It has been almost two months since my last post. *Feels like she is in the confessional. Forgive me for I have not posted. *Wonders if I should go into graphic detail of my past few months…
*Decides sure, why the hell not….
It all started with writer’s block or depression or feeling sorry for myself or a combination of all of the previous. If you follow my other blog, The Possibilitarian’s Light (that, too, has been neglected) then you would know that I am a survivor. I have walked through hell and back in my life and somehow I am pulled forward by a mysterious force that keeps me going. Recently, however, I really felt plagued by all that life has dealt me….yeah, poor me syndrome….and I stopped doing the things that I normally find wonderfully enjoyable. I even cut off almost every one in my life, keeping very few at a safe distance. That, I told myself, is how you don’t get hurt. *Wonders if I am sounding weak….*decides I don’t care and continues…
I have dedicated this past year to helping others, perhaps a band-aid for not being able to help my own self. I am a volunteer emergency worker and a volunteer emergency communications worker. I have taken Citizen’s Police Academy and will be taking the 911 Citizen’s Academy at the end of the month. I have taken more FEMA online classes then I would have ever imagined and I plan on taking more. I even traded in my 2011 Nissan Juke a little over a month ago for 2013 Ford Explorer just for my emergency response equipment. A little over the top? Yes, but that is who I am.
So, what is the problem?
Hmmm….good question. I think perhaps I have finally hit the wall. I find that I do not bounce back from unfortunate events quite as easily as I used to. The last month has taken a toll on me and I find that I am left physically and emotionally drained…
For six years my husband has suffered from I.T.P., an autoimmune disorder that destroys his platelets. The I.T.P. was triggered by his fight with Gastric MALT Lymphoma, a battle, that I am happy to report, he won. In the course of the six years of fighting I.T.P. all meds to keep his platelets up had failed. The last resort was a splenectomy. It took six years to convince him that this was the answer to his problem, In fact, I didn’t give him an option. I wanted to ensure that the father of my youngest son and the step-father to my oldest three, would live a long life. In the weeks leading up to the surgery he struggled with his platelet disorder, and yet, feared the splenectomy though it were a death sentence. How ironic that his fear would become just.
The morning of August 10th I said my good-byes as he was whisked off to a procedure room. The first step that morning, prior to his surgery, was an embolization. What the hell is that you ask? It is where they go through your femoral artery (in your groin) and, in his case, clamp off the blood supply to the spleen. After the embolization it was at that point that his surgeon realized, “Hey, maybe would should check his platelets prior to surgery.” While this seems a no-brainer to most when discussing a person who struggles with low platelets, the doctor seriously didn’t see a reason to check sooner. Clearly the
bastard doctor hadn’t eaten his WHEATIES in the morning. After checking his platelet level it was discovered that his platelets were only 39,000, much too low for surgery! My husband was left embolized for 6-8 hours and in pain while they worked to raise his platelets. Was I notified of this problem? Not for well over 3 hours. At the time I thought he was actually in surgery. Mid afternoon I spoke with the doctor who tried to sound like a hero…”It was a good thing I decided to check his platelets at the last-minute, they were too low to operate. He is in excruciating pain and I am doing my best to make him comfortable.” “WHAT??? You didn’t check the platelets before you allowed them to embolize him.” “Well , we went off of the blood tests from two days ago.” “TWO DAYS AGO??? HE HAS I.T.P. AND HIS PLATELETS DROP QUICKLY!!! WHY WOULD YOU ASSUME HIS PLATELETS WERE NORMAL???” I was reassured that all was well and that surgery would start in 1 1/2 hours, I was not allowed to see him. Happy camper? Not at all.
In the hours following I was shuffled waiting room to waiting room where I was reassured the doctor would be coming out to speak to me and it was late into the evening was when I received word that my husband was being transferred to ICU. For several hours I could not get any answers and it wasn’t until I threatened to take the doors off of every room in the hospital and find my husband myself that they finally pointed me in the right direction. I left my husband at 11:00 a.m., spoke to the doctor around 2:00 p.m. and it was now after 9:30 p.m. and the doctor was finally coming out to speak to me….several hours after the surgery. In fact, before even coming to speak with me, he handled another surgery and left me and our children filled with fear.
I am what you call a zero tolerance for bullshit kind of person so perhaps that will give you a clear indication of how angry I was at this point. The doctor let me know that my husband’s heart rate had climbed to concerning levels and that he believed that his pain was abnormal. He first assumed that his pain was simply from the embolization (you left him in pain for a very long time
dumbass doc) and the pain was not subsiding leading him to believe that something had happened to his pancreas during the embolization. PANCREATITIS??? OH REALLY??? In the days following, my husband continued to decline in ICU and even required an epidural to relieve his pain. A heart rate of 160, respirations of 50, a pleural effusion that would not allow him to fully inflate his left lung and an on call doc who seemed more concerned with his arrogance than his patient sent me into a tizzy. I gave a one hour ultimatum to the ICU nurse that either a plan was devised within one hour to help him or I was going to transfer him from their hospital.
I find it amazing how quickly people will come together for a common cause when you start taking from their wallet. I was equally amazed at how quickly my husband began to respond once these “doctors” gave him antibiotics!!! Five days in ICU followed by another 9 days in the hospital and he was finally released. All good right? Of course not! After much back and forth the surgeon finally admitted that either during the embolism or during the surgery, the spleen was damaged in two places. The word damaged was quickly changed to “inflamed”. We left the hospital with a drainage bad attached to him from all of the fluid collecting in the chest cavity. I won’t even go into detail about the delirium issues that he suffered from all of the medications, which in its self was horrific nor will I go into detail about how many docs debated on my husband’s behalf because of how strongly they felt about what should be done to help my husband (much to the rage and disproval of his surgeon). On day 13 the doc even verbally pointed his finger and blamed ME for the “poor choices I was causing the other doctors to make” by advocating for my husband. Yep, all true. End of story? NOPE! Five days later I had to call 911 because he woke up in so much pain that he could hardly breathe….yep…another 4 days in the hospital due to either infection or a pulmonary embolism…they never could figure that one out! We can only assume it was probably infection due to the fact that he improved when they changed the antibiotic up.
While this is really not MY story, it is my husband’s story (in a nutshell), the impact was still grand. I watched someone I care about suffer, missed an incredible amount of work, much that I didn’t get paid for and I hardly slept at the hospital. If that wasn’t enough, I emotionally ate my way through the past almost month. Over twenty pounds later (he lost 30 and I gained over 20) and some serious lack of sleep….here I am. Now you know the problem.
Any attorneys out there?
Enough about me…..how are all of you???
Thinking of you,
*To Dave at A Second Cup, thank you for your unwavering support, I can’t even tell you how it meant. Thank you, thank you my friend. : )