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Out of the Woods and Home Again

It was almost to the minute one week in the hospital, but thankfully I am no longer there and came home late last night.... It takes a while to discharge a patient when three specialists have to coordinate the release.

Resident PCP, Endocrinologist and Pulmonary Specialist and then of course the home health care company for my oxygen tanks as well.

I gained 20 pounds in 6 days.... O_O

That is thankfully WATER gain and will eventually be peed out but yeah, I look like a swollen river rat from all the mega dose steroids they had me on (Solu-medrol) on Prednisone orally for the next week still.

What I Know: I was really frigging sick, to the point where they were debating incubating me on a ventilator when I was admitted into ICU. I begged, pleaded and frankly sobbed not to be incubated. I have been through that before and going through that sort of induced coma, forced life support and all the subsequent recovery was NOT something I'd wish on my worst enemy let alone go through it all over again.

Thankfully and obviously it did NOT come to incubation. Was in ICU/CCU however on 100% oxygen, anti-virals, anti-biotics and enough corto-steroids to rebuild a Buick from scratch for several days. I am still on 40% oxygen at home now, but I am *HOME*. My Oximeter saturation (SO2)frankly sucks rocks and I'll probably be on Oxygen now on a permanent basis for the rest of my life. On Oxygen my Saturation stays around 91, the second I take off the cannula I drop almost instantly to 75 which is *NOT* good in the slightest. I was close to 60 upon admission to ICU which was why they seriously wanted me on machines.

But I am a stubborn cow and I will not go down without a god damn fight... My actual diagnosis however is tricky... just like the last time I got this ill it's one of those scenarios you just cannot "plan" for or avoid.

I have severe pulmonary issues and I am allergic to just about everything and even the best laid precautions and preventative measures taken can get tossed aside when other variables enter the equation.

This time I caught a whopper of a cold. Here' the time line as I lived it:

Monday 10/26/09 - I thought it was allergies, I was sneezing my head off, went through an ENTIRE box of kleenex in the morning hours so I took extra allergy meds, but by the late afternoon and my head was getting worse I realized it was a cold so I took Airborne and other preventatives to ward off impending doom.

Tuesday 10/27/09 - Realized this cold was gonna be nasty, my head felt like the gumworks factory from hell, took cold meds, called and canceled my Big Brothers, Big Sisters interview (They still showed up and sadly I had to turn her away at the door, I was sick and just knew if this lady came into my home, she was gonna catch my ICK)... I tried to take it easy, get lots of rest, medicine, vitamins, fluids etc...

Wednesday 10/28/09 -- Again now the cold is on the move southward... From head cold to major chest cold overnight. I prayed all day I could tough it out, I was leaving for Yaoi-con Thursday morning, I had to be up by 4 am to catch my flight...

Thursday 10/29/09 4 AM -- Zero Hour...

I almost did a very stupid thing, but thankfully I am not a stupid woman and my common sense will override my desires no matter how much it hurts. There was no way I could get on a plane, no matter how much I wanted to see my friends, I know my body, I've lived with pulmonary problems all my life and my body was shutting down... again, the cold was getting much, much worse by the minute. I knew if I did not take my ass to the hospital, by the time my plane reached San Francisco I'd have bee dead on it or worse, been admitted to the hospital on arrival far from home. I live 1.2 miles from my local hospital, I took myself over to ER by about 5 am... I did make frantic e-mail's to friends heading to the convention letting them know my sudden change of plans and that not to bother coming to pick me up at the airport I was NOT gonna be on the plane. I had to make sure the HOTEL knew to let people in my room, the room was reserved in my name on my credit etc... lots of loose ends that needed tying BEFORE I got to the hospital.

5 AM - ish -- Get to ER, I am immediately admitted and within an hour told that my ass is heading back into ICU stat... Yeah, I knew it, I know my body and that didn't shock me. Scared me shitless from fear of incubation but I wasn't surprised.

