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Dec 31st
11:33 pm
Looking Back 2011, a personal note  
This has been a strange year. For Zac and for me. And I have to say I think he's doing well and going into 2012 with a lot of promise. I am doing a lot better too. So knock on wood, we both keep it up, lol.

I've been meaning to write something about how I've been doing for months now. But it has always been very awkward for me cause I have just always guarded my in-real-life side of things pretty carefully. So I put it off. Plus, I don't think I was ready then. But now I am.

I know some people aren't aware of exactly what was going on because I think most of the info about my health problems was in friends-locked posts only. So to give a (sort-of) brief run down, in February 2011, I became seriously ill with pneumonia complicated with a severe autoimmune reaction called a cytokine storm. I was hospitalized for nearly two months. It was very touch and go particularly around Valentine's Day.

I don't know that we'll ever really know what caused me to be sick at first, I am still waiting for Dr. House to evaluate my file. But I do know at some point, probably after I'd first started coughing and developing build-up in my lungs, I picked up H1N1 from somewhere and that is probably what caused the catastrophic part of my illness.

From my perspective I really don't remember much of the worst of it because I was in a medically-induced coma so they could keep me on a ventilator. This lasted about three weeks.

When I woke up, I couldn't swallow right, eat, sit up, or walk. Even small things like typing or texting were impossible (some of you may recall my lulzy first solo attempts at twittering). My Macbook might as well have weighed as much as a Cray-1 supercomputer for all I could lift it. I also started talking in a really weird accent if I talked too much. People who know me well, know I talk too much a lot, so for awhile this was kind of annoying. And the first time that happened, I was talking to my sister, maybe a day or so after waking up, and I scared her more than is fair.

♥ Dr. House the Stitch Bear ♥
watched over me
In fact, that was what was hardest about the whole thing. It was not having to retrain my muscles to do everything, not being banned from drinking water, not lugging around supplemental oxygen for months afterwards. All of that, while fleetingly frustrating, was actually quite painless and I knew was just a slow process of rebuilding.

What hurt the most, though, is that everyone had to worry.

The doctors said at one point I was the sickest person in the state, some said I was the sickest they'd ever seen anybody. They all did everything they could and used every technology they could and after that point it was up to me.

And past all the medicine and doctors, what made the biggest difference without a doubt in my mind, was the thoughts and prayers of everyone out there.

I had a few dreams while I was sedated and the one I can point to definitively on this matter basically boiled down to me being trapped, held down by some sort of overly-strong gravitational force. I dreamt I could see outside of where I was stuck. I could see things that could help me. I knew that if I could just escape that I could get back to the hospital, or to my school, or even to a phone to call my family, friends, or police. And I knew I had to escape, because I had people who loved me and wanted me to come back. That was a very powerful motivator.

So you all made a difference and I cannot thank you enough for your concern and prayers and hopes. It really did help.

As to how I am now. I don't use supplemental oxygen at this point. Technically I might still need it while I sleep. But my doctor said if I felt okay sleeping without it and woke up rested, I could ditch it. So I did!

My lung function is improving. I made a pretty good jump in test results on that in October. But I'm still below normal range. My doctor says it will just take a long time for the scarring in my lungs to heal.

I still get breathless talking too much or too energetically (which, again, is often, lol). I still get breathless walking too fast, etc. But that's all stuff I can work around by slowing down or using an inhaler.

I did also get a flu shot this year, my first flu shot ever. Before this, in my whole life the sickest I'd ever been was strep throat or one time, acute bronchitis from pollution. I never even got chicken pox. Plus someone in my family had a severe reaction to a flu shot. So I always felt that if I don't get sick usually why risk complications? Now I know I guess, lol.

My cat was desperately lonely without me and would not stop watching me when I got home
Other side-problems: At least half of my hair fell out. Did not know that would happen, lol. It makes sense though as my body was too busy healing me to make more hair. But it is growing in. It's really weird though cause sometimes my hair just does NOT lay right at all with all the shorter hair sticking up through it. I have a few scars, one of which will probably never go away, nbd though. Also I didn't think it was possible but my skin is even more sensitive then it used to be. But that's getting better too.

