The retirement money is gone. I've been living on it since losing my job in 2011. I have to say I have been pretty thrifty to make it stretch for three years. So I am not disappointed. My hope is to keep the job I have and sometime in May begin collecting early retirement. I am 62 on April 30th.
The first part of 2014's January was a-fixed in a lot of illness. One evening I had some sort of viral infection and barely made it home from work. I had to take a day off and slept for 23 hours straight. Then Linny got the flu. She suffered for half of January and did not start feeling better until about 10 days ago.
The weather is so bad this year. We had heaps of snow and then a couple of ice storms. I was unable to pull my car up the driveway. I have fallen at least 7 or 8 times attempting to walk up the driveway. I am so heavy that it is hard to pull myself up. My left hand has two occurrences of frostbite. I had to give up playing guitar for awhile. As of right now, my left palm has several weird callouses that resulted because of my falls. Part of my left hand has no feeling and some of it feels like I have band-aids on my fingers.
On February 13th I was taken ill. I was supposed to be at the dermatologists office at 9:45 am, but I was too sick to get out of bed. By 10:30 am, I asked Linny to call into work for me and I went back to sleep. I woke at 11:30 and had projectile vomiting and I could not quit. Once it subsided, another round of vomiting hit me.
Linny called our doctor and was told to get me to the emergency room straight away. The driveway was too slick and my legs to weak, but somehow holding on to a wheelchair I got into the passenger side of the car and off we drove to Saint Elizabeth's in Crescent Springs.
The triage nurse got me onto a stretcher immediately. I kept fading in and out. Linny told me the ER doctor said I was very sick and he was worried.
This was one of those times that I do not remember much. I could not get my thoughts together. Everything was a jumble. I was fading in and out. Linny says I was singing show tunes. I recall having some X-Rays taken and having an IV put into my arm. This was all done out in the hallway of the ER. They didn't have a room, even in the ER. I thought I was in an episode of House.
I finally was wheeled into a room and was told they had a bed for me on the cardiac care floor. Oh joy, I am back in the hospital, which I cannot afford and will be missing more work.My job only allowed to be absent from work for two days and here am I going on three.
I was sent to the fifth floor and immediately a pack of nurses, nurse aides, IV techs and others pounced upon me. I was examined from stem to stern and an oxygen canuala was put in place. My lungs would not expand. I wanted to take a deep breath, but was unable.
More X-rays, probes of my arm to find a great vein, getting my weight at 5 am and peeing in a urinal (not the kind on the wall) followed.
The medical staff was amazed at my body, especially my torso and back. It wasn't great prior to arriving due to psoriasis and some measle-like rash. By now the rash had taken the entire territory of my back and sides and was turning into an itchy red mess.
The first night the nurse sent for a resident to examine me. The young lady resident says I have guttate psoriasis. I asked is that why I have these petechia all over my chest and back. The reply was, "Why where did you ever learn such a big word." I was unable to recall the word guttate for the rest of the week and told Linny I had Guten Tag psoriasis. She said that is nice as it is the evening.
I seemed to be improving throughout that night and I was hoping to go home the next day. But no.
The following night was terrible. I was scared over losing my job. All the financial issues that go along with applying and seeking work, in my mind, came to a head. I was concerned about my mother too. Linny and I live with her and take care of her. I do most of the work at home, the shopping and food preparation. I was worried about my wife. Sometimes she does not deal well with my siblings. She is taking her last course for her Masters Degree and is devoting her energy to school.
All my fears seemed to culminate that night while I attempted to sleep. I fought with something inside of me. I do not know if this was my inner self taking form, a demon or an Angel. I recall wrestling with this dark entity and was screaming as it was grasping me and trying to overcome my will.
I awoke the next morning with a new attitude. Screw it! Whatever happens; happens. I cannot change fate, so roll with it. I am a Christian. I am a Servant. God is in charge, looking for my best interest and I trust Him to take care of my family and me.
Linny brought some good news the next afternoon. My manager, Melissa, had contacted her and spoke with her for around a half an hour. Melissa was sending the forms to me for Family Leave of Absence which would protect my job. I needed to get them to the medical departments for a signature, before coming back to work. This did not alleviate my concern over money coming in aka a paycheck, but I would not have to look for work.
All the time I was in hospital, my weight was decreasing; from 285 pounds to 260 pounds. As miserable as I am, I cannot eat.
I attempted to retain my boxers while at the hospital. However after wearing them for three days and attempting to urinate in the urinal while lying in bed, I finally had to assign them to a laundry bag. I wore hospital gowns with ties in the back and my junk hanging out the bottom.
One evening I was attempting to sit on the edge of the bed and use the urinal. It was not working. I had my regular socks on and when I stood up, I slid to the floor. I attempted to get up by myself, but was too weak and too unsteady.
I spent about five minutes admiring the workmanship of the tile floor when a nurse walked in to check on me. She went into panic mode and soon the troupes arrived. I was back into bed, the charge nurse scolded the others since I was never provided with non-skid socks. From then on out I was branded a walker and confined to my bed, which had an alarm.
I have become less and less steady on my feet. I suspect I have a balance issue. Then again, lying in bed for seven days does not help mobility.
With my new found socks I was allowed to sit up in a chair and could use the urinal while standing up as long as there was a nurse or aide present. Heck, sometimes I have trouble in the men's room standing at the urinal when another guy is next to me.
But you know what? Nothing seems to be problematic since every time I am asked to get up, my genitalia is hanging out for the world to view. I even get to stand up for a bath from a basin with the nurse aide washing my back and feet.
The nursing staff is very happy that I put on my own ointment. No one is too crazy about touching that psoriasis guy's legions. I know they are happy because they give report in my room and tell each other, "Guess what? You don't have to touch that psoriasis guy's sores; he puts his own medicine on!!" Perhaps it was not in those exact words.
I got to walk around the hall about three times. Two times were with physical therapy and
once was with Linny. When I did get to walk I asked for an extra gown to cover my bare ass. I cannot believe I saw the physical therapy lady walking some old guy up and down the hall with his baggy old ass hanging out of his gown.
My daughter Elizabeth faithfully drove her Mom to and from the hospital. She even brought my granddaughter Zoe up to visit one day. Rachael and her family stopped in to see me one afternoon. I love my girls. They both have grown up to be wonderful people.
My INR finally hit over 2.00 on Thursday and I was allowed to go home. Linny was dropped off by Elizabeth. Our car was in the garage since I arrived. The weather has improved. The ice has melted, although I hear it may snow tomorrow.
I am still miserable. The rash on my body is no better. I am itchy and irritable and I am hoping that Monday one of the two doctors I am seeing will be able to heal me or start me on the process