"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Step Back - A Step Ahead

       Just when I thought I was making some progress I had a sudden, unexpected setback. A week ago sunday I was sitting at the kitchen table finishing up addressing the envelopes for the 15 letters I was to send out for Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign when I noticed I wasn't feeling well. I became restless, had to stand up, walk around, and suddenly rush for the bathroom; I'll spare you the details. Then the pain began, lower right abdomen and it felt also like I had been kicked in the kidney. Then after about a half hour I felt a bit better for a while and then it started all over again. This continued all day, pain, vomiting, etc. I just lay on the bed in a fetal position hoping I could die soon. By evening I wasn't too bad again and even managed to sleep pretty well through the night - not moving too much seemed to help keep the pain at bay. 

       Next morning I felt fairly ok so I got up, folded laundry, cleaned up in the kitchen, although I still didn't feel like eating (I hadn't eaten since the morning before). Then it all began again, only worse. I was doubled up and decided to call the doctor; they gave me an appointment for that evening (my doctor is an hour and a half away). By noon I realized I'd never make it until 7:20 at night so I asked Bob to call for help. He called 911 and inside of 15 minutes the ambulance arrived. I was deathly pale, freezing cold, nauseous and in terrible pain. They got me into the ambulance and into a hospital gown, and wrapped me in blankets and put very hot plastic bags in with me (they felt wonderful but I noticed they were practically burning the hands of the paramedic). She had me breathe in nitrous oxide during the hour trip to the hospital and it eased the pain considerably. My colour was better by then so I was placed on a blanket covered steel wheelchair, one of those extremely uncomfortable but sturdy types that you can't push around yourself, and wrapped me in blankets. I sat in the emergency waiting room for three hours. My blood pressure and heart rate were excellent so I wasn't considered a high risk to die or anything - it was kind of reassuring, sort of. But everyone in the waiting room was dressed except for ME and I kept hoping I wouldn't have to find a bathroom since all I had on was an open backed hospital gown, plus I wasn't walking too steadily at that point. 

       The emerg was crazy that day (one of the nurses used the word "crazy" so I know it wasn't me hallucinating or anything). A gunshot (hunting accident), a heart attack, and numerous fairly serious cuts came in after me and all had to take priority, to say nothing of the people who had been there before me. Finally I was wheeled into a small private room in emerg and somehow managed to give a urine sample (I really didn't think I would have it in me - I hadn't eaten or drunk anything in about 30 hours). Then blood was taken, more blood pressure and heart rate stuff for the umpteenth time. I was able to lay down at least and try to keep warm under one flannel blanket for the next four hours.  I was asked a lot of questions including "are you under stress?" and "are you depressed?" plus lots of poking and prodding. The pain was gone at least but I still did not feel hungry or thirsty - just weak and tired. At length I was told that I had a bladder infection and probable gall bladder problem. I needed to have an ultrasound for which I would have to come back later in the week. I called Bob and he had to come get me at nine o'clock at night. We stopped at a pharmacy that was still open and filled two prescriptions, including an antibiotic that was to knock me for a loop all of last week. The other was to take if I got pain and cramping back, which I did not. I was also instructed to take Metamuscil every day ( I've been vegetarian for years and get a LOT of fibre so I was surprised). I eat more greens, colourful veggies, and fruit than almost anyone I know, to say nothing of Bob's home made granola, whole grain breads, cereals, and other high fibre things. I even eat seaweed for pete's sake and I HATE seaweed. 

      So we got home by 11pm and I spent days laying around and was not even interested in reading for a couple of those days. I know I'm ill when I don't want to read. Slowly I felt a bit more motivated to be up and doing things, although I had almost every one of the awful side effects listed on the antibiotic notes. I had the last one saturday and that was great. I also went back for an ultrasound on friday and they spent a full hour pushing that little iron over my torso. I get the results tomorrow from my own doctor, who was notified and asked me to come in. 

       With not having to take any more pills I woke up sunday full of energy and motivation! I suddenly wanted to do everything, had more energy than in months. I even went for the morning walk with Bob and the dogs! And I have for the past three mornings, so I guess I'll be continuing from now on. I have started to plan some new work, and even got out all my knitting books and have some projects in mind for my stash, and started to design a new quilt for our bedroom. I wrote pages in my journal. I made dinner and two apple pies on monday. What has happened? I just hope it continues. The doldrums seem to be gone and I'm not going to question that too closely.

       I got a rejection notice for the above still life from a show I entered it in and I don't even care! Now that's progress.


  1. Oh my goodness, Karen! It sounds like quite a harrowing experience and I'm sorry you had to go through it. I'm glad you're feeling better now and hope for a good report from the Dr. on the morrow. God bless.


  2. What a horrid experience for you. Keeping fingers tightly crossed you stay well from now on xx

  3. Well, I think the painting is stunningly beautiful, Karen. But I am so sorry to hear of how sick you got! My first thought was appendicitis, but I don't know much about gallbladder issues. I'm just glad you are feeling better!

  4. Karen, i sincerely hope you are fine and have no further health issues! How frightening that must have been. So glad to hear you're feeling better. Just get well soon!

  5. After reading your comment on my blog yesterday or day before, I decided to search for your blog. For some reason it does not show up on my list of blogs I watch. Anyway, I hope you will continue on feeling well. How awful for you not knowing what is going on, and to travel so far to the hospital. I am going to try my darnest to get up to visit you as I will surely need a new destination for my photo shoot. Happy New Year and may you have a healthy New Year.