Guess what: I was hospitalized for a couple of days earlier this week! My post title may say staycation, but it was the last thing that was about. Definitely the least favorite type of situation away from everything I’ve ever been in.
Being in the hospital meant that whatever I was feeling, whatever level of sickness I had.. I couldn’t hold it in much longer and nurse myself back to normal on my own. Let’s say this is my last resort kind of thing when it came to the point that I asked the help of my mom to drive me to the hospital to let doctors do their job.
What I thought was just a simple viral flu and cough, and could be fixed with some measly bed rest, drinking a LOT of fluids and taking antibiotics and other appropriate medicines for my situation, turned out to be much more than that. I couldn’t be any more wrong about my own guesses with what I could be experiencing. It’s been days, the medicines should have worked. Why hasn’t it worked yet?
In the hospital, after the hullaballoo with Admissions and the ER, we finally got the attention from the Nurses who checked on me. Turns out I was dehydrated and very, very low in blood that I needed blood transfusion on the spot. My Creatinine levels (in layman’s terms, this is the toxic level in your body the Kidneys can’t filter out anymore) were also way, way off the regular values and sky rocketed to insane levels you would think I should have been feeling all sorts of worse sickness scenarios in that moment. I take responsibility with that. My bad, I have been very irresponsible because I have been eating anything and everything I wanted and have not followed up on my monthly injections. 😞 Karma pays.
But the weird thing is that, physically I felt fine. At least, I didn’t feel like my Kidneys have collapsed, in pain, or anything. I did felt very weak and lethargic though so maybe that’s its effect on me. I should be even grateful it did not act up or anything at the time, actually. On top of that I was feeling mentally hopeless and negative how this is all going to turn out. In that moment, I’d say I was at my darkest point. Depressed? Suicidal? Probably – only I did not have the energy to actually pick a sharp object and start slashing myself.
Anyway, so the nurse had to put me on IV. I am not particularly fearful of needles so it was no big deal. I can handle that kind of pain. However, when I heard that I shortly had to be subjected for a Blood Gas that’s when it started to get messy. I don’t mind the usual Blood Chemistry (CBC, Platelets, Creatinine), but the Blood Gas they will get the blood from your PULSE.
I still cringe whenever I try to remember that feeling of that needle inside my goddamn pulse and the nurse poking, twisting around it while it is inside my system to get a better source of blood(?). God damn it. *shudders* Oh and by the way, they took 3x before they got the ‘right amount of blood’ because I moved a lot. To the nurses who did this: Nice, you’re such a pro. Thanks for leaving this ugly scar on my wrist. Is this the same level of pain people who cut their wrists feel?
When we have settled in our room, and for the next 3 days, I had some time to reflect, especially on the few hours I was left on my own because my companion (thanks, Ma, for staying in 24/7!) was away to take in some fresh air.
Sharing on social media that you are in the hospital
I was torn on letting the world know that I was in the hospital because I did not want to seem clingy, needy and seeking attention. I also did not like unflattering photos of myself floating around the internet – I know, so narcissistic of me but the way things go viral and taken out of context these days, you have to be careful.
But in that moment I began to understand why some people do it: We want to see how much people care about your current condition. A ‘like’ or their short messages of well-wishes is validating enough for us who are laying in our hospital beds to help us feel a bit better. Apart from your immediate family, it also matters to you (whether you admit it or not) to know which ones cares enough to ask what happened to you.
Other than that, I don’t know what else could be your reason for letting the world know. I certainly did not post that photo of my hand in IV to brag about because this is nothing to be proud of. If anything, I feel defeated by being irresponsible that’s why I was in this situation.
You are invincible until you are not
Before landing in the hospital, I used to think I was fine and in great shape and that I did not need my maintenance medicines and injections anymore. I was proud of this ‘achievement’ because I ‘accomplished’ all of it without seeing any doctors in the past couple of years; I felt like I was back to normal. The way I felt, it was as if I was fit as the next normal, healthy kid.
I was traveling in the past 3 months. I was eating any food I liked, in moderation, I was sleeping whenever I wanted (as late as I wanted). What else could go wrong?