MORNING - A blur of admission, getting the final loose ends with the hotel tied up, and thank GOD for My mate MAKO who seamlessly jumped in to help me coordinate the upheaval from California. Instead of picking me up from the airport, she went right into action, got to the hotel and pretty much became my liaison there in the field to make sure the rest of our mates got checked in okay and the room wasn't lost. Thankfully all it took was my voice on the phone to authorize the hotel to charge my credit cards in these bizarre circumstances. (Whew)

The Rest of 10/29/09 is a Blur... It was a long ass day.

Friday - Tuesday 10/30/09 - 11/02/09 I was in ICU several days and after many tests and a surreal halloween... really... no one should ever, EVER, EVER have to see their doctor come into their room dressed like a pimp daddy.... seriously. O_O

It was just was too much, Dr. Rolly is a sick little resident biatch and I loved him, we totally gossiped like little bitches when he came into visit but really the pimp daddy outfit was just horrific and the leopard wide brim fedora and bling glasses was just... yeah... too much even for this Yaoi fan to handle when sick, he screamed BIG GAY AL LIKE OMG NO WAI LIEK I AM A DOCTOR BIATCH! I think it's actually hysterical of all the residents I get assigned as my PCP I get the gay guy who knows what Y!Gallery is and knows I'm looking at pr0n from my hospital bed and he wants a god damn peek! LOL.

Pimp outfit aside however, Rolly rocks my socks, he'll make a great PCP practice once he's out of his residency. It's always hard though to deal with a doctor YOUNGER than you are. LOL. O_o

I digress....

So, after many a test, poke and prod we find my "COLD" was quite a sinister little thing trying it's damndest to turn into full blown pneumonia. They found a few spots of it turning dark infection on my lungs so we assaulted with the anti-biotics and anti-virals and Tami-flu... all the big guns. High oxygen environment, etc...

Monday they moved me OUT of ICu/CCU into a regular room. WHEW. Out of the woods, now just being monitored while my body finishes recovering.

For the most part, there are some serious complications from this that will never recover properly.

1.) My pulmonary system is weakened and I have internal scar tissue and I will probably be on some form of OC2 from now on.
2.) My Diabetes went APE SHIT. The Steroids they use come at a high, high cost. My body is "reset" and all the progress I made with my Diabetes is now FLUSHED down the proverbial toilet. I have to start all over again. Which means I am back on some heavy duty insulin shots three times a day. We'll see if I can ever get off Insulin again like before. Probably not, not this time around. The Endocrinologist doesn't seem hopeful, the older you get the harder it is anyway and those sorts of massive corto-steroids are not a walk in the park. I'm on 75 units of 70/30 novolog insulin three times a day and my numbers are still high, 175 last test. This will be a long work in progress to get my numbers normal again.

I have a laundry list of pills I'm on and most I will remain on from here on out. Save the Prednisone which will be finished by the end of the next week.

So yeah, that's what happened, it was very serious and very scary and it only hit my husband yesterday after I got home that I could have died. He wasn't with me the first time I faced something this serious and he was sadly unprepared. He knew about it, but knowing about my conditions and going through them with me are two different things entirely.

My poor hubby looks worse than I do from stress. But I made it, I don't give up damn it.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
It's good to have you out of dire straits and back home! *huuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs*

So... I'm not sure about this, since you have other health problems besides the pulmonary thing. But! When I was on a high prednisone dosage (for 4 bloody months), they also wanted me to drink lots of liquids, which in my case meant tea. So I went ahead and got my stash of Chinese green tea, and boiled one sachet of that into one litre of water, which I then drank through the day. It meant frequent bathroom trips, but it also meant my water retention levels dropped like crazy. So if you can do that safely, you might give it a try.

