Thursday, August 20, 2009

In the Hospital

In the Hospital

Life is like a Country Music Song I have determined. Right now mine would be…
“If your going through Hell”

Well that’s not the name of the song, I think but that about sums up what’s going on right about now.

We got to Baltimore around 1:00 today. We have definitely found the trick to the traffic pattern. The only problems we ran into were a little outside of D.C. and that was mostly because it was a monsoon of rain. We headed over to Dr. D’s office and sure enough they knew I was coming in and said they would work me in asap. We did have a bit of a wait but that was not a big deal.

She came in and right away said she was glad to see me and that I had made it here without incident. She took one look at me and felt my neck and said we need to put you in the hospital.

Based on the neck stiffness, low grade fever, headaches, overall achenes, and redness along the shunt path signs were pointing to a shunt infection. But without putting me in the hospital and running numerous test, labs and procedures she has no way of knowing.

One interesting and I think funny (if you can find any of this funny) part of our
Conversation with her is that she said she has not had a patient with a shunt infection in over four years and she has never seen on a patient the redness along the shunt path. To this my reply to her was, and I kid you not I did say this was “well you’ve never met me before”. Let’s face it people I am like the walking black cloud these days!

Back to the appointment….

What she is afraid has happened is that the shunt has become infected. The infection that she is worried about is Meningitis. If the test results do come back as Meningitis then, well it’s not going to be an easy rest of the month for me. Basically if it is positive they will within 24 hours take out my current shunt, surgically. Then I will need to have time to heal and let the antibiotics clear the infection in my body, this would be approximately 10 days. Once the infection has cleared then I would go back into surgery for placement of a new shunt. For all of that I would have to remain in the hospital. With meningitis there is no playing around.

Wes asked her if the shunt is not infected what else could be going on? Her answer was that she just did not know. See, this is my I love Dr. D. She is honest. She does not try to be super Doctor know it all. Sometimes the best answer is “I don’t know” and “We will have to go from there” In my opinion this is one of the many attributes that make her such an amazing Doctor.

So she left her office to make a few calls and to get us a room at Sinai. I don’t think Wes and I said much in the time that she left, heck what was there to say at this point?

She came back in and told us that a room was not ready yet but to leave our cell phone number and they would call us as soon as one was available.

On a good note, if there is one is that the bleeding in my brain and from the ventricle has completely cleared up and dissipated. So, in theory I should have a working shunt. Hmmmmm. Also, while in the hospital Dr. Williams my Neurologist, whom I adore, will be coming to see me.

So we left her office to get something to eat since we had not eaten since we left early that morning. We also had to make a zillion phone calls to let everyone at home know what was going on. Well, let me rephrase that, Wes has a zillion calls to make. LOL

Side note- If you ever see a restaurant called Noodle & Co I highly recommend it, very yummy!

After eating we headed to the hospital and I told all natural sunlight adios!
Since being admitted it has been a whirlwind of activity.

First off Dr. D’s PA came in and did an extensive evaluation. She was very nice btw. Then for all the blood work. I was expecting normal blood work. Ummmm, I was wrong. You know those nice little tubes/vials at the Doctors office that they usually put your blood into? Well, those were no where to be seen in my room. In the place of that were collection bottles. Yes people, collection bottles. They were the size of the mini glass coke bottles and upon seeing them Wes left the room and I thought my eyes were going to bug out of my head. But I survived just fine.

I will have a spinal tap Thursday morning. They will test the spinal fluid for infection. I hate, I despise spinal taps. I know that I will inevitably get a spinal headache and that my back is going to be in flaming pain. I already have a killer headache so this I guess will just be adding insult to injury.

They have not started any I.V. antibiotics yet, and with good reason. They want the blood work and spinal fluid to show them a true/unaltered specimen of what is going on. If they had started me on antibiotics then the spinal tap would not show them a clear picture of what the infection really is. But, as soon as the tap is done I will be staring I.V. antibiotics. I already have an I.V. line in place ready to go. The antibiotics they will be giving me are the same they would give me if they knew I did have meningitis. They do not want to “wait and see” my health cannot afford a wait and see approach.

That sums is all up.


I cannot believe this is happening.

When does this nightmare end? This is a really bad ride and I want off.

I am trying to stay positive. Believe me, I am. But frankly it’s getting a little tough. Everything and anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. To make matters worse this time I am hundreds of miles away from my family. I am miles away from two precious little faces that cannot begin to understand why Mommy is not there. I missed there first soccer practice tonight. Tomorrow I am going to miss their Open House at school. I am not going to be there for the first time ever for them to meet their teachers! I am missing so much. I am missing them with every beat of my heart.

It’s not fair…..this whole damm thing is so not fair!!!!!!
I want my life back. I don’t think that is too much to ask.
But here I sit in a hospital, yet again, waiting to see if I am going to have not one but two surgeries. My head and neck feel like vice grips are on them and my body aches from head to toe. What does it feel like to feel good? I don’t know anymore, and I can’t remember anymore.


Just when you think you are over the hill something comes and slams you back down again. I know that I have two choices in the matter. I either sit at the bottom of the hill and cry and scream or pick myself back up and trudge up the hill again.
I choose to trudge up the hill. It may take me a while and I may kick, scream and cry the whole way up but I will get to the top. One day…..I am going to make it to the top of the hill and not fall back down. One day I am going to conquer this hill.

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