My Illness: Time for Mom to go home.
This post is the sixth in a series on my Necrotising Aspergillus Pneumonia illness. Where have I been? On a journey, to say the very least. If you’d like to start from the beginning, start here.
On our way home from my local doctors appointments, we decided that my mom would try to get a flight out a week later. Since she had extended her stay, she had to jump through all sorts of airline hoops with doctors notes, etc. Thankfully my sister took care of all that since she booked her original flights.
We were also able to go ahead and discuss our oldest sons graduation from the fire academy. He started the rigorous training to be a fireman in January 2013. We knew that graduation would be sometime in May, but early on we weren’t sure of the actual date. I was discharged on May 7th, and graduation was scheduled for May 17th. Would I be able to make it? Come hell or high water! The plan was for me to bring my wheel chair so that I could sit comfortably and use it to walk if I got tired. My son had a talk with me about the pinning part of the ceremony. He told me that he had planned on asking me to pin him, but since I was so sick, he was going to ask his dad. I was touched, and so was my husband. The day was going to be extra special because my mom would still be in town for it.
The day of the ceremony, we all crammed into the Yukon – wheelchair and all – and headed out. We got there early so that we could sit in the front row and were able to sit on the end so that my chair wouldn’t be in the way. My husband had my camera so that he could capture this special event. I had gotten it ready for him before we had left home – I had a heck of a time just picking it up! During the ceremony I grabbed my cell phone so that I could capture some video. When it was time for the pinning ceremony, my husband walked over to me and said that he wanted me to do it. He helped me out of my chair and I walked over to our son like I was a little old lady. Very emotional!
I finally heard from National Jewish and scheduled a chest CT and an appointment with a Pulmonologist for July 8th. I couldn’t believe that it was going to be almost two months before I got to see them! My local docs wanted me in there ASAP. That’s the best they could do, but once you were an established patient, it goes quicker.
Mom’s leaving! Boy that was tough, but I knew it was for the best. This way I’d be able to push myself and start to be more independent and work my way to recovery. I was going to miss her company, but not the way that she looked at me as if to say, “I think you could be trying harder”. I was trying as hard as my body would let me. You hear that it’s hard enough to jump right back into things after a couple of days in the hospital, let alone being hospitalized for almost two weeks and having had surgery! A day before she left, I even asked home health to send a physical therapist over to help get my muscles built back up. Not being able to pick up my camera really made me realize that I had lost tons of muscle, and starting the pill form of the antifungal, my fevers stopped so I was starting to have a bit more energy. Mom wanted me to come along for the ride out to the airport, but I just couldn’t do it. The airport is a little over an hour away. That would have been over two hours in the car. Uh uh. That just sounded like torture to me!
The minute she was out the door, I asked my husband and son to move our bed back upstairs. I was tired of seeing it in the living room – I wanted the house back to normal. Up until then, I had gone upstairs every other day to take a shower with my husbands help. As the days passed, I put away the IV paraphernalia, hid the wheelchair in the garage, and pushed the oxygen tubing where I couldn’t see it.
After mom had been gone a few days, I heard from a nurse who was an old co-worker friend. She told me that the side effects to antifungals were almost like side effects to chemotherapy (mentioned in an older post). That explained a lot and I was more than happy to call my mom and tell her that. When I told her, I broke down and cried. I said that I knew she thought that I wasn’t trying hard enough, but I truly was.
One evening I talked my husband into a walk with the dogs. We went to a gas station near our house to get some ice cream. He went inside while I stayed outside to babysit:
June 25th my brother kidnapped me saying that I needed to get out and have fun! I think that it was the first time that I actually got to spend quality time with my triplet nieces, everrr! I saw them when they were born, when I visited Florida for their first birthday, and then they just moved here and I was sick. They didn’t take well to strangers and that was the first time I’d been out with them. It was also really nice to get out for an hour or so. Oh – another big less than 2% side effect? Sensitivity to sun. Yeah, I know. Lots of meds have a warning on their labels to stay out of the sun. I’d always ignored those warnings to some extent. Not this one. I burned after 5 minutes in the sun while taking my walks. I didn’t want to slather on sun screen and get all greasy, so I used an umbrella. My legs hadn’t been so tan since we lived in Florida – nice!
Stay with my journey! This entire series, which is still an ongoing issue, consists of separate posts to divide them into bite size reads for you. You can read the next post here.