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Gwenivere

Grief removes all guard rails

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I feel like my life is stuck in the past.  No matter how hard I've worked at it, I'm haunted by memories.  I can't handle the music.  Bad enough I'm surrounded by ghosts from the past...

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I’m back in the ER.  I had a hard time breathing yesterday and fell twice after getting out of the shower, my legs just buckled.  I didn’t anticipate the pain that would happen overnight. I also slept for hours (6 was supposed to be half a hour) missing my dinner and being just enough time to eat a little and go back to bed a few hours before getting woke to meds and get a couple more hours for the real deal.  My poor dogs have had days of me getting up with just enough time to make preps for bedtime again.   I’m sorely disappointed on how this trek has gone.  I’m also so disoriented which doesn’t help.  Just waiting on tests.  This’s the first time my oxygen hasn’t held up on room air as I am not doing anything. I had plans for today and they didn’t include this.  Just hoping I can go home with no broken bones and an explanation about the oxygen.  It took me hours to type this.  Time to see if I can manage getting to the restroom.

 I am being admitted.  I hate this.  Seems my chest X-ray now shows early pneumonia.  Takes forever to get upstairs  and have had many more blood draws and another CT for my lungs after the one for hips.  Already on IV antibiotics.  I asked I could go home and the doc said yes, but I would be back and showing me the X-ray compared to least Weds I could even see the drastic changes.  I’ve been watching anther patient detox from alcohol. Trying to get things set for the dogs thru my dog friend.  Being away from them will be the hardest. I so miss Steve all the time but this is going to be very hard like last time.  They asked me if it was OK  to tell visitors not to make any treks.  Like they could!  Stuff like this makes you feel extra alone.  So glad you are all here.  

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1 hour ago, Gwenivere said:

I’m back in the ER.  I had a hard time breathing yesterday and fell twice after getting out of the shower, my legs just buckled.  I didn’t anticipate the pain that would happen overnight.  

My poor dogs have had days of me getting up with just enough time to make preps for bedtime again.   

Just waiting on tests.  This’s the first time my oxygen hasn’t held up on room air as I am not doing anything.

Just hoping I can go home with no broken bones and an explanation about the oxygen.

Gwen:  Keeping you in my heart and my best thoughts you will get thru this.  How I wish I could be there to help.  Dee

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Gwen, I have no words (hard to believe.)  I'm not real good at my mustard seed faith, and know you don't feel the same way, but I cannot do anything this far away from you but pray.  I'm gonna put all the faith I can put into the prayer.  I do know doctors are surprised at the results of prayer.  Love you Gwen, I hope the rest of this month is kinder to you and then we will take it a day at a time.  That is all we can do anyhow.   That's all I have when you are 2,300 miles away.  Your in my heart and on my mind.

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Thank you Dee and Marg.  

Does it get to people like it does to me watching TV and seeing normal people in (even in drug commercials) portraying normal life?  I’m in this hospital room and feeling anything but normal.  Gawd, the things you have to do to take your meds on schedule, how they watch you all the time, go thru your things, wake you for vitals.  I know it’s for the good, but it sure is intrusive.  The respiratory guy said if I got more than 2 hours rest this place would have to be reclassified as a hotel.  I haven’t a clue how I will sleep here. 

Feel free to skip my varied and probably lots of ramblings.  I have a feeling there will be many despite my massive (ahem, so untrue) real life fan club.

i hope all of you are doing well out there.

 

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Gwen, so sorry you are back in your favorite place...NOT...but glad they caught this early. Pneumonia is nothing to mess with!

Glad you have your phone or tablet to talk to us. I know how lonely it must feel. I felt like I was on another planet when I was stuck in the hospital in Ky. Glad my SIL brought me his laptop to talk to you guys here. Kept me sane, sort of.

Keep us posted. We love you.

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I'm so sorry Gwen, I wish I could be there for you, hope they get you feeling better soon, you will be in my thoughts, love you and sending hugs.

 

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9 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Does it get to people like it does to me watching TV and seeing normal people in (even in drug commercials) portraying normal life?

