I am incredibly sorry that the postings have been sparse, probably full of typos (darn cell phone) and brief at times. What I can say about the hospital experience is that it is emotionally draining and exhausting. Day after day I would watch as patients would leave and new patients arrive. So many came and went that I started to get really emotional. I’d cry for no apparent reasons. There are blocks of time, full days even, where I can’t remember what happened. For instance, I went to bed on two liters of oxygen one night because my oxygen was low. When I was next conscious (I can’t say awake since I’m told it was a few days later) I was on an oxymizer (kinda like an oxygen reserve) at six liters. It turned our the PEs (pulmonary embolisms–or blood clots that travel to the lungs), which formed from DVTs (deep vein thombosis or blood clots) in my right pelvis and knee. Fortunately the clots in my legs didn’t occlude blood flow so nothing was wrong with my leg thankfully. I did however have a lot of swelling in both legs, edema so bad at times that it was painful and the skin shined from being so tight.
We did only one last paracentesis and removed a full twelve hundred milliliters of fluid. I had a little relief, but was mostly thankful that it didn’t seem to return and that the swelling in my legs, which had been terrible for about three weeks, was starting to disappear. Still, I was nervous being in the hospital for so long and started to have panic attacks at night when my family would leave. I was so scared I’d die in my sleep with no one at my bedside. The nursing staff, specifically Luly, was amazing. She hugged me, checked on me often, sat and chatted with me whenever I needed it.
All in all, I had great caregivers. Every nurse from the med/onc unit were amazing. They were compassionate, friendly and very understanding; sometimes they cried with me, others they cheered me up. When I needed meds, they did their best to be prompt. They have a hard unit to work and I give them props for how well they worked it. I appreciate them more than they will ever know. They all helped me make it through the five weeks easily.
Well, as easily as possible. I definitely was down a lot during the hospitalization. Lots of sleep, lots of tears and lots of confronting my mortality. I insisted Milo know how I wanted to die. I wrote down every password I had for him so he could access my sites and tell people if I grew worse or…whatever.
It took five weeks, but I finally came home on three liters of oxygen. This means I have a giant compressor quietly hissing away to provide me with oxygen. It has about fifty feet of tubing so I can walk about anywhere in my apartment. The swelling in my legs is gone, thankfully because of the diuretics. I also seem not to have the ascites problem anymore (at least while there is a little it is very little). My lungs are clearing up, but not back to one hundred percent. My most recent CT scan (yesterday) shows that I am back to being stable. No growth, a little shrinkage here and there, a few new little issues I didn’t get to ask about because I received the report after the appointment so next time, but good news: stable. I used to have stable, but I will totally take it after the growth we’ve had.
So, hopefully that has filled in some of the hospital blanks. If I could fill in more, I would, but there are definitely days that are missing and blurred together. That happens in five weeks for sure.
The prayers are being heard and God is showing His power. Let’s keep praying!