It’s about 3:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I’m sick. Sicker than I’ve been in a very long time. Life and its recent stresses have caught up to me. I need to release, so here I am.
I hadn’t written in a while because there was nothing new. I was living with day-to-day Lyme problems and dosing. I was blocked, feeling like writing was redundant. But the last 4-5 weeks changed that very quickly and put my healing body to the test.
I fell in love a few months back. Things were great. Then the surgery happened to him. He needed a quadruple level cervical fusion. Surgery went great and he was recovering well. He was staying with me on a short-term basis. On a Sunday night a month ago everything changed. He wasn’t breathing right and I was unable to drive. He needed emergency care. As a former EMT (emergency medical technician) and former 911 dispatcher, I knew he couldn’t wait and so I called 911 and had an ambulance dispatched to my house. I had my mom come drive me to the emergency room to check on him. He seemed to be doing well, so I left to come home (because I was medicated and needed to take care of my own body.) I figured he’d call when he was ready to come home. When I didn’t hear from him by the following morning I figured that they must have admitted him to the hospital. So I called to find out. I was told he was in ICU and “stable” and that was all I knew. So I quickly dressed myself and headed up to the hospital to check things out for myself. When I arrived at the hospital I found my “stable” boyfriend on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.
For 8 days he remained in the coma. I went to the hospital every single day. I sat and prayed with him, read Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe (my favorite poem) and read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom (my favorite book) to him. Never knowing if he’d known I was there. There were periods when he would seem slightly agitated and I’d hold his hand or stroke his face and he would calm down. I watched the swelling go down after the emergency surgery to clean out an abscess from a staph infection (MRSA) and prayed and waited on bated breath for him to be taken out of the coma with the breathing tube removed and to wake up. 8 days. 8 long days, I waited. The stress from the situation and the time at the hospital (some days I was there for over 8 hours) taking its toll on my already weakened body.
Finally the day came and he woke up. I was the first thing he remembers after waking up. I never wanted him to be alone through any of it. I stayed with him as much as possible. In the following days, the time spent at the hospital was longer and longer. Not good for my body but I pushed through it. Finally his parents arrived and I could get some reprieve so he wouldn’t be alone in the hospital. I still wasn’t sleeping and resting enough.
Four days after he came out of the coma, he was discharged from the hospital. They had placed a PICC line in his arm and he would have to be given IV antibiotics at home for 6 weeks, 3 times a day. With his parents being out-of-state, they were not a viable option and so I stepped up and took on the roll of care giver. Currently he’s staying with me and every 8 hours we do his IV antibiotic injections.
Last Friday he ended up being admitted to the hospital again because he felt his throat closing. They admitted him to monitor him and to do some testing. Turned out to be scar tissue from the multiple surgeries.
Needless to say, I have been there through it all. Even on a normal person it would be taxing, but add in Lyme, my co infections and dosing and its been almost insurmountable to me. It’s finally caught up to me, resulting in a full-blown flare up of my diseases. I have been more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life. The last week has been misery. My body aches and hurts in ways I didn’t know it could. I have been barely functional. Yet until yesterday, I couldn’t admit to myself the truth of the matter and that in fact, I am relapsing and flaring.
Together with my mom we formulated a plan. She is off for Labor Day so she’ll have an extra day off of work. I am on strict bed rest. I am going to be medicated the way I should be and sleep as much as I can. My boyfriend is still here and obviously I still have to do his injections every 8 hours since I’m the only one trained to do it, but other than that I am to do nothing. My mom is helping out anyway she can and my boyfriend (still on the mend himself) is also willing to help as much as he can without overdoing it. I just have to let them help which is still a struggle for me. I know that to get better I have to rest, sleep and ask for help. I’m dependent upon others again, something I despise but I am still working on accepting help.
It’s a really hard blow to take a step back and to realize that I am still susceptible to this disease, that I am not superwoman, that I’m still sicker than I often realize. I choose to utilize the power of positive thinking but even using that does not make me invincible. I’m trying my best to balance.
Not only am I still sick and now relapsing but I’m learning how to have someone living (even on a temporary basis) with me for the first time in nearly 8 years (minus the 9 months my mom spent living with me when I first started treatment and had the port in my chest, but even then I was too sick to care or to take care of myself.) I’m surrounded by both eustress and distress and its taking its toll on me. So now is my time to get better and heal. My boyfriend is doing much better though he also has a long way to go.
Today is a dosing day and I’m already nauseous, so it should be extra fun. I’m getting ready to take all my meds following this entry and try to go back to bed and to sleep. I hope the pain relents at least for a while. Medication here I come!