Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nope. Not Even On My Radar....

At first, I somehow looked like the perfect picture of health, then I contracted Bacterial Spinal Meningitis, had seizure,  then had a medium stroke and a small stroke and almost died. I have no idea where any of this came from but my poor body had really taken a royal beating and if I lived, it would take being a very good girl to get my *mojo* back. Luckily, I remember almost none of it, which is one of the best tricks for recovery. Just forget you were ever sick, right? Doctors use this little trick all the time... Whenever it's necessary. Obviously in my case, it was necessary.

This is how I looked for my first dinner outing after getting home from my 31 day stay at the hospital... About a month after my escape release from said hospital:

So, at one point, the doctor actually put his arm around my hubby and said he was sorry but, I was going to die, for sure.  I literally had no glucose in my body. None. Zip. He told Mr. Snooty to gather the troops to my bedside, which he did. Meanwhile, I was in somewhat of an induced coma, fighting for my life. I was on I.V. Antibiotics, 24/7. Those can make you insane, drifting in and out of reality... And drift, I did. The first crazy thing I thought was... That I was with several nurses (or maybe they were drug reps), in either Kansas City or Omaha and we were having a blast. Never happened & I've no idea where that came from (except that they were my ICU nurses...). Next, I was convinced that Mr. Snoots had the older guest room in our house redone to replicate a new hospital room, since I was equally convinced that I was at home. Even all the nameless machines I was hooked up to. Never happened. No clue as to where that came from either. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Snoots knew I wouldn't remember my first ambulance ride, so he helpfully snapped a quick picture of the vehicle for me, as it drove me off to the hospital. He was right. I didn't remember.

I ended up being in the hospital ICU for a total of 5 days (plus an additional 2 days on a surgical floor) in order to completely rid my body of symptoms and infection from Meningitis, on the ever-so-delightful cardiac diet, surrounded by other sick people. Good thing I was so *out of it* or it would have made me insane. Still, they weren't done with me yet. Next, they moved me to a Physical Therapy Recovery Hospital where I didn't have a private room, which I didn't know until they had deposited me there. I was captive until my release. Not fun, but necessary for my smooth recovery. Another 3 weeks. Ugh.  

The doctors were finally beginning to suspect I had either gotten the flu (the other one they didn't give me the vaccine for) or I'd had a sinus infection, which were allowed by my broken down immune system, to usher in the nasty bacteria that nearly caused my demise. According to family and friends, I had not been feeling well for more than a week. I don't remember that at all... Or anything else that happened during that time. (Is it possible to do an internet search for your own reservations & related stuff that you did while losing your mind?)

My first day home from the hospital, I was sporting a huge scab on my lip from the tube that had been down my throat for 5 days. I still have it even though it doesn't stand out like a red flag now:

Just let me interject something here. It's no fun having a 90 year old Alzheimer patient as a roommate. In fact, it can bring on an instant case of ice cream addiction, which I haven't been able to get rid of yet. Seeing that I continued on the *crazy* I.V. Antibiotics, I suppose I wasn't exactly the ideal roommate either. But, at least I was quiet at night, unlike my new roomie.

My brain still kept telling me things were there, that weren't there, (like my cat) so I was blissfully confused the majority of the time. Luckily, I was able to walk shuffle to the kitchen in our wing-of-the-ward for my nightly raid of the ice cream. I think all the nurses were eventually glad to see me go, being tired of seeing their ice cream disappear and all. Hey, I was the only patient that could actually shuffle or otherwise maneuver my way there, so I did. This was obviously recorded on their nightly patient logs because all nursing shifts seemed to be aware of my new found addiction.

Anyway, as soon as they could, the staff started me on Physical & Occupational Therapy, which made me feel like I was nearly 100 years old. My main forms of transportation were my wheelchair and my walker. Yes, I was really living the *High Life* of an elderly woman, for an additional 3 weeks. I think.

Since my brain was so effected by everything that had happened to me, I've had a bit of trouble writing about all this, which is precisely why it has taken me so long. I've been home for 6 weeks now, still going to several doctors, Physical & Occupational Therapy, and trying to regain my mind. My short term memory has been greatly effected as well as some of my long term. I often get dizzy and have to steady myself, especially when I close my eyes, so I still take a shower with my wonderful new geriatric shower stool. I just started driving my car again yesterday. Baby. Steps. At least I'm off the walker and my ugly cane.

At any rate, I just want friends and family to know how much I appreciate the cards, letters, visits, flowers, gifts, and most of all... Prayers. I don't think I'd still be here without all of you. From the deepest cavities of my heart, I thank you all.

Most of all, I thank my doctors and nurses, who were the absolute best ever. Somehow, they were able to tear me away from the grip of death and bring me back to life, fairly unscathed. I love you all.

Last, but far from least, I thank my hubby, my daughter, and my son... For all the help, love and support they gave me.  They were truly spectacular in their efforts. My daughter slept in my room all night for 7 nights, often whispering that I was going to be alright and to not give up. I'm convinced that's what got me through it all.

I'll write later about my feelings on *Life In General* after my return home from the hospital. Nothing is any longer the same, except that I'M ALIVE!!!!


Miss Janice said...

I just happen to stop in to catch up on your blog and wow!, I can't believe you have been through all this. I do love that you still have your humor and hope that you are recuperating at home!

Jess said...

WOW! I am so glad you are OK. It was great to see you pop up in my reader again! Hope your road to recovery continues to go well!!!

Mental P Mama said...

OMG!!!! I had no idea. So so so so happy you are okay.

The Incredible Woody said...

So very thankful, my friend! I'll be heading for a short visit as soon as I can!!! We are back and forth from Abilene to home for the next few weeks but I WILL see you :-)

Unknown said...

Been checking for your "words of wisdom" and wondered where you had gone! So glad that you are now on the mend and still have your fabulous sense of humor!

Michele Eigler said...

Holy Shit Snooty! If you wanted more attention, all you had to do was ask.

Seriously, I am so glad that you're doing better. Brain things are really scary for the family. Brett had encephalitis and a big stroke when he was 2.5. It was a long road back indeed. Call me sometime.:)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Holy Cow woman! I haven't been blog hopping for ages- I got out to one blog about a week ago and yours today and what a surprise this was! I am so glad that you are safe and recovering. This must have been SO scary for your family. I'll pop in more regularly to watch for updates, please have them all be good news- thank you.

Scarlett Risen said...

There were a few sporadic cases in Minnesota where some children died. I guess the Lord took you through a really challenging trial and I am sorry you had to experience it. May you strengthen with each day.

Cathy Monroe said...

That was quite an ordeal. Glad you're doing better. I haven't been able to read your blog for quite a while, it just freezes. Keep up the good work of getting better.

Unknown said...

Check almost every single day to see if you have updated your blog.....can't wait for your return. Hope you are doing really well! Joan

Unknown said...

Checking frequently for your return....hope you are on the road to recovery and return to your blog! Joan


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