… continued…
The doctor, not knowing how serious my condition could get, nor knowing my medical history, decided not to do anything then…and just wait and see what my body would do. Needless to say, I wasn’t too thrilled with that option, and knew I needed help sooner than I would get it from her. I was keeping my Mom updated with how I was and what the doctor said, but I also thought I should try and get in touch with my hematologist in Carrollton. I tried several times that afternoon, with no success…all the while my headache was getting worse, and I was less and less able to function. I decided to take the rest of the day off as a sick day, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything worthwhile at work, and made it back to my house with Casey and Mary’s help. I did eat lunch, and that was the most solid food that I had until going to the hospital. I knew I needed more help still, and wasn’t very happy with the medical system in the Tyler area, and in talking with my Mom that afternoon, we decided that it would be best for my parents to come out that night and take me home, since I am only 1 1/2 hours from home, and we already know what doctors and hospitals we like and would go to if need be.
I was much relieved once that was decided and so attempted to sleep…as much as I could with the pounding headache. I tried to eat dinner, but wasn’t very hungry…and just managed to get down some chocolate soy milk and juice. I didn’t have the stomach for solid food at all. My parents finally arrived at about 9pm…though it didn’t seems that long as I was pretty out of it. Casey and my Mom helped me pack clothes and books and anything else I could think of that I might leave while home for an undetermined amount of time.
We left – with just having said good-bye to my house, as this was so sudden and I was unable to do much – except just barely text a few friends to let them know what was going on. We got home at about 11pm, and I crawled into bed…for a few more hours of fitful sleep.
The next morning, Friday, February 5th, I woke up after my sisters had left to our homeschool group. Shortly after they had left, my Mom was finally able to get through to the doctor and talked with them, describing how I felt and that I had had this before. Once hearing how poorly I was doing, one of the doctors there said it would be best if I went in to the Emergency Room. I new that would be coming…although I didn’t exactly want it…I knew it would be what would best help me get better. After preparing a few things, and attempting to eat a bit of breakfast, we were about ready to go. I had been able to get up and go to the bathroom earlier, but when getting ready to leave, I was standing by the doorway of my bedroom, getting my coat on, when things started to spin…and my knees felt weak – not a good sign – especially when I had never fainted before in my life!
…the next thing that I knew, I felt my feet dragging on the ground, but couldn’t see what was going on. When I was aware of what was going on next, I was leaning up against the car door, and my Dad [who had been helping me get my coat on] was breathing very hard, and I figured he must have gotten me from my room to the car [a distance of about 20 ft, and a doorway]. He was pretty worried and told my Mom to call an ambulance, as apparently they didn’t want to try to take me to the ER by themselves…since I’d already fainted.
Before long – it hardly seemed to have taken any time at all – the ambulance was there, and ER personal were everywhere. After assessing the situation, and getting me on a stretcher, [and getting the information I could give them] they loaded me up and started getting an IV into me. They kept asking me the same questions over and over…I’m not quite sure why. I remember answering them, but I think I probably was not very loud. They finally got the IV in, put me on oxygen to help the headache as much as anything could at the time, and then we were off. Mom was riding in the front, while Dad followed behind in the car.
It was a bit of a ride to the hospital, as we wanted to go to the Presbyterian Hospital in Plano [under the Texas Healthcare system], and after several bumps [which I thought was very unusual for an ambulance to deliver such a rough ride…] we were there. I don’t really remember the process in getting from the ambulance into the ER…except that it sure went a lot faster than it had the first time, when I had to wait before they would admit me! [That’s about the only good thing I can think of to arriving at the hospital in an ambulance!]
Once in the room, I was asked another set of questions and had to sign several times to be admitted. A nurse asked me several questions and helped me get into a hospital gown. After that, the ER doctor came and saw me, and they determined after looking at me and checking my blood levels that I was very low indeed, and would need blood transfusions to get my blood level back up to where it should be. Thus the process began for matching my blood type [which is O+ with a lot of antibodies – what your body creates in response to fighting off any thing that shouldn’t be in your body – making it very difficult to find perfect blood matches for me!] which I knew would be a long process, as it had taken quite a while 3 years before.
