The Human Pin Cushion

Well, this was an interesting and difficult week for this household. Tuesday, I went to work feeling just fine and left early to go to the ER. About 11:30 AM I felt very fevered. Very soon after, I was having severe pain in my chest and back and soon found myself having difficulty breathing. I had some vertigo when I walked the halls. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but if felt very similar to what happened when I had pneumonia when I was pregnant with Gabe. After spending about an hour staring at my computer screen and not doing anything at all because I couldn’t seem to focus, I decided it was time to leave. On the way home, I debated. I felt really terrible. My breathing was becoming more and more shallow. Do I go home and try to rest it off or do I head right to the ER. I felt seriously ill and I was a little scared that it was something serious.

So, I decided to go to the ER and not risk it. They checked me in and suspected pneumonia. I was there for a while and almost immediately put on IV fluids. I had a fever of 102 and my heart rate was too fast. They gave me Tylenol, took some blood and did chest x-rays. They didn’t see any pneumonia and they weren’t sure what was going on, but the fluids did make me feel better. My fever was down to 100.9 when I left. They assumed it was just a bug and sent me on my way.

When I got home, I still felt ill, but I felt better. I ate dinner and then laid down in bed. I don’t recall what time it was, maybe about 7:30 PM, but I woke up and could barely breathe and the pain in my chest and back was even worse than earlier. I thought I was dying. I came out into the living room thinking that I needed to sit up for a while but soon I started vomiting anything that could possibly be in my system. Vomiting isn’t fun. Vomiting when you can’t breathe is even worse. My fever was back up and once again, I thought I might be dying.

Once I couldn’t handle it any longer, we called a friend (THANKS MICHELE!) to stay with the kids and at about 10:00 or 11:00 PM, we headed back to the ER. This time they seemed very concerned that all the symptoms were back and were even worse. So, once again with the tylenol, IV fluids, chest x-rays, blood tests, etc. So, they decided that they thought they might be able to see some fluid in my lungs and admitted me into the hospital for pneumonia. Once we knew that I was going to be admitted, I sent Mike home. It had to have been 1:00 AM or later by then. Then I laid in an ER bed until about 3:00 AM, when I had to go to the restroom and had to get a nurse to help unhook me from a heart monitor. When I got back from the restroom, they had a wheelchair ready to take me to my room…which leads me to believe they forgot about me until that time. I don’t remember much except I did have another vomiting fit sometime after I got to the room and in my bed.

All day Wednesday is a complete blur to me. People came in and out and I just don’t remember much. The only time I left the bed was to use the toilet. They made me order meals, but I couldn’t eat them. My husband calls that “padding the bill”. I was getting IV anti-biotics and fluid. People came in, took my blood, gave me breathing treatments and I think I slept through most of that. By Wednesday evening, I was feeling a little better. I even had an hour or two of awake time. Wednesday night, I slept a little better and by Thursday, I was feeling pretty good. I was able to eat and everything. When I med with the doc Thursday morning, I found out that it wasn’t pneumonia at all. I had an infection that likely started in my bladder because that is where they found it, but tested for it in my blood and it was there too. It is called Klebsiella Bacteremia and is some pretty nasty stuff. It does present with pneumonia-like symptoms, but they had to change the treatment a little. They put me on a different kind of anti-biotic late in the day Wednesday. By late Thursday afternoon, I was pacing the halls and ready to go home. The doc told me I would likely be discharged on Friday. Let me tell you, by Friday, I couldn’t wait for my walking papers.

Now, during this whole process, I found out that I was full-fledged diabetic. A few years ago, I was diagnosed as borderline diabetic. I shed about 15 pounds and that was all it took to get my blood sugars under control. Then, both of my pregnancies were diabetic. Diabetes runs in the family and I’m a very overweight woman. I knew it was going to happen and I hang my head in shame for not doing more to prevent it. In fact, if it weren’t for the diabetes, I wouldn’t have had the stupid infection and landed myself in the hospital in the first place. So, I left the hospital feeling better but with a long journey ahead of me. I’m now on two oral meds for diabetes, a cholesterol medication and a daily insulin injection. As I lose weight and become healthier, the idea is that these measure will be able to be decreased bit by bit. My hope is to be healthy and off medication all together. I need to be healthy for my family. I need to be off meds because we can’t afford them and keep the kids fed and clothed. There is a whole lot of incentive, plus I lost 5 pounds in the hospital so I consider that a head start! I also left the hospital with a host of reminders:

Now that is just my half of the story. I can’t imagine how Mike managed being a single parent for the week. Again, many thanks to Michele for helping us out!

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2 Comments

  1. Brenda said,

    April 27, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Oh my goodness!! I wish I’d known what was going on…I certainly would have helped out, especially since I’m not working yet. I’m so glad that you’re doing better, hon! I have no doubt that you’ll lose the weight that you need to and work on keeping your sugars regulated. You can do it!

    Please, sincerely, if you need help, never hesitate to ask! We love you guys!! **hugs**

    p.s. Abby’s been asking about Gabey…we should get together and go play or go to the zoo or something once you’re 100%.

  2. Tracy said,

    April 28, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    HOLY COW! What an ordeal to go through. Glad to hear you came out of it ok, even if it was with a diabetes diagnosis. I was “diagnosed” as pre-diabetic years ago, and I have to admit, I also haven’t taken it seriously – so your post is making me think that over again.

    Ugh. Your bruises make me cringe. They can’t ever find my veins, so I end up with similar marks any time I have to have blood drawn or an IV. (And poking yourself 4 times a day or more isn’t much fun either)


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