I've been home now for six days and resting well at night. For any of you who have had extended stays in hospital, you will know that it is no place to be when you feel sick. What a joke. I was admitted because my kidneys were failing, but it took a day to figure that out, and for the next two weeks each day involved another test or procedure that showed something else that needed sorting out. One test led to a new medication that caused another side effect that required another test. I had chest X-rays, CT scans, VG scans, dialysis, stents implanted into both ureters (didn't work), stents removed, nephrostomy tubes inserted into both kidneys (working well). Throughout it all I was nauseous, couldn't eat, was losing weight and muscle mass, had low energy and thought that I was not going to make it out alive. I developed pneumonia and low blood oxygen saturation. My body was black and blue from blood drawing and drip lines, and my veins were all flat. My pain threshold had plummeted and I whimpered like a baby at the sight of a nurse. Then, miraculously, the only thing keeping me in hospital was a low platelet count. We watched the numbers fluctuate, and then begin to rise over the weekend, and on last Monday I was released to go home. I couldn't leave fast enough!
Six days at home have seen my appetite restored - I sleep wonderfully on the hospital bed that we have rented that allows me to live on the ground floor, with easy access to the garden. Fresh air and bird calls are therapeutic, and having friends and family drop in for short visits makes me feel more normal. I am slowly gaining my strength back - I can walk around the garden now and eat meals at the table.
I am taking anticoagulant injections each day till my platelet count is normal - JP and Eric have had to learn to inject me (a harrowing, but successful venture), and I am on antibiotics until Monday. After that I will hopefully be free from medication, except for the pain killers that I am still taking for belly pain - and perhaps that will disappear too over the next couple of weeks.
We had a freakish accident occur yesterday while I was taking the sun in the garden. On his way to get me a sun hat, JP put Ranger onto my lap. Ranger's leg slipped between the slats and he tried to jump down, twisting his leg in a very painful way. Ranger, hanging upside down, screamed, clawed my legs and bit my foot. I screamed and managed to lift his leg out of the chair. JP ran back totally confused, and we cleaned up my painful wounds. The nurse came shortly after and did another clean-up - says to watch the area for infection over the weekend. I was going to try to go for a pedicure with Miriam on Monday, but doesn't look like this is going to happen now, as soaking my foot doesn't look like an option any time soon.
Good friend Jenn came from Montreal and spent a whole day with me. Her major contribution was making a contraption to hold my nephrostomy bags, and taking pressure off the tubes, allowing me to be active during the day. Bless her.
Every day I am feeling stronger and more active - thus this blog today. Thanks so much to everyone who has been keeping in touch - even though I have not been responding personally, I have taken strength from your good wishes.