Thursday, August 24, 2006

So What happened?

oK, ok. Here is the deal. Im back, and feeling better. I got really really sick. I had a sinus infection that turned into bronchitis, that turned into pneumonia. Truth is, that I was terrified of leaving the house, number 1, and terrified even more of actually having to go to a doctor. So I refused to do. Dan tried and tried to get me to go, but I wouldn't. About a week ago, it was about 1 AM, an I was collapsed on the couch as usual, and I started to cough...a real gurgly cough that wouldnt quit, to the point that I felt like I had to sit up and lean forward to cough and clear my throat. But I couldn't. I was too weak. Suddenly, I was in a terrible place. I couldn't get my breath, I couldn't cough hard enough, I couldnt lean up, I was scared to death. I panicked. I frantically wanted to get off the couch and was trying as hard as I could, but I couldn't get any air. I just stop coughing long enough to do it. I finally justslid off and fell onto the floor so I could be on my knees to cough.

Dan heard it and came running. I was on my hand and knees coughing relentlessly. He said I never looked so bad. He told me that I was going to go to the hospital. I refused, and he told me not this time... I was going. I told him no I wasnt, and he told me that if I didn't go, he was calling an ambulance. He told me to think about it for 2 minutes. Either he goes with me, or with strangers after they carry me out. I was in really bad, and then the coughing started again. I was trying to stand up, but I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. I was coughing and shaking, and wheezing... and I agreed to let him take me.

Once I agreed, he helped me get up on my feet and helped me put some clotheson. I started the process of going outside. It was raining, so that made it more complicated. I didnt really know where any of my coats were, they were packed somewhere. I didn't care. I just went out with a t shirt and sweats. I made my way to the door, he opened it and then I stepped out.

Being out of the house was so ... odd. I stood outside the door and I cant describe the feeling I had not being safe in the house. I felt... naked, or vulnerable... or someting. I startred down the steps, which was harder than it ever was before and started to panick a little less than 1/2 way down. I begged him to let me stay to stay. He refused and insisted that I needed to get help. I refused to go any further. I said to him " Just help me get back in and I'll be fine. Just help me get back in. " He left me there, walked doen the steps and got into his car. It was pouring rain, and he left me there. I stood there on the steps and for a moment, parylized with fear. I couldn't go up, cause Id have to turn on the steps which I didnt think I could do. Not to mention, I didn't have the keys to get in. I could not sit anywhere up there cause it was not big enough. If I went down, Id have to go the hospital, which was terrifying, and so I was stuck. Then, it hit me that I was STANDING on the steps, and that in itself was starting to get harder and harder to do. My back was starting to feel uncomfortable, my legs were startd to feel funny, I couldn't breathe, I was in a "no choice" situation. I started to cry. I started to cry like a baby. I HAD to go down stairs, and I had no choice. I was going to try and walk down, or fall down. Either way, I was going down. I had that " I hate living in this body" feeling again. I was a prisoner of the fat surrounding me again. I was helpless.

I started to make my way one step at a time. It was that, or fall over. I was sobbing, and hacking... it might have been the worst moment of my life. I also realized that I really did need help... It was almost impossible to get enough air. I struggled to get into his car, and sat back as I normally do once in his car, but sitting back, I started the "cant breathe" The only way I could breathe was sitting up with my legs out side. I couldnt be in there all the way and still breathe. I tried, but it was impossible. I was getting more and more scared beucase when you cant breathe, this panic comes over you. We had no choice but to call 911.

They came with an ambulance. These 2 people came - volunteers. A man, and a women. They were the nicest human beings on planet earth. They got out and helped me climb into the ambulance. As soon as I sat down, she started to ask what was going on, etc. She was so warm and friendly, and caring. She made me feel that it would be OK. They put me on oxygen. I couldn't really sit back on the cot thing, and she said it was cause there was fluid in my lungs. So, I just sat on it instead.

THey took me to the hospital where once again that panic feeling started. PEOPLE... I would have to see people! She caught on that i was suddenly uneasy and reassured me. As we were pulling in, she told me step by step what would happen... and that I would be OK. First, they would have to call for help to get me out. I asked her "Cause I'm fat?" I dont know what made me say that, but I did. She said Yes that the two of them would not be able to lift me on the cot, but it wasnt uncommon to ask for help. " She was trying so hard to just be nice to me.

I told her that I didn't want that, that I could walk. I begged her to let me try to walk, and she did. I got out of the ambulance, and started to walk to the building. It was the first real walking for me in about 3 weeks. And it was so hard! We made it to the building, and the woman said "Do you need to rest?" I said yeah, and she let me sit for a sec. I said " You can tell?" She said "Yeah. It looks like you are trying your hardest just to stay on your feet. Your face is red, and you look more anxiuos with each step. - Its OK, just rest." Then her partner came with a wheelchair. I wasnt about to be put into that thing... so I tried to stand and walk. Couldnt. Too wak.

So she leaned over to me and said " Libby, you are a very very big girl. I understand its hard to admit that you cant do something that everyone else can, but the truth is that you cant do this right now. You're very sick, too. Thats why you are here... they will help you, but you have to trust us. This tis no time for pride." I started to cry a little and then I sat down and they wheeled me the rest of the way. As soon as we were inside, I could feel the stares... tension... so she wheeled me into a little room and closed the curtain. She said... " OK, time to get you on the bed, and you have to lose the clothes. Here put this on. " She handed me this little smock, that honestly, was like trying to wrap a watermelon with a kleenex.

She could tell that I was incredibly uncomforable... She told me I had no choice and that I had to do it. She said she would wait outside the curtain, and to call her when i was ready. I changed, and i called her back in. She lowered the bed way down, and helped me get out of the wheelchair and on to the bed, the raised it up. She covered me with a sheet and then let me doctor come in.

He came in and had that " Oh MY " look. He started to talking to the EMT lady and then turned to me. " OK, Elizabteth... lets listen to those lungs... he just reached over, pulled up the smock, lifted my breast out of the way, and started to listen with his ear thing. ." Panic set in... "Its OK... this is nothing new for me..." Then the EMT lady said... " It is for her... shes scared... " He took his time, reassured me, then listed to my lungs. He did other checking and then gave me the bad news.

"You have pneumonia, and pretty bad. We have to do a few things. First, get the fluid out of your lungs... and second, kill the infection. It will require that you stay here for a few days. I know you don't wan't to do that, but you really must... for your health. If you had not come in here tonight, you might not have made it much passed tommorrow. You're filling up."

So that was that... I was staying in the hospital. I will write more on that tommorrow. I must also take a moment to say that even though it was hard from him and me, Dan may have saved my life by not giving in to me on the steps. It was a horrible wrenching event, but he had the courage to not back down and get help for me, for which I am grateful.

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