When I try to wrap my head around last week, all I can say is woah. I am truly impressed by the out pouring of love and support from our friends and family. For the doctors who worked round the clock, and the patient nurses who were happy to answer all my dumb questions. For Micah who stuck with me, helped me walk when I couldn’t on my own (even in the middle of the night), kept me company and never left me alone.
Many people have asked what happened, ill do my best to explain. Please keep in mind this was a very traumatic and personal experience, please tread softly. This will also be a bit of an overshare, and not a great story for the faint of heart/squeamish. Also, let me point out I’ve never had a problem with anemia, I’ve never been hospitalized and I’m in generally good health. This came out of the crazy blue nowhere.
Friday and Saturday I felt under the weather but nothing strange, I was having my period and it was heavier than normal. I had stayed home alone on Saturday, I spend the day crafting and napping. When Micah got home from work I made dinner and went to bed a bit early.
I had a hard time sleeping and ended up being up most of the night. Sometime around 6:30 I got up to use the restroom, next thing I know Micah is shaking me and yelling my name. Micah said he woke up because I was making zombie noises and gurgling (like when the sink backs up when the dishwasher is running), I was white as a sheet- my lips were the same color as my face, my eyes were wide open but I was unresponsive. When he shook me, I started coming back in and out of consciousness; I remember him on the phone with 911 and I was trying to tell him I was ok ‘I don’t need an ambulance’. He laid me on the floor and made sure my airway was open, I was awake but couldn’t move and it was hard to breathe.
Next thing I know the bathroom is swarmed with EMTs, I hear them say things like ‘I can’t find a pulse’, ‘no blood pressure reading’, and ‘I can’t get any blood’ (for the glucose reading). They put me in a foldable stretcher and hustle me to the ambulance; I’m promptly hooked up to a bunch of machines and an IV was put in and I started getting fluids. I kept asking for Micah and they said he’d meet me at the hospital. They ask me questions like who is president, what the day is, and how many quarters are in a $1.75- which I got wrong.
When I get to the ER, I notice the nurses giving me funny looks. I’m put in a room, more fluids, more machines; I look down at me feet at some point and I see my toes are bone white. Eventually they let Micah back, me try’s to explain to me what had happened. I’m more concerned with a fundraising Spaghetti Dinner we have planned for YW. ‘Make sure they remind the girls! Please call them!’ I plead, Micah try’s to explain to me that I’m in the hospital and I’ve got bigger fish to fry (he did call them, cause he’s awesome like that). My body downs 3 bags of saline by the time the doctor comes back with the test results.
He tells me that I am severely dehydrated and my blood count is low but not low enough for a transfusion (my red blood count was at 8.1 normal is 12+), they are going to monitor me and see if I start to get better with fluids.
I was in the ER for about 8 hours before they admitted me to the hospital, they decided to keep me overnight. Once I’m moved to the hospital room our home teachers came and I get a blessing, she brings me a huge bag of goodies- books, magazines, stationary, nail polish, cookies, you name it. A good pick me up for sure! I had other friends visit, it was so nice to just talk and feel normal for that little bit. Micah was excited cause they’d brough cookies with Oreo middles (these people are desert royalty). Mitch had been at guard, he came in at some point in the evening. It was a huuuuge blessing having him be able to man the store while we were MIA.
I get hardly any sleep, hospitals are scary and my IV hurt, my head was pounding all night. The next morning my blood count plummets to 5.3, I need a transfusion.
The new blood makes my arms very cold, I think to myself that this is Cpt America blood and I’ll be a super hero after this. The transfusion takes about 4 hours, then they retest my blood count. I’m still only at 7.2. I still can’t walk without help, I’m dizzy and lightheaded, I feel my heartbeat in my head. They go ahead and give me another transfusion, since I’ll need to stay another night anyway.
More friend come and visit, I feel so lucky to have so much support. We FaceTime with Micah’s parents in New Zealand, and chat with other family. I’m still very weak and easily winded, but feel a huge improvement with the second transfusion. I no longer look like a twilight character, my color slowly starts to return. A friend brings me a giant burger for dinner, it is delicious!
They put ‘squeezies’ on my legs, I’ve been in bed so long they are worried about clots. They next morning I wake up (I actually got some sleep!) and feel so much better. I can walk on my own, no pounding or dizziness, yippee! My blood count is still only 7.8 (still lower than when I came in) but I’m feeling so much better, they let me go home! My parents arrive that night, to help with my recovery. I still can’t really be alone but I’m moving around ok, just very very slow.
The next couple days are ok, my mom stuffed me with food every chance she could and they crack jokes about ‘grandma steffie’.
A week later I’m still not 100%. I get winded easily and walk slow, head aches happen quickly, and I’m frustrated I can’t get more done. But I feel like I’m making progress.
It was a traumatic weekend for Micah and I, he commented that when he found me Sunday morning her was worried the ambulance wouldn’t be able to get there in time. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all. That and throwing wild guesses at what my hospital bill might be…. Yikes.
P.s. my Mom helped me big time with the Spaghetti Dinner, it went great!