This is my story and I’m sticking to it…..
In February 1984, I was 34 then, I suffered a heart attack I had the balloon surgery but when the aortic pump and A-line catheter was removed I occluded again leaving my LAD 100% blocked but formed excellent collateral and I lived without pain for over 20 years.
In January 2002 I weighed in at nearly 400 lbs. even though my heart was damaged I still ate and ate foolishly for years. Today I weigh 110 lbs. After gastric bypass and sickness that caused me to lose more weight than I ever thought I would. I never ever thought a doctor would tell me to gain weight but that is the circumstance I’m in today. Eat, Eat, protein etc.
In 2006 I had lost down to about 200 lbs and thought I was going to get my life back but I had worn out this poor old body. My knees were bone on bone and in terrible shape so I went to an orthopedic doctor and he agreed to do both knees at once bilateral knee surgery. I knew myself well enough to know that if I went through it once with one knee I’d never ever go back to do the other bilateral knee was my answer. Wowza that was hurt and I didn’t have a good leg to stand on either. Ha
When preparing for my bilateral knee surgery the doctor had me do an angiogram since I’d had a heart attack and he didn’t want me to have heart problems when I had my knee surgery. My angiogram was good and the cardiovascular doctor said it looked good enough to do the knee surgery but the collateral arteries were starting to show wear and tear and they thought after I had recuperated from the knees I should have open heart bypass. In June of 2007 I had quadruple bypass surgery and it went very well.
In September 2007 I went back to the orthopedic doctor and said that whatever he did to my knees didn’t work because they still hurt. He did MRI’s of my back and told me that I had stenosis in my neck and lumbar region. As a matter of fact he said that my neck was a whiplash away from being a paraplegic and he sent me to Kansas City, KS (about 2 hours from my home) to a doctor that did this kind of surgery. Most of the time doctors wouldn’t tell patient’s things like that but I was the HR Director at the hospital and he knew he could. Anyway, I had my neck surgery in October of 2007 and it was a good outcome as all the other’s had been.
Then the Lumbar surgery which at first seemed like it was going to go as well. Boy we sure got fooled. I came home from the hospital and after a week or so my wound opened and became infected. I ended up going to our local hospital with my PCP Internal Med specialist. I was septic and went back to KC for 12 weeks, 6 in the hospital and 6 in rehab. The wound was still open when I came home in May 2008 and I went to the wound care nurse once a week but had a wound vac. Our youngest daughter is a RN and she took care of it the other two times a week. In July I went back to KC and they opened the wound cleaned it, stitched it and I went home. Two weeks later I went for suture removal and when the PA took the sutures out…I opened up again. The next several times to KC I would go but they didn’t take the wound vac off because they didn’t know how to put it back on. I would take a picture to them. After this happen twice I decided I could email them the picture and limit my trips to KC. I asked our local surgeon if he would help me and he did. He cleaned it up and put the wound vac on in surgery and I had it until April 2009 but I still had a small hole and tunnel. I was still on antibiotics because when I went off the antibiotic I would infect yet again. In April of 2009 I went to my PCP doc and told him I thought I had the flu. At this time swine flu was just coming out and he asked me some questions and told me I didn’t have the flu I had a gastro virus. In May the “virus” became c-diff and I ended up back in the hospital this time in Topeka. The docs in Topeka took good care of me. The neuro surgeon told me to heal my back he thought if we took the hardware out of the lumbar the wound would close. He did and it did. The big guy in KC wouldn’t even return the phone calls from the doc in Topeka. Nice huh? I got to come home again. My c-diff turned my bowels into UC that was toxic it shut down my Respiratory system was working on my kidneys and I nearly died. As a matter of fact they told my husband who was on his way to Topeka, I was air evacuated, that I had a 66% chance of making it if they did surgery and did an ileostomy and a 0% chance if I didn’t. He told them to start cutting. In July I transferred back to our local hospital for recovery and rehab and I was there until the end of August. I got to come home!!! Yippee. When I got home I was overwhelmed and a lot depressed. I wouldn’t eat, drink, just wanted to be left alone, and despite everything else I continued to take my meds. I ended up—overdosed on pain meds and muscle relaxers and I got to go back to the hospital for another week. I wasn’t aware that I had overdosed because it wasn’t intentional but because I was dehydrated and wasn’t eating and I had lost so much weight I did OD. When I got to come home this time I wasn’t allowed to prepare my own meds, had to have 24/7 supervision and I was a sick puppy to boot. They 1st told me I had to go to a Nursing Home to recuperate and I refused and was able to arrange 24 hour a day supervision.
Today I have gained some weight back which is a good thing. I am stronger and can stay by myself, I can prepare my own meds but rely on my husband to give me the pain med which is Oxycotin 5mg elixir. He draws it up anyway. I usually take it before bed and when I get up and depending on my activity I may have a dose in the afternoon. It is 5 mg but I take 15mg at a time. It doesn’t ever get rid of the pain but dulls it enough to make me be able to get around and do what needs to be done. I retired in August 2007 as a HR Director of our local hospital. I tell folks that I retired to become a professional patient. NOT. I also tell them that I went for back surgery and ended up with an ileostomy and still have back pain. I use elixir because the pills don’t absorb with my ileo they come out whole so at least the elixir absorbs.