A Very Maladies Christmas

By Rachel Doboga

I wish I had been well enough for a post on Christmas and New Years, but that wasn’t the case. I’m in rough shape. Another lung infection on top of severe muscle spasms on Christmas eve kept us busy through the holidays. Fortunately, I don’t remember Christmas eve because my BP dropped and I lost consciousness.

I’m lucky Evan knows how to handle all this because the hospitals are way over capacity here. Emergency rooms are built for 125 people and they are treating 500 people. They are treating people in the hallway because of COVID, the flu, and RSV, so Evan has been working as my ER doctor around the clock to keep me out of the hospital.

My PIP* is still way too high – 35 and the alarm is 45 – but they said there’s nothing they could do for me at the hospital that we can’t do here unless my oxygen drops. Fortunately, it’s stayed at 97 even when I’m having a coughing fit. I blame a lot of this on the death of my dog Malka. I depended on her very heavily.

*PIP is Peak Inspiratory Pressure – the pressure it takes to push air into my lungs… My usual PIP is 25. Being on life support is complicated!

Three days later…

Unfortunately, I ended up in the hospital again. I was in the ER about 12 hours for bloody urine, bowels pushing on my lungs, and a low-grade fever. Let me tell you, it was absolutely packed! They were 5 times over capacity and treating people in the hallway just like I heard. Luckily, I got a room because of my ventilator.

I was able to go to my primary hospital so the experience was much better than my October hospitalization at my secondary hospital. I have been sleeping most of the day, which I am grateful for because my bladder hurts!!

My home health nurses thought I would be there for days, but the hospital doctors always say I’m a good healer, and the nurses say I have angels by my side. I always get out early!

* I can’t post comments or reply to them, but I can read them and I love them. Keep writing!

If you have fond memories of Rachel as a teacher in her life before ALS, or if a post on this blog has ever moved you, please consider making a contribution to Rachel’s out of pocket caregiving fees, medical expenses not covered by insurance, and transportation costs through Friends of Rachel. From your PayPal account you can donate to FriendsofRachelDoboga@gmail.com

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