The one year mark is coming up fast. Last summer, when I was admitted into the hospital, I had no idea that it would turn into what it did. The ER doctor didn’t even want to admit me. I had been so sick for months. I was in and out of the doctor’s offices and the ER. Doctors just couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. It was an incredibly frustrating time. I was beginning to believe that people were just thinking I was making things up; I even began to question myself, were all these symptoms just in my head? However, in reality, I knew things were bad and I needed help. When I walked into that emergency room in May, I knew that if I went home, things were not going to be good…at all. The ER doctor could not pin point, on paper, what was going on with me. I looked at the doctor with tears in my eyes and told him how I felt, I told him how sick I had been, and it was then that he agreed to admit me. This filled my heart with hope…maybe now we would have answers as to what was wrong.
Almost as soon as I was admitted, I began to have high fevers, and the most excruciating pain. I couldn’t even lift my head to vomit. I was vomiting in my hair. My head felt as if going to explode, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even call the nurse. When the nurse finally came in, I couldn’t even talk, but she knew something was seriously wrong. The next morning my blood cultures came back. I tested positive for MRSA and I was septic. Also, the fistulas that I had were causing immense pain. My belly hated me. It was a bad time.
I was soon transported to Augusta and was admitted to GRU (formerly Medical College of Georgia). I am not ready to write in too much detail about about the months I spent in the hospital. That was a pivotal time in my life and I don’t think I am quite ready to go back and completely relive those hard moments. However, I will say that after being in the hospital for almost two months, things quickly took a turn for the worst. MRSA came back positive again. I had very high fevers. I was transported back to the GRU emergency room (as I had then been at a nearby rehabilitation hospital, called Select). I was alone and I not very responsive, I don’t even clearly remember that experience.
I do remember the next day, I became so sick that I had to be put on a ventilator (I am not ready to share that procedure, but it wasn’t good at all). The next few days are a blur. I was in a comatose state, so I don’t remember the next few days. However, my mom, grandma, and dad were there so they gave me a recap of those days and expressed just how serious things got. My blood pressure began to drop very low and this is when things turned scary. I later found out that Brendan’s Meme (Becky) took off almost two days of work because she was scared that I was not going to make it. This really put in prospective of how close I came to not making it. Becky is also an internist doctor and knows when situations are bad and when they are less serious. If you know her, you know that she is very positive and has been so hopeful in bad situations. I have watched her tell a woman with stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, that things were going to be okay and she gave the woman hope. My grandmother was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Becky gave her hope as she told her that if you had to have cancer, this was the one you would want to have, as the outcome was usually good. When my grandpa went to hospice care recently, she was quick to say that she just had a patient admitted to hospice. but they recently, were doing so good that they got to leave. This is just to say that in any moment she can be positive, so, for her to take off work to go home and cry, really showed how serious things got.
After almost a week on the ventilator, I began to get stable, and was able to leave ICU. During all the hard days (and even the less hard days), there is only one thing I could think of and that was my Brendan. That boy, I think, saved my life. When I was at my absolute worst, the only thing I could think of, was him. I cried many tears thinking about him and the thought of him losing his mom, broke.my.heart. I couldn’t let that happen. You couldn’t know how much it hurt being away from him. I missed some really important times in his life. I even missed his graduation. Before I was admitted to GRU, I remember telling the GI doctor at my local hospital that I had to be at his graduation. The doctor looked at me and told me that if I left the hospital, I wouldn’t make it. He also said that by missing his graduation, I was giving Brendan the gift of me be being able to be present for future milestones. I am glad that doctor looked clearly at my situation and was able to put in context just how bad the reality of my illness was.
I know that this post is mostly a quick overview of some the times I spent in the hospital last summer. I really didn’t want this post to be so much about that but that is what it turned into. I really want to go back to the subject of Brendan. I was recently outside watching him play basketball and I casually asked him what he would say if someone asked him to give an account of the best things he’s done in life and what he has meant to the world? He thought for a second and described his skills in sports. I wanted to tell him that he didn’t need to discount the fact that he filled his mom’s heart with hope when she was going through such a tough battle and how he saved my life in so many ways. If it weren’t for him, I’m honestly not sure that I would have pulled through. However, instead of telling him this, I just smiled at his innocence and kept watching him shoot hoops with his basketball. I love that boy so much. That is all I have to say.