Hospital Is Imminent; Michy is Eminent

So here she goes again with another post about her health. Seems all Michy ever talks about anymore is her health… well, it’s true. I know it’s true, because it’s bugging the crap out of me that there doesn’t seem to be anything but my health in my life right now. I wake up, take my temps, take my BP, take my blood sugar, record it all, then take my meds, set my alarm to take the next round of meds, and then lay back down and wait for the meds to kick in. I take my pulse ox several times per day. I can’t get out of bed by myself, can’t walk without nearly passing out, or sometimes actually passing out, and I can’t even roll over in bed without my pulse hitting over 140… all of this with oxygen tubes stuck up my nose.

… so yeah, with all this, I can say my health takes front and center for nearly everything in my life and because I feel bad, I can barely function right now. Fortunately, I have good people around me who help med out, but I feel so guilty when I can’t do even the simplest things for myself. I can’t even go to the bathroom without help. That’s degrading in ways you can’t even imagine.

Just typing this right now, I have to take several breaks, because the muscles in my arms get tired of holding themselves up and I have to pull them back and let them rest between paragraphs just to get through typing this.

I can’t do anything I love.

And by anything, you know, of course, I mean… ahem, anyone. Yeah. Ahem. Okay. Moving along….

UTMB OR WHAT?

The hard part for me right now is knowing where to go and what to do. I know that I need to be in the hospital. Back home, in Slowdeathya (Odessa, Texas), I would know where to go. The hospital takes you no matter what, even if you can’t pay upfront, and then they bill you. And bill you. And bill you. But they take you. And they treat you and refer you or they admit you. Here, they actually, at some hospitals, will refuse you if you can’t pay. Well, they’ll make sure you’re not going to drop dead, then they’ll take you to another hospital. It’s crazy. I never dealt with these issues back home.

So how do people pay for hospital stays when they don’t have insurance? I guess if you don’t have money to put up a deposit, you can just die, right? Sad.

UTMB is a teaching hospital and facility. They are county funded and they take indigent-care patients too. So it’s probably the best bet, if I want to avoid a huge hospital bill or upfront deposit. Well, the problem is, UTMB is on Galveston Island, which is a good ways away from where I live. And I have to get there with no oxygen. Not sure that can happen… so I need a portable oxygen machine to even get to the hospital, or else take an ambulance, which costs a ton of money.

CLEARLAKE REGIONAL

Well, I wanted to go to the Clear Lake. The hospital is amazing. It has valet parking, for free. Seriously! The inside is gorgeous too, beautiful marble columns, walls and floors, shiny elevator doors, and gorgeous atriums with plants and flowers. The staff there were so friendly when I was there to get my ACTH stimulation test for Addison’s Disease. I wanted to go there sooo badly. And I still might.

The good news is, it’s right down the street from us. Close to home is a good thing.

The problem is, a week or two ago, we were there with my daughter for a deep contusion and they don’t let anyone go into the triage area with the patient. I have this anxiety thing that happens sometimes, and especially when under stress with my health, and not having someone I know and love with me is NOT going to go over well. I won’t do it. I’d walk out before I let them tell me I couldn’t have someone with me. UTMB’s website says that one person can be with the patient during triage, and two can be with the patient once in a room after triage. Of course, as long as we’re being quiet, as many as want can be in the private room after admission.

PRIVATE ROOMS OR SHARED ROOMS?

That’s another thing I haven’t thought about… will I have to share a room? Back home, there were no shared rooms. Every room was private, so I never worried about it, but this area is different, and these hospitals are different. I don’t know that I could share a room with a stranger. That would be very hard for me and my anxiety.

BESIDE THE POINT

All of that is beside the point and mostly just me rambling my fingers off and talking out loud to you guys. I know it’s time to go in. I know if I don’t go in, I’m just going to get progressively worse and die. I don’t want to die. I was hoping we could hold out until October, when the PCIP insurance kicked in. That would make life so much easier on us financially and emotionally. But this last turn for the worst says we can’t wait until October. I keep hoping this is just a flare, a short flare, and it will go away, or get better, and I’ll be able to hold out until October.

But when I can’t even lean forward in a chair without my pulse hitting 140 plus, and standing up makes me fall down… well, you know, I’m thinking waiting isn’t such a good idea. Three days or so until I see the new doctor on Wednesday is one thing. A month 1/2 until insurance kicks in? Not so much. I don’t think my family or the new doctor is going to let me wait.

THE NEW DOCTOR – INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST

The new doctor is an internal medicine specialist with a specialty in treating and managing chronic diseases. Well, that’s what I’ve got: multiple chronic diseases!

