Still Alive – Health Update
When the trouble cauldron bubbles it tends to spill over and trickle down to many people at once. Some get a single dose while others get something resembling the blob from horror movies years back.
Troubles usually show up without warning and slam us sideways, taking our breath away.
Some issues we can dust off and deal with right away and have said problem solved.
Others embed into your pelt, work themselves into your deeper layers and fester until we are paralysed and bedridden facing viral illnesses and infections so vile we lose control of every fiber of who we are.
This past year has produced illnesses that are starting to build up resistance to our regular arsenal of antibiotics.
In February of this year I was into my second month on a new full-time job. A member of the staff contracted a horrible gastrointestinal virus and brought it to the workplace which was a Call-Center. If you aren’t familiar with call-center set ups I will explain. There are hundreds of employees. You share your workstations with all of them as there are different shifts and hundreds more of them. Each day you will haven to go through the office searching for a working chair find a work station with a working computer, keyboard and mouse and a phone for you to plug your headset into. If you are lucky you will find one. You are at a different desk every day with a different chair every day in a different section of the same floor every shift. You buy your own headset for 80.00 for the phone. Work station items are often left covered in stains and garbage and you must clean them before starting your shift.
You must log in promptly when your shift starts, if you can’t you must tell a supervisor and keep trying to log in. They dock your pay for every minute you are late. You work four to eight-hour shifts and have options for over-time for special pay rates for those shifts. They take volunteers for this and in one week, the week I got sick I had 52 hours in over time coming at 20.00/hour in the over time plus my 44 hour hours of regular pay. Then I collapsed on the second shift. I went home was forced to call in sick the next day ordered to go to the doctor and get a doctor’s note, which I did and while I was there the doctor noticed my veins had collapsed and my blood pressure was going through the roof from the illness every time I tried to stand up from the stress on my body and the dehydration. The doctor sent me to the ER for IV treatment.
I was at the hospital for over 8 hours. Horrible experience. It took forever to find a vein to get blood from for testing and forever more to get one for the IV hookup. When your veins collapse the nurse has incredible difficulty seeing them through your skin and it becomes almost like a guessing game in the back of your hands. The doctor came into see me and ordered a CT Scan to check for diverticulitis, an infection in the intestine.
When they finally sent me for the CT Scan they told me they had to push a special dye through my IV by the CT machine and that It would feel like I peed myself because it gets warm but not to worry because it is just a sensation and does not actually happen. This is after I drank a litre of a nasty tasting die as well half an hour before. I also had to sign a form stating that I was aware that sometimes during this procedure if the veins are too small they can rupture and the dye can accumulate into the back of your hand. Guess what?!
The IV push of dye was with rapid force and it hurt like hell, I screamed the place down, the two nurses cam rushing in and my vein had blown apart. I had never felt pain like this before They guessed that before my vein blew they were able to get enough dye into my system to get the Scan done so they continued with it. I had to hold my arm up over my head with a huge bubble of blood and fluid in the back of my hand feeling like it was going to explode further for 3 straight minutes. then they pulled out the IV and said they would have to put another one in my other hand. The left me sitting in a very uncomfortable steel mesh wheelchair with no arm rests, they took out the IV and I bled like mad. I had a stack of about 10 gauze pads that I had to stay conscious for and hold down so I wouldn’t bleed out. the pain was horrific. I sat there for about 20 minutes until they came back and told me the scan worked and sent me back up to emerge to get a new IV in my other hand. This time she found a better vein and the IV fluid actually started getting into my body and the full bag was in me within an hour and naturally I needed to get to a toilet pretty damn quick now that I was hydrated once again. I was weak, couldn’t walk on my own without help, dizzy and I hurt everywhere. My hand was still bleeding and leaking out all the fluid that had burst into it. But they finally sent me home saying if I got any worse to come back again, like I was going to risk it. Before releasing me the doctor told me lots of fluids, Gatorade and a starchy and high protein diet until the virus clears up. In this week I lost 22 pounds in 16 days due to this illness and it took me the next three months to recover and it permanently damaged my intestines and my bowel. It is 7 months later and I still have issues with it. I already had IBS to begin with now it is 10 times worse. Do you have any idea what it is like at the age of 47 to have to on occasion wear adult diapers, it is degrading and embarrassing. I wound up gaining 10 pounds back over the 3 months due to the starchy foods which I would normally try to stay away from.
Call Centers are not a great place to work if you have a weak or compromised immune system or any type of health issues. I recommend you stay far away from them.
I pushed on job hunting for the next four-month without any luck. Lost my rental subsidy and my Child support was just cancelled because my youngest just turned 18 on August 10th and her father cut her off. He’s replaced his 3 blood children with his mail order bride from the Dominican and her children and is going to bring them all to Canada to live and has written his own kids off.
Any hoots, after a night of movie watching and eating popcorn one night on August 2nd I did my regular bedtime routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing with Listerine. After flossing I noticed a slight irritation in my gums between my two back molars. A year ago I had a root canal done in the back molar for and infection and sever pain that caused the side of my face to swell up. that area had plagued me ever since with irritation but every time I went over to the dentist she just told me it was because I had a receding gumline from years of vigorous brushing when I was younger and to just use a softer brush keep flossing and rinse with salt water and use Sensodyne toothpaste. So, naturally I slept on it thinking it would be better by Friday morning. It wasn’t. Not having benefits here means you haven to pay cash every visit you make. I had no cash so I couldn’t go to the dentist, no money to pay for it. So I looked up home remedies for toothache online. The usual cloves, clove oil, vanilla extract compresses etc. Though some provided temporary relief I was getting worse as the weekend went on. By Sunday night I was literally screaming my house down from the pain.