(Also, yay for gay resident, y/y?)
Nov. 6th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you're doing better. I'm also happy you had the good sense to get yourself to the hospital as quickly as you did. I'm sure you were missed at the con, but there will be other cons to go to. Please take good care of yourself! *hugs super tightly*
Nov. 6th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
Thank God you're back home. *hugs*

"Incubation" as opposed to "intubation"...I've never heard of that term till now, but if I read the description correctly, that means an induced coma? Agh, I am so glad that it didn't happen.

May you have safe and uneventful recovery from here on in.
Nov. 6th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Yes, the difference is intubation is CONSCIOUS ventilation and incubation is induced coma ventilation.
Nov. 6th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
Thank bloody Christ you are out of the woods! It figures you'd land the gay as hell Doc. lol I was worried when you emailed Caer and told her it was a repeat performance of last time...hence why I called basically begging for an update. And I had no problems being a liaison for ya...I live here remember? It isn't that hard for me to get my arse over the bridge to the hotel and sort shite out. Now as for you Missy? Shush and get better!
Nov. 6th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Holy sh*t, woman. I'm so glad you're home and recovering. I'm sorry about the prognosis going forward, but knowing you, it won't be as bad as you say. You are definitely a fighter. I actually had to buy a pulse oximeter to take home with me while I was still recovering. I was bad at really knowing how bad I was. I'd be fine on oxygen, and then I'd take it off and go for a walk, and it was down in the 60's all of a sudden. So much crap. I agree that you should drink enough water to drown a fish, and that will help. And what a cool thing to get the pimp doctor! That is so funny, but I'm not surprised. You seem to find them. It's like fate. ^__^ Your husband must be exhausted from all of this too. You guys both rest and recover. Do little things to move around and get stronger. YOu may not get off the insulin, but you can get it back down. I totally know you can.

Nov. 6th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're home safe and sound! *HUGS*
Nov. 6th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I was beginning to fear the coma had been necessary. I am very glad you are not going to have to go through that hell.

*sends hugs to the hubby* Poor guy probably about worried himself sick.
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I am so glad to hear that you are home and doing better!
Nov. 6th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE (mostly) OKAY! I have been thinking about you constantly and sending you all my good thoughts and love.


...also love the story about the doctor ;)

Keep us posted on how you are doing!
Nov. 6th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
*HUGS* Glad to hear you're home again. I was starting to really worry about you. I am so glad you didn't have to go through that induced coma hell again. It really sucks about the complications, though.

And who else but you would end up with the gay doc in his pimp costume?

You take care of yourself, D, and let us know how you're doing when you can.
Nov. 6th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Jesus. It's great that you're home again hon, and I'm glad that you'll be ok. Scary!! *hugs*
Nov. 6th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, Dana, wow - what a fighter you are, but oh, how hard to have to go through all that. *massivehugs* It's a GOOD THING you didn't get on that plane, too. Positive energy for continued healing and destressing for you and John!
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
*lurker pops in*

I'm glad you're doing better, hopefully things will continually improve. Does this mean you won't be going to Bishie con either? I know you were talking about going earlier this summer

Feel better.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 8th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm trying I hate the hospital.

Hey do you and the boy have Thanksgiving Plans?
If not and if you can make it, I'd love to have you both over for the holiday, I'm cooking a healthy, big old ass traditional and not so traditional spread. (In addition to the usual trimmings I make Macedonian food too.)

Turkey and Stuffing
Sweet Potatoes and Mashed Potatoes
Peas, Carrots, Cranberries, Pie
Comat (Similar to Greek Spanokopita)
Deviled Eggs, and nibblies of many varieties....
There's usually Turkey lemon and noodle soup from scratch in there too before the day is over....

I have plenty of room to put you guys up overnight cause it sucks driving when full on feasting. Like come Wednesday evening, Stay to strap on the feedbag and then head out after a nice night of groaning and digesting. LOL <3 You are welcome to come, eat make merry and pig out without guilt for one day.

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)

SO come on Down Wednesday then and stay as long as you like!

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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