Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Life and Death Part I

I felt like writing.  Not much has happened this week other then work, so I thought I might write a bit about what has happened to me over the past couple of years.  I have always thought of myself as someone who really has a grasp on who I am and how I fit into this life.  In the last three years my life has been torn apart put back together and torn apart again.   I had to leave the understanding of myself and my life behind and grasp on to pure instinct to stay alive.  All that makes me who I am I had to box up in my mind and leave behind.  I am still trying to re open the boxes, three years later.  I use to write a lot.  I kept a journal, I wrote poetry and short stories.  That all went into the box.  Writing about this topic tends to be to difficult for me.  I do try.  I get out a bit, then have to stop.  Even when talking about it with friends and family, it never comes out as a whole, but in bits and pieces.  I think I may drive people crazy with it.

For those of you who do not know, in the winter of 2007 I found out I was pregnant.  It was unexpected but not unwanted.  John and I were certainly scared, but excited too.  We knew a baby would be a challenge at the point we were at in our lives, but we knew everything would work out because it always does.  I still believe that.

My pregnancy was uncomfortable but nothing uncommon.  I had some pretty serious morning sickness all hours of the day.  The doctor said that was a sign of a healthy pregnancy.  Early into my second trimester I began to feel great again.  I was staying with a friend, Andrea and her roommate, Brad in Canada and they made me a real dinner one night.  I was able to eat everything they made for the first time in months.  I remember feeling so good.  That dinner felt so good.  I thought I was in the clear and the rest of my pregnancy would be a breeze.  I was with Andrea in Canada for about a week.  I was suppose to go home for the weekend and then return to Canada for the following week.  It was our company's annual user conference so I needed to be up there more then I usually do.  I didn't mind.  I enjoyed staying with Andrea.  We would have a lot of girl talk, watch period movies and pig out on Swiss Chalet chicken.  I always looked forward staying with her.

That weekend I came home.  A friend of John's invited us to go to church that Sunday.  This is all I remember from that weekend. We do not really go to church.  I am an atheist and John is Catholic.  When he feels like going I will occasionally go with him just to keep him company.  This only happens about once or twice a year.   This time I went with him.  The service was uneventful.  About half way through a little boy, about three or four years old, turned around, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Are you Lucifer?"  It was kind of creepy.  Looking back on the events to follow, it was really creepy.  I do not believe in good and evil, black and white, god or the devil.  I do believe that we humans, just like any animal, can sense when something is terribly wrong.  I think this little boy might have caught on to this, I think that is what he was trying to tell me.

The next morning I was still feeling great so I went to work (in Canada) and planned to spend the week.  Monday night I went to Andrea's house as usual.  She had a little get together that night.  Nothing crazy just girls hanging out.  This is when it started.   It was like I dropped, fell, completely fine to completely horrible.  The moment it happened was visible because the girls noticed I turned grey.  The nausea came storming back.  I could smell everything, just like earlier in the pregnancy.  I had a horrible pounding headache.  I went to bed early and hoped tomorrow would bring better health.

Tuesday morning I woke up still feeling like I had been hit by a train.  I did not go to work.  I stayed at Andrea's and slept the entire day waking up only at times that the nausea overcame me.  That is all I remember from Tuesday.

I slept in Wednesday and then convinced myself that I was well enough to go to work.  When I got there I sat at my desk and my boss, Linda, walked by, took one look at me and told me I need to go home.  I did.  The drive from the office in Burlington to my apartment in Tonawanda, NY was about an hour and a half depending on traffic and the border.  It took me about 4 hours that day.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  I had to keep pulling over to rest.  I kept telling myself that if I could just get as far as the border I would be okay.  There is a hospital right at the border so I think that was my logic.  When I got to the border the border agent took one look at me and knew something was wrong.  My parents live right over the border.  I think if they didn't, he would have not let me go.  I went to my parents house.  No one was home.  I went up stairs, called John to let him know where I was and then fell asleep.

John and I slept at my parents that night.  Honestly that Wednesday felt like it spanned about 4 days.  The next morning John drove me back to our apartment.  Thursday afternoon in addition to the other symptoms, I started wheezing.  Breathing was becoming difficult, especially when I lied down to try and sleep.  I tried so hard to sleep.  Night came.  I kept waking John up to tell him I couldn't breath.  I had a fever, a high fever, I was hot.  John took me to the ER.

I remember sitting in the waiting room.  A soap opera was on.  I don't watch soaps so I don't know which one it was.  A woman in the soap opera just lost her baby.  I panicked, John turned the channel.  I could feel everyone in the room.  I could feel their pity and pain for me.

The ER that night was uneventful.  I felt horrible.  More sick then I ever felt.  They watched me, tested me, medicated me and told me I had the flu.  The ultrasound could not find my baby's heartbeat.  The doctor said it was because of the position of the baby.  I now think that is bullshit.  I later found out that on my paperwork from that night someone stated that they did indeed find the heartbeat.  This is also bullshit.  They sent me home.

Friday was hell.  I was tired, my fever was rising and when I would lay down to rest, I could not breath.  That night John slept in the spare room to try and make me more comfortable.  I rotated between the bed and the coach trying to find a position I could breath in.  I remember crying and wishing I wasn't pregnant so I didn't have to feel the way I did.  I regret that.  Shortly after I fell asleep.  I woke up to a warm sensation, it was blood.

John took me back to the ER.  I hadn't "miscarried"  I was just bleeding.  They couldn't tell if the baby was dead or alive.  I knew.  That night was long.  The whole time I lay in the ER.  Each new shift of doctors, nurses and residents would come and require a re-telling the explanation of my condition.  I was still bleeding.  They still didn't know if my baby was dead.  I still had a high fever.  I still couldn't breath.  They put my on oxygen.  One resident with an African accent seemed concerned.  He wanted to test me for MRSA.  He seemed angry no one had tested me yet for MRSA.  It turned out that is what I had.  I would later discover that the MRSA was everywhere.  In my lungs, in my heart, in my blood and in my baby.

An OBGYN finally came to the ER to see me.  She sent me for an ultrasound.  I waited alone in a hall, waiting to go into the ultrasound room. I was scared.  I was wheeled on a hospital bed into the dark room where the machine waited.  The technician began her scan.  As she captured the images of my baby she would write letters over the image and draw arrows to different parts of my baby.  I asked her what they meant.  She looked upset.  I cried.  It was very hard to cry because I couldn't breath, but I did.  I don't know when my baby died, but I found out she was dead on Friday, April 13, 2007.  Her name was Marlee Kay.

I would die the following day.  I will write about that in part II.  I think I have to stop writing now because this has gotten pretty long.

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