meningitis - what just happened to me??..
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Whew! What just happened to me? Heck, even I don't remember much. Hope ya'll don't mind but I think my heads a little clearer today and Im gonna jot it all down.
This might be a lil dear diary - so please bare with me. It may be kinda personal even. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. But I think this will help me. Here we go.
So I remember Friday in January - I had worked all week of course, and my ear was kinda hurting. It had been feeling weird a few days (right hear now, cuz as most of you know I got the left ear fixed back in November) - so after work I called my ENT dr and they sent over some antibiotic drops. Hubby picked those up and I used them once I got home about 8pm that Friday. I was laying down on the couch.
I woke up Saturday - and had dried blood running down my neck from my right ear and a horrible headache. I crawled under the heated blankets on the couch. All I remember is throwing up. Barely. Hubby took my temp and I had what I would consider a low grade fever (below 101) Hubby rushed me to the local medi-clinic (right at closing) and the blond lady that I don't know - said that I had a ruptured ear drum membrane and there was a lot of drainage and gave me another antibiotic.
I came home home, took meds, and don't remember much after that.
On Sunday I apparently emailed the ENT's PA (physical assist) I found the email the other day but I don't remember writing it. The next thing I remember was a paniced husband telling me to let him put my shoes on we are going to the ER. He said that he had talked to above mentioned PA) and was advised to rush me to the MD Anderson ER. I vaquely remember the drive there. I remember getting sit in a chair in the waiting room, and I couldn't hear or see anything. I sat and threw up in my lil bag in the waiting room. I remember they called my name and going to talk to someone.... and I don't remember much after that. I remember a big glass down with a big curtain (im told that was the ER room - where they promptly started IV antibiotics. That was after 5pm on Monday. I remember a different room and it being 4pm. That was the next day. When I try to remember anything after that point its just bits and pieces of blur. Apparently it started with blood work, x-rays, ct scans, MRI, lumbar punches (which is NOT pleasant btw) I don't remember a lot of this, but I remember waking up at night, in the dark, hearing beeping and not knowing where I was. I remember looking to the side sometimes and my daughter would be curled up in chair next to me.
Apparently - none of my cultures grew anything. Nothing. Apparently because I had been on antibiotics for several days. On Friday I remember trying to focus as the drs tell me that the MRI showed I had a brain abcess (pretty large one) that they suspect was caused by the meningitis. So now we are gonna drain the abcess as best they could while they fixed the ear (same as they did in November) - they suspected that the infection went into my brain and spinal fluid because there was no bone barrier between the ear canal thingie and the dura matter. That's about all I retained.
I got a pick line. They took out the ones in my arms that were all bruised and these two funny ladies in yellow did the Pick line. It runs an ultra IV line to get these antibiotics into you that are so strong they will mess up regular IVs. I ithought - just stop poking me all the time. They didn't. One of the mega meds had to had blood drawn (not from the pick line) every morning about 6am to ensure my blood counts were within some limit thing. Too much of said mega med will ruin your kidneys they said. ok. I remember they asked me how I felt with all the blue sterile covering over my head during said procedure. I told them I was pretending like I was in a fort under the table like when we were kids.
Surgery was Monday - Hubby texted my daughter on Saturday saying he had a fever and was sick. WEll naturally he cant come up to the hospital with a fever or sick. I didn't see him again until Late Thursday afternoon. Yeah you read that right .... almost a week later. That's one thing I do remember - and something Im still upset about (like wtf?)... Anyway.
Daughter and I stayed together on the weekend (I was in-out mostly but I remember watching the dog show - go figure) We somehow got me showered and we pre-packed everything cuz -
a. we didn't know what time my surgery was going to be - I was kinda a RUSH - so it could have been early - but we suspected it was going to be later. Yeah it wasn't.
b. We didn't know where I was going after surgery. The RNs said to leave my things and that I'd come back to that room. But I didn't. I was in PACU for the whole day and night so bek had to tote around all her stuff and my stuff while in the waiting room and trying to get updates and trying to see me. THey wouldn't let her in much - she wasn't sure why.
Surgery was sudden - Daughter was running to get there. I remember her being there, and a fanfare of ppl hugging me as I left. I remember I wondered who they were. I remember the cocktail - and then nothing. Nothing for days. I remember a lot of ppl talking above me - I remember the damn blood pressure cuff and all this whooplah and how some things made me throw up and others made my heart race like I was on the treadmill running. I wished I was running on the treadmill.
I remember my daughters voice. I remember the cold washcloth she put on my head when I was so sick. I thought it was funny that she remembered that - cuz I did that when she was little - just like my mom did for me when I was little.
I remember wondering what was happening and how sick was I.
