Howdy, folks. It’s really me posting.
Please forgive the length, but if I go back again and try to shorten it, I’ll never get this posted.
Thought I’d post something before passers-by and visitors think I’ve abandoned my home here. Believe me, I never intended to become invisible. Nope, I haven’t neglected my website and you or your blogs by choice. Due to a lingering illness, my life has been put on hold. Needless to say, my upcoming book due out for release this past spring, then delayed until summer, will continue to be on hold for a while longer. The same with Two-Five Ranch Outlaws, Book #2.
I don’t have anything that can be caught by another human. A sinus infection and low electrolytes, especially sodium, have ruined my life.
Even before June, I hadn’t felt myself for some time, and I didn’t know what was going on. A sinus infection made all the other symptoms feel worse. In early July, I emailed my doctor with my symptoms because I continued to get worse, even losing weight.
She told me to get tested for the dreadful “virus” because of my symptoms. After a two-hour wait at a drive-thru testing site in ninety-one-degree heat, I had an antibody test and nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19. It took days of going to hell and back to get the (negative) results.
Unfortunately, my troubles didn’t stop there. We discovered my electrolytes had dropped dangerously low. Let’s also add dehydration to this bag of hell! Through my own research, I suspected a drop in sodium because I take two medications that deplete sodium. I’m off of one of them now. This ain’t my first rodeo with low sodium. In the past, a couple of bottles of an energy drink put me back to normal. By the way, sodium controls fluid levels in the body. Hence, dehydration.
Some symptoms of low sodium include: Nausea and vomiting, Headache, Confusion, Loss of energy, Drowsiness and fatigue, Restlessness and irritability, Muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps, Seizures, Coma.
Emergency Room During a Pandemic:
Before having my results back from the Antibody and COVID-19 test, I called 9-1-1 because the symptoms were taking over my body and mind. My body needed something I could no longer provide, and it was SCARY.
2020 Safety First:
On this night, only one tech came inside in full protective gear because I had told them on the phone, that I didn’t have results back yet. After he determined I’d be transported, I chose to walk out. The last thing I wanted was to draw attention at midnight with the sound of a gurney rolling through the door. Five EMTs waited on the walk outside the door with the gurney, while one remained at my side. They had sent two trucks, as they always do here.
I said, “A girl never minds seeing five firemen waiting for her.” I don’t know how I had the sense to think of something so flirty. Once a romance writer, always a romance writer? On the way, the tech with me said he didn’t think I had the virus. My lungs were clear. I barely had a fever.
I ended up going to the ER twice a couple of weeks apart for the same symptoms—low electrolytes. The first time, they also did a nasopharyngeal swab test and bloodwork. This ER nurse did both nostrils. The drive-thru testing guy did only one side as I sat in my car. If you’ve had a nasopharyngeal test, you know what I’m talking about.
Soon after arriving in the emergency room, they attempted a bag of saline for dehydration while waiting for test results, but I blew a vein and the IV stopped dripping. Then they gave me a Sodium Chloride drip. Altogether, I blew out four veins in two visits.
This is how my boat floats, people.
Aside from low electrolytes, other tests came back normal. We still had no COVID-19 results when I had been discharged the first time, though the nurse in the ER said I had no markers in my blood to indicate the virus. So, I was
kicked out released with antibiotics for the suspected sinus infection, Sodium Chloride tablets for low sodium, and instructions to eat salty food. French fries would raise sodium. Oh, yum. If only I could eat. *Don’t try this at home without medical supervision. Too much sodium can be just as harmful.
GOOD NEWS! A couple of days after my return home after the first visit, I found out all the COVID-19 tests, including the antibody test were NEGATIVE. Thank the good Lord. Thank you, thank you! THANK YOU!
I learned that when someone offers to help, you have to say okay.
The Waiting Game:
This was the end of July. *Since the second ER visit, and under my doctor’s direction, I’m drinking energy drinks with electrolytes instead of water–which dilutes sodium, while keeping Sodium Chloride tablets on hand for an emergency. I’m eating salty foods to keep my sodium level up until I see a specialist (waiting list) to determine what we’ll do about the medication. Hope all this salt doesn’t cause a stroke.
I’ve made an in-person appointment with a new primary care doctor. It’s time for a change and new set of eyes on my case. The appointment is in September!
Let’s Get Back to Life as a Writer: If Only I could.
Publication? It’s hard enough focusing on dinner, getting my mail, or taking a shower, and it’s taken me longer than three weeks to write this post. But we will see this book published one day. I haven’t given up. I keep trying. I’m too damn stubborn to quit, but I’m thankful for my persistent nature. As if I don’t feel guilty enough, a new holiday story has been calling me to write it. I want to slap my muse upside the head for doing this to me now.
Regardless, as bad as I feel for not getting my books out there, I need to think of myself and my worried family because this is my new reality.
Anyone have any answers? Is there a better way to keep my electrolytes stable? I’d like to be normal again.
I MISS YOU ALL. Thanks for reading. Continue to stay safe.
*Disclaimer: The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his or her health, particularly with respect to any symptoms or accidents that may require diagnosis or medical attention.