I just got out of the hospital after a five day stay. It came totally unexpected.
I wasn’t feeling well for a day or so then suddenly I spiked a fever along with unbearable pain.
I’ve learned by now NOT to ride out a fever of any kind especially one over 103. After another five hour emergency room visit, I learned that I was septic.
For the 4th time.
Sepsis is when they find bacteria in your blood. If left untreated it can cause organ damage, then your organs shut down, and then you die!
So, yeah, it’s kinda serious.
I really couldn’t believe it was happening again, but wasn’t overly stressed. Maybe I was too exhausted to feel stress.
Whenever I’m hospitalized I spend the first few days sleeping. Constantly.
I barely have the strength to lift a fork to my mouth during those times. I just want to sleep!
Once I start feeling better, I just want to go home. I yearn for my shower so I can scrub the hospital funk off and feel ready to join the human race again.
Every single hospitalization is extremely emotionally draining. Within a single day so much happens.
Doctors will change their minds multiple times, new information is given, then different information is given, next the specialists can’t agree on a treatment plan, and once you think everything is settled…it all changes and you’re back to square one.
It’s difficult to explain the complexity of a hospital stay. What I can assure you is that it is NOT a vacation. It is NOT stress-free. It is NOT comfortable. It basically sucks!
But I’ve learned to roll with the punches, take things with a grain of salt, and find humor in the situation.
However, no matter how prepared you think you are for the battle, you will have at least one mental breakdown!
It’s a guarantee. I think they even explain it in the admission paperwork, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, this time I really thought I had my act together. I kept visitation to a bare minimum so I could sleep.
That was a hard decision because I love having visitors. Once when two of my besties came to visit they had me laughing so hard that the nurse came running to my room in a panic.
I was wearing a heart monitor and my heart rate shot up from the laughter. They must have thought I was having a heart attack!
And there I was hootin’ and hollerin’ with my girls having a grand ol’ time! I will never forget that. It’s one of my favorite memories.
But this time I decided to save the hootin’ and hollerin’ for when I got home. My focus was on getting better and breaking free from the hospital and its funk!
So you can imagine my excitement on day four when they told me I would be discharged. Excitement is an understatement.
I had endured the crazy roommate keeping me up all night with her bowel problems. I had endured the craziness of them finding one bacteria in my blood cultures and a different one from my port cultures. Then having to await second port cultures to find it was only contamination from when they drew it the first time.
The great news was that my port wasn’t the source of infection. Huge victory! Hallelujah!
I had also endured the indecisive doctor saying I would go home on oral antibiotics for two weeks…no, no, no…I was going to need IV antibiotics for two weeks…no, no, no….I would need IV antibiotics but twice a day, no, I mean once a day.
All the while I’m thinking, ” I don’t give a hoot as long as you make up your mind and let me go, please and thank you!”
I had even endured the doctor who spoke loud and long about nothing because he liked to hear how smart he sounded.
That time I was thinking, “Dude, this ain’t my first rodeo! Let’s do something productive like get me a room. And make it snappy if you don’t mind because I gotta catch up on my Z’s – if ya know what I mean.”
So back to day four. I’m about to be discharged. I’ve texted several people to share my good news. I’m patting myself on the back for a job well done. No mental breakdowns this time. I’m really maturing, aren’t I?
I texted my kids and we shared I love yous and I’ve missed yous and I’m so excited to see you…
You know what happened! There was a kurfunkle with the paperwork. (Yes, I think I just made up that word)
I had to spend another night at hotel Morton Plant! I literally felt my heart deflate like a floppy balloon losing air.
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
The paperwork is complete.
All docs have signed off.
I’ve been through the sifter without losing my mind.
This is a done deal. I’m a free bird sista’!
Well, not so much. You see the home health liaison from the hospital leaves at 4:30pm and home health hadn’t called to verify – that I could verify – that I could pay the copay for my IV antibiotics.
Are you getting the picture of the stupid stuff I have to deal with? I hope so.
Anyway, the first issue I have is…who the heck leaves work at 4:30? I mean come on! Aren’t there laws against that or something?
If not, our Congress needs to work on that! Maybe I will write a letter…oh never mind!
But seriously, don’t you think they would have worked that out beforehand? Well, they didn’t.
All that kept going through my mind was my kids and their disappointment. And that’s when the tears started running down my face. And so the mental breakdown begins!
I couldn’t help it. I just went in the bathroom and cried and cried. And then cried again.
Then I was a little mad. I figured out that I’ve been hospitalized about 7 times this year.
Then I figured out that for the past 7 years, (yes I said 7) I have averaged about 6 hospitalizations a year (and yes I said 6)!
For those of you in the back I will repeat that. I have averaged 6 hospitalizations a year for the past 7 years.
That doesn’t include ER visits, weekly home health visits, monthly doctors appointments and treatments, etc. You get the idea.
After several minutes of hosting my own pity party (in which no one else showed up), I was reminded of the lesson God has been teaching me.
It’s something we’ve been working on for a while. And when I say “we”, I mean me. And when I say “for a while “, I mean forever.
Whenever I face the impossible in life, the Lord asks me the same question.
Will you follow me even if?
When we fostered/adopted children, will you follow me even if this adoption falls apart?
When my health dramatically changed, will you follow me even if you lose your health and physical abilities?
When my children have struggled, will you follow me even if your children wander from their faith?
When I’ve struggled with relationships, will you follow me even if your family and friends don’t live up to your expectations?
When overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, will you follow me when you feel completely alone and rejected?
My answer has always been the same. Lord, I will follow YOU with open hands, serving only YOU and holding on to nothing.
I’m not always successful (or even mildly good at times) with the application of this, but it gets easier.
The trials don’t get easier. Actually they seem harder. But the beauty of it is that I don’t have to worry. I’m focused on serving Him with open hands and holding on to nothing.
We all have our own “even if”. You have to ask yourself,
“Will I follow Him even if?”