Friday, October 30, 2009

such a slow and frusterating recovery

It has been two weeks since I discharged from the hospital. I am getting better but the past two weeks have been horrible and frustrating! The first week was really bad! I could barely walk around without getting winded and have to lay back down. So I pretty much spent that first week on bed-rest. This second week has been a little better. I have been able to do more but I still get exhausted and tired from normal everyday activities like showering and washing my hair, walking up the stairs, cleaning up my room or doing laundry, ect. So that has been super frustrating because I feel like such a useless and lazy person. Also, with all the meds and anti-biotics I am on, I am super nauseous all the time. And I am still having a hard time swallowing (from the breathing tube) so I have been really really struggling with eating. I know I am not eating enough, but I am trying to eat something every couple of hours. I am eating things like soup, bananas, pudding, yogurt - things that are soft and easy to swallow. I also have my breathing exercises that I have to do every hour and it's so hard because my lungs are not doing well and I can't get much out of them - but they are slowly getting better.


My roommates have been so supportive and so great with all of this! I love them all so much for all the help and the love they have been showing me. I hope they know how much I appreciate them. Also, my mom - bless her heart - has really helped me a ton with things I need or can't do myself. I love my mama! And all of you who have called, texted, or visited me and gave me words of encouragement or just to talk. I love you all too!
 

Last week I had a follow-up appointment with my urologist. And things were looking good as far as the kidney infection and everything go. He just reminded me that my body has been through a lot and I need to take care of it and be patient. I will have another follow-up with him in December. He is really cool, I like him a lot.
 

This past Monday, I was finally able to see my therapist for the first time since the hospital. It was really good to see him and be able to process everything that happened. But he was very concerned about me and is very worried about where I am emotionally and physically. He asked me if I had seen my dietitian yet and I told him that I see her on Wednesday. But I wasn't able to drive down and see her because I was too sick - so that is not good and I know my treatment team is not going to be happy about that. The only treatment I have gotten in the past three weeks is one session with my therapist... which is not good considering I am crumbling in that area of my life.

Today, on the other hand, was not so lovely. I had an appointment with my regular doctor whom I have been avoiding all summer because if you remember, the last time I saw her she called the paramedics to take me to the e.r. - she has not been my favorite person lately. I was so nervous to see her - especially because I know I haven't been eating well and was worried that I had lost even more weight. She (like everyone else) was very concerned. When she walked into the room she said "Jenn! How are you feeling? We almost lost you a couple of weeks ago!" Geez, thanks doc. Anyways, she said that my weight did drop and that I need to be eating more even if I am feeling sick because I am in a danger zone with my weight and I need to stabilize it. I am trying!! Honest I am!!! We talked for a while, she lectured me for a while, took a lot of tests, and let me go home! No ambulance this time - and that seriously made my day!!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

journal notes from my hospital stay

(Friday October 9th) - I had to go to the E.R. today because I was in severe pain and all night yesterday and this morning I have been throwing up (or dry heaving) almost every single hour! My sister drove me down there and my mom met me at the hospital.

I had been feeling kinda sick - but then on Wednesday night the left side of my stomach and lower back were hurting so bad I couldn't move. I have had kidney stones and kidney infections in the past so I knew the pain and I knew that's what it was. My mom picked me up and drove me to an InstaCare and they said that it looked like I did have either an infection or a stone. So they gave me pain medication (thank God!) and anti-biotics and sent me on my way. Then we get to Thursday night and today. So I went to the E.R. and we found out that I had a really large kidney stone.  They said that it was impacted and there was no way I would be able to pass it on my own. So, they admitted me to stay overnight and I am going to have the surgery in the morning and then go home. I've never had surgery so I am kinda nervous. 

(Sunday October 11th) - Well, things took a unexpected turn and really scary turn yesterday.  I am still not sure what's going on.  I am in the intensive care unit with an oxygen mask on because I am unable to breathe on my own.  I don't have very much energy but wanted to write in here about what's been happening.  Yesterday morning, I went in for the surgery. My urologist was there and they told me to relax and just breathe... The next thing I remember is waking up and the doctor was saying "Jenn, breathe for me! Come on, take a deep breathe! I need you to breathe for me! Jenn, do you know who I am? What is my name? Breathe! Come on Jenn, you need to breathe! Look at me - do you know where you are? Can you breathe for me? Come on Jenn!" The doctor and the nurses were all around me and I was shaking so bad and I had an oxygen mask on and I started to cry (well, tears running down my cheeks was all my body was able to do). Then I remember waking up again in the ICU. The doctor came in to talk to me and he seemed pretty worried. This is what they told me happened. When they went in (through the urethra) to get the stone out, it turns out it had been blocking the kidney from emptying which caused the kidney to swell and become distended. So there was a lot of fluid and stuff in the kidney which caused a pretty nasty infection. Also, from all the throwing up & dry heaving I somehow aspirated and when they put me under the anesthesia and put the breathing tube down my throat it made that worse and I developed aspiration pneumonia. My body wasn't strong enough for everything that was happening and my blood pressure plummeted and I went into septic shock and acute respiratory distress. Anyways, the official diagnosis was...

nephrolithiasis (or kidney stone)
hydronephrosis & kidney infection
pneumonia due to aspiration & other septic bacteria
sepsis
acute respiratory distress

So in other words, I am pretty lucky to be alive right now considering what had happened. My body was already in very poor condition due to my eating disorder and that's why all of this stuff happened... My body wasn't strong enough. So, now I am in the ICU. I am feeling pretty horrible, weak, tired, you name it - I am probably feeling it.

