Monday, June 14, 2010

Dramatic 36 Hours

I write to you now from a hospital bed at 3:43am Monday. How did I get here? Well, at about 3pm Saturday I found myself sitting on the toilet thinking, "I am about to go!" I had been feeling very dizzy when I stood up since Friday evening. I had thought that maybe I had too much sugar (I am not diabetic, but had eaten lots more sugar than normal since my parents were in town, so thought anything was possible). Or, maybe I had some kind of ear infection that made me so off balance. That morning, Brock had taken me to the walk-in clinic. The doctor had told me that no, these were not the problem. I was severely anemic. Anemia runs in my family and Brock and I had wondered at times if I were. The doctor said that my hemoglobin was 5.7. He then told us that anyone under 7 needed a blood transfusion. Well, we did not know what a hemoglobin was, so we convinced the doc to give me some iron pills and send me on my merry way. I was going to try anything before I got a transfusion! That sounded rather desperate. For someone whom just did a Jillian hour-long workout earlier that week, walked all around Rock City, Ruby Falls, and downtown Nashville, we figured I could make it. I just needed some iron in me. No wonder I had eaten only a burger patty for dinner the night before (which is not normal for me...not much of a meat eater). I was craving iron! Anyway, the doctor agreed but told us that he gave it a 50% chance that I would still go to the ER. I was going to do everything in my power not to do that. I had never been to the ER! I don't even watch the show because it grosses me out.

Yet, here I was on the throne thinking, "I am going to pass out and then I will be taken to the ER." I called Brock's name tentatively once. Then, I called out loudly a second time. After that everything went black. Then, I heard Brock's voice to which I said, "I feel like I am going to pass out." His answer was that I already had. The next thing I remember clearly was my mom and dad on either side and vomit all over me as Brock was cleaning me up. Two thoughts went through my head. The first one was, "So this is what it feels like to pass out," and then, "my 19 year streak of not throwing up down the tubes!"

Later, I was told that Brock came into the bathroom just in time to see me fall up against the wall. He was able to hold me up on the seat, but with his broken back, he could not lift me at all (we are a mess, aren't we?). So, he yelled for my parents (which is such a blessing that they were visiting from Houston at the time). At first, mom thought he was outside yelling at our neighbor Barefoot Billy (they do that from time to time). But, finally, they heard the urgency in his voice and ran to see what was wrong. They eased me to the bathroom floor where both mom and Brock were slapping my face to try and wake me. At one point, Brock asked if I was breathing. Then, I came to, and mom and dad tried to stand me up. Apparently, I walked a little saying, "I just need to lay down." Except I passed out again on the floor before I could get to the bed. Over the course of a few minutes, I had passed out 4 or 5 times and vomited. I think that I was dreaming because when I was finally coherent with my parents on each side and me lying on the ground at the foot of my bed I thought that this was not where I thought I had been (maybe I was in LaLa land who knows).

Mom and dad walked me out to the truck. I had enough reason to stop and put on my sandals. Brock on the other hand, was a little out of sorts. Listen to the list of items he grabbed on the way out the door: a sofa pillow, towel, my backpack, and a bowl of rice. The rice was because his phone had not been working since it got a little wet at Ruby Falls. We had heard that if you place it in rice, the rice will absorb the water out of the phone. All of the other stuff was for me. That's an odd combination of things though. We had no experience going to the hospital. Brock was rather comical carrying his bowl of rice around the ER later.

So, they laid me down in the backseat of the truck with the pillow under my head and mom sitting at my feet. Brock drove let's say "quickly" to the ER. I could hear mom in her teacher voice say to Brock, "Don't get into an accident on the way. That won't do anyone any good." Brock never heard this comment, and got us to the ER faster than any ambulance ever could.

They put me in a wheelchair and rolled me in. The first nurse I saw in the ER said, "You don't look good." That was not a good sign. Isn't this an ER? Don't sick people come in all the time looking bad? They told me that I had no color. I looked at my fingers and they looked yellow. I could only imagine what my face looked like. My dad later told me that my lips were gray and pale could not even begin to describe my face.

They held me in the ER for a few hours while they readied my room and ordered 3 liters of blood for a transfusion. I was at a 5 on my hemoglobin whereas normal was 14. Therefore, I was living off of a third of what I was supposed to. When a nurse came to take my blood for the third time that day, I asked her, "Before you do this, you guys all know that I am here for lack of blood right?" She sort of laughed and said that yes, it did seem like an oxymoron but it was necessary. "As long as your okay with it." I just was just checking because it was 3 different nurses that took my blood. What if it was just miscommunication?

I was then taken to a room where they began the hefty blood transfusion. Even though I only slept on and off (maybe 4 hours collectively), by 9am when the transfusion was complete, I was bouncing off the walls. I felt better than I had in months...maybe a year (blood will do that to the body). I had visitor after visitor (18 total) all day yesterday. It was fun and took my mind off of feeling great yet stuck in a hospital bed.

Now, I am waiting to get some tests done. We think that I have a bleeding ulcer. This is not the only reason I am so anemic, but it may be a big contributing factor. Please pray that they find out what is wrong and that it's an easy fix. Thank you so much for your prayers and I will tell you more later.


Rhonda said...

I am so glad that you are getting the help that you need and pray that you get the answers about the cause of the iron loss. You will need to watch this the rest of your life, but now you know how important it is. I am glad that the transfusion worked that quickly to revive you.

Haley said...

Glad you're feeling better. We were super worried about you girl. Still praying for wisdom for the doctors as they start their investigation. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You scared us half to death!
Glad you are bouncing back so quickly. I guess it is pretty important to have enough blood. :)

I also appreciate your more "detailed" description of the events. NOW THAT THE EVENT IS OVER, I can't help but chuckle a little bit at the things Brock grabbed. I can just picture this "survival mode" that he went into. He was taking care of his most valuable and precious possession on earth. I know how much that boy LOVES you--and so do we.

Keep improving. We are praying for you.

Gi and Papa

Anonymous said...

Praying for you!

Ty and Karen Frederick

Girl Next Door said...


I am so glad you're feeling better! Been praying for you...let me know if you need anything. Praying as you go through the tests today.

Tiffany said...

I'm SO grateful your mom and dad were still in town!! We've been praying and will continue to do so :-) I've been thinking about that ulcer ever since I heard about the low levels and am praying there isn't too much more than that.

Love ya girl!

Gresham said...

Prayed a lot for you these last few days. That sounded very scary. But now you know you need more iron!

Doris Godbey said...

Appreciate the details and narrative...and so glad that you are on the mend. Please be patient and let the doctors run all those tests and find the source of your problems--and you may just be one of those persons who have low iron....So very thankful that Preston and Pam were still there! Otherwise Brock might still be trying to hold you up! :-) Naw, he would have found a magical way to have gotten help! Still praying and looking for updates.

Love you like you were my own--oh wait, I think that you are one of mine! At least there have been times that I have felt like your Mother!

Amber said...

WOW Auny, what a CRAZY story!!! I'm SO glad to hear you are feeling better! I'll be praying that the doctors can figure out if anything else is wrong quickly and for TOTAL healing!

Chad and Rebecca said...

I am so glad your mom and dad were there to help! I have been worried about you!