I remember a lot of dumb questions - "do you know what day it is" -- " do you know where you are" and "push with your feet" "squeeze my hands" ... I remember a blur of liquid diets and bad hospital food. I remember the shadow in the door when my daughter got there. My Husband was still MIA.
Let me wrap this up - Im sure Im getting boring. So the next few days were more CT scans and MRIs and a lot of drugs apparently. Then the drugs started going away and the fog tried to lift. The catheter was gone. Im up and walking. The nurses are cheering. I feel like the whole world is tilted sideways all the time and my ears are feeling full of cotton balls.
On Thursday they said the magic words "you will be going home" - Hubby showed up cuz my daughter told him too. He had to take tests on doing the IV antibiotics that still are going into my pik line 4 times a day. Everybody and their brother came by on Thursday from the ENT doctor, to Dr. Fruitcup (his real name is Delmonte but that's how I remember him) The nutritionists (they always showed up and were stressing about my blood sugars that were too high) and the Infectious Diseases group (they normally came in groups of 3 or more) etc etc.
I went home. I've staggered around the house all week doing a lot of nothing. I cant really hear the tv. I should be a person that types the words on the tv for the hearing imparred cuz who ever is doing it right now --- really sucks at it. I feel like iM in a thick fog. Hard to Think. Hard to remember.
I had my dr apt on Friday - too much swelling for the wires to come outa my head. He said "Rhonda - I know how this feels, and its just gonna take a while, I need to be patient"
dang cricket chirp.
My ENT had meningitis. He knows. I told him I felt all kinda emotional crazy and it was scary. He said it will go away. They expect the ongoing antibiotics to take care of the rest of the abcess. Well between a big ol abcess and the meningitis - its no wonder all I kept saying was how bad my head hurt. I told him - I didn't remember anything. He looks at me and says "Rhonda its probably a good thing - you were in a lot of pain" ----
Now what do you say to that?
You family members just look at you.
The doctor tells them they will need to be patient.
I think HOLY SH*T, whats happening to me?
The IV team cleaned up my pik line and we were on the way home
We stopped to eat lunch. The noise (Friday before valentines) was like a loud roar to me. Oh and in case you didn't know - surgery like this totally jacks up your taste buds. Its been three weeks (I think) and stuff is just now starting to taste like it should) - I tried Mexican food today - everything tasted like AAsse. We are going home (its less than a mile) and as we are driving, I had said "I was just ready to go home and have a pain pill. BLAM! I had my eyes closed and my head in my hand propped on the window - so I didn't see it coming.
A kid backed outa his parking place right into the whole side of our car. My side of the car. The whole side of my car. I jumped outa the car -- theres a lot of screaming from the kid - I asked for his licenswe and insurance - He doesn't have them - the car wasn't his - he doesn't know where anything is he was coming to get food for his unclue who is on dialysis. ** and Im standing there with a shaved head and a big honking scar on the side of my face. As the world starts to pitch and spin- I tell hubby (who is livid) call HPD, call state farm, don't let him leave. I sit down and wait. I don't throw up. Just a lot of waiting. THe officer finally comes, takes down the information, and tells us we can go home. The kid got a ticket. My IV meds were ruined from sitting in the hot car btw. I get home and fell asleep.
Hubby handled all that stuff. This is a first btw... I normally handle everything.
The kids insurance offered $500 for the "inconvenience during a Saturday phone call. My red flags were waving around in my head.
Hubby has handled getting the car fixed, rental, blah blah blah and somehow has had 2 interviews this week. And another one tomorrow.
Strange how he got all these interviews NOW - when its been over 2 years with him unemployed and me trying to pay all the bills AND get his dentures paid for... and now suddenly when I need him to be here for IV meds - ? Um Im not going to think about that.
Kinda like Im not going into all the ISSUES that I had with nurses (normally the nocturnal ones that don't do anything) - yeah that's another story for another day.
They poohed in their pants when they realized I was an employee - and that I work in Human Resources. Long story - not going there.
Oh oh! Thank you to all my sweeties here that were sending supportive notes and texts -- I really do appreciate it. I apologize if any of my texts were full of jibberish and didn't make sense. Sometimes I'd fall asleep in the middle of typing. WEll ok, a lot I did that.
Apparently the foggy feeling, the headache, the dizziness, the spinning feeling and nausea, and even the shucked up memory and nightmares are all side affects of meningitis. I didn't know that. Then again, I didn't really know what meningitis is - until a week after I got home.
Ok... well Im gonna save this... thanks again to everyone that stood by my side and cheered me on. I don't know what I'd do without ya'll!
oh yeah... 106 days a non-smoker! That makes me really happy!