Wednesday, January 10, 2018

if only in my dreams

Before I got really sick last year I pre-took photos in my Christmas outfit. I knew I'd be too busy on Christmas to sneak in outfit photos; plus this way I could schedule the pictures to post on Christmas morning. I wasn't sure what to do with the pictures once it became increasingly clear I definitely was not going to get to spend Christmas in this dress. But I really liked how they came out, and in a way my diligent planning created this little alternate universe where I *did* spend Christmas in a fancy dress with perfect eyeliner and a flawlessly functioning body, lol.

And to be honest, these pictures actually reflect how happy I felt on Christmas this year. I kept bursting into happy tears over literally everything. I was SO happy to be home with my family. I didn't have the energy to open my presents myself, so my dad did it for me. I was in pajamas with messy hair, and no makeup. I felt run down and so incredibly sick, and I wasn't wearing my perfect Christmas dress with its perfect bell-sleeves. But it was the happiest Christmas I've ever had in my entire life.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

feeling lucky

Sorry I've been pretty MIA over the last few weeks! I had a health scare over the holidays and I'm just now starting to feel a little better.

I started feeling under the weather around Thanksgiving, when I had an intense nose bleed that I just attributed to a brewing sinus infection. Then I started bruising really easily, and I just attributed that to me moving some furniture around in the living room. My stomach was really upset, but I thought I was just really stressed from the holidays, and since I was in "Christmas work mode" I wasn't eating that well.. getting a lot of take out and munching on Christmas cookies. I just thought I was run down.

I finally went to the doctor after I had been sick for about two weeks. I almost fainted when I woke up that morning, and I thought it was time to finally cave in and go. He thought I just had a stomach bug, but he ordered blood work anyway just to make sure it wasn't anything serious, and he gave me  medicine for my symptoms. I felt better on the medicine, so I put off the blood work for a week. The day after I went in for the blood work, I got a call from the doctor telling me I had to go to the ER immediately because my platelet and hemoglobin counts were dangerously low. I was TERRIFIED. I ended up getting admitted to the hospital and after what seemed like five dozen tests I was diagnosed with c-diff, which is a bacterial infection in the colon, and if it's untreated quickly it's pretty deadly. I already had major blood loss and my colon was significantly inflamed... I caught it literally just in time. I was treated at the hospital for a couple more days and since I responded well to treatment, and my blood levels started returning to safe levels, I was luckily able to spend Christmas at home.

It's taken me about two weeks to feel even remotely normal again. My first round of antibiotics didn't knock out the infection, and I finish my second round of pills tonight. I feel like I have some energy back, and my stomach is feeling more settled, but my brain is still reeling with all the "what-if" scenarios. If I had just waited a few more days to get blood work, if I hadn't gone to the doctor, etc. I've never been so scared in my entire life.

I don't feel like I'm totally out of the woods yet, so I don't want to be like "yay! totally back to normal!" just yet. I still have to have more blood work, I have follow-up doctor's appointments, and apparently once you've had c-diff it's hard to shake it, so even though I feel a little better I'm still nervous that it's lurking around inside waiting to attack again.

I'll say one thing though, this whole experience has taught me so much and totally changed my approach to life. Part of the reason I didn't go to the doctor sooner was because I didn't want to spend the money. I had a lot of money-related stress last year and I was penny-pinching when I really shouldn't have. I tried to save a few hundred dollars by skipping the doctor, and that's going to cost me thousands in hospital bills. It was so colossally stupid of me to treat my health that way, and I'm never making that mistake again. No matter the cost, my health comes first. Not just because hospital bills are pricier than doctor bills, but because trying to save a few dollars almost killed me. Never ever again.

And god I probably sound so hokey but I learned that I need to stop being mopey all the time and stop taking life for granted. I have spent a lot of my adult life feeling blue about really stupid things. Even some of the big things are stupid in retrospect. I care WAY too much about my business and feeling unaccomplished for my age. I'm done letting that swallow my mood every day. When the doctor told me I was well enough to leave the hospital, nothing, and I mean NOTHING mattered to me as much as my parents, my cat, and being home. And I need to remember that more often. Since I've been home, even though I've still been sick, I've been looking around and just cherishing everything around me. I like breathing air, I like eating (even if it's been nothing but rice, toast, and applesauce for three weeks straight!), I like holding Arrietty and feeling her little heartbeat against my chest, I like watching movies with my mom and dad, I like feeling a cozy blanket tucked up against my chin, I like the feeling of falling asleep in my own comfy bed.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive and (knock on wood!) on the road to recovery. And between my parents and my best friends, I feel so incredibly loved right now. I just feel so appreciative of literally everything, and I'm looking forward to a happy and (knock on wood again!) healthy 2018 :)