Unknowingly this started taking it’s toll on me, eventually. I was losing weight, I was becoming skinnier and lighter. Not a good thing. I was feeling depressed and down most of the time, and my appetite kept decreasing. Little did I know this was the start of things going bad.
Blood never tasted this good
So I needed to get an impromptu blood transfusion when I got admitted, which was processed right the next day. This was the first time I encountered such a thing, but it couldn’t be that bad – and it wasn’t. It’s just going to pass by your IV line, which is OK. If it were going to be done another way, I’d have freaked out. But it’s not like I can do anything about it if that were the case either way.
Blood. Delicious, tasty, red and luscious.. no I didn’t get a taste of it. I assume it tastes like metal though. It’s also some other person’s blood that was transferred to my frail, weak body at the time. I needed two bags from what I remember. The whole process felt like nothing, or maybe I did not feel it because I was still too weak at the time so I probably just fell asleep.
They say that after that, I looked happier and my lips are redder again. I can’t really tell any difference though. I feel a bit chubby lately, idk, fat, is that it? If so, then yay? I will do my very best to maintain this plumpness and hopefully add more skin in me in the following weeks. Mmmm, if this is the effect of having more blood then vampires have been having fun with it all this time! Jk.
As soon as two bags were emptied up and all of it is inside me, that’s how quick the nurses were to insist that they need donors.. NOW. They didn’t specifically say what are the repercussions if we fail to bring two people to make up for the blood I used but as of now, I am 1 person short. It’s been difficult to look for anyone who is willing to be a donor.. so here’s my next realization,
You can’t always expect people to be there for you
It’s easy to say you’re friends, you’ll support and be there for each other through thick or thin. I have plenty of friends, but half of them drink and smoke. Half of them are probably not comfortable with donating blood, let alone have a needle poked at them.I know I can’t blame them if they don’t want to do it but I can’t help but feel a tad bit disappointed. I also feel uncomfortable asking people for such favors.. so I guess it’s partly my fault. “You don’t get anything if you don’t ask!” saying comes to mind. I can’t even bring myself to fanatically campaign myself for Facebook likes (when it came to online contests). This is no different.
Eventually I would also need a Kidney organ donor. I would need that sometime in the future, definitely. That kind of future is very imminent, will come at some point. If I am having difficulty now, what about this moment where the need is much higher and much riskier? Is anyone wiling to put their life down the line for me and give me their Kidney?
People joke around all the time saying they’d sell their soul to the devil, sell their Kidneys to the market for something as shallow as tickets or the chance to meet so and so, but suppose there was such a situation that your organ IS on the line – would you give it up for a price, or for whatever you want that bad you’ll trade that for?
I’m probably just being overdramatic but I easily feel down about these things because I feel I’m that sort of person people just don’t care that much about. This is also why you should never set any expectations on anyone even if it’s people really close to you. Not even my family can help me because they’re either sick, or smokers and drinkers, or anemic. It had to be from a stranger. That hurts, yo.
The people you least expect are the ones who are there for you
I was surprised to see one of my brother’s close friends visiting late at night, just a few hours after we’ve settled in my room during the first night. IDK, he lives close by and it wasn’t far or out of his way anyway. Thought he’d check on my brother too. Oh and he was a good company for my companions at the time too. I remember the three of them (him, my mom and my brother) were talking the whole night. I just fell asleep. He had some tips and suggestions and stories to share about because his dad also has the same condition as mine. Also needed blood. That was mostly the nature of their discussion: Blood talk at 4AM and ranting about the awful hospital service.
Next was the unexpected blood donation from one of our staff. The following morning my dad came in and said that one guy is willing to draw out his blood for the blood donation. I’ve never said more than 3 words to the guy whenever we talked but when I saw him, I definitely passed my sincere thank you to him.
You’re never really well after all that
When people said the usual get well soon well wishes, I take it with a grain of salt and move on. Why? Because even when I do get well, the main problem will still be there. It will never go away. Sadly it is a part of me and it will only get worse from here on out. If it doesn’t come now, then in a few years it will. It’s easy to say that I should just go ahead and get that transplant operation (first off, where will I get a Kidney, huh?), but it’s not that easy to wake up one day and decide you want that, same goes for the Dialysis treatments which is a lifetime thing (it’ll almost be like I’m going to be dependent on a machine all my life?). I actually prefer the operation instead of treatment, but that requires a person.. and well, I couldn’t be any more alone in this.
