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Posts Tagged ‘dvt’

During my last doctor’s visit, I was asking my doctor about birth control options. During the past year and a half, I developed severed health complications which result in me never being able to take hormones. Birth control pills work because of the hormones that are in them. Basically, besides the condom and the sponge, my only two options are an IUD or tubal ligation. All of that aside, during the visit and the conversation, I became aware that I will have to endure menopause without the aide of any medication. OMG!

Sure, menopause is another ten years out for me, perhaps more given family history, but have you ever been around a woman going through menopause?  Did I mention, OMG!?!?!  LOL   Luckily for my children, they will be gone by then. My son may still be around, but he’ll be 18 so he will at least have the option of moving away from me. Unless I happen to remarry, that will leave just me. Just me to battle my mood swings and hot flashes.

I know I’m too young to worry about it, but really, menopause without hormones? OMG!!

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I look at elderly people and I see their white hair, their bent backs, their limps, some of which are slight, others more distinguished. Often you can see the pain on their faces. They have lived full lives of which we can only imagine their stories.

Some people look at the elderly and feel a deep sense of compassion, perhaps even mustering up stories which the said person may or may not have lived. When I see the elderly, all I can think is, “I don’t want to live to be that old.”

I think this is sad and I feel guilty about it, yet it does not change. My great grandmother was 106 when she died. I remember her. I remember the special toilet that was assembled for her use. I remember that she could no longer see to do her precious embroidery. She could not boil water or even peel an orange. She couldn’t even make it to the restroom without assistance. I don’t want to be like this.

I had a very brief period in my life in which I was humbled enough to the extent that I was completely reliant on others. Like my great grandmother, I needed help just to make it into the restroom and to get on and off of the toilet. I could not bathe myself. Although I used a walker, I could not even manage it without assistance. I could not dress myself. If it involved my legs in any manner, no matter how slight, I was not able to do it. I was a self-sufficient, 36 year old single mother who lived in a town with some friends and absolutely no family. As was usual for my personality, when I realized that something was terribly wrong, rather than calling an ambulance as I should have, I drove myself to the hospital – the whole time trying to reach someone at work to let them know that I would not be in.

For three weeks, my parents moved in with me. They left their home, their friends, their jobs, to come and take care of my children and I. Once I was well enough that I could at least shower on my own (with the use of handicap contraptions), my mother returned to her job. My father stayed with me another three weeks and would have stayed longer, but I finally kicked him out.

I had to buy all new makeup for my new medicines caused problems with the old makeup. I had to buy a new car because I could no longer get in and out of my SUV. I had to buy new clothes to accommodate my ever swollen leg and the weight gain that would follow. It’s been over a year and I’m still in the recovery stages. I have permanent damage and will likely struggle for the rest of my life, but I can at least fool those who don’t know me into thinking all is well. In fact, I believe that most of my friends forget that there is anything wrong with me.

I take this relatively short period of time and remember with dread what it was like to rely fully on others and I am reminded again and again that I don’t want to live like that. My circumstances were temporary, but an elderly person only continues to get worse. I want to die while I’m still actually living. Is that really so horrible?

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Tonight is a night for pain pills…which ones shall I take? Hmmm…

I haven’t had to take my pain meds in awhile. Wish I was done with them. I wish so many things. Sometimes it’s defeating, but mostly, I have to look at the incredible progress that has been made. I just wish that were enough…

I want my life back.

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Death stares us in the face on a daily basis. We don’t realize it. We go on with our lives not thinking twice about anything. If you are my age and think like I used to think, you know you aren’t invincible, but you simply don’t think about how life can take one turn without warning and you are staring death in the face. 

Last year, life was going along like it always does until one morning when I woke up knowing that something was drastically wrong. I found myself in the hospital for 5 days, mostly in the ICU, surgery the day of my admittance, recovery period where I was out of work for several months, I had to use a walker, I couldn’t even stand long enough to take a shower, so much more…nine months later, I’m still in my recovery stages. The life that I knew changed over night. I wasn’t in a car accident, I didn’t have some major accident, I had a DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis. Simply stated, I had a blood clot that ran from my ankle, all the way up my leg into my vena cava (the vein that joins both veins in your leg and meets in your abdomen) and starting to go into my right leg. 

At the time, I knew nothing about blood clots. I knew “old” people got them and that you can die from them. That’s the extent of it. I didn’t know that roughly 300,000 Americans die per year as a result of DVTs. I didn’t know that anyone can get one. I didn’t know that there were blood conditions that make you more susceptible to receiving one. I didn’t know that I had one of those conditions (Factor V Leiden). 

I now live with Post Thrombotic Syndrome  or Postphlebitic Syndrome (same thing, different name) and my life is forever changed. I am trying to get my strength and flexibility back. Everyday things such as shopping and even sitting or standing has to be done with much consideration. Leg cramps, coughing, dizziness, all of these things can now result in a trip to the hospital as I never know if or when I may get another DVT. 

When I was admitted to the hospital, my children were 14 and 7 years old. I am a single mom. Our world primarily consists of just us. I am my children’s care taker 24/7. They do not have weekend visits with Dad. They don’t go away for weeks or even nights at a time. Grandma and Grandpa live several hours away. We have no family in the area although we do have wonderful friends. My children and I are a tight family. Needless to say, my events terrified them. 

I had an incident of concern yesterday and my daughter, although trying to be strong, was barely holding herself together. I was puzzled by this. I knew that whatever was going on was not a big deal, I just needed to get it checked out. She finally admitted to me that the day she went to the hospital, the very first words she heard was from the surgeon stating, “She’s lucky to be alive.” 

I was fine the night before. I wasn’t fine the next morning. While I live with the physical results of my disorder, I think it is my daughter who has suffered the most. She knows and understands that I really should have died. She lives in fear that I just might. How do you comfort that? How do you convince a child that you are safe when the reality is, we just never know. 

I fully believe that I am alive so that I can continue to mother my children. I will not tempt this fate, this second chance at life. If only I could erase the burden of fear that my daughter now carries…

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