Then it happened…

I was a successful inside sales representative for a leading animal health products distributor.  I loved this job!  I worked with a great bunch of people, my supervisor was one of the best people I ever had the pleasure to work with and I simply enjoyed getting up in the morning and taking the 50 mile drive to spend my day excited about my job.  Then, in 1996, I began experiencing complications with my menstrual cycles.  I experienced such terrific pain that I could not get out of bed for the first two to three days of my cycle.  I was taking pain pills just to knock myself out so I didn’t have to feel anything.  This continued for well over a year when I finally had enough.  I needed to find a way to end the disruption this was causing in my life.  After several medical consultations and second and third opinions, surgery became the apparent cure and I was scheduled for a hysterectomy.  On October 20, 1997 at the age of 39 the surgery was performed and on that day I began a journey that has proved to be the most convoluted thing I would ever do.

I woke after surgery in excruciating pain, the worst I have ever felt, and thought something must be wrong.  I knew the surgery wasn’t going to be an easy experience and that some pain was to be expected, but this was off the charts.  I was given morphine and spent the first 24 hours in a daze.

I spent five day in the hospital before I was able to return home.  Although finally home I returned to little or no support from my then partner as I tried to recuperate.  I was basically at my own devices while he did little to nothing to assist me so I could rest as I was instructed to do.  I kept on going in spite of my weakness and as the relationship was defined, put first his interests rather than take care of my own.  He was a member of a prominent local music group and a major award show was taking place.  The band he was in was nominated for an award.  Although I had been released from the hospital just days prior to the award show, I went to the event.  It was during a celebration after the award show that I began feeling warm.  By the next morning I was in such unbearable pain and I knew something terrible was wrong.  Although my partner was home, he offered no help as I explained to him how terrible I felt and further, would not get out of bed to take me to the doctor.  I was forced to call my mother who along with my sister-in-law drove the 35 miles to pick me up and take me to the hospital, another 50 miles away, for an emergency appointment.  In the elevator on the way to the fourth floor clinic I felt something burst and a huge pool of blood ran down my legs and onto the floor.  The next thing I knew I was in a hospital bed with IV’s of antibiotics and pain killers.  I had developed a serious post operative infection as a result of a blood clot that had formed after the surgery.  I was the sickest I had ever been and, in danger of losing my life.  I spent the next 10 days in the hospital on a regimen of high powered antibiotics, Clyndamicin and Gentamicin.  It was the longest 10 days of my life and I was really scared.

After getting the infection under control to a point where I could go home, a crushant catheter was inserted into my forearm with a led that traveled through a vein, up my arm and into my chest.  This was so I could continue my antibiotic therapy at home by self-administration.  My dear friend Linde arrived at the hospital and rather than take me to my home she drove me to my mothers where I continued recuperating while completing an additional 7 day regimen, every 8 hours, of the same antibiotics I was given while in the hospital.  I remember sobbing on our way to my mothers while on the radio I heard the song by Martina McBride “Only Angles Know How to Fly”.  It fit the situation with my partner well.

I spent the next 8 days with my mother who was in her 70’s.  I was still very weak and slept most of the days away.  We set alarms to alert ourselves to the every eight hour regimen to connect the antibiotics to the catheter and wait for them to empty.  After just a few days of being at my mothers I suddenly started to become nauseated to the point of vomiting every time I completed the dosage of the antibiotics.  This persisted so I called the doctor to explain what was happening and was instructed to stop administering the Clyndamicin but remain on the Gentamicin.  Little did I know that this instruction was going to change my life, forever.

After seven days a home health nurse arrived and removed the catheter and I was able to stop the IV antibiotic therapy.  I finally went home.

I went  home on Sunday and on Wednesday I woke up, went to get out of bed and fell to the floor….

This entry was posted in Disability, Independent Living, Inspiration, Motivation, Non Fiction, Rehabilitation, Research, Self Help, Transition, Vocational Rehabilitation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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