NEGATIVE – Such A Beautiful Word

morguefiles

morguefiles

I am home, resting.

Another bullet dodged.

I have never been so scared in my life.

 Panic really set in last night and why wouldn’t it have?

After being told over and over how sick I was and then being told I most likely had another infection after what appears to now be false positive results…

I barely slept.  My heart would not stop racing and my back ached.

I listened to my body once again and went to the Emergency Room.

Although some levels are still elevated, results indicating signs of infection were:

NEGATIVE

NEGATIVE

N.E.G.A.T.I.V.E

Such a beautiful word.

I need to continue to monitor my body carefully and look for signs of abnormalities, as I am not completely out of the woods yet.

What a ride this has been.

I am sorry if I scared you all but I needed to express my feelings last night.  You have always been there for me and you were there for me again last night.  I felt your presence,  your love and your kindness.

Let’s hope and pray that, NEGATIVE  is a word I continue to hear throughout the weeks and months ahead.

Such a beautiful word.

Surviving The Emergency Room & Hospital Stay

morguefiles

morguefiles

After my life-altering experience last week, how can I not share with you loved ones,  my survival tips for navigating the ER and a hospital stay.  These are very critical tips that I hope you don’t actually have to use anytime soon:

1.  Listen to your damn body.  If you do not feel right, even if your doctor dismisses your symptoms, go to the Emergency Room, yesterday.

2.  If you must visit the ER on a weekend, try to get sick before 7:00 pm – especially on a Saturday night.  It will still be too early for the drunks, gun shot victims and college students to come trickling in and there will be a lot of doctors and nurses on stand-by.

3.  As much pain as you are in and as sick as you feel, if the ER doc is hot (even if he stutters), try to keep at least one eye open so you can enjoy the view.  This way if things take a turn for the worse, your last image will be a good one.

fanpop.com

fanpop.com

4.  If all the doctors and nurses in the ER begin putting masks on before entering your room, you are probably doomed.  This is never a good sign.  They might tell you they are protecting you from their germs but it is obvious they don’t want to catch whatever horrible disease you have.

5.  While getting a spinal tap, beg for the maximum amount of morphine allowed prior to the procedure.  While the 12 inch needle is entering your spine, make sure your spouse/significant other is there so you can squeeze his or her arm so hard that they pass out from lack of circulation.

macmillan.org.uk

macmillan.org.uk

6.  If admitted “upstairs” to a room, hit yourself in the head for actually NOT wearing your cleanest undies to the ER.  You should have changed right before you left the house.  Damn it, mom was right once again!

7.  Make sure the hospital gown they give you has snaps on it so you will not become a tangled mess with the IV line.

meecouk.com

meecouk.com

It might also be good to check for holes on the gown where there shouldn’t be.  Like a gaping hole exposing your right breast.

hospitalgown

8.  Have a family member use 152 Clorox wipes to disinfect the room’s germ infested telephone, tv remote, call nurse button and…the whole damn room.

9.  When using the bathroom , forget trying to relieve yourself in the urinal measuring pan that is awaiting you in the toilet.  No one is going to really measure your urine or test it.  In fact, no one will go into your bathroom, especially to clean it.

Nope, this won't happen. whatwhenhow.com

Nope, this won’t happen. whatwhenhow.com

Nope. They were just kidding.  google.com

Nope. This won’t happen either. google.com

10.  After realizing that your bathroom has no shower, ask for at least fifty packets of bath wipes to have next to your bed at all times.  One pack will most definitely not be enough.

Ask for 50 of these. safeproducts.com

Ask for 50 of these. safeproducts.com

11.  If you want to mess with the nurses, bend the elbow where your IV is hooked up so that the machine beeps.  As soon as the nurse comes in, straighten your arm and watch him/her look confused as they try to figure out why it’s beeping (I was bored.)

12.  When your gourmet food tray arrives, don’t even bother lifting the cover off the plate (proceed with caution).  IMG_1506Just go straight for the Hoodsie ice cream cup, the cookie or the packets of butter.

bostonmagazine.com

bostonmagazine.com

13.  If the little old woman down the hall from you is prone to screaming and yelling loudly about her bowel movements while you are trying to get some sleep, ask that your door be kept shut at all times.  In doing so however, be prepared to be ignored and forgotten by the nurses – because your door is closed at all times.

14.  Warning: Not all phlebotomists know how to draw your blood.  Repeat: NOT ALL PHLEBOTOMISTS know how to draw your blood.

tumbler

tumbler

IMG_1507

Ouch…

15.

 

 

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Do you have any hospital tips?   What horror stories do you have?

Dear Body of Mine

morguefiles

morguefiles

Dear Body of Mine:

You sure are a lemon.

I have known this for a long time but damn girl, you just keep on breaking down on me as I coast along trying to live my life the best I can.

Some brickhouse you are.

After all I do for you.  I take all the medications you require, I allow you to rest a lot  and I keep you hydrated, mostly.  Ok, so I stuff you with delicious food and libations, maybe more than I should, but I do it out of love (for you and the food).

Better  to have a full tank than keeping you on empty which is not good for the engine, anyway.

Why do you keep betraying me?  What have I ever done to you?  I am getting so I really cannot trust you.  I am afraid to rely on you to keep me safe.

This past weekend you allowed an infection to enter my bloodstream.

 WTF?

We have talked about this and I though I made it clear that I am not to get infections and definitely NEVER in my blood.

I know I cannot blame it all on you.  I realize that without a spleen you have to work even harder to keep me alive.  But as I recall, it was you who rejected my spleen and allowed it to attack my platelets.  It is  called an autoimmune response.  Whatever the name, it is not very nice.

You did warn me on Friday by giving me excruciating back pain and making me shiver with an awful case of chills.  I’ll give you that.  I suppose the fever was a pretty clear warning that things were going downhill fast.  I thank you for that but why did you allow the infection to go sepsis in the first place?

You landed me in the ER having to have a spinal tap.  That was not fun was it?  It was a huge needle and it had to go into my back which was already in pain.  That was definitely cruel.

Not to mention the oceans of blood taken from my veins to help figure out what was happening.  Oh, and the hospital food.  How could you make me have to look at it, smell it and taste it?  For that, it may take even longer than expected, to forgive you.

I am home now.  You are behaving at the moment and letting me rest.  I am exhausted and weak.

I have a lot to do, like getting my son launched in his new apartment in college and getting my daughter ready for her freshmen year.  Not to mention enjoy the rest of summer.

So I beg you, body of mine, to step it up –ASAP!

Grow some cojones, will ya?

Do what you were hired to do and fight the invaders trying to hurt me.  Remember that you are my security team.  My first line of defense.

As angry as I am at you for screwing up big time, I cannot help but feel somewhat grateful.    The fact that I am alive means that you responded as you should have to the antibiotics and allowed me to live.  For that, I thank  you.

But the real thanks goes to God for giving me another chance.

I thank Him for blessing me and letting me be here for my family.

I thank Him for giving me the opportunity to continue to enjoy life and be the silly happy person I am.

Respectfully Angry at You,

Me

From Mussels to Morphine

My weeklong vacation went something like this:

From:
Beach chairs to back aches
Jugs of sangria to bags of saline

S’mores to sores
Crispy chips to numbing chills

Sandy dunes to swelling joints
Family time to fever spikes

Hermit crabs to headaches
Savory lobster rolls to spinal taps

Ultraviolet to ultrasound
Inventions to infections

Exotics to antibiotics
Enchanting room to Emergency room

And hospital rooms, where I write this from.

I am in good hands and feeling better. They want to keep me for one more night stay at which point I will run, far, far away.