Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Massive "Sorry" and "Thank You!"

Before I begin, let me just apologize profusely for the amount of tweets and updates I've been giving over social media over the past two weeks. I'm really, really sorry but that's how I cope with my anxiety. To avoid panic attacks (which, miraculously, has been under control) I have to talk about whatever can potentially cause a panic attack. I promise to try to go back to my normal tweeting habits.

If you're following me on Twitter you most likely know why I haven't been blogging for the past 2 weeks; lots and lots of E.R. trips. None have been serious (thank goodness!) but it's been a pain overall.

There is so much but I'll try to condense the basics into a paragraph. Okay... here we go: basically, I've been in the E.R. about 5 times in two weeks. I ended up with 3 abscesses almost at the same time. Apparently I got a contagious skin infection from somewhere (doctor said you could get it anywhere, including furniture). Most likely, I got it from somewhere like a grocery store cart or a chair somewhere because I don't really go out much. Yeah, germophobes are cringing right now. After the first one popped, it spread to my chin/jaw area and then to my lower chest area. I had to get them both surgically drained, two weeks apart. The first 3 E.R. visits were because my doctor had no openings for appointments. Really, there was no option but to go to the E.R. because it was something that couldn't wait. First I had to get the second abscess drained, then repacked, and then checked out one last time. Fourth E.R. visit was because the last abscess (on my chest wall) burst after I took antibiotic and once it burst, it needed to be drained. Last E.R. visit was because I kept fainting and because I felt like I was choking when I ate and even when I drank water. Those are the basics.

We think we have explanations for the reasons why I was in the E.R. the last time. The fainting seems to be a delayed reaction the sight of blood and to the pain I feel. The first time I almost completely blacked out was after I got home from the E.R. and I had seen the amount of blood I was losing. The second time was shortly after I changed the wound dressing. Yesterday I was blacking out again after they repacked the wound at the doctor's office because the pain had been so intense that I guess I couldn't handle it. I didn't stand up for more than like 5 minutes before I went down. I have to go back and get the wound checked and possibly repacked at the hospital's wound care department next week but I'm going to ask for some sort of numbing or pain killer because I really don't enjoy fainting. lol.

Before anyone asks, they checked the blood work -- everything is perfect. It's the first time my platelets are in normal range in years. Red and white blood count (and hemoglobin) are within normal range. I'm solid there so it's not like I'm fainting due to anemia (yay, no more anemia!) or losing too much blood. It's simply that I can't handle seeing large amounts of blood or the pain.

As for the choking sensation, it looks like it's really, really bad acid reflux. After they gave me Maalox at the E.R., I felt better. The choking sensation, the shortness of breath, and the chest pressure alleviated. I've been dealing with that (shortness and breath and chest pressure) for about 2 months now but I couldn't get a doctor's appointment. I literally waited 3 months before I could see my primary doctor last Friday because the new healthcare rules gave doctors a cap for patients. My childhood doctor (whom we paid out of pocket to see) gave me a referral to the gastro department at the hospital so they can get it checked out. He said medication can only mask symptoms and not get down to the actual cause. He was unhappy with my regular doctor (who is technically a nurse practitioner) for not doing anything else. He's worried about my weight loss. I've lost about 6 lbs in less than 2 months; which means I'm a bit underweight again. I'm about 5'7" so 115 lbs is slightly under the 118 lbs minimum for my height. The reason for my weight loss is because, despite being super hungry, I feel like I can't breathe when I eat. That is a big problem. Also, sometimes I'm at the hospital for 13+ hours and they don't allow me to eat so... hello, unwelcomed weight loss. Hopefully I'll be able to get an appointment to gastro soon.

So that's pretty much all. Just a lot of things to deal with at once. I think I should be on the mend now. The current wound doesn't hurt as much anymore. I've been able to move more today. The chin/jaw wound is pretty much healed, the scar can be seen. All I have to deal with now is making sure the current wound is dressed clean every day. Hopefully I won't need repacking on Monday but the doctor warned me that it most likely will. As for the other stuff, I'm on a very bland diet but have been eating without problems over the last two days so we're making progress there. Slow and steady, my friends.

I wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming amount of love, prayers, and supportive words that I've received over the past two weeks. I honestly feel like it's because of your prayers that I've been able to remain calm and have courage through everything I've been through the past couple of weeks. People I don't even know -- or barely know through social media -- have been praying for me and it makes me teary eyed. I'm tearing up as I write this out. I have no idea what I've done to deserve such love and compassion but I'm truly grateful to everyone for everything they've done for me.

So that's it... for now. I really want to get into how my faith played a big role in my being able to cope with everything these past two weeks but I'll save that for next time. I don't want to post too much at once. :)

Alright, well, I have to go pick up mom from work and then get some groceries (in 100+ degree weather... oy...) because we're out.

I hope y'all have a great weekend and a great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Conceiving Hope said...

Just wanted to post that I'm praying for you with empathy. I've lived the horror of recurring and spreading abscesses. No words to describe it - but you've done a fine job of explaining the chaos of dealing with them here. A note of recommendation to you: pay attention to where you are in your cycle you were when you got them, in case they come back. There are situations where abscesses can return and be connected to hormones. Just knowing that will save you 2 years of confusion, if they end up recurring. Hope you are the mend and will add your intentions to my novena prayers...

Emmy Cecilia said...

Conceiving Hope - funny you said that because I did make the connection. I'm going to have to talk to my doctor about that. Thanks for the heads up and the prayers.

Conceiving Hope said...

I'm a rare case where the abscesses were definitely connected to auto-immune disease, and so the hormone surges each month exacerbared them. Once I was diagnosed with endometriosis and had it excised by a NaPro surgeon, I never ever got another abscess. Until then, I got them constantly. I was initially told by ERs and GPs that "nothing can be done but letting them ripen, lance them, pack, and heal". Not true. Some need surgical intervention. Some can create fistulas, depending on where you get them.

Make sure you get pathology on each abscess. It can help. They may say "nah, not a big deal"... but knowing the source of the infection and the contents of the abscess narrowed it down to a reproductive system problem for me, even years later when I finally found a doctor who knew what to look for! Feel free to contact me through my blog if you ever need to chat further about it. Hope that helps. And on pain... yes, they are so bad that you get delirious and pass out from it. So, so sorry you are going through this. Hope it gets resolved quickly.

Emmy Cecilia said...

I will have to find a NaPro anyway since I don't trust all the Pill pushing I get from the clinic.