She has excellent ratings and reviews online, with people saying she really listens to the patient, really takes the time to hear them, looks at symptoms, and doesn’t just blow things off. I’m glad to read that. The cardiologist I saw earlier this month recommended her, highly, and we really, really liked the cardiologist too. So I’m very hopeful. He also recommended a pulmonologist, but we haven’t made an appointment with him yet, because we’re waiting to see what this primary care doc is going to do. She’s supposed to be the type of doc who can manage and work together with specialists to coordinate my care.

The reason we needed this so badly is because I have so many different things going on, I have too many doctors. One doctor gave my Bystolic for some blood pressure/pulse regulation, but that doc didn’t realize that Bystolic blocks T4 to T3 conversion for my thyroid meds that I get from my Endo. The Endo was giving my hydrocortisone for the Addison’s, but another doc wanted me on prednisone for the DM possibility. Well, hydrocortisone and prednisone do the same thing, really, and I can’t double up on that without major side effects. So it’s little things like that, which a doctor like this is supposed to watch out for. I hope it works.

She’s scheduled us for an entire hour. Most docs have 15-minute slots. She only sees 12 patients per day, so she can leave room for necessary walk-ins, and so she never overloads her bookings. This is amazing to me. It means she really DOES care about patient care. She also takes my insurance, when the insurance finally kicks in and she’s got privleges at UTMB where I want to go.

Everything about her seems perfect…

THE UNIVERSE IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND SOMETIMES

I don’t know why the universe would put this perfect doctor right in front of me, and then make me so sick that I might have to bypass her and go into the hospital myself. I don’t know why the universe would get me so close to having insurance and then force my hand to put me in the hospital before that kicks in. It all makes zero sense to me, but I sure wish the universe had better timing!

But at this point, I did find out that UTMB has free wi-fi, so I’ll be online the entire time. I’ll blog from the hospital, I’m sure. I’ll give you updates and such. I figure I’ll be in the hospital at least a week, probably closer to two weeks, and from what I’ve read, if I do end up having to have the surgery we think I might have to have, I could be in for much longer than that. I won’t get into the surgery and the problems with all that right now, because it’s an uncertainty and I don’t want to put that kind of energy into the universe if it’s not something I’ll have to deal with.

The point is, I’m probably going to be going into the hospital very soon… and I’ll probably be in there for quite a while.

My goal? Get out of the hospital not only alive, but also as healthy as I can be.

I have too much left to do. I have novels that need writing. I have manuscripts that are incomplete – one cannot die with an incomplete manuscript! It’s against the law, or something! I have family who loves me, gourmet food that is begging for me to cook it for the family, and a creative arts center I want to open. I have kids who are grown or almost grown who need to have a mother in their lives at these tender young adult ages. I’m in the middle of reading a book – as the song says, “Who could ever walk away at chapter 21?”

So it’s off to the hospital I will go… wish me luck on waiting until Wednesday to make that happen, at least, until we see the new doctor. I could really use prayers and good thoughts and love and light and peace and calming energy.

I’m very scared right now… I don’t say that often, but I need you all to understand, I am very scared right now. This is very scary stuff.

I love you all… thank you so much for your support and friendship during this time.

Love and stuff,
Michy

 

Just in case you’re wondering what all this looks like, here are some pics of what I’m dealing with – at least, part of it:

The eyes are swollen, as well as my entire face. If you look at it full sized, you’ll see the moisture, which is salt water leaking from my eyelids – not crying like tears, but literally leaking salt water from my eyelids. It burns and the saltiness is corrosive and hurts my eyes. You’ll also see the yellowing around the eyes and the redness and rashiness of the face, where small cappillaries appear to rupture near the surface of the skin. Doesn’t hurt, but it burns like it’s hot.

 

 

 

These would then be my feet. At one point, last night, the skin on the one foot was so tight, I was afraid it would split open if I bent it. I cannot bend at my ankles or my knees right now. This is while restricting fluids and taking two Lasix 40mg duiretics daily. It’s crazy. They have no idea where the edema is coming from or why, but it’s throughout my body. Fingers, hands, face, neck – really bad on my neck – and in my abdomen and my legs… just everywhere. It hurts and I’m very tender to the touch too. Not good stuff.

 

 

 

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17 comments to Hospital Is Imminent; Michy is Eminent

  • Buffy  says:

    There are things we know. There are things we suspect. There are things we simply don’t know. There are things which will be revealed by time. There are things which we might never know or understand.

    I want healing for you. If that means that I have to trade potential understanding for your cure, I can live with that. I’ve had faith for lesser reasons.

  • Magena  says:

    I love you for you have endured so much pain but you are still open and haven’t lost your sense of humor. I am praying for you.

  • Jesse  says:

    I wish you strength right now and hope you find the best care possible.

