Monday, January 29, 2007

The greatest boyfriend...

I cannot imagine what life has been like for my boyfriend over the last couple of weeks. He’s definitely had it rough as a result of my hospital stay, as well as finding out that his cousin was stabbed 15 times (he’s OK, though). I know that living with me over the past couple of weeks has not been easy. My hospital stay has affected me both physically and mentally. I do not have too many limitations as far as usage of my arm, but I do fatigue very easily because of non-movement while in the hospital. As far as mentally, I have taken it so hard. It has gotten to the point where I just wish that all of this was over, and that I could get back to living a normal life. I have been angry… I have been sad… I have been depressed… My moods often use Rob as a punching bag.

On the upside, when the moods have not kicked in, he has made sure that I have taken my medications… Prepares my meals for me (even though I am more than capable of doing it)… He has even helped me take a bath this evening!

Words often cannot describe how much I have appreciated all of this. There have been times where I have felt that I have not told him that I appreciate and love everything that he has done for me. Therefore, I am letting him and everyone know… THANK YOU sincerely! I love you, Rob! I am grateful for having you in my life!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A big ordeal...

Rather than call every single person on my “Contacts” list, I figured I would minimize the trouble (and the cell phone bill) by sharing my news on this blog… I was in the hospital for five days (since last Friday) because of an abscess [a pus-filled cavity resulting from inflammation and usually caused by a bacterial infection (from Encarta Dictionary)] that developed under my left armpit. This abscess started out two Saturdays ago as a swollen sweat gland that I accidentally “nicked” while in the shower, and resulted into an infected hair follicle. It did not start out too bad, and it was one of those things where I thought it might “just go away.” However, as the days went by, the area began to get bigger and the pain began to radiate to the point where I could not sleep comfortably at night. I had trouble moving my arm in any motion. There was also bad cellulitis, which is an inflammation of tissues beneath the skin [Encarta], around the infected area and bicep/triceps area. By Thursday, I was literally trying to find one position where I could sleep comfortably, as well as not making any movements that would bring on the pain. I also was having slight chest pains and headaches. At first, I thought that I was having a bad side effect from the birth control I was taking, but then again, why would I be having it now? Therefore, when I woke up Friday morning with excruciating pain that practically had me in tears, I made an appointment with one of my doctors. She clarified what I had stated earlier, and gave me antibiotics to clear up my infection. The pain was tolerable enough that I was able to have lunch at Denny’s with Rob and go to the pharmacy to get my medications. When Rob and I finally got home doing what we were doing, sitting on the couch became unbearable. I was back to trying to find a position for my arm so that it did not hurt too much. I was not comfortable sitting up… I was not comfortable lying down… A pillow under the arm made it worst… No pillow under the arm made it doubly worst. Therefore, Rob had me go upstairs to try to rest. As my doctor told me, give it some time… If I did not feel better by Monday, she recommended I see an internist. Well, by 10:30pm that Friday night, I was lying in bed with the chest pains AGAIN! They seem to worsen in any kind of position I was in, regardless of sitting, standing or lying down. Therefore, here we were… Friday night @ 11:00pm… My dad and Rob take me to the emergency room at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina (btw… not one of the best hospitals, but that is a different blog). I’m having chest pains, I’ve got an abscess on my the size of a golf ball, and I’m in a lot of pain. Luckily, I saw a sign in the ER that said, “If you are experiencing chest pains or severe distress, please notify a staff member immediately.” I was in with a nurse in 10 minutes (wish I say that when my father went to the hospital back in November, but again, a different blog). When they were doing the screening, my blood pressure was 118/98, and blood sugar was 353. Not a good sign! I was given an EKG. I believe it did not come out so good since they immediately brought me back to a room, and was automatically hooked up to a heart monitor. The next couple of hours were rather interesting. Before I get into details, can I just say one thing? WOW is morphine interesting! OK, I will get into that in a minute. I had never been poked or prodded so much in my life! The nurse tried to get the pick line on me, but did not succeed in trying to find a vein. They tried twice, and oh, boy! I was not too happy about. A respiratory therapist came in to check my blood glass, and they had trouble finding a brachial pulse, so they went for the radial. Not comfortable to get a needle and blood draw around the area. Oh, and for my favorite part… DRAINING THE ABSCESS! They gave me Benadryl for the itching from the cellulitis… They gave me morphine for the “pain.” The instant they ran the morphine in my line I was out cold! Talk about a lightweight, huh? Anyway, that fun did not last too long because they got the local anesthesia on the abscess and drained that baby out! Oh, if you were there, you would have heard me scream like there was no tomorrow! The doctor and nurse that were working on that were great! The nurse even told me that it was OK for me to scream! Anyway, I was told that they took out about 50cc of pus. That is about 3 tablespoons of that stuff! They took it in for a wound culture, and found that I had a staph (Staphylococcus Aureus) infection. Therefore, I was automatically put on IV and antibiotics. The MD that admitted me said that there are no problems with my heart. My sugars are under control. I still have to change the dressing every day for my wound. I have a couple of follow-ups with the doctors next week. Anyway, other than a few sleepless nights, because of my fellow hospital roommates and hospital staff poking and prodding at me, I am glad to say that I am happy to be home, and sleeping in my own bed! It was tough week for me – physically & mentally – but I am moving forward to the best! So, if you were wondering what is being going on…? Now you know the story!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A reflection...

As I look back at 2006, I have come to realize that I have learned a lot from my many life experiences crossing my path. I have had some ups & downs that have allowed many changes help me "grow" into the next steps of my life. I celebrated my 30th birthday... I had to say goodbye to those who held a special place in my heart... I have looked back on my accomplishments and achievements.... I have welcomed a new love in my life.

I cannot clearly recall where my life was at around this same time last year. I know that I was looking at letting go of many things that I felt was bringing me down. At the time, I was reaching a crossroad in my career... I was at the end of the road with a teeter-totter relationship of four years.... IN ADDITION, I was at wit's ends with a long-time friend.

The keyword that was necessary for me to move on was "change." I was stuck at a job that was going nowhere -- no appreciation -- and it definitely was not enjoyable. My relationship with Aaron was not going anywhere until we simultaneously agreed that our individual goals came first. My friendship with Elizabeth came where the balance scale leaned towards her needs rather than it been even.

Therefore, as 2007 begins, I have learned to fall in love and allow someone to love me again. Rob means so much to me, and holds a special place in my heart... Yes, there have been times where I have probably gotten on his nerves (and vice versa), but he has taught me many things when fear, insecurity, and other feelings have overwhelmed me. I have welcomed the adjustments in my life with open arms. My job has taught me, though it has been a shock to my everyday life (as you all know), a great deal of patience... to get in touch with my inner child... and to just have fun! As for my family & friends, things are not always a one-way street. You never know when you feel so alone when those that you NEED around you are not there.