In sickness

I've been wanting to write this out for a bit, because I haven't been able to be online as actively as I would like in the last couple of weeks.

I got sick on 4/12 with what turned out to be a bad kidney infection.  I had to go into the hospital on 4/16 and didn't get out until 4/19.

I was feeling great on that Wednesday.  Went to the pool and did my laps.  Made plans with friends to see the Veronica Mars movie.  Everything was looking good.  Then that night I got really sick.  Fever, chills, back pain.

I thought it was the flu and figured it would get better over the weekend.  It didn't.  And that's how I ended up in the hospital with too high blood pressure and a heart rate that was too fast.  Turns out I was dehydrated from the fever giving me the sweats.

This is scary, but apparently not unheard of.  The thing that makes it complicated is that I'm allergic to all the good antibiotics for this, so they had to do IV meds.  And since I had to keep taking the antibiotics for about 2 weeks, they had to put a more permanent IV in. 

 My PICC line

My PICC line

That's how I ended up with a PICC line in my arm, which is this longer lasting IV that they thread up thru your arm vein into your chest to end up in a large vein near the heart.

Scary scary scary.  Those tubes just hanging out of my arm... *shudder*  It freaks me out a bit.

Now I'm doing my own IV antibiotic infusions every 8 hours.  And I'm on short term disability until they can take it out.  We're hoping this can happen next week, barring any complications.  Then I'll be back at work, and everything can get back to normal. **HOPE**

Usually, I like to write blog posts on Fridays and stay pretty active on Tumblr and Twitter, but this situation has put me out of commission pretty hard.  I'm still hanging out on Twitter (@Artists_Ali) but that's about all I'm capable of at the moment.

It's actually really nice to sit here and type this out, because I haven't felt able to sit at the computer long enough to do something like this until today.

I had a few other things I wanted to say about the experience. 

If you go into the emergency room for any reason-- TAKE OFF YOUR RINGS.  They put an IV in my hand that blew it up about 3 times it's normal size.  I couldn't even close my hand for 2 days.  I remembered in the ER that my mom had said to always take off your rings in the hospital, and I am very glad I did.  I would have lost my engagement ring.  I would have been so upset by that.

I can't even explain to you how amazing Josh has been through this entire ordeal.  I can't really lift anything.  I can't stand up long enough to do the dishes. I can't take laundry into the basement where the washer is.  I can't take a shower by myself. When I got back from the hospital, I couldn't even dress myself.

I would have been lost without Josh.  He is my heart and all my love, and I would always be lost without him.  But I would have been in much worse shape without his help.  

Even now, as I'm getting better every day, it's still a struggle.  The meds make me tired and mess with my emotions. 

I am also so thankful that I have health insurance.  I didn't have it for a very long time in my 20s, and I always think about how much things would cost me if I was still uninsured.  I would guess this whole thing would be somewhere at $300,000.  It's shocking.  

It's shocking that we let people go without health care in the US, and it sickens me.  I will never forget what it felt like to try to desperately postpone an ER visit because I knew the cost could wipe me out financially.  This is a fucked system we have.  We can do better.

It's also kind of stunning how much help is available once you are in a position not to be actually desperate for help.  I am very glad we won't lose out on the paycheck for the time I'm missing, but when I was in a position that missing one paycheck would have ruined me- I wasn't in a job where I was eligible for short term disability.  Funny how that works.  (Not really.)

I'm getting tired again, so I'm going to go back to the couch and watch Scandal.  I'll be back to my old self in no time, I'm sure.  I hope.  

Feel free to email me or catch up with me on Twitter.  Things are going to be a bit slower for a minute, but I'll see you all later.