Gwen, my friend, at my age of 77, you are living more of a normal life than a lot of people.  The things you are going through are "normal" for my friends.  One of my best friends was taking care of her older brother (by a couple of years) while he refused any more treatment for his two cancers.  She owns her own business and at 77, has not been able to slow down.  She put out $5000 for a stair lift, to keep him from falling down the stairs.  I just "talked" to her online and she is at her daughter's house.  She cannot go "home." She has finally quit work and is given two months without treatment, six months with treatment.  But, she finally got to quit work.  She is 92 pounds with stomach cancer.  While she was taking care of everyone else, she won't have to anymore.  Another "sister from another mother" just had her aortic valve repaired or replaced.  They have done Dopplers on her legs now for the terrible swelling.  Her husband died last year about this time.  Her companion, "Little Man" passed away last month.  Her kids are bringing his sister "Little Gurl" to live with her.  Both tiny dogs. These two, while taking care of others, could not take care of themselves to terminal results.  I sent my condolences to another classmate that lost her husband the 28th of December.  My friend Hettie told me when I was crying over losing a classmate "At our age, we are going to lose friends."  So, this existence you are going through is the real normal for people of my age.  On top of that, to add insult to injury, our car insurance goes up to our teenagers rates because we are dangerous.  I have not had a ticket and only one wreck (other person's fault) since the 1960's.  So, "normal" is a little red truck headed downhill with us in it.  No steering apparatus.  Those things we see on TV are actors.  We are the real life and we hurt, we fret if the MiraLax does not work as it should, we fall when we shouldn't.  A cane trips me, so I take it slower.  

Do not take hot showers.  I never could stress that enough to Billy or my kids.  Too hot will make you dizzy.  I keep plenty of things to hold on to.  Yet, my biggest fall was missing a step on some front steps that were to  be decorative.  A tiny step made me fall with my fluffy rear end onto my ankle.  Immediate trip to  ER.  He wrapped it after X-raying it  He did not know I heard him call it a hairline fracture.  Some old cars are not fit for repair, only duct tape and gorilla glue.  

Normal is my sister walking to my apartment, probably 150 steps away, sitting down and breathing so hard I get afraid for her.  She will go use one of her breathelizer's (whatever that is), then she will chain smoke until time for another treatment.  We both are afraid of Alzheimer's after her taking care of Mama so long.  She plans on going either coughing to death or possibly in her sleep.  We have seen too much "normal."  

As big as Seattle is, and I  know it is a drag, maybe a change in ER's might bring more comfort for you.  But then there is the insurance okay, the transferring of medical information, and perhaps not even allowing  you to change.  We get into a medical prison system.  

People used to say that "normal" was only the directions on a washing machine.  I have a new machine and "normal" is nowhere to be seen.  I think we need a new college course "how to  use new washing machines and dryers." 

I know I  use the word "normal" loosely, but then again, I never knew what it meant.  We have to just keep trying.  My son is deep in his bipolar depression and  my daughter who drove non-stop to Savannah, Georgia to get her brother, spent the night, turned around and came back, only stopping for gasoline.  Well, she  is in bed with the flu and with her immune system already compromised, feel sure pneumonia will follow, it always does.   We have to just fight the good fight, and you are already doing that.  

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Gwen,

I am so sorry!  I will add you to my prayers.  It just seems you've had way more than your share.  Praying you get well enough to come home and be with your dogs, but don't rush it, Pneumonia is nothing small, I've had it.  

I had to have Kitty put to sleep today (wrote about it in Loss of Pet), I am very sad.  My family, Arlie and Kitty, are both gone.  I buried her next to him.  Life is just so hard sometimes.

I'm glad you have someone taking care of your dogs.

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I think what you are telling me, Marg, is that thing that are happening happen to everyone, but I might be getting a taste of things a bit early.  Sure feels that way.  I’m no spring chicken, but I cannot believe,but have to, by 5 serious maladies that feed off each other and treatment for one leaves me vulnerable to another.  I’m laid up in a hospital and my pulmonologist's parter wanted to know why I had declined immune-suppression therapy.  I said seriously?  I’m laying here with the worst infection I’ve had and you think I should suppress my immune system more?  Isn’t 3 antibiotics enough to try and fight this when I am so weak I can barely get to the bathroom?   I think he meant my body attacking itself, like in hypothyroidism and arthritis, but I won’t take the chance.so today is a battle with the physician I’m assigned as he doesn’t understand my Xanax med schedule.  It as like this last time.   They want to stick to doses and spacing which is vanilla not getting it s different with a disorder.  My 'recipe' of what works is different than what is prescribed as needed.

