Thursday, May 29, 2014

On the mend - at last!

Well "Hi" to anyone out there who still takes the time to look at my blog.  I appreciate you following me. Especially considering that the last time I said anything on this blog was almost a year ago!
Life got a bit hectic, especially this year....  I remember I had to go to hospital for about 8 days in July last year due to a chest infection and asthma, and then I guess I just got busy with "things".
Anyway, on New Year's Eve, (after battling a chest infection and asthma at home and seeing my GP etc., for about 10 days at home), I needed my hubbie to take me into hospital as I was just getting worse.
We thought it would be crazy busy when we went in, although it was early in the evening, but it was very quiet actually.
After all the normal things that they do when you have bad asthma... give you a nebuliser, put you on oxygen, do an ECG, check all your vital signs, put in an IV gelco, take blood, do a chest x-ray, and and ABG (Arterial Blood Gas test) *ouch* (which showed I was Hypoxic - too much Carbon Dioxide in the blood).... they admitted me.  So eventually hubbie was able to leave me in their safe hands and go off to babysit our little grandson, which was what we had already arranged for that evening.
I think they kept me in that time for about 8 or 9 days, and I was sent home still on Prednisolone (Cortisone) which is what they give you in large doses when you have asthma.  Great medication, but has horrid side effects of a puffy face, and gaining weight.  Anyway, sent home and sort of started to get a "bit" better, when a couple of weeks later I became worse again, and eventually had to be taken back to hospital, and went through the whole thing again in the Emergency Department before they decided to admit me again.
Well... that was the second admission.  In total this year I have been admitted FOUR times with a chest infection and asthma by April!!  Basically every month!!
Although this last admission was by far the worst one, in as much as how I felt, and how they really had trouble trying to get me better.
I went into our local public hospital on the 14th of April, and they transferred me to be under a private specialist and in a nice private hospital on the 16th of April... and I did not come home until Friday 16the May.... 4 weeks and 2 days later!!
It is the longest I have ever been in hospital, and it really does make you appreciate when your health is good, and you can go about your daily "stuff" each day without feeling unwell or so incredibly lethargic.
I was on oxygen for 4 weeks... and needing hourly nebulisers for about a total of 7 weeks, as I had needed them hourly before I went to hospital, and then still needed them for about a week when I finally came home as well.
In between all this, I lost my dear Mum as well.
On March the 7th I was being discharged from the public hospital after admission number 3 I think, when my mobile rang.  It was the RN from the Nursing Home where Mum was, and she said she just wanted to update me on Mum's condition.  I didn't think much of this, as they would occasionally ring to check I was happy with how Mum was being treated, and the care she was being given etc.  So I just though that was why she was phoning, and I explained I was just being discharged from hospital, and could I please phone them back in half an hour when I got home.
She suggested that she phone my sister (who lives in Queensland) and because I thought it was just an ordinary update, I agreed that perhaps she could do that, and then I would speak to my sister later.
What I didn't know was that she was actually phoning to advise that Mum was not very well, and they were concerned that she would not last the long week-end, so they wanted to let us know.  Her breathing was very shallow, and she had been refusing food and drink for a number of weeks, and also spitting out her medications... so they were struggling to keep her nourished.
Anyway, I arrived home about 10.45am and at about 11.15am I got a phone call from my sister to say that Mum had just passed away!
Obviously it was an awful shock, because I knew she was not very well, but she had been taking some thickened fluids, and some ice cream, and the last time I had seen her she had not looked too bad.
It had been about 4 weeks since I had been able to see her, as I had been so unwell I didn't want to take the risk of passing on my chest infection to her (or anyone else in the Nursing Home) - so I had just been phoning to see how she was going, but had not been to actually see her.
Thankfully my sister had been to see her recently as they had been on a cruise which docked in Adelaide for a few days, so she and her husband had disembarked here and stayed a couple of days before flying home to Queensland.
It made me feel a bit better to know that Mum had at least seen one of us in her last couple of weeks... as I did feel very bad that I had not been to see her.  We usually went every week.
Consequently, the hospital telling me to "go home, but take it easy for a couple of weeks" was a bit impossible, as all the arrangements had to be made for Mum's funeral.