Monday morning first thing I said fuck it and sent to the dentist and begged. I told them how much pain I was in and started crying. they took me in, id an x-ray and told me I had an infection and needed a root canal. The cost for this $700.00. I told them my situation and that there was no way I can afford it. Lost my job February 24th, due to illness and was still currently unemployed and just lost my rental subsidy and child support within days of each other.
My New Nightmare begins:
Now, please note during all this I am still applying for jobs and have had to start selling off my personal items like my CDs, DVD collection and any and all jewellery plus anything else we can sell to stay afloat and make ends meet. both my girls had both lost their jobs as well.
So, the dentist says the other option is to pull the tooth but they can’t until the infection clears up. she puts me on amoxicillin for 7 days and Tylenol 3s for the pain alternated with Naproxen for the swelling.
5 days later I’m getting worse. I go back to the dentist who freezes me, cuts my gums open with a scalpel so the infection will drain and gives me a prescription for a stronger antibiotic called Clindamycin and more Tylenol 3s. So, now it’s a week, I haven’t been able to eat, I’m on antibiotics and nothing is getting better.
2 days later I’m back in getting frozen and cut again. 3 Days after that I go back and she sends me to the hospital emergency a full Town away for IV Treatment where they hook me up to an IV drip, send me home with Percocette aka Oxycodone for the massive pain in the entire left-side of my face. A medical company delivers a portable IV pump distribution kid and supplies and my IV antibiotics at 10pm that night where a nurse then comes close to midnight to hook the IV bad up and get me started. This is now going on two weeks.
Moving into week #3 – My infection is outside the root of my tooth into my gums, my cheek and part way into a gland and down my neck. I am swollen like there’s no tomorrow and in pain 24/7. Except when the Percocette works, they have me taking 2 of them every six hours and they only last for about 2 and a half hours so I suffer for 3 and a half hours until the next does. during this time I get hit with the first period I’ve had in almost 2 years and a yeast infection from the antibiotics. That just fucking great!!! What is next, batter up!!!!
I have an appointment to get to so the nurses can teach my youngest daughter how to change my IV bag for me every 24 hours. And by the way she’s been driving my car for me all this time cause on double Percocette I’m not allowed to drive. I’m also told I am not to be left alone in case of emergencies when my husband decides to take off on Thursday night to the trailer because a Dart Tournament was more important than looking after me and one kids takes off drinking with friends and the other takes off for dinner with her boyfriend leaving me in the house on my own hooked up to the battery pack charging my IV depensing unit and While plug-in I can’t get off the bed and I gotta go to the bathroom. at this point I have a total melt down. None of them communicated with each other and I keep finding myself alone. I’m on the IV, it’s causing severe nausea, my face is swollen, my eye is all droopy and the left side of my mouth is paralyzed because there is nerve damage from the infection pressing on the nerve of the middle molar makin the entire left side of my face numb. so I can’t even talk properly. I talk like I have had a stroke. I live like this for a full week. At the end of week 3 I go back to my dentist and by the way, every visit I’m selling off personal items to pawn shops and online to cover bills and buy food for my kids.
My dentist has me rush over to an oral surgeon after giving her $50.00 just to tell me that I am at I need an oral surgeon.
I am at the oral surgeon two hours and by the way I had to drive myself there hopped up on Percocette because once again I was alone. I don’t even remember getting there. So any way he takes a panoramic x-ray says the back molar has to come out immediately and freezes me and says that will be $400.00 cash I will be right back. He comes back 5 minutes later and pulls out my tooth says I should start getting some relief from the pain and swelling within a few days. He gives me my demon tooth, a prescription for more clindamycin and more Tylenol 3s and tells me I may still lose the second molar because the initial infection was between the roots of both teeth and that the numbness I am experiencing in my face may take up to a month or more to start to heal. I head home mouth all swollen and full of gauze and blood but I drive back home grab my prescriptions from the pharmacy and head home grab the kids as I am determined to head up to my trailer for the weekend I can’t take any more crazy shit. But first we have to rush over to get my IV taken out and they almost refuse me because I am 15 minutes late. but it gets done.
After a weekend away I am back home Monday Night in agony so on Tuesday morning I have a dentist appointment at 10-am to have the second molar removed but she refuses to do it , instead she givers me a prescription for percocette again and sends me home in tears, telling me to come back on Friday and if it still hurts she will pull it. She wants me to come up with $700.00 for a root canal to save the other molar because I will have absolutely none on the bottom left side if she pulls this one.
I am currently going into week 5 and my 5th round of antibiotics and only take the painkillers when I can no longer tolerate the pain because they are rotting my gut and causing sever constipation and it is incredibly painful. I am very bloated to the point now it is pressing on my diaphragm and I am having difficulty breathing at times..
This isn’t over yet, I am still fighting with everything I have.
This is where my life is now……but I haven’t given up yet.