Mr. Toad’s Wild (Medical) Ride

It’s been an adventure…and I use that term very loosely.  To tell this story I should begin at the beginning (a very good place to start).

Somewhere during the first week of May, I had one of the scariest medical moments of my life – I couldn’t breathe.  My nose just stopped working and felt swollen shut.  Otto rushed to get me some Breathe Right Strips, while B10 sat beside me and tried to keep me calm.  I was freaking even HIM out.

Around May 8th, spots began to appear only on the left side of my body.  VERY itchy spots.  We soon discovered I had shingles (yes, at my age), and I found out what “painful” means as opposed to “itchy”.  Hint: it’s not fun.

Mother’s Day was rough, but we made it.

Just as the shingles began to heal (I still have some scars, but not many), spots began to appear on my right ankle.  Followed very quickly by a bright red, itchy rash around my entire lower belly and back, down around both my thighs.  It HURT and it ITCHED.  By May 22nd, my husband had enough and asked me to PLEASE see a doctor, who prescribed a very strong steroid for my contact dermatitis (likely, I’m allergic to some new ingredient in the detergent or fabric softener).

So, for 10 days I take the steroid, and towards the end, I start to get a cough.  I didn’t think much of it (see above allergies), but Saturday, I began running a fever.  I made it home and even to church the next Sunday, but promised Otto if I still had a bad cough on Monday he could take me back to Urgent Care.  I kept my promise, and he took me over at 2:30 pm on Monday.  By 3 pm I was having a chest x-ray done.  First words out of the radiologist’s mouth?  “How long have you been a smoker?”

Um, I’m NOT a smoker.  Never have been.  Awkward silence from the radiologist.

So….by 3:30 pm I’m on my way to the ER for a chest scan, with advice to pack a bag, because it’s not “unlikely” they will admit me.  They didn’t, but I’m glad for the advice, because we were there for almost 12 hours (in the ER) and I really was glad I was able to put on my pajama pants and wooly socks once in the ER exam room.  After 12 hours, they determined it was pneumonia, that had not only infected my lungs, but also they were pretty sure had spread around my heart (which showed a dark shadow in all four x-rays they took).  I was given a breathing treatment, a course of antibiotics by IV, and fluids by IV (plus antibiotics and an inhaler for home use).

On top of that, there are nodules that they found on my lungs.  This, combined with lots of other “mysterious” medical issues (endometrosis, fybromalygia, degenerative eye condition, adenomas, nodules in at least two other tissues), mean that I need to have a full workup done and that starts with a pulmonologist and finding a good PCP for me.  Scary, but we have a great team of doctors at Otto’s work, and Otto is going to really start looking for who is the best person for me to go see.  My eyesight has degenerated since the last test, and pressure is up (really close to glaucoma), and instead of waiting a year, I’ll be back in the eye doctor by January/February of 2015.

Because of all this, Otto decided he needed to take Tuesday off to take care of me, pick up my meds from the pharmacy, and help me get around.  While I was napping, he went outside to trim the hedges, and I woke up to him calling me to come down please, quickly.  Now, Esther has made a new habit of digging out under the fence, romping in our creek, and then trudging to the front door with her muddy paws.  Whomever is home has to then pick her up and cart her up the stairs – not easy when she weighs 65-70lbs.  I crawl out of bed, assuming he’s at the bottom of the stairs and needs help getting her into the tub to take a bath.

Instead, I find him standing over the kitchen sink with blood dripping down his arm.  He hedge trimmed his pinky.  NOT a plan.  One 911 call (and 3 REALLY AWFUL Paramedics) later, and he was in the car with my Mum on the way back to the same Urgent Care.  We were lucky, he didn’t cut a tendon or a ligament, nor did he nick the bone (although that took an x-ray to determine).  He saw the same doctor I saw on Monday, who said “Just so you know, I’m off tomorrow, so if your family doesn’t want to come in either, that would be great.”  Gotta love doctors with a sense of humor.

It’s now Saturday, and we’ve managed to make it the rest of the week, without another trip to the Urgent Care. Although, we DID have a scare – and I am lucky we have an ICU nurse as a friend, who made me feel much better when she checked and said I merely had a bad case of phlebitis (irritation of the vein where the IV was).

Overall, it’s been hard.  Medically, this has NOT been fun.  It has been rough, because I’ve not felt 100% for a long time.  In dealing with everything, though, for the last six weeks, I have realized that while I value my health and want it to continue, I have lost something much more precious since May 1st.

Otto and I had been struggling to make sure that we were following God and our family was serving Him in the manner in which we were suppose to.  Somehow, in the midst of all the other things going on, we lost our church and I lost one of the women I thought was a close friend.  I wish I knew exactly how or what I did to ruin the relationship.  All I know is that when you have someone on your iPhone Favorites list, and then five weeks can pass by with nary a phone call or text (or a response to any emails sent), it’s devastating.  I would suffer much greater physical pain, to know what I did to lose something so precious as a friend.

I encourage you, whomever you are, to slow down today and take stock of what really matters.  Your family.  Your friends.  And your health.  Enjoy each moment.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cc on 15 06 14 at 11:51 pm

    Amen. Praying the rest of the summer is just full of rest and joy for you.


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