We had our Pastor Laureen do the funeral as she had done my Dad's (he passed away on March 29th last year) and she did a lovely job, but of course she didn't know Mum so it was up to me to type up details of Mum's life in some sort of order for her to speak at the funeral.  I had done the same thing at Dad's funeral last year, and I was pleased with what Pastor Laureen said, and the piece that I had said about my dear Dad, plus the song I chose to be played after I had spoken.
I also wanted to speak at Mum's funeral, so it took some time, and some sleepless nights to work out what I wanted to say, and then to find a beautiful song to have at the end of my eulogy.  I was happy with how it all went though, and I am sure Mum would have been pleased with everything.
Consequently though, Mum passed away on March 7th, and by April 14th I was back in hospital!  Even though I had tried my best to fight off the infection at home, under my GP's advice.  I was onto my 3rd course of antibiotics, and using the Prednisolone myself etc., but just getting worse.... so that was why I ended up back in the hospital... again....
It wasn't quite so bad once I was in the private hospital, although I was very unwell at least I had a nice big private room, and the staff were lovely.
I had to have a Picc Line put in for the Cortisone to be given IV, and then eventually the anti-biotics too.  That was not much fun, but not too bad.  I had more chest x rays, and eventually my Physician referred me to a Pulmonary Specialist too, who did a Bronchoscopy on me, but he wouldn't do it straight away as he said I was too ill... so I had to wait a week for that to be done.
It was not too bad as they give you a light anaesthetic so you don't remember anything.  After it was over he said to me "I am not surprised that you could not breathe" as there was a lot of old "mucky mucous" in my lungs that had obviously been sitting there for quite some time, and I was just too weak to be able to cough it up and get rid of it.  The antibiotics would temporarily make the infection subside but it would flare up again time and time again.
Anyway, I am finally home, and beginning to feel better as each day goes by... Praise God... over the past couple of days I have not had to use my nebuliser anywhere near as often as I had been... so that is really great.
I am still quite tired, and still have to "take it easy" but I am certainly on the mend now, and hopefully will have no more admissions to hospital for years and years to come!!
I must be getting better, as I am itching to get back to my sewing, and to go to my friend's craft group on a Tuesday (I have not been at all this year!), plus keen to have my friday fortnight ladies over here again for sewing and craft.
We have been out a couple of times, as the weather here in Adelaide has been really lovely.  Just nice for a drive, and we had to pick up our new lamps for the Family Room, and we also chose the tiles for the Alfresco while we were out too.
Really looking forward to getting the front verandah and the alfresco tiled soon.  I am getting the front verandah done with tessallated that is what I have always wanted and it will suit the heritage style home we have built.
My roses are looking just beautiful out the front, as we have been having some lovely sunny days and plenty of rain.
I was in hospital for Easter and also for Mother's Day... but on Mother's Day I was allowed to go out for a few hours to my youngest daughter's house to see our girls and their families.. which was just lovely (although I was only there for about 2 hours, and I was exhausted afterwards).  On the drive there I could not believe that I was seeing Autumn leaves on the trees already!  I feel like I want 2014 to start all over again, as I have not had a proper chance to enjoy it!  I still have some brand new Summer clothes I didn't even get to wear.
So people... that brings you up to date a bit.... and I hope you don't think I have just written a "pity party" about myself.  I have given you my health details, but I think the main reason I wanted to let you know what has been happening is because I want you all to realise how precious our health is, and I urge you not to take it for granted... things can be going along quite okay, and then *wham* something can hit you to knock you off your feet for a while.
So... love your family, your friends, your life.  Tell the people who are important to you that you love them... and appreciate your health every day!


  1. So glad you are on the mend. Once you get back to your sewing you will feel better - great therapy.I can sure relate, my husband just went thru alot of that himself. We almost lost him twice to high CO2 and he is now on the mend as well. Prayers are wonderful

  2. Hi - thankyou for reading my blog, as I had not written anything for about a year, I was delighted to see that someone had read it, and taken the time to make a comment. I am so glad your husband is on the mend too. Yes, high CO2 is very dangerous, as we sadly lost a beautiful lady who was only in her late 50's last year to this... she was one of our Pastor's from church, and is greatly missed. She had come through a high risk operation okay, but the high levels of CO2 meant they had to put her into an induced coma, and her body was not able to recover.... very sad. I am truly blessed to be on the mend now and cant wait to get back to doing everything again. Cheers!