My PT decided to call it quits for the day because she felt that I should have the medicine and didn't want to cause me any more pain. Within about a half hour I started to have chills. I told my nurse I was cold and thought I might be running a fever. He came to take my temp which was around 103. I asked for a blanket and he told me no, that I needed to sweat the fever out. I asked for more pain meds, he told me no. My whole body at this point was hitting misery. My foot was always in pain but it was really escalating with the fever and I could not stop shaking. My podiatrist Dr. Dworkin came by to check on me. He told me my care was now under Dr. Schnur but that he wanted to see me. He asked my nurse for my chart and after looking it over and asking him several questions he bossed him around a bit and got him to get a few things to try to help my fever and pain. I was elated when shifts changed and I found out my night nurse was Georgia, a really sweet woman. She checked my temperature which was still high and rushed off to get me extra blankets because I must be freezing. She called the doctor to get me more medicine, drugged me with benadryl so I could sleep and told everyone to stay out of my room and let me rest.
When I woke in the morning, I was sad to see Georgia was gone, but happy to have another favorite nurse Ashley for the day. I was still running a fever and feeling pretty awful. It was the day of my Grandma's funeral and Keith was working so I was alone. My kids couldn't visit because the night before, the doctors came to tell me that my white blood cell count was low and I would have restrictions now. No eating raw foods, no fresh flowers, no little visitors and a sign on the door to warn everyone to glove and mask up. I started getting anxious about my condition which only increased when the doctors came to tell me that my liver functions weren't very good and they couldn't figure out what was causing my high fever and none of the meds were bringing it down. They decided to try switching my antibiotics and we started asking people to pray. I thought I was out of the woods but now I was scared for my life.
|Saturday Selfie. I was trying to decide if I should skype family, after seeing that I looked as bad as I felt, I decided not to.|
My sweet nurses Ashley and Sam came and asked if they could wash my hair for me. Ashley didn't have many patients so she checked on me often and stayed to chat with me throughout the day. It was such a lonely and scary day but she really helped bring some happiness to it. Dr. Dworkin also cam e by again. He said he cared about me, couldn't stop thinking about me and really hoped I would be well- the feeling was mutual, I felt so lucky to have him as one of my doctors. Georgia was my night nurse again. She took good care of me and early Sunday morning, I woke to her taking my BP and temperature which was finally under 100. I was so excited and hopeful again that I would get to go home soon. The doctors came in and told me that if I was stable all day, they would consider letting me go home Monday. I made it through Sunday gaining more strength and was able to go down the hall on my crutches before my leg told me to quit. The problem wasn't my right leg at all, my foot made my left leg feel about 200 lbs, the longer it was down the heavier it felt. I was tired every time I had to get up and use the bathroom. I was weaning off of pain meds pretty well and excited at the prospect of being in my own home again.
My nurses came and helped me take a shower, my first shower since the accident! It was tiring but so heavenly. Keith helped me into my clothes which hung on me like bags. I hadn't realized how much weight I lost but I know it was at least 20 lbs. if not more. When the time came to leave, I was a little nervous. I was used to round the clock care and I was nervous for my wound vac to leak or another fever to peak. All that fear dissipated when I got home and was surrounded by the noises and smells of my own home.
|Getting to hold my babies again!|
Keith's mom had been caring for our kids since the accident. When we found out how severe the injury was and that I would need my foot elevated all but 30 minutes of the day (which was basically the amount of time I spent going to and from the bathroom) she extended her ticket. We were so appreciative and it relieved a huge burden from us-not having to try to hire help around the holidays. I tired easily but after a few days home, was able to stop taking my percoset on Thanksgiving.
We spent Thanksgiving at Marc and Allie Issaic's. They took care of all the food and it was so nice to have a little normalcy and spend time with good friends. Over the next week and a half, some my time was taken with doctor's appointments. I had to go to infectious disease once a week to pick up my antibiotics and had follow up appointments with my plastic surgeon. I liked to spend time with each of the kids in my bed, reading them books or playing games.
On December 2nd, the wound vac came off. It relieved a lot of pressure and it was so nice not to have to carry it around with me or worry about it malfunctioning. We took a trip to Costco- my first store outing to fill a prescription and commemorate the happy occasion.
|The foot after the wound vac came off|
By my birthday on December 3, I was feeling pretty good and getting around decently on crutches. My friends set up a birthday lunch and when they came to pick me up, Julie presented a beautiful and delicious Oreo birthday cake. I was so touched and the lunch really lifted my spirits. When I got home, Keith took me to Mockingjay. We have a theater nearby that has reclining seats so I was able to go and elevate my leg without any issues. We both liked the movie and went home afterwards to enjoy dinner with the kids.
That night, we started my antibiotic drip as usual around 8 PM. Joan and Keith were upstairs putting the kids to bed and I was talking to my parents. A few minutes into my drip, I started to cough. Emmett was fighting a cough so I thought maybe I was catching it. The cough started to hurt though and I was having pain and tightness in my chest. After a few minutes of that, I told my parents I needed to go, that I was having chest pain. I called for Keith and he came down to check on me. I told him how I was feeling and he decided to call the infectious disease docs who were in charge of my antibiotics. After a few minutes, I couldn't stop coughing and was really starting to struggle to breathe. Keith hung up and dialed 911. We were both panicked, knowing I was at risk for blood clots. Keith had helped his mom when she had a pulmonary embolism and said I was acting just like she was so I had him really worried. The ambulance was so fast but when they came I was wheezing and barely breathing. An EMT came to me and immediately sat me up and started coaching me through breathing. It was easier to breathe sitting up but the pain in my chest was still so intense. I was shaking and sweating and completely unable to use crutches or a walker so they fireman carried me out the door and onto a stretcher. Once in the ambulance, they hooked me up to an EKG and some oxygen. It didn't occur to me that I might be having a heart attack until that point but my symptoms certainly matched up.
They took me to Parker hospital where the doctors and nurses were all very efficient and kind. It's a bit of a blur but they ran some tests (that iodine is seriously cold), gave me some morphine and waited until I was stable and the results all came back normal. There was no explanation for it all and they told me to follow up in the morning with my regular doctor.
|Warming up and glad to be alive|
My doctor got me in the following morning and after explaining everything and taking a good look at my history, she felt I probably had experienced an esophogul spasm which mimics a heart attack. It's kind of rare but can happen with people who have a weakened stomach lining (which I would from all of the meds I had been on). I had been having a lot of reflux so the explanation made perfect sense to me.
That night, we started my antibiotics as usual and I wasn't even worried. Infectious disease told us the antibiotics I was on didn't normally cause a reaction like mine. Within about 5 minutes though, I felt the familiar chest pain and cough. Keith immediately stopped my drip and I bent forward and tried my best to breathe through it. The reaction was much less intense but I wasn't able to calm down for about 20 minutes. Afterwards. I went to the bathroom and Keith had to carry me back to the bed, I was so weak. Infectious disease had me come in the next day so they could figure out what was going on. The nurse in charge of me told me he had seen this before and wanted to try to slow my drip way down. We were there for about 2 hours while I received my antibiotics but I didn't have a reaction which was great. Slowing down my drip seemed to solve the problem. Occasionally, I would experience a bit of chest pain but nothing severe and slowing my drip even further always solved the problem.