Eyes Wide Open

A Perspective From Within

Settling In

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sleep, wake, pain… sleep, wake, pain…

I was in a new ICU bringing along with me the same old problems while lucky enough to add on a new one. With spinal cord injuries, one’s blood pressure tends to run low.  My pre-injury blood pressure was already on the normal-low side so you could imagine what my numbers looked like.  I had to remain in ICU to bring my pressure up to a safe level. Enter in the dopamine drip – a medication to artificially elevate my blood pressure. Dopamine drips are only allowed to be administered in the ICU, so getting out of there was not an option until I was weaned off of it. Every time they tried to wean me off, my blood pressure would drop resulting in an increase in the dopamine. It was an endless game of back and forth and the dopamine seemed to have the edge on me every day.

As one could imagine, ICU was not a pleasant place to be. I spent enough time there when my father was sick to know that it can mess with your mind. The walls were thin enough for me to hear the constant beeps and pumping of the breathing machines. It was never completely dark or quiet so sleeping would have been at a minimum without the use of my new friend, Ativan. I would have been sleep deprived and crazier than I already am without it. The room next to me turned over three times while I was in there… and they were discharged permanently if you know what I mean. There was a family camped out in front of my door for three days sobbing and crying. I had the pleasure of hearing the end-of-life conversation between the doctor and that family. I have been there before so my heart went out for them, but I had enough on my plate with my own problems and no room to deal with those of others.

I desperately wanted to get out of ICU and into an area of hope and rehabilitation rather than death and despair.  During idle time between visitors, I still could not process the fact that something like this was happening to me. I had absolutely no feeling in my legs. Someone could have broken my leg and I would not have felt it. We all have heard a million times that life can change in a single moment, I was the poster child for that overused saying. With that said I started to think about all of the things that were stolen from me by this one sickening and gross moment in my life, but I really had no idea of the broad spectrum of functions that we’re truly lost. It’s really a treat when you hear them… I was just delighted. More later on that. It deserves a long and exasperating post of its own…

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One thought on “Settling In

  1. I am so inspired by Mary! What a positive attitude and trust in the Lord that you will one day SOON walk again. An Attitude of Gratitude and a Desire and Drive to make it happen. “Walk by faith and not by sight”. Prayers are with you, Mary! I have three members of my family who are paraplegics and their determine, like yours, is such an inspiration. Thank You! God Bless You!!

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