Here is a photo of how I was looking at this point
My lower right lung wasn't inflating quite the way they wanted it to, so they wanted to do a Bronchoscopy to take a look and see if everything was okay. A bronchoscope is inserted into the airway, through the nose, and lets the doctor look at the airways for anything abnormal. Doesn't that sound fun? After that whole feeding tube incident, I have had anxiety about anything in or around my nose or blocking my breathing. I still can't put my face directly in the shower spray in the shower! I can't even imagine going swimming! They wheeled me into the room and gave me an awful tasting nebulizer of lytocaine (numbing medicine), that I had to breathe in through my mouth. After that, the nurse came over with a tube of cream and instructed me to sniff in while he squeezed lytocaine cream into my nasal passage. This was almost more than I could bear. I shook my head and whimpered like one of my kids being asked to take a gross medicine or eat asparagus. Another nurse let me squeeze her hand while I snorted one...two...and three shots of cream up my nose. Horrible. The thought still makes me shudder. Fortunately I was put under for the rest of the procedure, and the scope didn't find anything wrong. I got a nice photo of my airways "as a souvenir". Awesome.
My roommate Donna had checked out, and another woman had checked in as my roommate to have a stint put in her heart. Then one night in the middle of the night, in came a few nurses, who started unhooking my monitors and gathering my things. A nice nurse said brightly (as though they move patients every day in the middle of the night), "Amy, we're moving you to another room!" I blearily asked why, and she said, "They found MRSA in your sputum, and you need to be in your own room. Your own room...won't that be nice?" What is MRSA? What is sputum? The Internet on my cell phone had come in handy many, many times during my hospital stay. A doctor would spout unfamiliar medical terms, and I would nod and smile, then when they left, I would type it into a Google search to find out what-in-the-world he was talking about. So, I typed in MRSA and discovered it is a staph infection, common in hospitals, but needs to be treated with antibiotics. I felt like this was just the cherry on top of everything. Great.
The next day I noticed that every doctor or nurse who came in to see me would wear a mask. They'd put it on when they came in, and discard it in the garbage when they left. My relocated room was at the very end of a long hallway. Was I being quarantined? I felt like a leper! "Unclean! Unclean!" Then Dr. Gillam, my infectious disease doctor assured me that I was just fine, that the doctors and nurses were wearing masks as a protection to the other patients they visit who have compromised immune systems (turns out I was the youngest "heart patient" in the place by a good 30 years!). He said I'd be starting an IV medication called Vancomycin, and that I was still cleared to go home and could hug and kiss my kids, and cough and sneeze all I wanted without being a danger to them or anyone else. That was a relief, because I really missed my people!
After weeks of being in bed, my A-fib episodes, eating hospital food, surgery, etc. I lost a total of 17 lbs. Some people would smile and cheer at that kind of weight loss. It's more than the "goal weight" (I don't weigh myself regularly, but gauge it on how my pants fit) I had been working towards before I got sick. But, this isn't the kind of weight loss anyone should want. My chest is sunken, my muscles are weak. I have to wear my winter coat even if it's 60 degrees outside. I fatigue really easily, and still lose my breath if I take the stairs too fast.
I learned that being thin doesn't equate to being fit. Being healthy and "a little meaty" feels a lot better than being trim and sick. But, soon I'll be strong again. Before I know it, I'll be able to run that big laundry basket of clothes up the stairs with ease. I'll be able to pick up my kids without having to think about my breathing. I'll be able to quickly clean my house gets messy, while simultaneously cooking dinner, and not have to rest for 10 minutes after I'm done!
It's amazing that I was so sick, but that my body will recover. It may take 6-8 weeks, but it will RECOVER. Our bodies are an amazing and beautiful gift from our Father in Heaven. They are able to fight infection, heal themselves, and create new life. My body has given birth to three beautiful babies, and I've been alive and healthy for 34 years! What a miraculous gift!
Stay tuned for the concluding part 8. Thanks for your patience with this, friends!