Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Right Royal Christams Fuck Up

What a fucked up Christmas and New Year I had.  I had been to see my prisoners on Saturday and had kept myself as well as possible, taking every precaution not to get some opportunistic disease.  On Sunday I was going to sing Christmas Carols in the St Augustine’s Cathedral and attend mass afterward.  On Christmas day I was going to spend the day with my darling friend/mother.  Everything was wrapped and ready.
I visited my prisoners and there was a draught so I asked one of them if I could use his orange jacket which he very gallantly put around my shoulders.  The wardens walked up and down and passed us a number of times and no one had a problem with it until one over-weight, bad assed female with cellulite oozing out of her uniform ordered me to remove the jacket at once.   I don’t know if that draught had anything to do with it.  We got home at noon and by 3 pm I was having rigours and my temperature was over 39.  I was a sick as an unwanted township dog.  The ambulance was called and I was taken immediately to ER.  The doctor did a chest X-ray and took some blood, put up a drip through my portacath (in my chest and directly into my heart) and we waited to see if the temperature would drop.  After a number of hours – it felt like most of the night, the doctor gave me a prescription for antibiotics and something to keep the temperature down and told me I could go home.  When I started seeing my cupboard door handles climbing up the cupboards, I started to become afraid and sent Patrick to fetch my mother.  What a night!  Shitting in the bed, having rigours and convulsions and seeing things that are impossible – pictures don’t swop places with themselves!  She is 85 this year and she nursed me and held me and cleaned me over and over, brought hot water bottles, fed me with warm tea and even with her buggered back, she was bent over me and holding me tight as I shook and convulsed.  
The next morning was the day before Christmas.  I was feeling like shit on a stick but determined to get to my mom for Christmas day.  The food had been prepared, the cakes baked and the tinsel was ready with the Christmas tree.  The phone rang and the lady on the other end of the line asked to speak to me.  She said, "Ms Lang, you were here at the ER last night and was seen by Dr Boesak.  He sent some of your blood away to be cultured.  The results are back and you are to immediately be admitted to the hospital.  Do not take your time, please come as soon as you can.  We are waiting for you".   Wow … then it was a mad scramble to pack some stuff together to get to the hospital.  I had septicemia.   That is when your blood becomes over-run with bacteria and puss is in your bloodstream.  At that point they did not know where it came from – more cultures had to be made before we could find the source of the problem, but Dr Stern, my physician was on duty and he decided to give me the most expensive and most potent antibiotic via my chemo port to run 9 hours a day.   I was isolated in a room on my own and was supposed to be barrier nursed so that the infection did not spread to others in the hospital.  Well, some nurses adhered to the barrier nursing and others did not give a damn.    
My first night was a nightmare – I was alone and could not find the bell to ask for help.  I had crapped all over myself and I had to clean myself up and put the sheet in one corner and use the top sheet and then it happened again, and again, and again … until I had used all the adult disposable nappies I had with me.  I was now in the shit literally.  I eventually found the bell and pressed it.  The nurse asked me what I wanted and I told her I needed linen as I had messed the bedding and all over myself.  She walked out and back in with linen draped over her arm.  She put it down on the chair and walked out.  I was still seeing strange things on the walls and doors, I was still having rigours and was so cold I thought I would die from the cold although I knew my temperature was back up to the 40’s.
And Christmas day arrived – my mom and my stepfather sat alone at their home with all the food prepared.  She could not come and visit me because she had a sore throat which could make my situation worse.  I don’t know what Patrick did although I know he was at the hospital.  I remember my son coming to see me and at least I remembered to say Happy Birthday to him.   But most of the day was just a blur that I cannot really remember.   I do remember the Xmas lunch.  It was pretty poor – four small carrots, five small potatoes the size of my thumb, a chicken drumstick and a piece of ham.  The pudding was … you guessed it.  Jelly.
On the 29th it was my physician’s last day at work as he was retiring so he discharged me with my drips so that I could do them myself at home.   They had now found the cause of the septicemia.  It was Enterobacteriaceae septicemia.    I can’t ever remember being so ill – knowing that it was my body lying there but at the same time looking at myself and wondering why I am still alive and how can anyone have to suffer like this.  Where was God in all this because all I did was pray over and over again – I prayed my moments, my minutes and my hours away.
I am still recuperating and still have spiking temperatures – so those positive thoughts of yours and your prayers are desperately needed.    I am chronically ill, but it is these acute infections that are going to be the end of me.  The doctors are quite blasé about it – they tell me quite openly that one of these infections are going to kill you one day.
I have not been on FB as most of you will have gathered by now.  I just don’t have the energy.  I have received lots of inbox messages, many the same with little variety – but it is the thought that counts.  I won’t be answering you all back – please accept this as my thanks and my wish for you too to have a good new year.
I will be back on FaceBook when I feel well again … or as well as my ‘normal’ is.

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