I’m glad I took the last few opportunities to get y’all caught up on my leukemia journey. Since then, a bit of a set back, with some alarming side effects have occurred. I won’t hold back on this one. (As if I ever really do.)
A few weeks ago, I started having what my team calls cognitive episodes. I’d get confused, lost in my mind, and in the real world. Side note, I recently installed a looping “security camera” on my windshield, but because of my cognitive issues, it was working, but not correctly.
So driving around town, the video shows, that years of good habits, actually made me drive instinctively safe. What video was viewable, knowing that I was very “out of it”, I witnessed zero laws being broken…by me. 🙂
However, it WAS clear, I was not here.
I had a pretty upsetting night a couple weeks back, that kinda started this whole thing. I’ve said before this journey can by 5 steps forward, with 2 steps back. These last few weeks have been textbook, “2 steps back”.
This night I’m starting with, I was supposed to pick up my kids, and we were going to a movie and dinner. I never made it. The few video shots I could decipher, trying to do the most basic thing, I clearly just could not get to my destination. What makes it worse, is that I was instinctively using Google Maps. While normally I don’t “need it”, I use in case one of the oh so patient kids texts me while I’m headed to get them, then I use Siri to tell them exactly when I’ll arrive. So, the security video I can see me “following” Google Maps, except I wasn’t. I can literally hear Google Maps say, take the next left at XYZ street. And on the video I make no effort to get into the left hand lane to turn. More often than not, I make a right hand turn. The whole thing was one giant poo sandwich!
After a while, the kids start texting me, but because I’m driving, and have learned without thinking about it anymore, I didn’t reply. But thank God, Deanna borrowed one of the kids’ phones, where I still share my location so my kids and I can track each other, and Deanna started just watching me. FYI, I am glad she did this!
It didn’t take her long to determine that I was whacked. So she called me. I answer. She gently tries to say, she thinks I’m confused and suggests I just park the truck. She’ll come get me. Confused, I do it.Oddly, I’m in front of a fire station. Don’t think that was an accident.
In short order Deanna arrives. She comes to my truck, and I don’t remember the conversation. She said I was a little upset, and hesitant with her. But ultimately I did what she was asking, get into the passenger seat. She jumped in and drove. The next few hours are sketchy for me. But in hind sight, some of the details started coming back. So what’s next is more a recollection of what others said happened, I believe them.
I may even need to be reminded, if after I publish this and someone who was with me remembers it differently. I now know, just forget what you thought happened, and accept the other version. It’s most likely right.
I think…Deanna took me to the local Santa Maria hospital ER. Where I was triaged and ultimately taken back and a litany of tests began. After a while, Deanna had to go, and I think I was alone for a bit. I think someone else visited me, but I’m not sure. Working the ER that night were a few friends from church, one is an EMT and the other is a youth group friend of my teenage daughter, who is a volunteer. I recall they each made polite efforts to say hello, etc. Neither were “assigned” to me, I think, so their stops by were when they were near me. However, the EMT friend, I feel, made a stepped up effort to make sure I was OK.
There was no “room in the inn”, upstairs, so I went to a newer adjunct area officially still in the ER, but with hospital like beds, and a few better/more comfortable features. I’ll take anything over and ER bed. I spent the night there, zero complaints.
After the folks from upstairs paid all their visits, etc. I honestly don’t recall how long I was admitted, I could be off by even a day or so. Either way, after taking with my medical team at UCLA, all agreed that I could be released. The only thing they found through their testing, was an elevated liver and ammonia levels. The ammonia level was the most likely problematic issue
A few days at home, and UCLA scheduled me for a clinic appointment. More on that, in the next post.