But 2017 hasn't been a good year for me. I got sick on New Year's Eve. I thought it was just the flu, but I had no idea how sick I really was.
The events leading up to my son calling 911 at 4:15 AM are a total blur to me, but as I've been told by people around me these are the events has they happened.
When the EMTs arrived I couldn't speak, let alone stand up to walk. I was incoherant. By the time I got to ER, I was unresponsive and had no control over my motor skills. Multiple signs pointed to a stroke, as well as a major infection. As they prepared to tranfer me to another hospital, my son suggested the one I would want to go to, and the nurse on the floor said, "I don't think you realize how close to death your mom is."
They transfered me to Tri-Point, ICU. I had a fever of 105.7. They were still not sure if it was a stroke after multiple cat scans. Finally an EEG machine was setup connecting diodes to read my brain waves through the night.
I am on 4 different antibiotics. Still unresponsive.
The doctors did say I was septic, but not sure what is causing the infection.
The EEG test came back.. No stroke. So next test. A SPINAL TAP was ordered.
I started to talk a little on day 4 ICU. I was asking for water. I didn't reconize my situation or the people around me. I was verbal, but not interacting.
Results finally came back from the spinal tap. I was shocked to hear what I had..... So you have two different white blood counts. One for the body when you get blood work done, and the other, a Spinal Tap tells the white blood count in your brain.
Normal white blood count for your brain is 1-5, as in 1 2 3 4 5 (counting) My white blood count in my brain was.......19,000. While I didn't know it yet, still unresponsive the Drs tell my sons I had MENINGITIS!!!!!!!!! It in turn had spread throughout my bloodsteam also causing Sepsis! I was fighting two deadly infections at the same time.
As the days went by I was still in ICU. Thankfully I was becoming more coherent. The antibiotics were working!! I could have minor exchanges with the staff, but everyone was sounding funny when they spoke. Motor skills were slowly returning. A picture of my granddaughter was brought in and showed to me and I smiled. Somehow I knew her...but couldn't articulate it.
I still didn't recognize my 2 sons or my sister.
Doing a lot of sleeping. They had me on 5 different antibiotics. I start to remember a little bit more and finally reconize my family!!
On the eighth day I get more good news - I am steped down from ICU. Still on the antibiotics and I have been in bed all these days. I am very week. It hurts to hold up my own head. They have me get up and sit in a chair. It took all I could do to hold my body up. Doing a little physical therapy, I still cannot walk on my own yet.
I spent eight days in Step Down, then went to rehabilitation.
For the next 2 weeks, I essentially learned to walk again. It was very difficult, since I was also dizzy. Staff still sounded funny when they spoke.
I began to realize the way the staff spoke was because of me. I discovered that I had completely lost all hearing in my right ear.
This explained the vertigo. The Doctor explained that hearinng loss from the Meningitis and the Antibiotics is not uncommon.
It has been a struggle, my doctor asked me if I ever heard of the word debilitated. I said yes. He said that's where you are. He stressed how sick I was.
I'm getting stronger, but need a walker to get around,
When I am released to go home. I will have a visiting nurse and Physical Therpy come to the house.
I schedule a hearing test with an audiologist. Results are not what I was hoping for. He confirmed deaf in right ear and I only 46 percent hearing in my left ear. Even worse than I thought.
He explains to me about a hearing aid that you wear in your good ear and it transmits sound from that ear to the other side with a hearing aid. This helps with the balance and equals out sound.
I am still recovering, even today, eight months later. My doctor hasn't released me to be able to work.
The position I held was secretary for a school disctrict in the transportation department. With the hearing loss I no longer am able to do my job and have had to retire early.
Now comes my biggest dilema - Insurance doesn't cover hearing aids.
With the hospital bills as well as being on a new fixed income on top of having to carry my own health insurance, has left me in a position to not be able to afford these hearing aids.
Please, if you could help me with this expense, I would be very blessed again.
- Michael Dense
- Jessica Terrell
- Bonnie Granger
- Pamela Richards-Hall
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