The Trouble With Real Life…

is that it tends to interfere with our hobbies! I’m sorry that I’ve been AWOL. To make a long story short, I was hospitalized with an electrolyte imbalance and acute kidney failure. If you want to read the rest of it, here goes.

It started out innocently enough; I scraped my ankle on a plastic box in which I kept some of my Ellowyne clothes. A few days later, the scrape looked red and puffy and I was concerned that it could develop into full-blown cellulitis, especially since my husband and I were to go to Iowa to visit his parents and my mother. Mom is in an assistive living facility and we’re trying to get her house ready for sale. Anyway, I went to the local ER and got two broad-spectrum antibiotics. Good to go, right?

A couple of days later we were on the road to Iowa. We stopped at a rest area in Illinois and I fell when I got out of the car. I tried to avoid walking into a puddle but lost balance and fell into it anyway. I wasn’t too concerned because I’m an utter klutz and had fallen a few times the past couple of months. That evening, when we got to his parents’ house, I fell twice heading down their stairs. It was strange but not necessarily a problem at that time.

The next day, we went to my mom’s house. You remember the song “Stairway to Heaven”? Mom’s house has the stairway from Hell. It has a split foyer, which means a person has to go up or down when coming into the house. The steps downstairs aren’t bad but the steps going upstairs—the living space— were awful. They’re narrow and steep and I warned my mother that they were an accident waiting to happen. I had no idea I’d be the one having the accident. That night, I fell up the stairs. I was one step short of getting upstairs and fell forward. I also developed tremors in my legs and arms, especially when trying to move. I suspected that a couple of meds lowered my blood pressure and I stopped taking them. suspected of lowering my blood pressure. The next day brought more of the same, a couple  of falls and more shakiness. But that night I had the worst fall of all. I was heading up the stairs and, on the same step on which I had fallen the previous evening, I fell backwards. I knocked my husband over and landed flat on my back.

I probably should have gone to the ER but the hospital in Iowa was out of my insurance’s network and I was worried about the cost. Besides, I’m a nurse. We nurses tend to be a stubborn bunch, not willing to see ourselves as sick, injured, or vulnerable. We also tend to diagnose ourselves Of course I was trying to figure out what my symptoms meant and I was afraid that I had a brain tumor or some other scary neurological disorder.

The next day, we were going to take Mom out for lunch but I fell twice in the foyer of the assisted living facility. The nurse manger came to help and told me I needed to go to the ER.  By that time my tremors got so bad I could barely walk with a walker and at least one person helping me. I went to urgent care. The nurse practitioner told me to go to the ER and the doc hospitalized me. I had blood work done, a CT scan, x-rays, and an MRI. The head CT and MRI were negative—and that doesn’t mean that I have no brain (heh) but there were no scary neurological disorders lurking in the background and no evidence of head trauma. The x-rays indicated that I had sprained my ankle, broke my coccyx and the little toe on my other foot.

In the end, it turned out that I had developed high levels of potassium and lactic acid and that I was in acute kidney failure. Had I not been treated then, I would likely have developed chronic kidney failure, leading to dialysis or needing a kidney transplant. Or I could have died. The culprit ended up being one of the two antibiotics I took to address the cellulitis on my scraped ankle. Looking back, I see how the symptoms led to the diagnosis. I will never take that antibiotic because  I don’t want to go through that again!

I’ve spent the last month or two trying to get better. I occasionally have issues with my balance and a nurse practitioner told me to get shoes that offered more support. Goodbye cute shoes, hello Birkenstocks. Eh, save the cute shoes for Ellowyne. My girls never complain too much about wearing fashionable shoes—-with the exception of “My Feet Hurt”, who was created for one of the Paris fashion doll events.

Onward! There are a couple of stories brewing in my mind and I will try to bring them to fruition soon. I’ve realized that my beloved Rufus has been the main protagonist in my stories so I’m trying to focus on some of the other characters. Perhaps the story will be all about Prudence or Lisette or maybe…

Thank you for reading. I hope to get that next story written soon!