On October 20th my Nana had emergency craniotomy surgery to stop swelling and bleeding in her brain after falling on her concrete driveway. She spent the next two weeks in a medically induced coma. When she did finally wake up it was like a breath of fresh air. She was, thankfully, moved to a rehab center four days ago. Allow me to summarize the hell we went through at the hospital: we had surgeons yell in our face when we refused to sign the waiver to have a trache put in, we had surgeons outright lie straight to our faces in a attempt to change our minds. I watched my Nana go through Fentanyl withdrawl, something she's been on for 10+ years for her back, because the pissed off surgeon is a fucking asshat who refused to let her have it or anything stronger than motrin. I've watched my Nana agonize over the fact that she can't remember falling or remember why she went on the driveway in the first place. I watched the depression of being in a hospital that long set in and it broke my heart. My Papa, my Mom, and I all pulled countless all-nighters in ICU because we didn't trust the staff to leave Nana alone with them and you're not allowed to sleep in ICU or they kick you out. I said, "No Nana, you can't pull that" anytime she attempted to pull out the vent tube so many times I lost count by the second day. I am happy to report that since leaving the hospital my Nana is doing amazing and has blown us all away. Aside from a small case of aphasia and the frustration that comes with it, which is common when one suffers a traumatic brain injury, she's the same Nana I've always loved and adored. I remember rushing to the hospital the night she fell. Crying hard and begging, "Lord please. Please. Let her pull through this. Lord I can't lose her now". While it may not have been as quick as I hoped for, God answered those prayers. And it is such an incredible blessing.
On the 3rd my Papa had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance after his heart stopped for 5 seconds before the defibulator and pacemaker kicked in, saving his life. He had a "electric" heart-attack. Without that defibulator in his chest he wouldn't be with us now. Again, another blessing to be thankful for.
And now for my oh so lovely health issues. I've been having blackout spells lately, I had 3 happen at my last PT appointment, and the unexplained bruising is still happening. This past Tuesday I met with the hematologist. While I did get a few answers there are still a lot of things we have yet to find out. My Ferritin level, a key component of iron, came back at a 5; a normal level would be in the hundreds. Therefore, iron transfusions are set to begin Monday morning because my body won't absorb iron pills. The low iron explains the light-headedness and dizzy spells (which I already knew) but, unfortunately, the hematologist said it does not explain the purpura nor does it explain the blackout spells. She believes whatever is causing those things to happen is being masked by the severe anemia so she wants to address that issue first. She also put in a referral for me to see a gastroenterologist to have a scope test done to see if there's something going on interally that may be serious. To be blunt: all of this has me scared shitless. The fear of the unknown has always been an issue for me, it's a huge trigger for my anxiety. Having one of the top hemotologist/oncologist in the region say "more tests need to be run" because she doesn't have an explanation for what's happening is incredibly scary, especially knowing cancer runs in both sides of my family. That's such a WebMD move, isn't it? Automatically letting my brain think, "OMG what if it's cancer?". Maybe it has something to do with being treated at an Oncology center, I don't know. Regardless, I can't let my mind go there.
Even though it feels like everything is caving in around me, I still have so much to be thankful for. The depression spell I mentioned in my last post finally passed, as well as the lump in the back of my throat and the urge to cry for no real reason. I occasionally have bright days that I can enjoy. My Nana is going to be okay and home before long. I have Penny who's absurdity makes me laugh every day. I have friends who find it completely normal to share stories about our dogs like they're human children and then talking about something serious without any lull in transition. I also have goofball friends like Alex, the guy I've had a crush on for like ever, who makes me laugh by saying things like, "If you die, can I have all your toys???". I have a life outside of social media. I have good music from people like Cher, Panic! at the Disco, Pat Benatar, and others that make one hell of a playlist to have a personal dance party to. Even if Penny chooses to lay in the bed watching and silently judging me instead of joining me.