Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I will only do this once...
This is my blog therefore I am able to speak whatever the crap ass I want to speak about. In 2003 I about died twice in 2 weeks. We'll just brush right on past my first experience with death because it's not as public as my second experience is. Here is my public service announcment to get your asses checked and vaccinated for Menningitis. I had neisseria meningitis, it attacked my healthy red blood cells. It is theraputic for me to go through exactly what led up to my diagnosis..sad thing is, at the same time I was going through this, in the span of four months, two other classmates from grades below me in my High School passed away from this and another girl from a neighboring school, passed away as well. I was the only "lucky" one in the string.
It started with a fever. I had a new boyfriend who was staying the night with me when I was in college. I woke up shivering, took my temperature and it was 100. I cuddled up next to him to get warm and he did the best he could to keep me warm. 20 minutes later my teeth were clattering and I was so frigid so I took it again..104. My mind was saying "NOT RIGHT" and he just held me. I wasn't getting better. We decided that night, middle of the night with classes in the morning, to go with my gut and get me into the ER for a checkup. My only life saver here..was my near death experience two weeks prior. I was still recovering from that. Which is the only reason that the hospital even took my blood in the first place. I remember them telling me "It's just the flu, go home, sleep it off, you'll be better in a few days." But then after giving them the history of my previous experienc 2 weeks before, they made the decision to take some blood samples to make sure I didnt have an infection. THAT RIGHT THERE WAS MY LIFE SAVER. Had I NOT had that, I wouldn't be here today.
Five days later, I wasn't getting better. My fever was down to 100, I was weak, but I was able to get around and what not. I noticed it was getting harder for me to breathe but figured it was the ending of my battle to recovery. My roomates and I were living like any other day. My boyfriend was coming over, taking care of me, staying over. It hurt to breathe and I was getting red spots all over my body, which the hospital said was just a viral rash.
The phone rang the next day, I could barely breathe. The rash was getting worse. The nurse on the phone told me I had Meningitis and that I was to pick up a Rx at Hy-Vee. My thought and I said it to her "Can't I DIE from Meningitis?!" She said no..that the Rx would be fine. Fuck if I was gonna die. I called the other hospital in town and they stayed on the phone with me and then told me to go to the diagnosing hospital, they would call and tell them I was on my way. I called my parents who were 45 minutes away, told them I had Meningitis and I needed to go to the ER. My parents and my boyfriend and I all went to the ER. I told them at the check in that I was there with a diagnosis of Meningitis and they had me sit in the waiting room for an hour. While I laid there..hardly breathing.
When I finally got seen by a doctor, I remember him taking one look at me, my spots all over my body, listening to my lungs and saying "You have 6 hours to live."
I was in quarantine for 3 days. The first day I was there the space shuttle Columbia exploded. I watched the footage over and over and over. I laid in bed at the UIHC, hooked up to a million drugs and stared out my window. Here I am almost 10 years later. Newspaper articles started coming out of the other three people who died of my same disease in the coming months and I vowed to myself that I would live my life to the fullest because they weren't given the chance. Somehow, I became a survivor. Somehow, I made it through. I don't know my purpose here, I probably never will. I see Nikki Evans picture in the Milestones a lot. Her permanent senior picture is my reminder that I have a job to do here even if I don't understand why I'm here.
Vaccinate your children. Follow your gut. ASK for that blood test to make sure it isn't meningitis.