The biggest pain in the ass, which I've mentioned on twitter, is health insurance and bills. It is a vicious thing getting massively sick if only for the bills. I am fortunate enough to have health insurance which has covered a lot but there were still things left over plus I had to pay additional tuition etc. And it gets kind of tight tbh. But still I'm here, that is what matters. I am also fortunate that I am well enough and have had support to actually stick up for my rights with my health insurance company. For-profit health care is a travesty and takes advantage of people who are often in the worst situations of their lives, people who can't do anything but pay the demanding doctors' billing offices because they are too busy trying just to survive much less fight manipulative corporations. And you do have to fight tooth and nail to get them to fulfill their obligations fairly. Even still I am fighting them and I will do so as long as I have to. At some point it ceases to be about money and more about what is right and moral.

So anyway. That is where I am at and I've probably said too much, as calcified likes to point out, I am very wordy, lol.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers. And hope that for all of us, 2012>>>>>>>>>2011.
Mood: hopefulhopeful
36 36 comments Comment
(Deleted comment)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:05 am (UTC)
Thanks and right back at you! :)
butterflybee260butterflybee260 on January 1st, 2012 06:42 am (UTC)

I wish it didn't have to have come in as an awful a way, but you getting so sick really hit me, and everyone in this little Zef circle very hard, and we were all rooting and hoping and praying for you so hard. Fandom is a fickle thing, sometimes I love it, and sometimes I want to say "fuck everyone, I'm just gonna look at pretty pictures", but it brings people together and I am very, very happy to have had a reminder of that. Apart from all the Zef stuff, you are such a nice, kind, respectful person, which I know and we don't even talk that much! So I am immensely happy that things are looking up for you physically and otherwise, and I really hope they continue to in 2012. I hope we have lots of squeeing moments, lots of proud moments, and maybe even some heated debates around here, and that we can enjoy them all together.

Happy new year. <3
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Thank you :) What I love most about fandom and why I keep doing this is getting to know all the people. And I have every hope that this is going to be a great year for fandom. There is so much to look forward to in terms of Zac. And I just want him to keep working and working, lol.
(no subject) - butterflybee260 on January 1st, 2012 08:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Writers Denmusewriter on January 1st, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
I am so glad to read that you are doing well! I remember the night I first read about your illness and I just remember being floored and wondering how you could possibly be so sick. I remember calling home and talking to my parents and telling them about what was going on and having to stop in the middle for a second because I was too choked up. I know that sounds weird since we don't really talk that much, but after reading your journal for so long I kind of felt like I "knew" you.

I have to agree with Mel...sometimes I want to throw my hands up and be like "ok I'm done with this fandom" but I find it so amazing that a simple common interest could bring so many people together and lead to such close friendships. I've always said that if I ever get the chance to meet Zac, I'd thank him for all the awesome people he and his movies have brought to my life.

Happy 2012 Cady, and everyone!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:19 am (UTC)
I don't really know how I got so sick either. It's LOL but not at the same time! It's just so weird. I was admitted to the hospital then they said flu tests were (false) negative so I could go home with antibiotics if I wanted to. I said no I think I feel awful so I'll stay.

Then after a day or two of House marathoning and only being able to eat dinner rolls, they wanted to take me to the ICU and I was like, "Oh, ok. I guess I should call my sister and dad." And I don't remember anything after being wheeled down in my bed, lol. My sister was kind of bewildered at first that I didn't remember her being there because I even talked to her and wrote things down for her. It was a very strange experience.

I'm just hopeful it never happens again. And I hope it doesn't happen to anyone else here. Everyone stay healthy and have a good new year!
lilly4848lilly4848 on January 1st, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
We were all so worried and scared for you. I hated to think of you being so sick. Glad you got a flu shot, but did your doctor tell you to get a pneumonia shot too? That is only every 5 years, I think. I get both.

Happy New Year, Cady. Keep getting stronger and healthier. You're gonna have a lot of movies to see in 2012!

Oh yeah, what the heck did Zefron do for New Years Eve? LOL

Edited at 2012-01-01 06:59 am (UTC)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:24 am (UTC)
I think we had discussed the pneumovax but idt anyone thought I should get it. I can't remember why but there was a reason. They do watch me pretty carefully though. I was getting sick easily at the beginning of the fall but now things are pretty stable. I'm very good at washing my hands a lot.

I can't wait for all these movies!

