The Day I Almost Died From Hep C (Part 2)

Read part 1 of Carleen’s story here.


So, my husband, James thought I was having some health anxiety. It wasn’t. The more everyone insisted I was going to be ok, the more helpless, panicked over the pain and angry I became. In the chaos, my daughter, Kelsey, was ordered to take the baby to the waiting room. Remember that 8-week old baby I mentioned. He went with me everywhere. Event to my liver biopsy procedures. We have never used babysitters, plus I was babies only source of food. So as things escalated, Kelsey and baby were kicked out of the room. Good thinking, I suppose, as I knew I needed to convey to James that “No, this is different”. Even worse than my normal crazy, James! So, I cussed and banged on the bed railing. I have never told anyone that but here I share with you and thousands of my closest friends that I went crazy. It was a mixture of calculated crazy to strategically force everyone to DO SOMETHING NOW, and just sheer madness from the unbearable pain. Carleen in the hospital

Speaking Up and Advocating for Myself

They rushed me back for more scans. Nothing. The providers kept telling me they had to dismiss me, and I kept telling them “Like hell”?!?! And other things too. I guess after I passed in and out of consciousness from the pain a few times they figured I would likely just come back inside if they dumped me in the parking lot, so they pumped me full of their best dope and admitted me. I later read my medical records and the doctors shared that they felt like this has something to do with anxiety. Those guys are usually pretty discerning but boy did they miss the boat that day.

That night I remember hanging onto the hospital bed rail…for life I guess. Not sure what I was hanging onto. Maybe it was in response to them trying to dismiss me. In the wee hours of the morning, two doctors came into my room, unlocked my hospital bed wheels, rolled me out my room, and started whispering that the latest labs showed I was indeed bleeding out, and that I shouldn’t move, and no you cant pee, or even shift much as we take you to ICU and prepare you for surgery. The surgeon was literally scrubbed up and waiting in the hall for me as we wheeled around the corner. Well, this was more like it. A commensurate response to the pain I was feeling. I really didn’t gloat much or even feel overly vindicated, at the time, all of that kinda seems trivial when you’re dying.

The Fight for My Life

And thus, started the hardest battle I have ever fought. That day compelled me to fight for my life, my faith, my family, my ethical beliefs, and most importantly for the 8-week old baby, I was forced to wean with no warning, because babies don’t do well in ICU.

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