I'm back!

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
I'm back!
5
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 6:53pm

I'm so so so sorry that I haven't been able to check in sooner and let you all know what was happening to me.  

I've been sick for so long and unconscious for a lot of it that my time line is all messed up.  I keep asking "what month are we in?"  

It all started when I moved out of the apartment in Dallas.  I accidentally packed my cleaning gloves and instead of running out and buying a pair at the dollar store I decided in a moment of insanity, to go ahead and clean the apartment with bleach and my bare hands.  HUGE mistake.  It caused my hands to dry out and crack.  I was also gardening at the time and my hands became infected with a some sort of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Three weeks I went daily to the clinic where they monitored my hands.  They would clean them and that often involved them digging around in my wounds.  At least they gave me something for the pain.  Still it was incredibly painful.  When I take pain meds, even asprin, I fall asleep.   I know that I have slept at least two and a half months of my life away.  It is just gone.  That's why I'm confused at to what month we are in, what day of the week I'm on and what number day it is.  I keep asking everyone.  I'm trying to get reoriented.

Anyway, after three weeks of this bacteria continuing to worsen instead of getting better they hospitalized me so that I could be given stronger antibiotics.  Just as a side note, I was convinced I had leprosy and they weren't telling me.  LOL!  This action caused my immune system (which I have problems with) to go into over drive and they had to give me steroids to shut it down.  That caused my lungs to fill with fluid and they had to be drained.  I was put in ICU and tubes were put down my throat.  That has always been my biggest fear in life.  That was major anxiety the second I found out and they told me about two seconds before they did it.  Seriously, they had to sedate me some.  

This fluid in the lungs thing went on and on.  I would get drained and given drugs to dry me up and I would seem all better and they would send me home and within 48 hours, I was back in ICU with my lungs filling up rapidly.  Another tube down my throat and me panicking all over again about the tube.  I would lay there and think, 'My grandfather died from his lungs filling up with fluid.  My grandmother, only had half a lung and it filled up with fluid right before she died.'   Well after I don't know how many weeks of this I was fed up and decided that if these doctors didn't know what the heck was causing this someone else would.  

So, I set up an appointment with a new doctor at a different hospital.  I chose a teaching hospital.  This young intern came in, she has a heavy accent because she speaks Mandarin Chinese as her first language, but with patience and her taking just one look at my records she asked me a serious of questions and then asked me if I had  Asthma.  I haven't been diagnosed with that before.  I thought I had asthma one time before and went to see a doctor who told me it was sinus problems and allergies. I do have bad allergies and sinus problems but this was different.  She left the room and went to find her attending and came back a few minutes later and told me that I probably had asthma and she would do a few simple tests to find out and I went home with an inhaler.

I got out of the first hospital two days before Hurricane Isaac hit.  I saw her the day before Isaac hit.  We were without power from the night Hurricane Isaac hit until about 6 days after he was gone. The heat was helpful to my condition at all but I muddled through and my aunt got her power back two days before us and we went to stay with her.  

The good news, with all of that, I have not had any fluid in my lungs and that inhaler is like a miracle to me.  The bad news, I want to slap some doctors at that first hospital.  I'm seriously ticked off that they couldn't figure something like Asthma.  It's not like it's all that rare.  That first hospital is where I initially went with my complaint that I couldn't breath and I though I might have asthma and they said it was allergies.  AND I'm kind of mad at myself for believing them when deep down inside that sixth sense of mine that little voice was telling me it was asthma.  I should have listened to it.  

Anyway, I'm back and I can't thank CM Karla enough for keeping the light on for me, since I simply just disappeared from the boards.  

I am sorry I just disappeared on you all as well.  It just happened so fast.  I had asked my son to try to get a message my cm's but that didn't happen.

I'm off to catch up with everyone.   

 

siggy line


 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 10:09pm

~hugs~

Hi Karen!

Welcome Back!

I have Asthma and so does dd and ds.

The three of us could never tolerate bleach (Amonia).

Aerosols either.

So sorry that it was not caught sooner.

My sister has it and so does my brother I think although he is un-diagnosed.

 

Nightangel
Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 9:15am

Hi Karen-we are so thankful you are alive and back with us!

I find your infection interesting. My niece got an infection earlier this summer in the top of her finger and they think it might have been from swimming in a creek. No one thought a thing about it until it started to spread and wasn't responding to antibiotics. It wasn't long until she was very sick and they had run tests and treated her with every antibiotic and antiviral known to man. This went on for a few weeks and finally one day just stopped spreading and she started improving. They aren't sure what finally worked and don't know what it was to begin with. Very scary stuff!

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 8:14pm

I think the whole thing could have been avoided had I just taken the five minute drive to the dollar store and bought a pair of cleaning gloves.  On the up side, at least now I know I have asthma and can take better care of me.

siggy line


 

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 8:22pm

Karla, it was scary.  Right before I was admitted we saw a story on the news about a girl who had to have both her arms partially amputated because of a flesh eating bacteria that wasn't responding to antibiotics.  The doctors aren't sure what worked to make it stop but it stopped spreading and then it cleared up.  It left my hands very raw, then they were hard and dry and I had to keep ointments on my hands to keep them from cracking again.  Finally, it didn't hurt anymore and the ointments were stopped.  My hands pealed for a few days but now they are back to feeling like hands again.  Really, my hands became secondary to the fluid in my lungs.  My grandfather died from fluid in his lungs, and my grandmother died from fluid in her half a lung.  That kept going through my mind in ICU.  I couldn't shake those thoughts. 

And think this intern that I finally saw is a freakin' genious.  I gave her a very favorable review. 

siggy line


 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 5:06pm

~hugs~

Nightangel