Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just another awkward moment...

So one day, late in April, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from the doctor. I was feeling a bit stronger and decided I could walk in, go to the deli, check out and make it back to the car without draining my little energy too much.   I really only needed lunch meat, so I didn't get a cart.

I went to the counter and got two pounds of meat. Then I decided I was hungry for my friend's Mexican relish and I headed for the canned goods.  But I passed the peanut butter and remembered we needed a jar of creamy.  I picked that up and saw that the breakfast sausages were on sale so I got two boxes.  Then I remembered that I wanted to make a pasta salad so I picked up a block of cheese and mini pepperoni.

So I finally hit the canned good aisle and grabbed six or maybe seven cans.  As I stacked my overfilled arms carefully, I started to wish I had a cart.  Then I started towards the checkout and I dropped my cheese. 

I had a thought of squatting down to pick it up.  Riiiiiiight.  I'm not that coordinated at my best health!  I looked both ways in the aisle and saw no one.  I considered kicking it down the aisle.  I considered unloading my arms onto a shelf but there was no room.  Aack.  Only me....

Finally, a couple a few years older than me came down my aisle.  I sucked up my pride and walked halfway down the aisle to them and said, "Excuse me, can you help me?  I dropped my cheese and I cannot pick it up."   They looked at me and the man chuckled and headed down the aisle to retrieve my cheese for me. 

Life lesson: if you haven't been to the grocery store in a month, get a cart!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The upswing?

The next week, I continued to feel lousy but for the first time in several weeks I drove.  I took the girls and I to the dentist and came home and took a nap.  My friends were bringing us meals, taking my kids to activities and being a huge help since the DaddyMan was still travelling for work. 

I saw the hematologist oncologist and he took 9 vials of blood and did a full physical. It took a couple weeks to get results but basically what he concluded was it was all the mono's fault.  I thankfully don't have some genetic issue or horrible illness, just mono after forty.  Hallelujah.

It took weeks before I felt like myself again.  Okay, months.  The DaddyMan ran a full marathon on May 3, which was 6 weeks after I got sick.  I probably walked 2 miles moving around to different places to cheer him on and was completely exhausted when we got home.  I took a three hour nap.  I continued to nap for at least 30 minutes a day several times a week until the middle of May. 

Now as I write this, 6 months later, I'm back to normal.  I'm finally off the blood thinners, my energy has returned and I'm so glad this is behind me.  God was so faithful to surround me with people to take care of me when I was down and I'm incredibly grateful.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

And another thing....

After spending a good chunk of Friday in the ER, and sleeping the weekend away, Doc called on Monday to tell me I had a UTI.  He added another antibiotic to my regime of drugs and the DaddyMan started pumping me full of water.  I got SO tired of water I wanted to scream.  I knew he was right and apparently it didn't occur to any of us that going out and getting me something else to drink may help so I drank water until I wanted to puke.

Considering the fact that I had mono and was completely exhausted, I was having trouble sleeping.  I would go to bed at night, sleep until about midnight or one when I'd need to use  the bathroom due to the gallons of water the DaddyMan was pushing thru me and then I would lay awake for HOURS in the middle of every night.  Hours, people.  I hurt all over (you know the body aches that go along with the flu?  Yeah, that's how I felt) and still had the pounding headache so getting up and being productive wasn't an option.  Neither was moving to the couch, since my bed is far more comfy.  So, I would lie in bed as still as possible, listening to the creepy night noises and plan my funeral.  Good times.

I was also having horrible nightmares when I did sleep.  One of them involved me having to save M from our car as it had crashed into a lake and was sinking with her in the backseat.  I had to dive for her four or five times before I pulled her to safety.  Another night I dreamed I was being followed down a dark road.  I was walking, carrying my purse and wishing my purse held a gun instead of a yummy bag of Fritos. 

I'd noticed on Wednesday that my right arm was sore near the elbow.  Since I'd been spending much of each day in bed, I thought maybe I'd just been laying on it.  By Thursday it was red, hot and very sore.  A friend drove me to the doctor that day and he came in and asked me how I was.  "Still alive" was my answer.  He asked about my leg clots and noticed I didn't go thru the ceiling when he touched them.  And then I showed him my arm.  He got a fabulously dumbfounded look on his face and you could practically see the cogs turning in his head at that one. "This is weird." he said.  Greaaaat.....   After he asked a few more questions and didn't give me any answers I asked if he planned to tell me what it was.  He said he would.....just as soon as he knew.  I also told him about my lovely nightmares.  He gave me a new drug.  Aaah....

From there, I got sent to the hospital for an ultrasound of my arm.  That lady was neither friendly nor gentle. I lay on the table, in the dark, unable to see the screen and let the tears run down my face.  I really felt like dying would be preferable to my present state. 

I went home and waited for Doc to call with results.  5pm came and went and I figured he'd forgotten about me and someone would call the next day.  But man, did my arm hurt!!  Finally at 5:45 he called and told me he'd spent the last 45 minutes reviewing my case.  It turns out that I had a blood clot from my forearm to my armpit!!  No wonder it hurt so stinkin' bad!  He prescribed blood thinners and wanted me to go see 'The Smartest Man in the World,' a hematologist oncologist.  Um...yeah, that's kinda scary, but I was ready to do whatever, because I was feeling truly overwhelmed at this point.  And awful.  I felt truly awful too. 

As I got ready for bed that night, Doc called about 9pm.  He was going out of town for the weekend and wanted to know if I had any questions about the blood thinners, if I'd gotten my prescription filled and so on.  He told me that if I felt like death warmed over to not be afraid to go to the ER.  I told him I totally felt like death warmed over and what would push me on over to needing the ER.  He gave me a short list and wished me well.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fun times in the ER

They wheeled into a room, sat me on the bed and I was soon swarmed with medical types.  One helped me into a gown, one asked a million questions, one hooked up an eeg, and one wanted to start an iv in my elbow.  In my elbow??  I requested it in my hand and she kindly informed me that if they needed to give me the meds my doctor thought I might need, they needed a bigger vein. Greaaaat.

