It began with my nose. A year ago, I noticed a scab inside of my nostril that recurred time and time again. I would blow and pick and use sprays and shove in antibiotic cream, but it would always find its way back. I brushed it off as allergies.
A couple of months ago, someone pointed out strange blotches on the back of my legs. I had been tanning, so at first, I thought that was the cause. I went into the walk-in clinic, and the doctor agreed. Brushed off.
A month ago, I got my front tooth filled in. This came after a year of living with it being cracked and the nerve exposed. The dentist warned that it needed a root canal and crown, but she filled it in anyway, in hopes that she could “save” it … magically.
A week ago, the tooth began hurting. It was just an ache, the kind where I could pop some over-the-counter meds and go on my way. But it got worse. I was up all night bawling, popping bad amounts of pills trying to get the pain to go away. I vomited up the overdoses, but kept going. I entered hell.
Then the swelling began, slowly at first. I went into my dentist, who prescribed me just a high dose of Ibuprofen and some Penicillin, and sent me home. The puking continued because the Ibuprofen was useless, and so I kept trying to self-medicate my pain away. There was no release, no comfort. Pain Pain Pain. The kind of pain that surrounds your eyes and brain with white light and sends electric shocks down your body. Everyone told me to give the Penicillin time to work, so I stayed home and suffered.
The swelling progressed rapidly.
I can’t even post pictures of it at its worst. They are even more embarrassing and things I don’t want to be reminded of. By midnight on Sunday morning, my left eye was completely swollen shut and my right eye was beginning to swell. The pressure and the pull of my skin was almost as bad as the pain of my tooth.
By Sunday noon, I had had enough. I was shaking, losing my ability to breathe, and begging for death.
So I went into the ER.
Blood tests. They offered me a Vicodin. I took it with a scowl, “This will not work for me!” I mumbled through my swollen mouth. Five minutes later, I was given Morphine. And for a brief moment, I could sit back and breathe. Then the CT scan. The metallic dye pulled through my veins and I choked and cried. “Hold still,” the man said.
Doctor comes in with a team of nurses and scoops me away. I was admitted and hooked up to an IV and machines, pumped full of cocktails of drugs.
It started with a staph infection.
That flirted with my tooth, which abscessed.
Then to facial cellulitis.
That got into my blood stream.
That led to bacteria entering my brain.
All of the early signs had been missed. I had not listened to my body.
The hospital was a lonely place. A few visitors, one phone call. I was isolated and alone. The hallucinations haunted me. My infection caused me to see and hear and feel so many things that weren’t there. I was terrified.
But it got better.
I had gone in just in time. A couple more days and … well, we don’t need to go there. I am on the mend at this moment, still being pumped full of antibiotics and pain killers, but on the mend nonetheless. I still need the tooth fixed, which I cannot afford, or all of this will just repeat itself. I have lost my job. And I have allowed depression back into my home. I am trying to be positive, trying to find a silver lining … but I cannot help but flirt with the ideas that death would be so much better than this. In this world where money keeps a person from doing the things required for health. In this world where no one thinks to visit or make a phone call to a loved one in the hospital. In this world where I seem like a whining, pathetic bitch for feeling how I feel. My options. What options? All I do is climb this fucking hill, and all I do is fall back down to the bottom over and over again.
I thought this might have a positive ending … but I find that I don’t have one. I’m alive. Okay, there we go.
Thank you for your love & support here; when I got to read the comments, I did cry. It means a very great deal to me that you care.