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Kay, I am soooooo sorry about Kitty.  This is a horrid Monday.   She and Arlie are hopefully together, but that does not ease your broken heart.   Holding you in mine. 💔

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27 minutes ago, kayc said:

I had to have Kitty put to sleep today (wrote about it in Loss of Pet), I am very sad.  My family, Arlie and Kitty, are both gone.  I buried her next to him.  Life is just so hard sometimes.

kayc:  Sad you had to help Kitty over the Rainbow Bridge.  Can't imagine the pain so soon after Arlie.  They are all together with your George.  Agree: "Life is just so hard sometimes."  Dee

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3 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

is that thing that are happening happen to everyone,

No, you are much younger than I am.  I am saying what we at 77 are facing with regularity.  I guess it is called life and death.  

My daughter cannot have a flu shot because of her immunocompromised state.  She has von Willebrand's (Factor VIII) in her blood and will bleed like hemophilia.  She inherited the tendency from me.  I have Factor IX. Then she had the teratoma tumors that do not metastasize but grow in one place and they spread, but not like fingers, like seeds.  She had a hysterectomy late teens,  early 20's.  She just finished immunotherapy that left her with terrible headaches on the first two days.  She has to have the platelets built up all the time.  She has diabetes from medicine they gave her for bipolar and she has hypothyroidism too.  They sent her to The Cleveland Clinic for special radiation and then followed by hospital down here that sent two docs to train in this radiotherapy.  She  might be around your age.  She was born in 1967.  As a small child she scratched a mosquito bite and I sat up all night with my finger on the tiny spot and when I moved my finger it spurted like an oil well.  Got her to hematologist the next day emergently.   It was not a bleeder vein, just the discovery of the von Willebrand's.  I think they have to give her vitamin K before and after surgery.  Right now it is quiescent, but she goes back to doc Thursday.  We'll see.  

So no, I was not comparing yours to elderly people.  It is something we all fight daily if we live long enough.  But, my daughter has these problems constantly.  My sister is 68 and I have been to the  ER with her more than once, about 11:00 pm usually.  At first I did not realize she had started drinking again, but if I had taken care of my mom there is not enough alcohol to relieve the turmoil.  She has been in AA for two years or more now.  But, her lungs are so damaged.  So, I am some familiar with your problems.  Myself, nothing will save me, so I have to try to stay out of the ER.  Once since Billy left.  And, I am in terrible shape.  Duct tape and Gorilla glue only.  Nothing can fix me.  But if they keep ignoring you, try to find a new one.  Unless you are in insurance prison.  Our lives have been dictated by people other than us.  

Kay, I'm sorry about your kitty.  I hope this winter is kinder to you.   

And Gwen, I agree 100% with you having your Xanax as you take it.  That is why I go to Arkansas twice a year.  In Louisiana I would have to go back to doctor once a month to get refill.  And, if anyone disagrees it bothers me not at all.  I take only as prescribed.  I told the doc that I did not want to ever quit it.  With my neurological condition, they agree with me.  I hope they listen to you.  

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Gwen, 

You are battling too much at once and there's nothing fair about it.  I hope at least you can get a doctor that will listen to you and understand what you are saying.

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A little morbid humor here, but sometimes I think we feel like this...

PBS.jpg

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Kay, I think it's priceless and very much "on the money" sometimes. Going from a productive person to feeling somewhat useless is a hard pill to swallow.

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OH, so very true, Karen. It’s not It something we easily or even can replace.  It’s not like dropping just a plate.  It shatters but becomes useless. What we have lost is irreplaceable and definitely not useless.  It becomes a void nothing we can by can fill in anymore.  You can check the stock at Amazon, Target, and anyplace and nothing will fit that spot anymore.  It’s a vioid in ourselves crated by thehuge purpose life created in.life.by love stolen from us.

