Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't even know what to call this post, so it will have to remain titleless.

Yes, it's been a long time! If rumors in the blogging world are as potent as rumors in my hometown then I'm sure you all think I'm six feet under. I've debated A LOT about blogging regarding my absence and the final conclusion I've come to is this: my blog has become a journal for me in the past few years. It is an outlet, a place where I can vent, express creativity, get feedback...it's not just a journal, but a journey. So, here goes.

On March 3rd I had my tonsils taken out. After three episodes of strep throat this year I'd had it! I figured it was time. The kids were going to be with their Dad in Florida for Spring Break and I had someone to stay with me to take care of me so the timing seemed right.

My surgery went without complication. In fact, on Friday I went to High Point to buy a dining room table! Thank you Hydrocodone for making me think the amount I spent was A DEAL. Hah. Whatever, I love the table and wouldn't do it differently.

By Saturday I was really starting to have a lot of pain and had pretty much stopped eating. By Sunday, I had stopped drinking, too. My only intake was the liquid Hydrocodone that I had been prescribed for pain and Ambien to help sleep. By Monday, I was taking Extra Strength Tylenol and Motrin ON TOP of my Hydrocodone which also had Tylenol in it. With no other food or drink. Can you say stupid? Leave it to a nurse to think all that "Tylenol toxicity" stuff wasn't for real.

Thankfully, my friend who was staying with me noted my irrational behavior and took me to the ER. Long story short: my liver enzymes were found to be off the charts...WAY off the charts. My kidneys were failing as well. I was answering questions appropriately but my behavior was far from normal (drawing circles on my admission forms instead of filling them out properly). I was flown from my local hospital to the University of Virginia Hospital. My husband (from whom I'm separated but thank goodness have a good relationship) was still my medical power of attorney. He graciously allowed the good doctors at UVA to intubate me (note the sarcasm there?) and put me on a ventilator. I remained that way for two days, while it was debated whether or not a hole should be drilled in my head to relieve pressure on my brain and how soon I should receive a liver transplant. No joke.
On Thursday, I woke up. Not happy. At all. My whole family was there. Everyone seemed really serious. I had some idea of what had happened, but really no idea at all.

My first concern was my kids. What would they think? What would happen to them? Where were they? My family quickly assured me that they were fine and on the way back from Disney with their Dad. I did not want them to see me in the hospital. Their Dad, again very graciously, drove the two hours to see me and brought my "friend" with him. I had been removed from the ventilator but my troubles were far from over. I was carrying roughly 50 lbs. of fluid weight and faced dialysis and the continued concern over my liver and kidneys.

A dialysis catheter was placed and I received my first round of dialysis on Friday. I was transferred out of the ICU. I spent the next week and a half in the hospital receiving dialysis and recovering. I was discharged a month ago and have SLOWLY recovered at home. No more dialysis, liver is fine, kidneys are fine, I am SO LUCKY. Can't take Tylenol if I have a headache, but SO LUCKY!!! My stepmom stayed with me for two weeks. I seriously could not have made it without Mimi! My house has never been so clean. My friends have been sending meal after meal and have been so generous.

Needless to say, having all that time to lie in a hospital bed gives you lots of time to ponder your life, your priorities, what's real and what's not...

I'm so appreciative...so much MORE appreciative, that is, of my family and all that they mean to me and do for me. I'm not in a HURRY to move on with my life after divorce, but I'm certainly sure of the choices I've made and look forward to the future. It's hard to cherish everyday when you're exhausted and not completely recovered, but I'm trying. I still don't think I have a full realization of what happened. My friend is more a part of my life than ever and is truly my angel. Were it not for him I would surely be dead. Thank goodness he had the good sense to take me to the hospital, despite my apparent demands that he not (I don't remember anything after Sunday, so I can't argue with what I've been told!).

My kids are doing GREAT. They were so spoiled the entire time..they're none the wiser! My new home is framed, roof is in place, and we're moving on! More on that later.

Another thing I became very clear about while hospitalized was what I really want to do in the future. I've renewed my nursing license, but that's not at all what I want to do for life. Sooooo...in the next day or so I'll be unveiling my newest venture. Stay tuned!