Monday, December 8, 2008


First, I hope you all had a healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you were surrounded with love and all the turkey you could handle....and then some. Unfortunately, I barely knew what day it was. I spent it in the Medical ICU wing of the hospital. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sat, the 22nd I woke up with a TERRIBLE cramplike pain in the left side of my neck on to my shoulder. I took 2 aspirin, just because I thought it would do the besst-fastest. It helped. Later in the day I started coughing & it made my shoulder hurt so I took a couple more. By evening I had a lowgrade fever- took a couple aspirin.Since I am prone to ulcers, I know that I shouldn't take so much aspirin. Hind sight & such. Sunday I was SO sick. Mostly fever amd ccoughimg, but coughing up blood, Rich was practicallly begging me to go to the ER. I told him if I wasn't better Mon morning I would call the DR. I did. Mon a.m. and they told me to come in at 3:30. About 1:30 I started becoming incredibly dizzy. Then I knew something was up. My fever came & went. Tommy & the girls had to take me to my appointment & by then couldn't walk without his help. I didn't even make it into an exam room-they sat me in a chair at the nurse's desk. They started taking my vitals. My pulse was hard to find. My blood pressure was 72/40. Dr asked me a few questions...saw the stuff I was coughing up and had them get a wheelchair & take me directly to the ER (connected to his building.)

Certainly didn't take them long to get me back to a room. I had a flurry of tests. Chest xrays, CT scans, EKGs (more than one) & I don't know how many vials of blood drawn. My son took the girls to my other son's house. My daughter in law (who is a nurse) was there with me. Rich, dear hubby was at the other end of the line-125 miles from home. They can't have their cell phones on while they are on the train, but he was at the hotel, waiting to be called home. The kids were able to talk to him. Chad (oldest son) called this Emergency # and told the Railroad that they were admitting me to Medical ICU unit & they needed to get him home as soon as possible. They had diagnosed me with double pneumonia. The left lung was completely involved and just the top lobe of the right one. Sepsis (blood poisioning).

After about 5 hrs in the ER they moved me to MICU. When they moved me from one bed to the other I got the most excruciating pain in my abdomen. Nothing they did helped. In fact I had the most impatient hateful nurse that I have ever encountered in my life. They finally got hold of the admitting DR who said I could have morphine. It wasn't enough. It took the edge off. I actually heard my nurse talking to 2 other nurses, not 4 feet from me what a big baby I was being and I was driving her crazy. She complained of how bad SHE felt with a headache and how she needed to get away from me. Uhhh...Yeah I was dying. Or I thought I was. And if you're a nurse you certainly don't badmouth your patient where they can hear you!!! I have dry mouth anyway so I thought I was going to die of thirst. They did give me a few ice chips.

At some point and this is where things get foggy, they took me for another CT scan. Then they shoved a form in my face & asked me if I would accept a blood transfusion. Apparently I was bleeding internally somewhere. It was finally found that I was bleeding fro the back of my pancreas & I had pancreatiitis. I had 3 units of blood after they took me down and put in a central line.

I spent 4 days in MICU. Of course, I missed Thanksgiving. I was on a clear liquid diet then. Rich & Tom & the girls went out to eat. I cried. It was the first Thanksgiving that I had not been able to participate or cook in 36 yrs. After a few days of having moved up to a "soft" diet the Pancreas DRs took me off food again because my pancreas enzymes weren't coming down. 3 more days of nothing but IV fluids. They would let me sip water with my pills. I was getting 2 bags of antibiotics a day, IV. They finally let ne back on clear liquids after a few days.

