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Four years ago today...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MoodyBlues, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    Today marks a tough anniversary for me, but with a happy ending. :)

    Four years ago today, I was on the floor, where I'd collapsed the day before. I was within feet of two phones, but did not have the strength to reach up for them. My landline was blowing up with calls every few seconds. I could tell the answering machine was picking up, but I couldn't hear its callers. My cats, especially Joy Noelle, were baffled by why Mommy was on the floor; she'd check in with me every few minutes.

    At some point I realized I was going to die--and I was totally at peace with that. There was no fear, no sorrow, no regrets. I knew I had told the people closest to me that I love them. Weeks earlier, I had updated my will and trust. Everything was in order.

    From the phone blowing up...at some point I said to myself, I know what's coming. And it did. The Arcadia police banged on my window, setting off the alarm; they were shouting to be heard. I managed a 'yes' when they asked if I needed help. They broke down my kitchen door. Police and firefighters and paramedics swarmed through the house, terrifying my poor cats, who did a great job of finding safe places to hide.

    Several of my relatives, including my out-of-state daughter, had been trying to reach me. [A year later I finally listened to their messages; it was heart-wrenching. The last message was my aunt saying 'okay, we're calling the police.'] My daughter logged in to my ADT account at some point, and saw that the alarm hadn't been turned off for a few days; definitely not normal. She's the one who called the police, but only managed to get out 'my mom' before breaking down sobbing; my son-in-law took over, giving the police my info.

    From that point forward, my memory fades in and out. I remember being put in the ambulance, but not the drive to the hospital; I remember being run into an ER bay, and doctors and nurses swarming around me. The nurses started to cut off my shirt; I managed to say 'no' and they propped me up and took it off. Everything's very fuzzy after that.

    In the days that followed, partially from my own recall but largely from my family and doctors, I know I was in the ICU for a week; I know I had cardiac failure, renal failure, and respiratory failure. Being immobile on the floor for 24 hours caused rhabdomyolysis, a very severe problem where skeletal tissue breaks down, enters the bloodstream, then wreaks havoc on the kidneys.

    I was told that had it not been for getting treatment when I did, I would've died within three hours. It was sepsis. That was the culprit. The ER physicians had the knowledge and foresight to start IV antibiotics and fluids immediately, instead of waiting for lab results--that's what saved my life. Had they waited, well, I wouldn't be typing this. :)

    One day I made a feeble attempt to reach for my hairbrush on the bedside table. A nurse ran over and put my brush out of reach and said, 'you're not allowed to brush your hair! The exertion could trigger cardiac arrest.' Who knew?

    There's much more, including a 10x8cm liver abscess, seven surgeries, intractable vomiting, surgical implantation of a J-tube for feeding, multiple central lines/PICC lines. Six months of continuous IV antibiotics, fluids, morphine, and nutrition got me well enough to go home. Then a few more months of in-home RN visits, physical therapists, bathing aides, and I was well enough to continue recovering on my own, with frequent visits [in my wheelchair] to my doctor. [My live-in helper has been here since I came home.]

    I was humbled by many things that happened along the way. Being too weak to use a bedpan, I was in diapers. At first, I was mortified by having people cleaning me up after pooping...I kept saying "I'm sorry...", but the CNAs kept telling me there's nothing to apologize about. I always said 'thank you' when they were done. One of the CNAs I got to know pretty well. As he was cleaning me up and changing my diaper, he told me all about his ugly recent divorce, and how he'd thought she was really the one... I was on a 2-hour turn schedule, since I couldn't move myself. I was so grateful for the care I received.

    It was well over two years before I had the strength to get back online, and even then I just barely dabbled with checking in here, then realizing I still wasn't up to it. I now happily spend all day on my Android devices, plus some time on my main computer. :D

    I can never say enough about the doctors, nurses, CNAs, and physical therapists who took care of me. Not all doctors would've started the aggressive treatment they did, as quickly as they did. With sepsis, there's an actual timetable--they can calculate how much longer one would live without treatment. Three hours. That was mine.

    I have Post-Sepsis Syndrome, but I'm basically okay with it. Considering the alternative.

    At this point, my doctors have said it's unlikely I'll improve further. But it's okay. I'm content with my life, grateful for everything I have, and figure if this is as good as it's going to get, it's okay. :)

    AMOCO, Milo Willamson, Gmash and 4 others like this.

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  2. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
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    @MoodyBlues, I've said it before and I will say it again, you are truly inspirational.

    Lots and lots of hugs across the pond.


    joe71, ocnbrze and MoodyBlues like this.
  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    Thanks, dear @tommo47. The funny thing is, I think you're inspirational. :)

    Your grace and strength as you've battled your illness is inspiring. And when I see that you've been puttering about in your garden, whacking branches here, pulling weeds there, I'm so happy for you. :D
    ocnbrze and tommo47 like this.
  4. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    @MoodyBlues, I'm deeply moved hearing your situation... I had no clue.
    My prayers and well wishes are always with you, my friend.
    Stay strong and just keep being you!!!
    joe71, ocnbrze and MoodyBlues like this.
  5. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    Two+ weeks into my hospitalization, my aunt did something that was just so thoughtful. Instead of getting flowers from a florist, she came to my house and cut flowers from my garden--which she knew was my favorite hangout.

