Thursday, March 18, 2010


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Thursday, March 11, 2010

In which I get into the ring and fight pneumonia.


So. I was in the hospital Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Via the ER.

Here's what happened:
Last Monday I had a bit of a cough.
Tuesday it was a frequent cough.
Wednesday was Juliet's appointment, and I had pretty frequent cough and wore a mask.
Thursday my cough went spastic, and I started feeling wonky.
Friday I developed a fever and said "OK. Time for Community Care."
- They ran a couple of tests, and gave me prescription cough medicine and said to come back if it got worse. They gave me a rocefin shot to try to fight any possible bacteria causing the issue.
Saturday my fever reached 103 and my fingers had turned blue once. Mind you, I'd never seen my fingers turn blue even when freakishly cold. I found it mildly fascinating and vastly scary. I started seeing spots. Community Care prescribes antibiotics and an inhaler, and says to come back if there's no improvement. As a parting gift they give me another rocefin shot mixed with anther, stronger antibiotic. Now my bum hurts on both sides.
Sunday- bright an early I'm in again. Still feverish, barely functioning, coughing constantly and throwing up. The last meal I'd had was cottage cheese and pineapple on Friday morning, and was getting rapidly weaker. Dehydrated. This time the doc said "This is beyond us, or what can be done at home. Go to the ER!"
Yay. ER. Now. By this time I'd developed a migraine from all the coughing. Every alarm, beep, holler, every flickering of light sent me reeling. Imagine a gal curled on a hospital bed, coughing, trying to hold her head together at the same time. At least it felt like I had to hold my head together. Coughing causes some pain, but not much. Really, none of the pneumonia issues were causing pain, they were simply draining me, melting me away. The migraine on the other hand, added an element of severe pain. I asked a nurse for something for the pain, and she gave me dilaudid. For an amazing (hour maybe?) the migraine pain was gone.
The docs drew all kinds of blood for tests, got fluids going, and scratched their heads. They said I had an infection SOMEWHERE, but my lungs looked clear. They'd eliminated all the normal pneumonia culprits and were on to more exotic stuffs.
They moved me out of the ER to continue treatment upstairs in the regular rooms because they'd finally gotten me stable. There I remained, with a migraine being relieved by dilaudid and little ability to rest. When my doc came in in the morning (tuesday) he gave me a medicine that cleared up my migraine. It was PURE BLISS to have that nasty thing gone. I could sit up, even watch tv a little!
Wednesday morning the doc said that the tests were still out on Legionnaires' Disease and Whooping Cough. He said that it sounds more like Legionnaires' (wha??). He also said that my treatments are working, that what is being done now can be done at home if I wish. Goodness did I wish to get out of the hospital!
So now I am home. Still not sure which type of pneumonia I have but I'm getting better. I just have to watch out for any fever or whatnot. I am weak as can be, I sound like a car with bad breaks mixed with a barking dog. My kids are with their Grandmom and Grandpap. My hubby is taking care of me like an absolute hero.

And again, dear God. I am begging. Give me a BORING year- healthwise. I am really tired of this, and I don't know how much more I can take. As it is I may have weakened lungs for the rest of my life. I'm on umpteen different kinds of medicine, and all I want is to be strong for my family. Please, I'm begging!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A story, and an update on Juliet.


She was a vivacious, beautiful, passionate woman who lived life to the fullest. She hated that her skin had wrinkled, that her skin began to sag, that her vision faded and her hearing was almost gone.
She lived in a box, hearing only muffled voices, thinking people were not even interested in her opinion anymore. She said "Why don't you talk to me anymore?" even though we wanted to- we were tired of yelling*.
She was stubborn. She did not want to wear a hearing aid- that's for OLD people- and besides, what she heard was overwhelmed by the ringing in her ears.
She has survived two amazing men in her life, and her closest friend is her daughter. She holds her great-grandaughter close, who bears a matching scar to her own, down her chest, reminding her that even her own scar is a thing of beauty.
She earned her scar when she was 75*. Far too old for a major heart surgery. Many doctors told her there was no hope. She should just enjoy her final times with her family.
One doctor saw hope. He said it could be done, and it was. She earned 13* more years with her bravery. Then, in the year before she left, she held her great-granddaughter with a matching scar. A scar that not long ago would have been forfeit, as nothing could be done.

