Hello again all…If you hadn’t guessed or read my posts I was in the hospital again from Aug 31 to Sept 13. Official complication diagnosis: acute inflammation of the pancreas, decreased white blood cell count, anemia of chronic disease, decreased platelet count, and electrolyte imbalance. My liver counts were off as well and my new liver is already showing signs of fatty liver disease…good times. I’ve had pancreatitis bouts before and they are wicked painful. I don’t know if ya’ll remember, but a few weeks ago I posted that I had been taken off one medication and was excited about it. Turns out, taking me off of that medication was what caused all of this because my bile was too thick for my body to process without it….so I’m back on it. C’est la vie. On a good note, most of my “stuff” is now back to stable or where it was before this last stay, so that’s awesome. This stay was a little too close to home, though, so to speak. My team said this was the sickest they had seen me since the transplant. I got put on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) via a PICC line (central line/catheter) and they fed me via my veins basically and bypassed my entire digestive system – pretty cool actually. Though on another hand because of the immense pain I was in they ended up over medicating me with dilaudid for a few days and for those days my mind was upside down in a jello bowl full of rainbows and monkeys singing kumbaya. It was madness lol…especially if you were one of the lucky few that I attempted to text while in this state. If so, apologies…
On a more serious note though, I did get scared that everything was happening all over again like last fall when I first got sick. It really started to mess with my mind and the last few days there before I was released. Every time any nurse spoke to me I said I wanted to go home and just burst into tears.
See what made this stay so different, like I said, was the fear. The fear of being stuck in the hospital for months again. The fear that this was the time I don’t get to go home, because like it or not that will happen one day. As opposed to when I was in ICU when I felt calm, warm and at peace…. this time I was panicking and frantic to just see my dogs, Sean, my family just one more time. Just to sleep in my own bed one more time. And yes, I understand what I was feeling was a bit irrational you could say, but the feeling was so overwhelming and so real it just consumed me. The last few days I was there I ended up sleeping with my door open because I was directly across from the nurse’s station and it made me feel even more safe.
Fear makes you do crazy things, even when you are praying for God to be merciful on your soul and pleading for just an ounce of peace. Because in all honesty, just because you pray for it doesn’t mean it will come and sometimes the fear even gets worse after.
When I felt sick sometimes, even before the transplant I would go to the ER immediately and instantly feel better just because I was surrounded by people whose job it was to keep me alive. When I felt sick and stayed at home and tried to tough it out, even though I was surrounded by my dogs and Sean, I felt panicky, unsafe…afraid.
So why was it different this time…. why was it different than when I was in the ICU, despite the obvious difference in critical conditions at both times. That answer I don’t know to be frank. This time in the hospital I also became very aware of sounds around me. Beeping, alarms, the patient next door yelling “help”, nurses talking quietly, etc. It made me think of the differences between my dogs barking and waking me up in the middle of the night versus my IV beeping or alarms going off waking me up in the middle of the night. Depending on which time of this last year you asked me which I would prefer my answer would be different. Dogs barking would mean I was safe in the comfort of my own bed…Beeping would mean I was in the hospital, possibly ICU. Why does my fear make one place preferable to another at different times. Either way, no matter what I do or try the beeping will one day stop…the barking one day will stop. Is one choice more selfish than the other for where I feel more comfortable and safe? I know most of our gut reactions would say, “of course I’d rather be with family at home, instead of at the hospital where someone is actively trying to extend my life and have my family there by your side.” But I’d be willing to bet that if anyone reading this spent some time alone and contemplated this, their answer might be different or much, much more complicated.
Food for thought…either way I am happy to be home, alive, stable and lucky to have so many people that send thoughts and prayers my direction this time. Also, some of you that asked about my room number or wanting to visit – you have my sincerest apologies for not responding, my brain was eaten by dilaudid and if I had responded anyways it would have looked something like this, “vvvvmvmmmm Halloween why….why is smdmf…..f…..tomorrrrwrww goatttts.” For real. Cheers.