My days in the hospital droned on like clockwork: 5 a.m. wake-up calls for daily blood draw, painkillers administered on a tight schedule, and me unable to manage the pain when the painkillers started to wear off. I was heavily slurring my words and falling soundly asleep within two minutes of the new round of painkillers traveling through my body. My appetite was non-existent. Nurses kept telling me I had to eat something. The only thing I thought I might keep down was wheat toast, lightly buttered. That was not the norm for me. I hadn’t eaten toast in years.
My family took shifts, so someone was always with me in my hospital room. They continually requested that my medical group call in a neurologist to evaluate my case. The medical group would not authorize one. Their hospitalist said it “wasn’t necessary.” They claimed, “A neurologist can’t do anything any differently than we are already doing.” I found out later that was an absolute untruth and negligent. Neurologists have a special depth of knowledge in matters such as meningitis and migraines, not to mention many other debilitating conditions. I learned during this experience that my medical group did not have my best interest as their priority. I decided they were dispensable. They were no longer the right fit for me.
When the doctors began talking about discharging me, the nurses helped get me back on my feet and practice walking again. I was weaker than I had ever been in my life, and I had previously been a high-stamina athlete. I was worn out. I was discharged and given firm instructions that I was to get as much rest and relaxation as possible, take time off work, and stay with my family until I was in a stable, healthier, and stronger condition to go back to living on my own. I was shuffled out the door by my medical group with a prescription for an opiate painkiller. They gave me no other suggestions, encouragement, or possible ways to manage my future.
The most interesting news I received prior to being discharged was that they had traced my meningitis (required by the Centers for Disease Control) back to the common cold virus. I did have a lingering cold prior to getting ill. I admit that I had not taken care of my cold. I pushed myself, had been working around-the-clock, and I was completely drained. My immune system could not stand up against any hit evidently. A cold started all of this.
Coming next: Migraine after migraine consumed me