As her time drew near, emphysema and a broken heart finally catching up to her- her kidneys shutting down and her liver losing function, the doctors- including the one who had given her her extra years- said that all that could be done had been done.

Her daughter could not believe it. Her daughter needed her mommy there- her mommy who had been her companion in dark hours and joy. As her daughter leaves the room she turns to her son: "Please let me go." Her elder living son is strong enough. He's seen so much, his heart is tender, but more logical than her youngest child. She knew her daughter's heart would simply break to hear she wanted to go home, to see her eldest child who had passed on so many years before, and the men in her life that she had so adored.

She had been given the richness of hearing all of her children's voices in those days. Her daughter had done the hardest possible thing to do- calling her brothers to say that they should travel to see their mother, one last time. Even so, her heart refused to admit that this was really the end of her mother- how can someone who lived SO FULLY be going? What will I do without her?

Her son cried. The doctors had heard her say the words as well, and they knew that this was the time. Her daughter wept when she was told her mother's words.

A short while later, the room grows quiet. Her daughter has gone to eat, her son in law and her granddaughter's family all gone away to have a sandwich. Her eldest living son sits by her side.

She feels it is finally time to let go. She did not want to let go while her daughter was there- ever showing her intense love for her only girl, and there is no better hand to hold her than one of her precious boys.

Her breathing changes. She begins to leave. Her eldest living son calls her daughter and everyone else back. Everyone surrounds her and cries their farewells. Her great-granddaughter does not understand, she lets out a baby girl whimper.

Someday it will be explained better, but for now her Granny sleeps. Her mommy cries, her Nana howls in pain, her great-uncle weeps, her Pop-Pop holds Nana and tears run down his cheeks...

I wrote this, a sort of memory of my grandmother's death. I know it may not all be true, and facts which I'm unsure of have asterisks. All others are subjective, memories of my own, and my memory is not always the best. I have been known to remember things that did not happen, and things that happened as being different than they actually were- so please take it with a grain of salt. This is purely a reflection of my emotional understanding of my beloved grandma's last day- and by far doesn't encapsulate the whole of that amazing woman. She was ... so amazing! She was strong, willful and vibrant.

She loved Christmas. She loved Vegas and the Beach. She was a California Girl. She was supremely generous (that was why she loved Christmas- she LOVED giving gifts!). I miss her so much....

Aaaand Juliet!
Juliet had her sedated echo on Wednesday. We traveled to Salt Lake City and stayed at a hotel overnight, then headed to Primary's in the morning. I sat with Jules while she was sedated and her daddy took Joey on a tour of that awesome hospital. As usual, she was taken care of so well!

The results: *drumroll*
NO sedated echo for TWO years! The doc forsees no issues with her surgical sites, and said that the only thing he sees is what is normal for the TGA repair (One of the vessels is a tich wider than it should be) but that is not a big deal. He said that if it were to turn out to be an issue, it wouldn't be one for quite some time, and that the chances of that are very very slim based upon what he saw. He said that the problems that could arise (narrowing around scar tissue etc) are not present and that she's doing GREAT! Praise God! I am thankful every day for the whole team that treated her. They are artists! *jumps for joy*

In a year she'll have her normal checkup down in Poky, and then when she's almost 4 we'll go down again for the next echo.
The only forseeable reason to go to salt lake before then is if it's decided that she needs surgery on her urinary tract (the urinary reflux) and it's better for kids who have had heart surgery to be sedated by those familiar with their needs. She's not had a UTI in a very long time, so I'm betting she won't need to have that done.