By now, many of you know I was (temporarily) sidelined out of commission by a tiny critter called streptococcus pneumonia.
Apparently, one can just be walking down the street minding one’s own business, when WHAM! that microscopic critter is somehow able to find its way into one’s lungs and then jump into the bloodstream. It’s a very nasty bacteria that leaves few alive behind. It took me six weeks and major and intensive medical expertise to bring me out of it, for which I am so grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong: I’d had a pneumonia shot within the last couple of years prior to the illness. One of my docs told me to demand my money back because apparently I got an empty packet.
My wonderful husband, Rick, when the attack came got me to Archbold Hospital in Thomasville, GA (our primary care facility) where I spent 21 days in their critical intensive care facility doing not much more than regrouping internally and trying to stay alive. The docs and support teams did a whale of a job making sure I did. I don’t remember too much of that period. My recovery period there was somewhat complicated by the strange drugs thrown at the bacteria to kill it, which allowed for, let’s just say, some pretty off-the-wall strange dreams that seemed very real.
My primary care doctor, Jason Griffin of Thomasville, has always said, “If any one of my patients is going to get something exotic, Sandi will.” This doctor is one of the very best I’ve ever had and he once again excelled, getting a team together to get me well enough to get transferred to an excellent acute care (one step lower in the intensity of care, which I had finally achieved the need for).
Select Service Hospital of Tallahassee, near Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, is a little-known federal grant-supported place that offers occupational and physical therapy, rehab, health maintenance and improvements (plus great food!), and much more.
Both facilities, Archbold and Select Hospital, where I was taken care of so ably by the two doctors in charge, Drs. Bailey and Hash, both lead incredible health care teams that work together for the patient’s best health interests. That alone is amazing in this day of egos in the workplace, turf wars, ennui, etc. in the healthcare field.
It’s funny; when you finally get to the point of being able to leave the hospital (in my case in the second one, Select, another 21 days later for a total of six weeks total in both facilities), you find yourself chuckling about some of the more comical aspects:
When you’re rounded up in a hurry to be sent home after nearly two months in the two facilities, naturally, you get into the ‘hurry up’ mode yourself very quickly. Of course, there are certain rules that follow:
• As you’re wheeled out, you see way in the back of a stairwell a vending machine with about 32 varieties of chips. Chips and popsicles at one point in this sojourn had become the Holy Grail during your stay. You’ve never seen this machine before. Seems like if I had known about it, my walking exercises would have been increased!
• The day you leave is the one you’ve finally conquered the 4,072 bed positions without getting yourself twisted into a pretzel.
• You’ve finally graduated from entangling your glasses on a string with your oxygen lines every single time they’re both on.
• You’ve finally gotten a grasp on the backward ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ shower settings and no longer freeze or burn.
• You’ve become a maestro at picking up anything that’s dropped to the floor - you just keep pushing it along with your toes until it’s close to a low chair where your hands can actually reach it.
Anyway, I’ve missed being here, I’ve missed writing and covering governmental meetings, and most of all, I’ve missed interacting with you, the people of our area, and especially, my co-workers at The Herald office, Nick Bert, Jim Bonn, Darlynn Ard, Byron Spires, and Rick Neal.