Thursday, April 16 – Tough Choices

By Sasha P LUNENBURG, CANADA

Yesterday, my husband, Chris, went to the emergency room (ER). One of the last places (on earth) anyone wants to be right now is in a rural hospital emergency room. My appreciation goes to all the staff who somehow make miracles with ancient tools that are crumbling, and slashed mercilessly.

Do you ever wonder what your COVID-19 isolation and PPE weak points are? I would say a trip to the emergency room is high on the list of don’ts. Keeping this in mind will help you understand why Chris toughed out septic bursitis over the kneecap, for several days. Another factor is, it came on out of nowhere (there was no injury), and it’s the first time this has ever happened to him. He thought it might go away on its own.

Despite being barely able to walk, Chris drove himself to the hospital. The treating doctor in the ER said it was a good thing he came in and then used a large needle to drain 2 ounces of fluid from the front of his kneecap. Some of this fluid was sent to the lab for testing.

Since Chris’s kneecap was a burning hot balloon, filled with liquid, the needle going into it was painful. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see that. You can never unsee these types of things. I still wish I would have been able to drive him in and hold his hand and just look away when they put the ole honking needle in.

Chris was hooked up to an IV and given Cephazolin and a prescription for oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. Then he was released back into the wild, drove himself home, decontaminated, and watched reruns of the Master’s golf tournaments he has always wanted to watch. I am so relieved he wasn’t admitted for longer.

Despite Chris being a germ conscious, masked, glasses and hand sanitizer toting, virus cowboy, I’m worried that hospital trip (and any others if the knee blows up again) has put our immunocompromised family in danger. To be clear, Chris’s life was in danger. We were faced with a tough choice. I foresee many families finding themselves in this type of situation.

I try not to think about that as I disinfect as many high touches surfaces in our home as possible. Anxiety fear gives my chronically ill ass more energy than usual. I use this to my advantage knowing full well I’m destroying myself and will be feeling this for days and maybe weeks later. MECFS, EDS, POTS, and MCAS are a bitch like that. At the cellular level, my mitochondria are fucked. You can picture this like an old phone battery. No matter how much you charge it or which charger you use, you only get a 2% battery life. You have to use it wisely. I’m still working on the ‘wisely’ part.

Chris is doing much better today, and his pain levels are less. It is bearable. He can walk a bit better too. This is a man who usually never stops moving. It was scary to see him in so much pain.

Disinfection has been more challenging with the kids home from school all day. Isolation is the easy part. We live in the middle of nowhere with a lake in our back yard. It’s just us and the loons who have returned just this week. The sound of their call is beautiful and haunting. It feels like the perfect soundtrack to dusk in isolation.
I look forward to this year’s choir of frogs.

You would not believe the size of the frogs around here. I’ve attached a picture of our son JP (from last year) holding one of these fine specimens. If you’re going to catch a frog. Go big or go home. As I write this, I imagine how good a rotisserie frog might taste. Those meaty thighs cooked to sweet perfection over a gleaming bed of coals. That’s the nasty little food insecurity monster, inside of me, rearing its head. I vow not to eat my favourite green choir, no matter how bad food shortages become. However, in my heart of hearts, I know I will feed my children (like a mother bird) with no remorse. Am I a monster? It depends on who you ask. If you ask the frogs, cows, chickens, and pigs- I am death.

One love