  • sharkbytes  says:

    Hang in there and keep us posted. There are lots of us “with” you

  • Jennifer Wright  says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you that I know how you feel, but I understand how you must feel about a lot of stuff. We are here for you, like Sharkbytes said. Keep blogging about whats going on, I think that really helps you sort things out mentally. And it is ok to be scared. Good grief, who wouldn’t be. I hope today brings a better day for you. ((Hugs)) and love and prayers sent your way.

  • admin  says:

    Thanks, everyone.

    Jennifer, you nailed it when you said writing about it sorts it out in my head. I does help. After I wrote this post, I cried and told Lynn I knew it was time for me to go in. We’re talking about going in today, but we still don’t have a way to get me there with the oxygen, and I refuse to take an ambulance when I don’t need to take one. So we’re probably going to relax and spend the day in bed watching things very carefully, and I’ll go in tomorrow when we can get with the medical supply place and get a portable tank or concentrator I can take with me. The Island is about half an hour away, 45 minutes in traffic, plus parking time and such, and I can’t go that long without oxygen. We tried, and my sats just drop too much after just 5 minutes.

    Anyway, my point is, I know reading only about my health probably gets old – it gets old for me dealing with mostly my health all the freaking time too – but it really DOES help me get to how I’m feeling in a way that nothing else does, even just talking about it. Writing about it, something about writing about it, for me, just makes a difference.

    I love you guys who are willing to slog through every one of my posts. That amazes me and you have no idea how much it means to me. Even if you have to skim them! LOL

    Love and stuff,
    Michy

  • Cin  says:

    First argument — You do need an ambulance. Not being able to breath = call an ambulance. If getting into the hospital will mean that maybe they can get this straightened out, get thee to a hospital.

    Second argument –since when do we object to blogs about your health? You need to work it all out in your mind; we need updates about you. Even if we can’t offer much more than prayers and understanding, we can only offer that when we know.

    Third argument — Did I mention “get thee to a hospital?” I’d prefer not to think about burying my friends. You have too much to do to be unable to breath. So, with all the love and support I can offer, find out where the new primary care doc has hospitl priviledges, call an ambulance and get thee to a hospital.

    I seriously need your help getting this writing career off the ground, so you absolutely must get well.

    Love & hugs & healing light,

    Cindy

    • admin  says:

      Cindy, The not breathing thing isn’t so much not breathing as it is my pulse ox dropping too low… I’ve been on supplemental oxygen for almost a month now, tied to these tubes and can’t go or do anything, not that I feel like going or doing anything. The doc already checked me out and didn’t admit me then, so it’s not bad enough to worry about going straight to the hospital, it’s just that I don’t want to try to make the drive without the oxygen. So if I absolutely must go today or tomorrow early, then we’ll get an inverter for the car and take the big concentrator. If we can wait until Monday, I am going to try to get a portable O2 concentrator, and then I’ll be fine.

      Second – eh… it was a casual comment someone in real life and someone else in virtual world said about how it seems that all I ever talk about anymore is my health. One of them was just being sort of ugly about it and the other was trying to get me to be upbeat and happy and think of the good things in my life. Either way, I do realize health has permeated everything recently, so thus the apology of sorts. Not meant to insult you guys, just so sick of the only thing I can think to write about is how I feel.

      Third – I’m too damned stubborn to die. I mean that. I should have been dead twelve times over by now and I’m still kicking. I’m not going anywhere any time soon… the new doc has privleges at UTMB, and that’s why we are going there, along with the fact it’s the county hospital, so they won’t require me to pay upfront and will bill us for it.

      There is a method to my madness… and Beth is right in that I have to temper my health with my wealth, so to speak, and that there are things far more important than money. So that’s why I’m not trying to push and wait until October when the insurance kicks in. Instead, I’m going to go this week, I’m just really hoping I can wait until the primary care doc meets with me. I just think being in the hospital when I have someone coordinating the care would make it faster, easier and better overall for me than going through an ER admit where they know nothing of me and start from scratch.

      As for your writing career, you’re doing a fine job with it…. you don’t NEED me or anyone else, because you’ve got talent and skill. You’ll do exactly what you want to do exactly when you’re ready to do it!

      Love and stuff,
      Michy

  • Rissa Watkins  says:

    Never apologize for writing or being scared. We are scared for you. I absolutely refuse to lose you too so you are going to be okay. You are going to rest today and feel a little better then tomorrow will get the portable oxygen, go to the hospital and they are going to make you better.

    They are going to figure out everything wrong with you and fix it. And then you will finish your novel, get published on the best seller’s list and have all of your dreams and plans come to fruition.

    That’s it. I am tired of the shitty. That is what is gonna happen because I said so.

    Love you.

    • admin  says:

      Okay. I’ll take that… here’s to good health!

      I’m tired of shitty too. It will happen because you, me and so many others all say so!

      Love and stuff,
      Michy

  • Cin  says:

    Rissa is absolutely right! We will it and therefore it will happen.