Now that the most urgent things had been taken care of, we were just waiting for a room to be ready for me, so I could move out of the ER. Dad was still with us then, though once we knew that we would be waiting for a while for a room, he did go into work for a little while. After another 2 hours or so…I kinda lost track of the exact timing of everything…I was finally told that a room was ready, and a tech came to move me up there. That was interesting…they moved the entire bed into the elevator…I didn’t know they could do that! Once there we went from the ER [ground level] up to the 8th floor, to room 886. It was a much nicer room than I had remembered from the first hospital stay – rather large – with a couch-bed, and a few chairs. God knew we would need a rather large room so my whole family could come and visit! Once situated there, the nurses on that floor came and introduced themselves and made sure I had everything. They also let me know that I would need to have a CT scan that afternoon, so I would need to drink some contrast. I had that in apple juice, as I had to drink a while liter of it, within an hour, before they could do the scan. I drank it down pretty quickly…and it actually didn’t taste so bad! [I’d had the same thing done before…but had picked cranberry juice that time…and it had tasted much worse…I picked better this time. :)] Though I finished it easily and quickly, thankfully, I had to wait a bit before they were ready for me to go have the scan done.
Another tech, a woman this time, came up with a wheelchair to take me down. I was still on oxygen at that time, so they brought that also…as it was helping the headache. Down we went, with Mom staying in the room with our things, back to the ER level, but in a different area where procedures requiring large machines took place. I had it done…during which they put another contrast thing into my IV which made me feel quite warm and rather itchy all over, while they scanned different areas of my body. [they were doing it probably to determine that I didn’t have any internal bleeding anywhere causing me to be so anemic, as well as to check other things…they never fully explained why I needed that scan. I didn’t ask, as I’d had one done the first time as well…so I guess it’s just part of the procedure…]
I finally was able to come back up to my room. It had taken about an hour…or so…though it hadn’t seemed that long. I got back into my bed and rested…or attempted to. All that we could do now was wait for me to get the blood units – and keep praying that it would come all the sooner! So the rest of the day went, waiting, waiting and waiting…which the occasional question from me asking where the blood was. I was still aware of all the was going on, just very weak and unable to respond to much. Nurses and techs were in and out about every four hours or so, checking my vital signs and all that. I did get an IV again [they’d taken me off of the one from the ambulance in the ER, and not put me back on one], as I was so weak that I asked to have it again. The doctor on that floor said it would dilute the blood that I did have, so the next time I had the blood count checked it would be a bit lower than if I were not on the IV. I knew I needed some kind of fluids going into me, so we went ahead with it. We kept waiting and waiting all that day and yet no blood. My sisters came to visit after ECC, our homeschool group, as did Dad. A good friend of ours, Diane, came as well, and stayed for a while that evening, which also happened to be the February all-night prayer meeting at Gospel for Asia [the ministry my parents are on staff with in Carrollton, TX]. My Dad and sisters headed off to that prayer meeting, and Diane stayed until about 11pm or so, mostly just talking with Mom. I was trying to sleep…though I really couldn’t much because of everything going on and the headache was so bad.
All that day, and the majority of the time I was in this room, I was using a bed-side commode, as I was hooked up to stuff still, and was even then barely able to make it the two steps to that…one of the last times before the blood came, I couldn’t even do that…and a nurse had to come in and help. There is nothing like feeling helpless and unable to take care of even your most basic necessities yourself! Anyhow, after that time, my body decided it couldn’t digest the juice w/contrast that I had had earlier and I threw it all up. I knew I was pretty bad when that happened, as I never throw up either. I think I had attempted to eat dinner too, and that had been thrown up earlier…so this was actually second time…and I couldn’t stop until it was all out…needless to say I was very weak after that…and all the more ready for the blood!
Nothing came that night…and it wasn’t until about 5 or 6am on Saturday, the 6th, that we found out it was coming soon. It had to still get approved before I could have it, but it was there!
…To be continued…