I was definitely better after about 8 days. Still had some dizzy spells. One day I got up to go to the restroom. It's not clear what happened next. My IV tubing was always getting tangled on the pole so I don't know if I was messing with that or got dizzy or what. The next thing I new I was falling. I tried to catch myself, but there was nothing there. I don't know if yelled out while I was falling or after. I smacked my head on that hard tile floor, scraped up and elbow, hit my leg on the edge of the bed and hurt my thumb somehow. When I woke up there were 6 people around me. I was fine. Just had a headache. But OF course they had to take me down for ANOTHER CT of my head. Nothing there. LOL I talked to my brother that night & he said "I could've told then that." Felt good to be teased by my big brother. The day before they let me go home the Dr told me I came close to dying. I don't know about that. All I know is that I was very sick and 2 weeks in the hosp was enough. But I didn't pressure them to let me go, becaue I knew I was weak.

I got home Sun. afternoon. I was dizzy every time I got up & down, but I hadn't had a whole lot exercise. I did walk to the end of the hall & back several times. I thought I was A OK. Then this afternoon...sick as a dog. I don't know what brought it on but to put it delicately, I was bowing to the porceline God until I had no more to lose. I have no idea what THAT was all about. Slept all the rest of the day. Feeling better tonight.

The girls let it slip that I had a surprise at home. I figured the guys had put up the Christmas tree. I knew Tommy was painting my kitchen cabinets because he started it the day before I went to the hosp. We also bought a new dining table & chairs & they'd delivered those. I had to wait till I got home to find out they had ripped up our ancient kitchen carpet & laid new tile. they aren't quite done, but it looks SO good. I was so thrilled. My tree isn't up yet, but hopefully soon.

I don't know how I am going to finish my shopping. It may be a little lighter Christmas than usual. I'm sure the kids will understand. I have a few things left to get the granddaughters, but Tom can go get those. Hopefully in a few more days I'll be strong enough to get out & do a littl shopping.

Well, I've bored you with my story long enough. I'll get round to see you all as I can.


Delores Getmeslippers said...

My goodness Barb, what a shock. I do hope you are on the mend. You must take good care of yourself and do all the Docs tell you to do. You are much more important than the Christmas presents. How horrid of that nurse to be unkind to you, she is a disgrace to her profession and I hope she doesn't get any Christmas presents. xx

gina said...

i am so glad you are home and on the road to recovery! you were one sick gal!! and it's such a bad time of year to be sick. i'm sorry you missed thanksgiving...and i'm sure the kids will understand if it's a lighter Christmas. the main thing for you right now is to focus on getting better.

Sweetnessk71 said...

Oh my, you poor women to have to go through all that illness for so long. So sorry that you missed Thanksgiving but thankful that you made it through all that. Take care and get well soon.


D said...

I'm glad you are home and better. I had a scare too and I'm still recovery... yes family will understand that it is a light Christmas this year.
Hugs to you

Hollie said...

Bless your heart! Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers.... Came over from Call for support. You take care!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Just stopping by to say I hope you are better soon. That was a close call. Don't worry about Christmas I have a feeling others will take good care of you for a change.
'On Ya'-ma

Jeannette said...

I am sorry to hear that you have been so very sick. Someone was certainly watching over you. Do not worry about Christmas, you just get yourself right, let others do it for you. Thoughts and prayers going up for you. Hugs.

Terri said...

You poor thang Barb,so glad to know you are okay and on the mend!

Hope ya'll have a Merry Christmas!


Missie said...

OMG! Thank God you're on the mend! That must have been so scary.

ADM DESIGN'S said...

Glad to hear you are home and on the road to recovery! Sorry you missed thanksgiving

lisa jo said...

Thank God you are ok!! OMG, if i had known i would have been so upset...thank God you made it thru all of that and are home!!!!!! I LOVE YO SO!!!

Sandra said...

Oh Barb, You have really been so ill, that nurse was very unkind and unprofessional talking about you like that. She was meant to be there for you not complain about her own ailments...grrr! I hope you have a better Christmas than you did Thanksgiving.

Love Sandra xxxx

Shelly said...

My goodness woman!! I'm glad you are home now. I'm praying for you. Get well soon!! Hope you all have a nice Christmas. Love, Shelly