This is one July I hope fades quickly into the past. Oh, there were some good times including two trips, a prebirthday brunch, and a live production of "The Music Man," but during the past 31 days I have been dealing with a bladder infection that escalated into a severe kidney infection, passing into the bloodstream.
July 1 I landed at the Seattle airport and announced to my daughter I thought I was experiencing a bladder infection. I requested stopping at a grocery store where I could buy some cranberry juice. Each morning I drank a glass of the juice. July 4 should have been a fun day, including a picnic on Heidi's beautiful patio. Instead, I lay in the guestroom bed, shivering and with teeth chattering. The next day when Heidi and I had an appointment at a glass-blowing studio, I felt poorly, and after a few puffs into the glass-blowing tube for the piece I was making, I turned it over to her. On the way home she asked me if I wanted to be taken to see a doctor, and I declined. I thought I would be fine.
I flew home on the 8th, and 8 days later I left for Branson with my cousin Pat and sister. It was a long car ride, and I was fatigued when we finally arrived at our destination – my friends, Jim and Lil's. I had a bathroom next to my bedroom, which was great because my new pattern had become getting up about every hour during the night. We stayed at my friends' until early Monday morning when we started the long drive back to Minnesota.
The nightly trips to the bathroom continued, and consequently, I was quickly running out of steam. I struggled to stay awake at work. I took naps on Saturday and Sunday, which is very rare for me. I just couldn't get enough sleep. I knew I should have seen a doctor earlier in the month, but I kept putting it off because I am not a fan of my new doctor. [She is new to me due to the retirement of my former doctor in April of 2014. He was my doctor at least 16 years.] I was getting worse, and yet I fought my common sense.
Everything came to a climax last Sunday. At 3:30 am, I awoke shivering and teeth clicking together. I got up and found a thermometer. The reading was 101 degrees. I took two Tylenol, grabbed another blanket, and was able to go back to sleep until the alarm went off. I got up, got ready for church, sang in the choir, and sat through the sermon, followed by joining my friends at a nice restaurant for an early birthday celebration. When we nearly done with our brunch, I began shivering again. As soon as I got home, I changed into warm pj's and covered up with a couple of blankets, and fell asleep. When I awoke a couple of hours later, I felt terrible. I took my temperature and it was 102 degrees. I had to bite the bullet and get myself to Urgent Care to get some medical attention.
I prayed all the way to the clinic – about 5 miles away – praying I would stay alert so I wouldn't cause a car crash. I made it there and went inside. On the form I filled out, I wrote I thought the reason for my visit was a possible kidney infection. My back hurt like crazy, and I was shivering. The receptionist informed me there was one patient ahead of me. Whew! My hopes raised. Well, that didn't turn out to be true. Before calling my name, they called in a woman who had arrived well after I. Disappointed! FINALLY, it was my turn. The doctor took my temperature and again it was 102. She had me provide a urine sample. After a little time passed, she came back to the room and told me I had a severe kidney infection and would I like to go to the hospital in an ambulance? Or was there someone who could take me? I called my son, Peder, and he came to my rescue.
The ER at the hospital had been alerted I was coming so I was shown directly to an ER suite. After a doctor asked me a few questions and did some vitals, I was admitted to a room. The next day the doctor came to my room and informed my my white blood cell count was 22. Over the course of the next four days, I had lots of blood draws and received many bags of IVs of saline solution and antibiotic medication. I can't say my stay was pleasant, but that was because I was so sick. While in the hospital, the infection escalated from my kidneys to my bloodstream. This was very serious, and I was scared when I got the news. I prayed and prayed that God would lead these medical experts into finding the best medicine to turn my situation around. Yesterday (Thursday) around lunch time, I got the report my bloodstream was cleared and I would be permitted to go home.
Over the course of those 5 days, I met so many really nice people. The doctors and hospital staff were awesome! It made my stay easier. I still have the kidney infection, but am on medicine for the next 10 days. I will see my doctor this coming Wednesday to be tested for improvement levels. So you can see, I'll be glad to turn the calendar to a new month tomorrow morning.