Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're Here. We're Alive.

Walter and myself have both been trying to let you know how and why we're here and alive - not just those bare facts.

But - forgive us - some bare-facting will have to do for a start.

I'm still in the hospital, the big one. I've been discharged and readmitted at least three times. After Walter and I recovered from the Chest Cold from Hell, I came here because I was coughing up small amounts of blood again, had bad lung and chest pain, and felt generally terrible.

So. Lung issue. Turned out to be pneumonia. Got isolated and treated and sent home. Survived.

After I'd spent a luscious day or two at home, Walter woke up from a sound sleep one morning just because my lungs were rattling so loudly the noise got him. We returned to the hospital, but this time under the admittance of my primary.

Far more serious this round: double (meaning both lungs) MRSA pneumonia. Fluid in left and right pleural cavities. 500 cc's had already been removed from the right pleural cavity, and it was rebuilding all over the place.

Combined with all that general ill health, another heavy outbreak of maybe-MRSA lymph node infections, and some other stuff, I almost didn't survive that bout. Meaning my parents, Walter, other docs should be notified, legal papers or verbal permissions signed or heard, all 'o that dreary ickiness...

I'm not trying to be a drama queen here. But it was an interesting experience. Certainly, it was unpleasant. Extremely. And frightening - though mildly! - in a way I'd never experienced fear before. Somehow I think we may be better off having a chance to approach death very closely once, just that one time, before it actually happens, before life is irretrievably lost.

Well, it went on and on. Cardiac catheters were prescribed to investigate why severe pulmonary hypertension had been discovered. Aaauuuggghhh!!! Turned out I need a triple bypass! But the Triple Bypass Doc on the cardiac team refused to do the surgery because I wouldn't survive it; I'd get an infection and die. Stents? Yeah, they might keep me going another year or two. He seemed to find them an uninteresting endeavor, though. He was, after all, a Bypass Man.

A nice Miscellaneous Stents in General man came by the next day. He felt HIS Stents could last a good 10 years. Besides, who could ever really predict lifespans anyway? We all looked at each other - me, Walter, Mom - and said, -Yes. A 90%, 70%, and another something-blocked vessel resulted in 2 stents in one vessel, one in another - and Stents Man was all done, and happy with his work.

More? Septicemia. Yup, good old-fashioned blood poisoning. A huge outbreak of what looked like MRSA infection, maybe coupled with other germs, through the entire right arm; another from the left abdomen through the entire left leg all the way to the left foot, with fevers that cooked bedclothes and required Cooling Blankets that were forgotten; urinary tract infection (yeah. Ouch.) and a neglect of testing and misapplication of coumadin, or something, resulting in waking up in huge pools of watery blood - I mean like 2 x 3 feet pools - that had leaked from tiny cuts, as small as little papercuts, in my arms throughout the night.

It's been quite a trip. Please excuse this rat-a-tat writing style, okay? Communicating verbally isn't going well for me lately either, although rumor has it that's temporary and common and goes away pretty quick.

So I don't know how much of what's happened I could actually get across to you. But I do hope this much did:

I survived it. All of it. And with all due respect to the Powers that Be...I intend to keep on doing so.


LL said...

Holy shit, K. Glad you're still fighting.

Desert Cat said...

Thank you dear K! See, I worry loud enough and you hear.

In other words updating from your previous post, you survived the stent operation and are still surviving unpleasant stuff including potential malpractice (??!), oh my.

Still praying for your recovery and eventual return to your garden.

I miss you, in case you don't know. I don't mean to sound selfish though, and you need all your strength to heal. But dear Lord it is good to hear from you once in a while!

Anonymous said...

It's time to tell you YOU ARE MY HERO!

And a real, live blessing for this lurker.


Granny J said...

Thank you so much, dear k, for hanging in there. And for reporting in to all of us out here cheering for you. May your return to Walter and your garden be ever so soon.

Pretty Lady said...

Wow. Here I came back again, like I do almost every day, expecting nothing. And you're still here and fighting. It is amazingly good to hear from you. I'm not blogging much, since I can't access Blogger from my job, but I'll write you a long email soon.