Hello, you may be new to my blog and others maybe loyal subscribers who have been wondering where I have been for the last few months!?
In late November I broke my femur and had surgery in which the doctor placed a metal rod in my upper thigh since then it seemed like I had health issues one after another.
On January 19, 2015 I had trouble breathing because I was suffering from hypertension due to my bladder being full of urine and we could NOT get the urine to flow through the catheter after several flushing of a syringe. A little over 6 years ago I had a procedure on my bladder called a “Bladder Augmentation” in which they took a piece of my bowel and attached it to my bladder to make it larger so it could hold larger volumes of urine to avoid leakage (best surgery I had and fully recommend it). The piece of bowel attached to my bladder still makes mucus which clogs up the catheter and when this occurs we use a syringe to unclog it however that particular night it didn’t work. What is bladder augmentation? After trying for over an hour or so I started to get hypertension (which is common in spinal cord injuries) making it difficult for me to breathe so I had a caregiver call 911.
In my mind I thought I it would be a quick trip to the hospital’s ER and they would find a way to drain my bladder by flushing it or surgically putting a temporary catheter through my stomach, however they had NO knowledge of my condition and the procedure I had had done on my bladder. There main focus was to get my blood pressure, and heart rate down to normal which was very high. I received three shots of this supposedly fast acting medication to bring my vitals down. I had passed out before they got my vitals back to normal however I woke up four days later on a ventilator and later discovered I had surgery on my stomach as well. Being a quadriplegic I have minimum arm movement so I couldn’t write plus I had this tube (ventilator) down my lungs preventing me from speaking. You could imagine what was going through my mind when I woke up and had no way to communicate verbally. The next day I was taken off of the ventilator and my first words were “Do not ever put me back on that thing”! All the while my family was by my side especially my Mother who thought they were taking me off the ventilator too soon because she felt my breathing was not normal. Well the doctors should have listened to her because a few days later I went into cardiac arrest and had to have CPR and was placed back on the ventilator this time a lot longer (almost 3 weeks).
An unnecessary surgery I woke up to…
My Mother stayed at the hospital with me 24/7 not leaving my side unless someone she trusted was there to watch over me so she could literally go home shower and change her clothes. Other than that she had an overnight bag and spent every day at the hospital sleeping on a semi hard recliner chair. She talked to me endless hours until I woke up from the cardiac arrest ordeal. I heard almost everything she said but in my mind it played out in my dreams for example she talked about everyone who had visited and in my dreams there was a woman who resembled my Mother all the way down to the mole on her face. This lady told me she knew all my loved ones and started naming them off which in reality it was my Mother speaking to me while I was sedated. In my dreams I also could not talk verbally however when I woke up and weeks later taken off of the ventilator I described the lady in my dreams to my Mother, she said it must have been her Mother who had passed before I was born.
Sedated, pumped full of fluids you can see it on the right side of my face…
After waking up from having CPR and being placed back on the ventilator I could only communicate with my eyes and head. I literally could not make one sound with my mouth or lips being on that machine and I tried everything I could! The only time I could get someone’s attention was when they would look in my direction then I would move my head frantically. For about a week I could only communicate with my Mother who took the time to understand what I was trying to say with only my eyes and head. I would get these horrible spasms in my back and legs and the only way to stop them were to bend my legs up to my stomach and my Mom would look at my frantic face and movements I made towards my legs and knew I either needed my legs bent up or I needed to be catheterized. Eventually we got this board called the “EZ Board” that has pictures on the front and back of different actions you may need done and a keyboard in the front lower right corner to spell out what I wanted to say. That board was a miracle and made communicating a lot easier despite the frustration when it came to spelling out the words. I would nod my head yes when my Mom or a family member would put their finger on the letters of the word I was trying to spell and at times it wasn’t easy. I got frustrated and I know they did trying to figure out what I was trying to spell however they showed nothing but patience.
Front of the “EZ Board”
Back of the “EZ Board”
Eventually I was transferred from that hospital to another who specialized in my injury and knew the proper care I needed. Despite this hospital being an hour away from home my Mother came with me and in less than two weeks the fluid the previous hospital had pumped me up with was removed off my body especially my organs and I was also taken off of the ventilator which I had to work hard on. When taking me off of the ventilator they called it weaning where they would lower the oxygen which made it difficult to breathe however it was to strengthen my lungs so that I could breathe on my own. Whenever the oxygen was lowered for me to try to breathe on my own it felt like my three year old was on my chest and I had to struggle to breathe with his weight on me. The first few times the doctors lowered the oxygen I would panic, get scared and not try breathing on my own until they talked about putting me on a trace. When I heard those words the first thing that came to mind were my children and I didn’t want them seeing me like that, plus it would delay me going home so I convinced the doctors to continue the weaning process. The first time I went almost five hours breathing heavily to avoid being put on a trace, the next day I did it again then the third day I believe the doctors asked was I ready to come off of the ventilator. I was happy and nervous at the same time because what had occurred at the previous hospital. The day I waited for them to turn off the oxygen dragged finally after an hour later the doctor told me I had been breathing on my that entire time and had come to remove the tubes from my lungs. You couldn’t imagine the feelings I felt!!! I could not talk once the tubes were removed because I was on the ventilator longer than I was supposed to (usually you’re kept on a ventilator no longer than two weeks and usually that is too long before they do a trace). I was on the ventilator all together almost three weeks and my voice was barely above a whisper. First after being removed off of the ventilator I thanked God because he kept me going, second I wanted to talk to my children whom I had only seen a total of four times during the month and four days I was in the hospital which was VERY difficult for me because I missed my babies.
I spent a lot of time in the hospital starring at my hand and fingers because I wasn’t a huge television fan and I got tired of looking at the walls…You can also see how swollen my hand is…
After being transferred off of ICU and on a rehabilitation floor I finally had the opportunity to see my husband and children for the first time in weeks. My husband visited me in the hospital but I did not want him to bring our children because they wouldn’t understand why Mommy could not talk and why she had all those tubes going into her. Their first visit which was on my youngest son third birthday, February fourteenth I was elated and didn’t cry however on their second visit the day before my oldest sons birthday which was February twenty third I cried like a baby despite the fact I would be home within two days!
My Mother & I….I LOVE this WOMAN!
I missed a lot while being hospitalized for over a month however I gained a lot as well because my family and I are closer than ever and my children have a better relationship with their Father because before my hospitalization the boys only knew Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy due to the fact that my husband had just retired from the Army after being stationed in another state and now the boys yell DADDY which I love!
I am currently home with my family however I have a long road ahead of me to recovery but I am not alone and have a huge support system!
My Boys & I (Easter Day 2015)… A month after being released from the hospital.
Thanks for reading “My Story”!