As I'm sure you're aware, it gets damn hot in Texas in the summer. And this summer has been one of the hottest in the last 16 years. I'd been dealing with the heat as best I could. Part of the way I deal with hot Texas summers is to sleep during the hot afternoons and be up and about during the (relatively) cooler nights.
Anyway, back in the beginning of July I started feeling real shitty. I even told my fellow writers chat group that I felt like crap for a couple of weeks when we met online. I simply chalked it up to the heat. I also stayed hyper aware of the food I consumed and made sure to increase the amount of water I was drinking. Despite everything I did to keep as cool as possible and take care of myself, I continued to feel like hell.
On Tuesday, the 27th of July, I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to go to the library and spend the day there. However, once I got about 3 steps out my back door, I realized I wasn't going anywhere, because I suddenly felt lightheaded, weak, and nauseas. Fortunately, I keep a camp chair near my back door and was able to plop down into it before I collapsed onto the ground. I sat there for several minutes trying to regain physical control over my body, particularly my legs since they were adamantly telling me that if I tried to get up from the chair, I'd end up faceplanting on the ground despite my crutches.
After 15-20 minutes of fruitless negotiation with my legs, and because "mind over matter" wasn't working, I ended up calling 9-1-1. The operator was kind and helpful, telling me after asking about my symptoms that I probably had heat exhaustion, (I agreed), and she sent an ambulance right away. The ambulance crew were also very kind and helpful. They also diagnosed me as having heat exhaustion after asking even more in depth questions and doing a cursory exam. They loaded me up in the ambulance and took me to the hospital.
Everyone in E.R. at the hospital was professional and proficient. The only drawback was that after I was checked in, and had a chest x-ray, and E.K.G., and other essential vitals taken and notated, is that I was then set aside for a really long wait to actually be seen by one of the doctors. This was due to the fact that the hospital was overrun with COVID patients and was understaffed.
I knew COVID cases were on rise the because of the prevalence of so many anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers in the area/state. A person here would have to be living under a rock to not know what Governor Abbott has been doing... or rather, not doing to protect Texans. But I didn't know it was as bad as it is in our city. (The paramedics in the ambulance told me they couldn't take me to the hospital nearest my home because its E.R. was closed to everything except major trauma cases because its beds were full of COVID patients.)
Anyway, I had to wait about 10 hours before I was taken back into the E.R. treatment area. Of course I hadn't had anything to eat or drink during all that time, so when the doctor wanted a urine sample there nothing I could do, because I dehydrated by then. So I was given an I.V. of fluids and water to drink. The doctor told me I had heat exhaustion and that they would get me cooled off, rehydrated, (I was hydrated just fine until my long wait in their waiting room *smh*), and feeling much better so they could send me home. They didn't want to admit me because of the overload of COVID patients. Which made sense. I've been very diligent about isolating, getting vaccinated, masking, and social distancing the couple of times I've left my house.
Everything changed when they finally got their urine sample from me. There had been a shift change, so a different doctor came in and sat down. She gave me a serious look and solemnly told me that I had "the worst U.T.I. she had ever since in her entire career as a doctor." And I was being expeditiously admitted to the hospital, and immediately put on I.V. antibiotics for several days. Then a nurse stepped in and hooked up the I.V. bag of antibiotics.
Now, like most adult women, I've had a U.T.I. before, and I'm not ignorant of the symptoms. But in this case... I didn't have any recognizable symptoms of a U.T.I.! It was 2:00 in the morning when they finally rolled my gurney from the E.R. up to my room on the 4th floor of the hospital. That's when I overheard the nurses discussing my condition and describe me as "septic."
I was in the hospital until Monday, August 2nd, when I was transferred to a skilled nursing home/rehab center. Some you know that I have motor neuropathy and that I get around on a pair of forearm crutches. The severe infection I had, coupled with basically being confined to a hospital bed for a week, took all the strength out of my legs. So I underwent physical therapy to get back up on my feet and mobile again. I was released from the S.N.F./rehab center on Friday, August 13th after 2 weeks of physical therapy.
The doctors and therapists highly recommended that I have a home health aide for a while, since I live alone, or that I stay with someone else. I'm just not comfortable letting someone I don't know in my house, so I flew up to stay with my best friend, Cherokee62, for a few weeks.
That is what's been going on with me for the past couple of months.
Thanks so much to those who've reach out on/for my birthday! :D
This entry was originally posted at https://dhamphir.dreamwidth.org/293706.html.