Can you intuit your illness?
Exactly one year ago today early in the morning before it was even light, under doctor’s orders, I drove myself to the emergency room. I was sent there for a kidney biopsy. He said it was the fastest way to get the biopsy done, otherwise it would take weeks. The nephrologist told me that it was an easy procedure with just one-night stay. He did add as I started to leave the office that depending on what they found I may stay longer.
I already had a gut feeling about the situation however. It’s the reason I took so many trips in the summer of 2019. I’ve always wanted to travel a lot, and here I was 47 and I hadn’t traveled hardly at all. I was feeling well at that time. Or at least nothing more than some increasing joint pain that had been slowing ramping up the last three years or so. I just had this FEELING. My logical side kept telling me it was nothing, nothing but my imagination. However, I’ve learned to be mindful of my gut feelings because they have been too accurate over the years. I thought maybe a car crash was coming, or one of those ACME anvils was going to drop out of the sky on me. Lol 😉
Then in October it began, the swelling, then digestive issues. cholecystitis, my abdominal cavity was filling with fluid. After to a lot of medical bumbling I finally got where I needed to be, I guess, and that’s when I was told on the 24th of December to admit myself to the ER right after Christmas.
Once again, my gut was telling me I was going to be gone more than the 2-3 days. I paid the bills that were coming up, laundry, cleaned up the house, gas in the car, got my daughters ESA report done ahead of time, made sure Matt had access to my life insurance policy and had my passwords etc. Yeah, I wasn’t entirely sure I was coming home.
I was terrified in the hospital. I cried, A LOT. Hospitals don’t have Kleenex by the way so if you know someone there for a long stay do them a favor a bring a few boxes. The saddest part of it all is as much as I was fearful that I was going to die, and I’ve only told two people this, I also didn’t want to go back to my life. It wasn’t the people in my life, and I loved my work as a therapist, but it was just the grind, I think. The pressure, stress, worry, fear that I suffered with every day with all the challenges we’ve had. I felt like I had gotten lost somewhere. Even now typing this I feel flush just emotionally re-living in my mind what that felt like. Frankly, it was pretty damn sad. At the same time, I hated being there, because anyone who’s been in a hospital for long knows, it sucks. I also missed just being home and I missed Matt and Samara and I was worried about funds as I’m the sole income earner.
I found myself in this weird state of existence, even after I came home. That’s the best way I can describe it. It was kind of this surreal, floaty kind of place. Maybe it was my psyche trying to protect itself from stress. Maybe it was spiritual. I don’t have the answers. Even though my heart didn’t stop and I didn’t float into any white light, I consider this a near death experience. Its as close as I’d like to get for awhile too.
After three weeks in the hospital of daily dialysis with 9% kidney function , nephrotic syndrome, a diagnosis of MCD that has now changed to FSGS,more dialysis, lots of pills, an increase to 65% function and a new diagnosis in November of fibromyalgia and global joint pain, I’m still here. Obviously.
It’s been a humbling experience in so many ways. It made me ask myself a lot of questions I still don’t have all the answers to. I’ve learned a bit more about humanity. The kindness, and generosity of others, and also the lack of compassion, from some. It’s left me with a new awareness. I still don’t know where I’m going, but I’m here and I’m still working to figure it all out as best I can. Its still hard to believe it has been a whole year. I think most everyone had a rough 2020 in one way or another and I hope that we all figure out how to have a better 2021. 😊
My doctors still don’t know the cause of all of this. I have to wonder, if perhaps when a person is just ground down to nothing, it can cause major illness/disease to happen? Or maybe taking on too much of others pain and sruggle? Was it to drive me onto another course in life entirely? Could I have done anything to prevent it? Science would say no, but I wonder. What do you think?