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My Journey #44 -- Rough Start to New Year -- 1/31/14

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's the last day of the first month of the New Year and what a rough start it has been for me. I was excited to see the New Year and had my plan of action all laid out before me, which I still intend to stick to, even though circumstances threw me a loop. One of my favorite mottos is "never give up" and that is what I hope to convey to all who read this blog. No matter what, refocus and keep on going, even if it means starting all over again. You'll have everything to gain by it and can look back a year from now and be ever so grateful that you didn't throw in the towel when the going got rough.

FYI, many of you know, I've got lupus and sjogrens, both auto-immune diseases, that I take a good deal of medicine for. Unfortunately, my immune system is not up to snuff and I easily catch things, hard as I try not to. In my little corner of South Carolina, not far from my house, a new shopping center has been created and I stayed out of the stores over Christmas to avoid the germs. But, after the Christmas rush, I begged my daughter to take me with my wheelchair and let me browse around one of the new stores that opened.

This was on a Thursday and by the weekend, (January 5), I was down sick with chills, fever, sweats, vomiting and diarrhea. I couldn't eat I was so sick but I started to feel a little better by the next Thursday and was glad because my birthday was coming up for the weekend. I turned 63 years old on Saturday, January 18th, and spent all that Friday and Saturday in bed I was once again so sick with this stomach virus. But on Saturday, I hurt so bad on my R side that I couldn't even get a shallow breath of air it was so painful.

Then Sunday morning, January 19th, around 4:00 AM, I awoke from a fitful sleep and could hardly get myself into the bathroom and back to bed. I woke my daughter and she called EMS and I went to the ER and I've been in two hospitals since the 19th, and just came home this past Monday, January 27th. One of the medications I take on a regular basis is coumadin to thin my blood because I have had a previous stroke and blood clots in both lungs. Unbeknown to me, even though I did not miss this medication, it was wreaking havoc with my body because of my lack of food. My coagulation and coumadin levels were way off and a CT scan showed a mass in my R side under my lung around my liver and fluid in my abdomen.

Both the mass and fluid turned out to be blood because I had literally "sprung a leak" and had a large spontaneous bleed. This did not become evident until Tuesday morning, January 21st, when my hemoglobin dropped overnight from 11.5 to, that was a huge drop and I was immediately blood typed and transfused with two bags of O+ blood. Sunday, the day I was admitted, I was given plasma and Vitamin K to get my coagulation and blood clotting correctly.

My hemoglobin stayed up at 7.4 and then 9.9 so I went home on Thursday, but that night the pain began again so my kids rushed me to the internist who sent me to the surgeon who immediately readmitted me to the big hospital in Greenville where I stayed until this past Monday. I'm on the mend but am feeling kind of puny still and wasted from losing so much blood. The pain is still there but is getting better everyday and will stay that way until all the blood/fluid is reabsorbed back into my body.

And so I have a stern admonition to be really careful about taking the coumadin, especially if I get sick. I had a GI bleed once in the past but nothing like this so would love to ask that you pray for me. I know I never would have made it through this one if it had not been for the many people who prayed for me, my children, my family, my church family and all my wonderful friends. God is good and I'm a testament to that. He has pulled me through so many things and I'm so grateful to Him. I love the Lord Jesus because he is there for me everyday and I thank him for His steadfastness.

So friends, this is my rough start to the New Year, but I tell you to never give up. I am home mending now and each day I feel better than the day before. Would you believe that on January 1st I weighed 293.4 pounds and today I weighed 272.8 pounds? That is a loss of 20.6 pounds for the month of January. It was a terrible way to lose weight, that much I can tell you, but as I get feeling better I'm getting back on my "plan" and maybe this will be the year I make it to Onederland by next January.

Hugs & Love to all and remember, don't ever give up. Stuff happens along the way, that's life, and a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Hang in there and thank you to all who continue to pray for me.

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