are normally effective with kidney stones, weren't working at all. When my dad came to check on me, I said, "I think I need to go to the ER."

I told them the same things, thinking that I was having an unusually difficult kidney stone. In fact, with all the kidney stones I've had (14 I think), this pain was beyond anything I've ever felt. The ER staff was great throughout the whole process. After some CT scans, they discovered there was no kidney stone. Instead, there was a bleed in my stomach muscle - the rectus abdominus to be specific. My blood had gotten too thin and one of the blood vessels had sprung a leak (I'm pretty sure that's a medical term). There was an 8x18 cm pool of blood, and that was causing the pain.

They immediately counteracted my blood thinners, started fluids and platelets, and moved me to ICU. It was a really difficult few days - really difficult. After some more scans, they discovered I still have a blood clot in my leg, and now I have one in my lung. Since I was off the blood thinners, clots became a big concern, specifically the one in my leg. To keep that one from moving into my lung, another doctor inserted a VCF (vena cava filter). I now have platinum in my body, and as everybody knows, platinum is better than silver, gold, even titanium. Platinum makes me a much more impressive and valuable person now.

On top of everything else, while I was in the ICU I experienced a really high heart rate. Several times it raced to 180 bpm. The staff was very concerned, and I'm not sure they ever figured out exactly why it was happening.

After one more night in a regular room, I was able to come home on Friday. It felt so good to get out of that hospital. Don't get me wrong: the staff was great. The doctors, nurses, and aides were caring and kind. I appreciate all they did. Hospital beds, on the other hand, are horrible. There was no position in which I could be comfortable. I basically got no sleep and no rest for three days, and almost no food during that time. I had no appetite.

But now I'm home. Today for lunch I had some saltine crackers and applesauce! I can't say it was delicious, but it was nice to eat again. And I can't even describe how nice it is to sleep in my own bed again, with my own king size pillows, and body pillow, and a room without any hospital sounds.  It's going to take some time to catch up on my sleep deficit, but I'm working on it.

Next week I'll be making appointments with several doctors, to follow up on the adventure. My prescriptions will have to be adjusted, but I will get back to normal. Next week I'll also start figuring out how I'm going to pay for this adventure. I can't even imagine how expensive this will be. ER + ICU= $$$$

The new prescription for blood thinners is nearly $400 for a 30 day supply, instead of the $10/month I have been paying. There are some options that will need exploring and I know everything will work out.

I could not have made it through this without the support of my family. They give so much to me: time, energy, transportation, funds, caring, love and so much more. They almost all came to visit me in the hospital. Janae, my niece, didn't come to visit, but that was so selfless of her. She has a cold and I have a compromised immune system, so her staying away was the best thing.

Throughout this ordeal I was reminded of something. I'm definitely an emotional person. I've known that for a long time, but I don't always remember it. When I get fatigued, my emotional regulation weakens. When mom, dad, Susan, Steve and Pastor Grant walked in to pray for me, I almost lost it. It was just too overwhelming. Since coming home, it seems to have gotten ... more so. Watching anything online - tv show, commercial, video - anything that is the least bit cute or sweet or sad or happy, I'm overcome with emotion, ready to cry. I don't know exactly why but I've learned it's better to just go with it and not try to control it.

Again, thank you all for your caring and love. I am truly blessed.

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