I used to be careless about the things I do because I thought that I still have years and years left in me. But after this, I really do need to make a big lifestyle change. Starting with the food I eat (I’m not about to go in a Paleo or Vegan diet soon, no, not that drastic) to sleeping before midnight and eating on time.
I need to make myself realize that the more I abuse myself, not by the typical means (drugs, alcohol, smoking but especially with being irresponsible with food, sleep and medicines) the closer I put myself into a place where I can never go back to being close to living a normal life again, before it’s too late. I really wish I knew why I keep slacking at this, I’m not that stubborn nor am I not always given what I wanted.
Something to put my head in perspective: The only person you know who had the same condition as you are and is now dead. Then again, that person lived a very YOLO lifestyle when she was alive.. so, maybe, she died happy and satisfied. Whereas I am still wussing out of the small things in life and being very careful.
You realize that it could have been worse
In that moment that the nurse was doing all sorts of tests that involved needles in me was happening, I thought to myself this is much more painful than the kind of pain other people my age are concerned about. People often make problems about their uneventful love-related lives (or lack of it), or their problems with relationships to other people (family, friends, etc.), or their body issues (most popular especially around this time).
More often than not, they find it as a form of release and frustration from all that to extract pain upon themselves. I think to myself, they are physically well.. why are they subjecting themselves to that much pain? Also I am sad for those who just give up on life and quickly end it. Consider donating your organs when you leave, please? There’s a long queue for transplant patients that’s been going on for years, it’s the one last good deed you can do before leaving.
Their kind of problems are pretty.. petty compared to the shoes I am filling in for the rest of my life. This stupid organ that doesn’t function well anymore does 70% of my body’s work and it’s slowly killing me. People with healthy, functioning kidneys are killing themselves over someone or a problem that can be fixed overtime or just looked at with a different kind of understanding and/or reasoning? This is frustrating.
Anyway, my problem is also probably petty to someone else too. So my argument may or may not be that valid.
Dearest bed, you have betrayed me
You would think that being in a hospital is somewhat fun because you’re in bed all day. You would expect the bed to be perfectly comfortable to support your body as the doctors and nurses patiently restore it back to health but NO. By third day I felt the bend of the bed (half of it is bendable, so is the bottom) mess with my back thus giving me a very uncomfortable sleep. It also does not help that I had an immobile left hand, so just imagine how inconvenient was the whole thing.
This made me really sad because I thought I would be enjoying as much bed time as I was getting, but instead I dreaded lying in bed for hours for the next two days. The (free) pillow was better though.
You don’t mind your unwashed hair or that you had tasteless food for days
I only remembered that I didn’t get to wash my hair since I was admitted there during the time we were going back home. Strangely, it felt the usual unwashed hair feeling but not as greasy as I remember (lol, sorry very TMI and gross) and it didn’t matter to me. I guess I was still too sick to care. Only a day after when I got home was when I finally took a shower. Oop.
Food was also awful throughout, only the fruits were bearable. But oh well, I’ll eat whatever I can to have something in my tummy so I can take medicines after that.
Everything is expensive after but you pay for it anyway
Okay, obviously the reason why I avoid hospitals and doctors in the first place is because it’s expensive and I could be using the money for something else (stupid, probably, I’m that irresponsible with money).. but I am right with the expensive part. We were billed a huge amount, as expected, for sub par service (IMO) but the primary illnesses I had when I was admitted is still here. As of this writing, I still have my cough (slowly healing though), and my flu (just runny nose now, but not as clogged as days ago). I don’t feel the meds are working; if it is, then it’s surely working very, very slow.
Sure the blood was helpful, and the diagnosis but it was something I already knew about.
Expensive bill. This is why we should all be very cautious and careful with our health. Health is wealth, lol. Anyway, we can’t complain, so we paid and quickly bolted out. Hope to never see the hospital again.
Loljk, I’ll be back this weekend to bring a friend (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!) to draw blood from her, then next week.. doctor’s checkup. Yay.