Monday, May 7, 2012

Where I have been

Hello to my followers. Yes it has been a long time since I have posted. I just wanted to let you know where I have been. It is a long story.....but interesting anyway. This is my story of my sickness from February to May of 2012. It is not every detail of what happened but you still get the idea. Here we go:

 I was sick, really sick. It started the first week in February with a headache every day. I did not think much of it and it did not slow me down in my day even though it was annoying. Then that headache developed to an every hour of the day headache and was getting worse and worse as the days went on. I usually do not get headaches, in fact I would never get headaches so this was unusual for me. The weeks went on, the pain got worse, and I got worse. Finally it had been 3 weeks of agonizing, headaches. It literally felt like a combination of a drill going into my skull and being pounded by a hammer. The pain was too much to bear. It was affecting me. I could not stand, I could not eat, I could not take care of myself and even more importantly my kids. The pain got to the point to where I had thoughts that I was going to die. I was laying in my sons bed thinking how sad my children and husband will be when I die from whatever is causing these awful headaches. The same day that I was laying in my son's bed was when my husband decided to take me to urgent care. I had been stubborn and refused to go to urgent care in days before because I was embarrassed. I could just imagine a doctor telling me "you have a headache, now go home." So my caring husband took me to urgent care. My head hurt so bad it affected every part of my body. That was the worst car ride because I was beyond nauseous and in constant pain that it becomes an out of body experience. We did not wait long and the urgent care doctor determines it is a migraine and gives me a shot of pain meds, and a shot for anti-nausea. He told me that it would make me sleep for 6 - 8 hours, and when I wake up the pain will be totally gone. I was so happy when he told me that. So I went home slept for only 4 hours and my head still hurt when I woke up. The urgent care visit did nothing. Two days later I begged my husband to take to the emergency room. He took me to the closest E.R., they did a CT scan of my head thinking I might be bleeding in the brain. Thankfully that was not the case. So he determined that I had "tension headaches" and I was sent home with more pain meds. It would make sense if in fact it were tension headaches because of my demanding daily schedule. The days went on and my headaches seemed to get worse. I was scared because I felt like the doctors were not quite right with their diagnosis of headaches or migraines. Finally March 2 rolls around. This was the worst day of them all. My head hurt so bad that there was nothing more that could add to my pain. I could not get up without getting dizzy, fainting, or puking. The world was spinning around me and all I could do was lay in bed and hope I could fall asleep. Thankfully my Mom had planned to come to my house this day and bring me dinners for my family. She saved my life. She arrived to my house and I barely made it to the door. Then I turned around to walk to my couch and I ran into my piano, and the wall before falling to the couch. My mom was asking me questions, and trying to help me but all I could do was stutter and mumble my answer. I was confused and did not know what was going on. I could not figure out how to start a movie for my youngest, I did not know which went first shampoo or conditioner, I was having a hard time talking and could not think of right words to say, and it took me a full hour to figure out clothes to wear. My Mom and husband decided to take me to the hospital and they tried to get me in the car but as I was standing about to get in to the passenger seat I fainted. My husband caught me and got me back into the house. Then I had a seizure. That is when my mom called 911. The paramedic got there and I remember feeling so tired and not even wanting to open my eyes. They were asking me questions like "what is your birthday, who is the president, what is your name. " They started an IV got me in the ambulance and got me to Mountain Vista Hospital (the one on the 60 and Crismon----DO NOT GO TO THIS HOSPITAL) I finally made it to the ER of the hospital and the doctor asked the questions, did an exam and decided to do a spinal tap. The doctor scrubbed my back and started the tap. I was leaned over the bed just as if I were receiving an epidural. He was having trouble getting the spinal fluid to come out. So he inserted the needle 4 times in my back and fished around inside my spine to get that fluid to come out. Nothing happened. That doctor was frustrated because he had not missed a spinal in years. So I was admitted to the hospital. The first few days of my stay were a blur. It was nothing but painful blood draws at all hours- I would even wake up to nurses taking more blood. I am fine with blood draws and needles my mom was a phlebotomist (blood draw-er) and I was her guini pig. But these nurses hurt. The doctors would come in to confirm that they did not know what was wrong with me and they were running all sorts of tests. Doctors would say "we think you have valley fever" another day "we think it may be herpes" they would come in and pick a sickness out of a hat and announce it to me. Seriously....herpes?! Come on! I felt like they did not have control over the situation. I even had a nurse that said "my friend's dog had valley fever! She knew because the dog was acting crazy." Thanks so much for that you mental nurse!  