Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Recent Ordeals

Hi. I've been gone a long time. I took a class the end of July about psychic readings and spirit guides (mine has always been Jesus and also Virgin/Mother Mary). The next day after that weekend I came down with a cold. The next weekend I came down with a high fever I thought was the flu. I took my temp and lay down on the bed. My husband came to see me 15 mins. so I thought and I told it was dangerously high 103, and I should prob. go to the hospital. He told me later that was 4 days later. I have no memory of that nor the ride to the ER.

I was in a drug induced coma, entubed, and given massive antibiotics for months to fight this superbacteria Strep 2 of Strep B. They are usually fatal.

I came to, so to speak, when they were ready to remove the second tube from my lungs. My son and his "wife" were there beside the bed. My husband was out in the hall, I guess. I was trying to speak and tell them this was going to be AWFUL in case they wanted to leave the room, but I couldn't speak or write, I was totally weak. They did remove the tube and I threw up a few times and later I was allowed to drink water.

I had been in intensive care, I remember a woman doctor or nurse in green scrubs coming in to see me. I remember a lot of different rooms they took me to. At Lovelace you always have a roommate and never seem to have the same RN or Tech more than once. I didn't eat. Was hallucinating from meds, I guess.
I remember a Tech named Deja who made me get used to sitting up and I gave him an autographed copy of my book of poetry and he sat and read it and said, This is my favorite and read aloud to me. I was very grateful to him.

I had the infection in my spine which required 2 spinal surgeries, it went into my heart and damaged 2 valves and then to my brain and gave me a minor stroke.

After I got my consciousness back, I was transferred across the street to Kindred, the hospital for recuperation. I cried and cried (depressed). I was NOT thrilled with having PT and having to get up and try to work on my walking. But the PT ladies were very kind and encouraging and nice. I went to sleep one night and woke up blind in my rt. eye but that cleared up finally, something about the liquid in my eyeball. And one of my legs is shorter than the other, so I am getting special shoes with one lift of one and a quarter inch so I can walk without limping or on the tips of my toes on one foot.

I went home and did well for a week or three, my cousin Christine came to visit me from Delaware. And then I started to get to the point I couldn't breathe. I had to go see a cardiologist--a young Native American woman. She is wonderful but she told me I had to get the valves replaced in my heart. I cried because I do not like surgery or hospitals.

She sent me to see the surgeon for Lovelace and for some reason he didn't like me (thought I was a big sissy and would cry and complain, which was absolutely right!) He told me to exercize and get in shape which I did for a month or more.

Then I started to fade into weakness and shortness of breath. So I went back and thought he would schedule my surgery but he told me (and my husband, so I wasn't hallucinating) that he was going to ask my cardiologist to recommend another surgeon.

We left and called NM Heart Institute for the next cardiosurgeon available and went to meet Dr. Gerety. He scheduled my surgery for a few days (11 maybe) and I went in on Jan. 19. Since my other organs needs stabilizing like kidneys, I had to wait until Jan. 23rd for the surgery. Surgery is a snap. You get pushed into the room, lifted onto a table, put
to sleep and you don't remember a thing for four days.

The Heart Hospital of NM was wonderful except for the RN's or PT's who abducted me out of chair and forced me to "walk" with a walker I was not used to while they were pushing and pulling on me down the hall. The whole time I was screaming and shouting that I couldn't walk, I had not been able to walk when I got the hospital--I have severe arthritis in my right hip.

They shouted threats and judgements at me and scared the heck out of me. After that, if anyone mentioned walk I would burst into tears. Yes, I did squeal on them and they left me alone. I finally got up to walk insisting I had to do it with my own walker and be able to rest when I wanted and walk as far as I decided and to get to go back. I had also threatened to call my lawyer since I know my patient rights. The rule is, tho, you can't go home unless you walk at least to the toilet. So with the docs and RN's and PT standing by I shuffled over to the bathroom in my slippers and I got to come home.

I signed on Heritage Home Care for PT and OT and home RN.
They came a week and I had to return to the heart hospital to get the fluids drained from inside me. So when I got back home, they came back and taught me how to get around and how to walk and do things in the kitchen and bathtub. They were wonderful. Encouraging. I am very grateful. It was Karen, Carol and Ellen. The night after they were finished coming I fell on my left side. Luckily nothing was broken, just bruised. So that's fine. Still a little worried about falling, but doing better. Fear helps nothing.

My husband has been fixing most meals for me. But I am able to lie down in bed and breathe again...I still need oxygen and it drops down when I move or walk. Hopefully my lungs will improve in capacity and I can get off oxygen.

I am doing much much better. I had many many friends and relatives praying for me as well as many angels sent to be with me by Betsy Coffman. So I am thankful to them and God for my survival.

Love, Sandy (Comments invited.) I've lost 50 lbs. but gained back 10, some is fluid in my left leg. I look scrawny and all bones and skin. And OLD. Yuk.

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