  • Angela Parson Myers  says:

    Feel so bad for you.

    For some reason, I keep thinking about an article I read about a woman who was suffering from extreme muscle weakness–so bad she was confined to a wheelchair. Doctors tested her for everything under the sun that causes muscle weakness. Finally discovered that she had too much zinc in her system. Where had it come from? From her denture adhesive. Her dentures fit badly, so she was replacing it several times a day. When they discovered that, they also were able to “cure” several other people with unexplained muscle weakness.

    Don’t know why I felt like I should share that, but maybe it means something. Would hate to not share info you might need just because I feel silly about it.

    Sending you prayers and healing energy.

    • admin  says:

      It’s funny you’re sharing this. I was telling Ryan yesterday I think that it would be funny if we were to find out that this was something really super simple that was causing all this horrible stuff – something like, I just need to stop eating X or Y or that the new vitamins I’m taking are toxic or something… some small something that means nothing to me, and it all goes away…

      … who knows? It could happen, right?

      Love and stuff,
      Michy

  • Beth  says:

    I hate that you’re going through all of this. I hate that you feel shitty. And I really hate that you think you should feel even a little bit bad about the fact that for right now, your health is your main topic of conversation.

    You’ll get through this, Michy. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. And you won’t have to do it alone. Not only do you have a wonderful support system right there with you, you have a whole network of people who care about you and are praying for you. The answers are out there and they will be found. They will be found this time, not at some far off date, but this time. This week. It will all start to turn around this week.

    I’ll keep checking your blog for updates, as I’m sure that many others will, too. And between updates, I’ll be holding you close in my prayers.

    You are not alone, not by a longshot.


    Beth

  • admin  says:

    Beth, thank you… thank you so much, everyone else too.

    It is felt, your love and your friendship are felt… and you’re right. I’ll get through this.

    I’ve been keeping myself doped up all day, up for about an hour and then sleeping the rest of the time. It’s helped, tremendously, with the pain and with the swelling. My feet are finally starting to have some relief.

    The problem with laying down so much is that the sciatic pain usually kicks in. It’s hard, because I need to move around to get rid of the sciatic pain, but I can’t move around ’cause of the other stuff. So I’m taking Gabapentin again, which helps with the sciatic pain, but man, does it make me loopy. I mean, super loopy… which is helping me sleep, which is helping me heal, so I guess it’s all good.

    If I can just stay in bed and not move, I think we’re okay until Wednesday… I’m very hopeful. If I take a turn for the worse, we’ll head in to the ER though.

    I’m honestly, truly, doing okay right at this very moment. Not great, but okay… I’ll definitely keep everyone posted! Thank you!

    Love and stuff,
    Michy

  • LaurieDM  says:

    Good God, that looks painful. That looks like my Shannon when she has a reaction to a bee sting. (I still think allergies to something might be PART of the overall picture.)

    I agree with Cin. GET TO THE HOSPITAL. Of course you are scared. Who the heck wouldn’t be? I have no insurance, but I reached critical in December and had no choice but to go and yeah they treated me like someone in a Dickens novel and I felt like the scum of the earth, but I had no choice. My gut would have exploded if I hadn’t and the pain was undearable and increasing every day. Now I have a HUGEEE bill I have no idea how I will pay off, but at least I am sitting here typing this.

    If writing about it makes you feel even a little bit better, then do it. If someone doesn’t want to read it, they don’t have to. (I had my gut cut open from a huge dermoid cyst years ago,with a 13 inch incision and I almost died from the cyst. I had a photo of what I looked like post-surgery. I showed it to a family member while I was healing and that person said that they didn’t want to see the photo because it was gross and that person didn’t want to deal with it. I was kind of stunned and hurt. I responded saying, “Why? All you have to do is look for a couple seconds at a photo , not at the real thing. YOU don’t have to LIVE it either. You aren’t feeling the pain.” That did shut that person up.) It isn’t about them or us; it is about you and what you need right now. It is better to release some of the fear and stress than bottling it up like a time bomb waiting to detonate and if writing about it is what releases some for you, keep doing it.

    • admin  says:

      Thanks, Laurie. I remember how hard that time was for you. I am so sorry you were treated that way. You deserved so much better than that. I am grateful that UTMB doesn’t treat people that way – they have the highest patient satisfaction rating of any place I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard such wonderful things about them. They’re on the island and a bit of a drive away from me, but ti’s going to be worth it, I think.

      Hopefully your scar is much better now, and I know you are much better now. It’s a shame we have to go through these things to be who we are, but I’m grateful these things saved your life – and will save mine too! We’re tough, Laurie – tough women, and we persevere!

      Thanks so much for your kind words… I appreciate them and you.

      Love and stuff,
      Michy

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