(Monday October 12th) - Today is my third day in the ICU. I am doing a little better. My oxygen levels are getting a little higher but are still dangerously low. I am on so many iv medications & oral medications it's crazy! and they keep coming in to take blood tests & other sorts of tests. I have a catheter in so I don't have to worry about attempting to get up and go to the bathroom since I can barely sit up anyways. They are moving me to a regular room today and out of the ICU!! That means things are slowly getting better!

(Tuesday October 13th) - I am in my new room now. I am so weak and have no energy and I hate just laying here all day long, everyday but I can't do anything else. I have had a few visitors yesterday and today and that has been nice. My mom comes and stays with me as much as she can but my dad is at home recuperating from double knee surgery and so she is trying to juggle being in two places at once. I told her that it's fine for her to not be here with me and to be at home with dad because I have nurses and doctors watching over me. My therapist found out I was in the hospital when my mom called this morning to cancel my appointments. He called me on my cell phone this evening but I was not in the mood to talk so I let him talk to my mom. She updated him on what happened. It was really nice of him to call. I know he cares about me, but for him to make that extra effort just shows that it's true - especially since he has been super tough on me lately (well, to be fair... he has been tough - even mean - but it's been necessary because I was slipping and he knew it a lot more that I did because I have been living in my world of denial & disassociation and not wanting to accept how bad things were and he was trying to stop something like this from happening).

(Thursday October 15th) - The past few days, have pretty much been the same. Doctors and nurses coming in and out all day long to talk to me, give me meds, check to see if I am eating, giving me breathing treatments, taking x-rays, ect. (and by the way, they have really turned into the food police with me!) Since they knew I was suffering from anorexia, I guess they feel like it is their duty and their job to get me to eat. I mean, I am used to it because that's how most people in my life are right now...but it doesn't make it any less annoying. They took the catheter out on Tuesday so I have been able to get up and use the bathroom. But I have to push my IV pole in one hand and my oxygen machine in the other and then slowly waddle into the bathroom. By the time I get there I am already tired and out of breath! The nurse tries to help me but I guess I am too stubborn and tell her I am fine. I should let her help me though. I got in trouble last night because I really had to pee and I was tired of waiting for the nurse to come help me because it takes them so long, so I decided to just hurry and take off the oxygen mask and just take the IV pole and hurry into the bathroom. When I got out of the bathroom, the nurse was in my room and I got in so much trouble for not taking the oxygen with me...oops! Also, I finally got to shower and wash my hair today!! I was so excited but I almost collapsed in the shower because I didn't have the energy or breath for it so I had to stop and my mom had to help me back into bed.   It's so scary to not be able to breathe very well.  This whole week has been really scary for me and I keep having nightmares about those moments when I came out of the anesethia and couldn't breathe and everyone was around me frantic.  I can't get it out of my mind.

(Friday October 16th) - I get to go home tonight!!! Last night and all day today I have been breathing without the oxygen. I am still very sick and very weak but I am stable enough to leave the hospital. I am going to stay with my parents for a few days to make sure I am okay and then I am going to go home. It will be nice to be out of the hospital. 

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This past month has been so frightening for me.  My body is still struggling to recovery from everything that happened while I was in the hospital.  I still have a hard time walking around or exerting any type of energy without struggling to breathe and feeling worn out.  But slowly, I am getting better day by day. 

Throughout my eating disorder, I have had a lot of close calls with my eating disorder - but this has been the worst one by far!! I am NOT invincible and my body WILL shut down if I continue to let the eating disorder control my life.  This whole experience was a wake up call for me.  I can't keep living the way I am.  I know this.  I need to find a way to fight this and beat this illness!  I hate my ed and everything it has done to me and taken away from me.  So why can't I let it go!?!?


Sunday, October 18, 2009

A big thank you!

I just want to thank everyone who came to visit me (and those who wanted to but were unable to, and the ones who did stop by but were unable to see me because I was asleep or not able to have visitors) while I was in the hospital. And all the people who wrote to me and texted me! The love and support meant so much to me and was a big reason why I was able to make it through this past week and a half. I am glad to be home and out of the hospital but I still have a loooooong ways to go before I am "out of the woods" but your support and love mean the world to me! : )

Sunday, October 4, 2009

trying to find my strength

I will not give up! I can't give up!! I deserve more!!! I don't want to be held captive by my mind anymore - it's no way to live (if you can even call it living. I don't - I call it merely surviving). But how do I do this?? I have been working SO hard and fighting for recovery and fighting to change my irrational & distorted mind...but I seem to be failing at it. 

Sometimes, especially lately, I feel like maybe this is the best my life will be and I just need to learn to accept that... But I don't want to accept that! I don't!! I have dreams and I want to be able to achieve them! I have hopes and plans for my future and I can't have my e.d. and all of these things - believe me, I have tried!
 
I know that I just need to keep on going, especially during the horrible, painful, & scary times. I can't give in to this illness - because this illness wont stop until it has taken my life and put me in the ground. Anorexia is a slow suicide. I can deny that fact all I want, or refuse to let myself believe it - but it doesn't change the fact that if I continue the way that I am going...it will kill me. I am not going to let it! I'm not!! So, I just need to continue trusting (such a scary word for me) my treatment team, my family, & my friends to help guide me and support me through this until I am able to stand on my own. Sometimes, I might need their help more than other times, and sometimes I might need them to carry me - but that's okay because they love me and want me to get better. I can do this. I can be strong!! I can find that strength inside of me to beat this!