I’m amazed I stayed in the hospital as long as I did before checking out. I could have left at any time because it was my right as a patient. I put my faith in my doctors, something I rarely do, and trusted that they knew what was best to improve the outcome of my situation. I never stopped trusting them. That’s not why I left against medical advice. I left because I firmly believed that the location affecting my mental health is what caused my healing/improvement to plateau.
Or it could just be that I’m crazy. That point is open for discussion.
I had been thinking about checking myself out for at least three weeks before I did. I felt I could deal with shit on my own, at home with my crochet and World of Warcraft. Except when my body parts legitimately tried to kill me and I happened to be in the ideal place for that. A part of me also felt relieved that I was taken care of, that I didn’t have to worry about not having enough energy to feed myself, to get to dialysis, or remember to take my medication. Yes, it was incredibly boring, but I think I needed to be taken care of as I wasn’t capable of doing very basic things, particularly after surgery and when my lungs crapped out.
Even now, I’m not sure I have the grit to do what is necessary to care for myself. I feel better than I did, but I’m nowhere remotely close to my baseline. Myelitis has left me with something called paraparesis, which essentially means my legs are extremely weak. That on top of muscle atrophy and pain, walking has become…tricky. I’ve got my wheels to get around outside of the house, but I’m trying to walk around as much as possible. I will need to begin PT when Cardio approves it.
I have two people here, one of whom will be here with me 24/7, should I need help with anything. All I have to do is ask. Ah, shit. It’s that ‘asking for help’ part that I have trouble with.
No one agreed with my decision to be discharged, yet here I am. I’m sure they understand it even if they don’t agree. Even so, I feel I owe it to them to be responsible for my own care. To prove that I can take care of my basic needs and possibly more.
Boy, was I in for a hard whack with the humility stick.
Monday was my first foray into ‘real’ life. I only did a couple of things that took up half of the day and as I was on my way home from dialysis, I was completely bewildered. What the fuck had I gotten myself into? This stuff has always been difficult for me and I can’t remember the last time I had a decent amount of energy, but this was extreme. It’s the moment a strong feeling of regret washed over me. This was just one day into what will be a busy week, even by my old standards. I knew the numerous reasons the doctors didn’t want to discharge me because it was explained to me five times before I eventually signed the discharge paperwork. I was operating on the theory I’d be copacetic. Sometimes reality doesn’t agree.
The plus side is that I am infinitely more comfortable at home. I’m not as edgy and I feel like, for the first time in two months, I can almost breathe. By leaving the hospital, it was initially a lot like being freed from prison. Silly me, my body is the real prison. At least where I am now, I can open the window to get some fresh air. Fresh air full of pollen that I’m excessively allergic to. Awesome.