I was so tired from all this excitement that pretty much all I did was lean my head back, pull up the blanket, close my eyes and try to rest.  I pretty much hurt all over; my pounding heart made me feel like I'd run a marathon and I couldn't get a good deep breath.  I just wanted to sleep.  Or die.  And I figured I was in the right place if I was about to do the latter.

Over the course of the next hour, I had a chest CT, an EEG, more bloodwork and ultrasounds of both legs.  Then I really wanted  a nap.  My doc came over to tell me that thankfully I didn't have a blood clot in my lung or deep in a vein but I had clots in more minor veins in both legs.

Once again, he told me to go home and rest.  Put hot packs on my legs, take the antibiotic for a possible vein infection, take painkillers for my headache and fever and rest, rest, rest. 

Great....I can do that.  And I did.  I went home, crawled into bed and pretty much stayed there until the following Thursday, when I went back to the doctor and showed him my newest malady....

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A raging case of WHAT??

I had a CT scan of my head on April 2.  It showed nothing.  (haha! Get it...no brain....  sorry)  The doctor called that night and asked if I'd ever had mono.  Um...no.  He mentioned my numbers were off and my liver function was waaaay off and he was going to rerun the test.  I mentioned that my heart rate was about 128 after walking up a flight of stairs and he wanted to see me again on Friday. 

The morning of the 4th I woke up feeling especially horrible.  I seriously thought I was about to die.  I showered, spent 30 minutes resting before kind of doing my hair and then argued with the DaddyMan, who was working from home, about if he was going to take me to the hospital or if my super sweet neighbor lady was going to.  He won.  He took me.

They checked my vitals in the office and my bp was normal, I had a fever and my heartrate was 158.  (new high score!).  The doctor came into the exam room, plopped my file on his counter, turned to me and announced, "Well, you have a raging case of active mono."  I pointed out to him that it seems weird to get the 'kissing disease' when the only guy I kiss was sitting in the corner of the room. It seems that since the DaddyMan has had mono, from time to time the virus becomes active in his system and he contaminated me.  Gee, thanks.

So the doc told me to go home and go to bed and have my every whim catered too for the next week.  Then I asked about my heart rate and he listened to my rapid breathing and just stood and studied me for a moment.   I pointed out to him that the super sore spot on my calf looked bruised this morning.  He touched it.  I about went through the ceiling in pain.  He handed me a gown and said they were going to hook me up to an eeg. 

After he left the room, the DaddyMan helped me undress to the waist so I could put the gown on.  Then Doc came back and said he'd changed his mind and was sending me to the ER.  He mentioned that my heart rate and breathing could be the sign of a pulmonary embolism and that I could have a DVT in my leg.  I knew both of those were uber serious.  He said if they found either I'd be spending the weekend in the hospital.  I told him I'd googled DVT just that morning (and I seriously had while I was resting in the bathroom after my shower and before I did my hair.)  He told me to stay away from google. 

His medical assistant loaded me into a wheelchair and trotted me across the street, bypassing the waiting room and check in and took me straight to an exam room.  Hmm...I've never had such good service before.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A long time ago....

I once  had a blog and I updated it fairly regularly.  Typically in spurts.  Hmm....the last update was 6 months ago.  Dude....that's some serious neglect!  Why the neglect?  Well, at least this time, I have a good excuse. 

If you notice in my last post, I mention I was lounging in bed instead of getting up and getting going in the morning.  I'm not typically a lounger.  But starting on March 16th, I'd been waking up with horrific headaches.  The kind that keep me lying in bed and almost praying for death.  I had those for a week. And I just felt icky.  At church on the 23rd, I dozed off during communion.  A woman was playing a lovely flute solo and as I sat there listening to her play and holding my tiny cup of juice, I nodded off.  Then I jerked awake.  Awkward.....

 By the second week of headaches, I'd gotten smart and was putting the bottle of Advil on my bathroom counter at bedtime. Then I would wake up at 5 or 6am, take four Advil and crawl back into bed for an hour or so.  I finally started to worry my friends who knew I'd had two weeks of headaches and they insisted I go to the doctor.  I'd seen my chiropractor twice, but that hadn't helped.  I was also having hot and cold spells.  Typically after I'd get out of shower in the morning, I would have to dry off, get partially dressed and sit on the closed toilet until I could stop sweating and muster up the energy to finish getting dressed and do my hair.  I also was having cramps in my legs.  They hurt SO bad that when I'd roll over at night and my calves would bump together, it would wake me up.  Ugh!

Unfortunately, I didn't have a doctor I see regularly so I saw a new guy that is a family practice doc that I'd taken my girls to a few months earlier for checkups and taken the DaddyMan to for pneumonia in January.  But he didn't know me at all.  I saw him on April 1 and informed him I had a wicked headache, hot flashes and muscle cramps in my legs.  He asked me a thousand questions, did a full physical and diagnosed me with tension headaches.  I told him it couldn't be since I lead a stress free life. :D  He also took what seemed like a gallon of blood and a urine sample, prescribed painkillers and ordered a CT of my head just to be sure. 

Since I'd freaked him out a bit by telling him how much Advil I was taking, I added Excedrin Migraine to my rotation of headache killers.  That helped a bit.  I also noticed in the office that day, my resting heartrate was almost 100 beats per minute.  That's waaaay up for me since I'm normally about 64.  Something wasn't right.  And I still felt horrible.

To be continued....