Wow it’s been an exciting week around here. For starters I’ve been sick since the beginning of August. I thought it was just a run of the mill chest cold/virus that Little carried home from school. We all went through it, but I was the only one who had lingering chest congestion.
I waited another two weeks before heading off to the urgent care clinic to get checked out. I still didn’t really feel bad, but I just couldn’t get the congestion to subside no matter what I did. So the urgent care doctor listened to my check, took my symptoms and made her assessment: bronchitis, possible pneumonia, or even an asthmatic flare with the humidity and pollen going into the harvest season. She prescribed me antibiotics for the pneumonia and steroids for the asthma. Certainly not a misdiagnosis, but also not a very thorough investigation.
The next day I took my antibiotics and steroids as prescribed. Not really knowing the severity of my infection, the antibiotics the doctor prescribed weren’t strong enough, and the steroids effectively destroyed what little of my taxed immune system was still hanging on. Less than 36hrs after being seen at the urgent care, I hobbled into the ER in severe sepsis, borderline septic shock.
I’ve had a bout with mild sepsis before, eleven years ago after an unfaithful boyfriend lead to an untreated UTI. This one was much, MUCH worse. I’m no pansy when it comes to pain threshold. I nearly delivered my daughter at home because I didn’t realize I was in labor, and hobbled my way around with a dislocated hip for years. Pain is not something that stops me very often, but the pain I experienced leading me to the ER and while they were assessing my condition was something else entirely. I cried. Literally bawled my eyes out for a good solid hour as they were taking all sorts of tests before administering any pain medications.
It was brutal. On top of all of this, Labor Day weekend is a fairly sensitive trauma anniversary for me; AND for some reason a person I’d rather never speak to again decided it was a wonderful time to contact me after several police officers and one detective have told her to leave me alone. Unfortunately none of her previous contact mattered when I called the police this time due to statutes and jurisdictions, but hopefully she gets the hint: NO MEANS NO GODDAMNIT. Needless to say, I’ve had a time with flashbacks and intrusive thoughts during all of this.
I’m actually coping fairly well all things considered. I’ve managed to stay grounded in the present, my thoughts are coming and going quickly, and my emotions have remained on a fairly even keel. My head is swimming and I feel slightly disconnected physically, but that I believe is due more to the super antibiotics they have me on and less to due with my PTSD. If it is my PTSD, I already had a standing appointment with my therapist so we’ll address it as necessary.
Physically they eventually found the extent of my pneumonia hidden at the bottom of both lungs. It wasn’t visible on an X-ray, they couldn’t really hear it via stethoscope, they had to do a CT scan. Once they figured it out, I was admitted and literally drenched in IV fluids and antibiotics. Thankfully they were able to clear the sepsis and get my infection under control in less than 48hrs and send me home to continue my recovery. The hospital itself was a very nice facility, and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. I still wanted to be at home with my Hubs and my babies instead.
One thing that’s made my recovery substantially easier this go around is the level of care my Hubs has provided. The first go around my boyfriend did take care of me. He helped me out of bed to and from the bathroom, made sure I ate even if his usual offering was a fast food cheeseburger, and kept lots of water and sports drinks available to keep me hydrated. He offered me the best he could in terms of care for as long as his guilty conscious kept bothering him anyway.
Hubs, on the other hand, has really been taking care of me. He’s prepared me breakfast and lunch at home making them complete meals, and treated me to a delicious steak dinner the first night I felt well enough to get out of the house. I was in better physical shape this go around and no quite as disabled after leaving the hospital but I’m certain he would have carried me to and fro if necessary.
The real difference between my husband and ex boyfriend isn’t really who cared for me better than the other, it’s where I land(ed) on their priorities. Hubs took time off and made his efforts to care for me a priority over everything except the kids. My boyfriend did what he could squeeze in for me between other women, work and his social life. While I’ve finally healed from the damage caused by my past relationship and harbor no hatred toward my ex, if I had to choose between steak and cheeseburgers… steak wins hands down. Nothing has made it so obvious as experiencing similar circumstances with both of them.