And idk what he's up to but hopefully he wasn't doing anything too crazy lol.
Ashley in the Sky with Diamonds: zefronchicken_queen on January 1st, 2012 06:56 am (UTC)
You know, I don't know if I ever saw a post saying that you were ~back, so every time I've seen a post here, I've wondered if it was you, and how you were doing. I'm very glad that you got through your illness, and I'm happy to see that you're on the mend and writing so positively about it. Wishing you happiness and nothing but good health in 2012, and thanks a million for keeping us up-to-date with Zef news! ♥
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:25 am (UTC)
Thanks and you too! <3
Shruticalcified on January 1st, 2012 06:58 am (UTC)
Jesus, it's been such a long year. I almost felt like this was last year.

BUT ANYWAY. AUDREY AND I FLIPPED OUT AND CRIED IRL DURING THIS MESS, NOT TO MENTION STALKED THE FUCK OUT OF YOUR LIFE AND TALKED TO YOUR SISTER AND LANDLORD. It's so weird to think everything is so... normal now. It's been long enough that I can admit that there were definitely a few days where I was 100% convinced this was the end. So glad it's not! ^_^
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:29 am (UTC)
fwiw my landlord doesn't think you are too creepy lol.

and it has been a long year. it's been a long like four years for me but this one especially. i'm ready to move on. here's to better things!

and, because i can and cause i wish i was the lovechild of sondheim and george gershwin and cause i'm still on a sugar high from sparkling cider, here's to the ladies who lunch,

Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on January 1st, 2012 06:59 am (UTC)
I feel bad not knowing any of this. But I'm glad to hear you're feeling somewhat better. I kind of understand because I had to go through my mom having pneumonia as well as a pulmonary embolism. So I just hope you're feeling better. Happy healthy and happy New Year to you.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:30 am (UTC)
Happy New Year to you too!

Pneumonia is no fun, neither are embolisms... they were watching me and testing me for that too, especially once I was so immobile. But things are looking up!
(no subject) - mirandagirll on August 10th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
It's Audrey not Aubrey: Ruby Redaudrey_za on January 1st, 2012 07:21 am (UTC)
I prayed for you every day and expressed to basically anyone who would listen that a friend was in serious need of positive vibes their way. I am so glad you fought hard and continue to only wish you the very best in health (and happiness!) in the new year. Love you, girl!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 1st, 2012 07:57 am (UTC)
i really want to give you a law and order ci hugging gif but there aren't that many, lol, so i have to use this one which is sadder than i want...

but really my hug to you would be more like

Beejeezbee on January 1st, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you made it through that insanity last winter and getting better. It was really devastating to read you getting worse instead of better day by day until you finally and thankfully turned the corner. I would miss you and our sometimes insane chats badly.

Your cat doesn't look as evil as you sometimes make her out to be. Unlike your health insurance which IS evil.

I wish you the best 2012 possible and hope your health and overall situation continues to improve. <3

PS: Don't pull another stunt like that EVER AGAIN!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
my cat is deceptively fuzzy cute.

and i will try not to scare everyone again! lol
munchma quchirevertigo on January 1st, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
in a way, your story brought a little reality to my life that i will never be able describe. you're stronger than ever and here's to a better year for all of us!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
:) and cheers to a fantastic new year!
(Deleted comment)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
thanks and me too, lol. happy new year!
-Jo-greenie_breizh on January 1st, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
*hugs* So glad you're getting better. :) And good luck continuing to deal with health insurance stuff, I hate it.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
thanks :) happy new year!
sillycece: zacLUCKYONEPOSTERcatherish312 on January 1st, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your story. I don't know you very well and so I wasn't sure what to say when it was happening. I'm sorry for what you've been through, but I'm also glad you have the right perspective coming out of it. And standing up for yourself against the insurance company is incredibly brave and smart, not to mention necessary. I am taking what you said about flu shots seriously, since I never get sick either and just passed them off as something I wouldn't need. Maybe I should take a second though to that.

I wish you the best of health in 2012, and the best of everything else too. :)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
yeah i would still prefer not to get a flu shot tbh. i think we overmedicate/overvaccinate. but the infectious disease specialist was like uh... you really ought to and i knew everyone would kill me if i got sick again, lol. so i went ahead and got it. happy and healthy new year to you too :)
Verdandi: heyheyhyperrrmouse on January 1st, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
You will never know how happy I was when I first talked to you on the phone after all this. I was dancing I was so excited. :) You'll also never know how much I value our friendship, because it's a ridiculously huge amount!! This year will be epic because this won't happen again, EVER.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)

sheinhardtsheinhardt on January 2nd, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
I had no idea you went through this! I'm so glad that you're better now. Here's to a better year!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on January 2nd, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
thanks and this year is going to be great! :)