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Dee reminded me that I haven’t posted.  There is a good reason beyond being sick, frustrated and having my body put thru the drug and test mill.  

I have felt that my lungs would 'do me in'.  Seems that time is coming sooner than I expected.  I talked with the floor doc and the pulmonologist.  They are not sure they can get me independent from 24/7 oxygen.  I wore it at home inside and in the car.  I could go into the nursing home, stores, walk the yard and shower without it.  I know I’m sick right now, but I have to have it set super high to get from my bed to the bathroom.  I did take a walk outside my room.  Oxygen in tow, using a walker and wearing a brace belt, like I’ve seen many at Foss.  This time is was me decades younger than them.  So now there is talk about palliative care.  A chaplain came and talked to me that made me feel worse.  Dredge up all I have lost.  No solace I could relate to.

When I was in here the summer of 18, I could walk without so much pain.  It started the oxygen age as I remember driving home to meet the tech to get it set up.  It was also the year I quit smoking in December.  And here I am.  Feeling depressed more than I ever experienced.  

I’m trying to figure out how one stays sane in this situation and in such deep grief revived by being so alone.  I’m paying people to care for my dogs.  I need to pay for work in the yard.  I sit in this bed all day, try and sleep being woken up countless times.  If the fluid around my  lungs doesn’t go away, they are want to cut my side open.  I can turn down anything, but I want to see my home, my kids.  I can’t imagine not seeing or touching them again.  I wonder if they miss me?  Think about me.  Things are so very changed this time.  There’s so much time to think very dark, not mattering to someone who deeply loves you.  

I hope you know how much I treasure all of you.  For a time, I matter.  💖

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Gwen,

I have been waiting for your update, hoping you were just busy resting. My heart hurts for you. You will ALWAYS matter.

It took 8 days to diagnose my Aspergillus and forever to get any strength back. Maybe they have not given you enough time to heal or maybe it is time for a 2nd or 3rd opinion. Even with Aspergillus and COPD, I have never been put on oxygen. I have learned to live with the shortness of breath and dizziness. No more wilderness hiking for this girl.  LOL  I have never quit smoking which may get me in the end. I am not sure how you stay sane through all of this. I only know it is hell to get old and have to adapt to all these changes.

I know you are horribly depressed, but I also know you have a strong will to live even if you do not feel it. You want to get back home and take care of your fur babies and your home. You can bet they miss you and wonder where you are. You are their Mom!

Keeping you close to my heart.

Love,

Karen

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This is very sobering, I can only imagine what you are going through, it'd be easy to go into despondency.  I agree with Karen, it can't hurt to get a second opinion when your life is at stake, and certainly your way of life.  You are one of us, and I grieve for all you are going through.  Is there no way you can come home, maybe have a nurse check on your rather than be in the hospital?  

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

This is very sobering,

I thought perhaps if they were not giving you their full attention, then a new group of doctors would help.  But, it seems they are giving you attention and trying to take care of you.  One of my doctors saved my life, but the man still needed anger management training requested by the hospital,  (and that was before he got me for a patient) so it seemed you had one of those breed of doctors.  If you have been admitted, you have made someone pay attention to you.  Of course you matter to us.  Your many visits to the ER needed a doctor to pay attention to you.  Finally, it seems one has.  And with my sister needing oxygen so bad, but they keep it from her.  I can only hope the medications they give her can help.  I am her only relative that can give her any help, or hold her hand, so I know she will need me. (And my health may fail before hers.)   I know they send in people to help people that are stuck in the hospital.  For Billy's short time we had visits from two people twice a week.  I don't know from what department they came from, maybe it was Medicare and you are too young for that.  I don't remember getting bills from any agency).  Ask someone if some agency can provide help in your home while you are in the hospital.  We have a Senior Center here in town that helps.  My daughter is not old enough for the Senior Center and you might not be either.  The nurse that talked to you, ask her about someone helping with your home, and fur babies.  Until then, everyone wants to help and hope and prayers are all we can do.   

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I believe it's "Senior and Disabled" and I doubt she'd have a hard time getting a doctor to vouch for that.  She should qualify.

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