So I was in a haze not knowing what was wrong with me because NO ONE would give me an answer. The neurologist wanted to send me home on seizure medicine the second (or was it third) day but my husband fought for me. He firmly told the neurologist that I needed a spinal tap because it might be meningitis. The neurologist said, "you have been on the Internet too much." My husband was furious. As was I, but I was in my happy place with all the pain meds I was on. So the neurologist ordered a spinal tap--but could not be done until 24 hours! What a spiteful idiot doctor. So I had to wait a full day to get what I needed. The next day rolled around and I woke up in horrible pain--I was moaning and groaning in my hospital bed from the horrible pain I was having in my head. I was so comforted because when I woke up, my mom was in the room. That made me so happy to know she was there with me. Finally it was spinal tap time. They decided to use an ultrasound machine to guide them to the right area since the ER doctor tried and missed days before. The spinal tap started. I was laying on my stomach just along for the ride....to me it was just another test that the hospital could poke me with. They took out a lot of spinal fluid. The neurologist ordered to take out extra (at least he did one thing right.) It was clear thankfully by God's graces the fluid was clear. Which meant I had viral spinal meningitis. They measured the pressure of my spinal fluid and it came to be a 43. I learned later that at a 48 people go comatose and can loose any function of their body. Sight, hearing, speech or worse. After the spinal tap I was on top of the world. That is the first time in about 4 weeks I did not have that debilitating headache. I had to lay flat for a few hours to let my body rest from the spinal tap-if I were to move or lift my head my symptoms would get worse. So I laid flat while my aunt visited and brought paradise bakery for my mom and I. My mom fed me fresh fruit with a fork, and I was able to eat half a sandwich (was tricky to eat a sandwich laying down. I thought of Mama Cass.) A day past and the snooty neurologist came in and quickly said that I did have spinal meningitis and that my case was being turned over to the infectious disease doctor. Well hallelujah we have a diagnosis! I was in the hospital for a total of 6 days. The fluid inside my spine was so high that it was pushing on my brain causing horrible symptoms and pain. Recovery has been crazy. I was on ordered bed rest for 10 days then do what I could as tolerated. It has taken me up to now to be back on my feet. I still am recovering- the only thing that bothers me is my eyes. The spinal pressure was so high that it stretched the nerves and muscles in my eyes causing double vision, sore/achy eyes, light sensitive, random flashes of light, and seeing "fireworks" every time I stand up. But I will take my eye sensitivity over the headaches. I am thankful to be alive.
That is my adventure with spinal meningitis. It was something that I will never forget because there was more than one miracle that happened which I did not mention. I am very appreciative to so many people who helped me while I was sick: my mother in law and father in law for showing up when I was in the ER. For my brother and sister in law running to get me food and giving gifts. For my husband who fought for my spinal tap and being my rock. For all the phone calls of comfort and well wishes. For my sister in law for filling my fridge with her delicious home made food (and bringing my husband a whole cheesecake on his birthday while I was in the hospital) For my mom for shopping at Costco for me, and for bringing me clean underwear every day, and for being the best mom I could ever ask for. For my sister in law for driving me around on my errands while I could not drive. For my sister for staying at my house to help me with my kids. For my friends and ward for making me dinners for a week.  For my sister in law for watching my kids and cleaning my house, and doing laundry. For my dad for taking my kids out of the house so they would not witness me fainting and having seizures. For all those who offered prayers and good thoughts for me and my family. I hope I did not leave anyone out - If I did I blame it on the meningitis.
   THANK YOU

2 comments:

  1. We love ya and are so glad you're on the mend! Glad you recorded your story :)

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  2. Holy cow. I'm so sad that I didn't know about this until after it was all over. Hopefully there is not a next time, but if there is, I'm just down the street and will drop everything if you need me. What a scary story! And thank goodness Matt insisted on the spinal tap. Hooray for good, inspired husbands! Love you! And I'm glad you are alive still. :)

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