Friday, June 5, 2009

Not-So-Happy Anniversary to Me

Two years ago today, I woke up in the wee hours feeling feverish. First I had the shivers, then the sweats lasted for hours. It was great timing because we were scheduled to fly that afternoon to Chicago for my niece Becca's high school graduation.

When it was time to get up and start getting ready, I literally couldn't lift my head out of bed much less get up. My husband, who wasn't fully healthy either, got to take care of my 2.5-year-old while also canceling our flights, hotels and rental car and notifying my family what happened.

It was three days later when I finally felt well enough to drag myself to the doctor to find out what the heck had knocked me on my butt. She diagnosed double pneumonia, put me on antibiotics and sent me home, where, essentially, I just never got better.

A month later, I was hospitalized after showing up in the ER with what I feared was a heart attack but wasn't. They admitted me because my heart rate was through the roof and my oxygen saturation plummeted whenever I was mobile. I stayed in the hospital for eight days while they ran test after test that ruled out most likely causes to kill me, and then sent me home with no answers, feeling worse than when I arrived.

A week or so later, we enrolled Ellie in full-time daycare because it was apparent I wasn't going to be able to take care of her on my own anytime soon. We assumed it was a temporary measure and planned to take her out before a trip to Chicago on Labor Day weekend to give my niece the beautiful butterfly quilt I had made for her graduation gift.

Of course, that trip got canceled too (albeit not at the last minute), and the quilt was shipped to Becca instead.

And here we are, two years later, and I'm still sick and Ellie is still in full-time daycare and we still don't have a diagnosis or treatment plan.

Happy anniversary?

I don't think so. I look forward to celebrating the anniversary of when we figure out what the heck is wrong with me and, ideally, curing it. Or at least finding a way to treat it that give me back the ability to fully participate in my daughter's life.


SRR said...

Sick Momma,

I am so sorry you are sick and that it all is so full of unknowns. The uncertainty of it all must make the illness even worse. I just finished a book that made me think of you working with all the doctors and your mystery illness. It is "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman, and one of the things it talks a lot is the thought process doctors go through when diagnosing (or failing to diagnose) illnesses. It is an easy to read, fascinating, and thought provoking book.

Best Wishes,


Carla said...

Unfortunately that seems to be the process huh? The doctors do a bunch of tests, say 'we're pretty sure you're not dying' and send us away thinking that should make us happy. What about quality of life? What about having young children we can no longer take care of? What about the fact this illness is driving us NUTS and we don't even have a name for it, much less treatment! Given it took two years for my to be diagnosed with a severe heart condition which actually could have killed me, I have had to rebuild my faith in my new doctors. Am still waiting to find out what is the potential cause of all that is going wrong with my health. I hope you have a 'discovered mystery illness' anniversary soon, that would be such a happy day :)

Sherril said...

Hate the reason for the anniversary (my cousin who's having chemo for colon cancer recently told me 'It sucks to be you'), but I love the butterfly quilt!