Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I felt helpless

Oh boy....so many instances to choose from with this topic!  I think I'll go with the most recent instance for today's post, though.

This happened during the summer, on the morning of July 3rd. The night before I had been running a slight fever, so I took some Tylenol to try to knock it back, hoping to avoid going to the hospital (with chemo, I had to go in immediately if my temperature was over 100.4). My birthday is July 5th, and I really did NOT want to have to spend it in the hospital if I could help it.

As usually happens, life had other plans for me.  I woke up the next morning, got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. I only made it as far as the bedroom door before I crumpled to the floor, thanks to feeling lightheaded. I got up and went on the bathroom, where I took my temperature and discovered it was 101.7. I took an antibiotic I had been prescribed, hoping to fight off what infection it was that was making me feverish, and then went to the living room to wait for the rest of the family to wake up.

The lightheaded feeling continued anytime I stood up, and even began to get progressively worse. The temperature wasn't budging, either, so I called the Cancer Center, filled them in on my condition, and got ready to head to the ER. That was when the helpless feeling really hit me.

Trying to walk from the living room out to the garage and get in the car was quite an adventure. By that point, standing up almost immediately made me feel as though I was going to crumple to the floor...so the only way I could get to the car was with Amy on one side of me and Barry on the other, literally holding me up and practically carrying me at some points.  And even then we had to stop several times so that I didn't pass out or fall down.  Once we got to the ER, Barry got a wheelchair to get me inside, which was a lot easier on all of us.

Turned out my hemoglobin level had fallen ridiculously low, to almost nothing, so I had to get a blood transfusion before they could start antibiotics to bring down the fever, and then I wound up with a second blood transfusion later in my stay.  I spent the Fourth of July, my birthday, and that entire weekend in the hospital, not getting released until the afternoon of the 8th.

I hope that I never have to experience feeling that helpless---or that scared--ever again.  I honestly didn't know if I'd ever be coming back home when I left that day (which is something I don't think I've ever admitted to anyone before now!).

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