    They meant so much more to me than purchased flowers ever could! She said to think about my garden, and getting back out there, each time I looked at the flowers. I did. :D

  6. Steven58


    Glad you are well-er. I was in septic shock once. No fun.
    ocnbrze, Dannydet and MoodyBlues like this.
  7. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    No, indeed.

    You know, of course I had heard of sepsis, had a passing knowledge of it, and knew people die from it. But I never could've imagined it irrevocably changing my life...or keeping me hospitalized, and 100% dependent, for six months.

    Now when I'm watching something on TV, and they warn that 'it could lead to sepsis, which can kill you,' I nod my head knowingly.
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  8. Steven58


    I had no clue. I ignored pneumonia. LOL.. I promised my late wife that I wouldn't ignore symptoms anymore. I have kept that promise.
  9. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    thanx for sharing @MoodyBlues. though it is very sad that you had to go thru such trauma.....to see you now and how you overcome those obstacles is truly inspiring.

    is there any way i can give you a hug, but be socially distant?:goofydroid::goofydroid::goofydroid:
    #9 ocnbrze, Jun 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  10. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    That's a good promise to keep!

    The weird thing for me is that I did--and didn't--ignore symptoms. I had been feeling increasingly worse for several months. Just 4 weeks before collapsing, I'd seen my primary doc, and he'd done full lab work...and nothing was amiss. But I told him, verbatim, I feel like SHIT! :eek:

    So as I continued getting worse, even after the night I had body-shaking chills and suddenly became incontinent [in both ways], I kept telling myself 'there's nothing wrong...' I've given much thought to what I could have/should have done differently, and I'm kind of at a loss. I clearly was very sick--but what about those labs a month earlier?!

    Given the size of the liver abscess, no one can explain how labs done just a month before didn't reveal elevated liver values. The abscess had to have been festering for a long time to reach 10x8cm. :thinking:

    I don't remember, @Steven58, did your organs fail, too? I know we've talked sepsis before, but my memory's not what it used to be! [That's mainly due to old age, just partially to sepsis. :D]
    ocnbrze likes this.
  11. joe71

    joe71 Android Expert

    First Praise God for bringing you through such a trying ordeal and praise the Lord for his mercies and in having all the right people in the right places at the right time.
    @MoodyBlues you will be in my thoughts and prayers
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  12. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    That's very thoughtful, @joe71. Thank you. :)
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  13. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    I record a show called Autopsy: the Last Hours of... Each episode is about a well-known person/celebrity, and is hosted/narrated by Dr Michael Hunter, San Francisco's Chief Medical Examiner.

    I recently watched the episode about Patty Duke, the multi-talented actor and author, who died shortly before I got sick. If, when she died, I heard that the cause was sepsis, it didn't register; I didn't recall that at all when I watched this episode.

    I'm a regular contributor on IMDb, and I transcribed the following from Duke's episode, intending to submit it as a quote, then realizing it was just too long. So that my typing effort doesn't go completely to waste, I'm pasting it in here for those who may be interested in Dr Hunter's conclusion, and his description of sepsis:

    "Despite all heroic surgical maneuvers, I believe the infection set in, not responding to treatment, and Patty developed sepsis. Sepsis is the overwhelming response of the immune system to infection.

    Chemicals released into the blood at this point trigger widespread inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. As a result, serious organ damage, or death, may occur.

    Although not all cases of sepsis are fatal, up to 30 million people worldwide die from it every year.

    Sepsis moves quickly and needs to be treated immediately with antibiotics. Patty's doctors would've avoided penicillin due to her allergy, but this would not have put her health in any further danger at this point.

    The final stage of sepsis is septic shock, when a significant drop in blood pressure leads to respiratory or heart failure, stroke, failure of other organs, and death.

    Patty's heart and lungs were already compromised by her heart disease and history of emphysema, making her battle to stay alive much harder. Patty Duke died of sepsis as a result of her ruptured intestine."

    There you have it. Two months before I nearly died from sepsis, it killed one of my childhood favorites. Duke was a hugely talented person, courageous, and groundbreaking with her open talk of mental illness. Thanks to her, some of the stigma [wrongly] associated with mental illness was lifted, and people sought help instead of hiding in shame. She's missed.
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  14. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    Wow Moody you are an amazing soul my dear sister :)
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  15. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    @MoodyBlues , you are the Definition of a true fighter.......... never quit the fight .
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  16. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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  17. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    Thanks, Bears. You can't imagine how timely your words are. :)
  18. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    So I'm watching another episode of Autopsy: the Last Hours of..., this one about Adam West, or to us Baby Boomers, Batman [in the 1960s TV show]. Care to guess what killed him? :thinking:

    Yep, sepsis.

    Dr Hunter explains that although West had just been diagnosed with AML [acute myeloblastic leukemia], his cause of death was "cardiovascular collapse arising out of septic shock." He continues, "Following the development of sepsis, Adam's body would've gone into septic shock," and how that leads to a drop in blood pressure, organs failing, and death.

    I had no idea how many well-known people had succumbed to sepsis...
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  19. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    are you sure it was sepsis and not poison ivy that killed Batman?

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  20. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    Now...I'm not so sure! :D
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