Saturday, 24 December 2016

Hospital Daze

I'm finally feeling well enough to write. This bout with infection has been one of the toughest battles for me so far in my ALS journey. And it all starts with the common cold. As with all of these situations, there are more than one causative factors, and more than one problem outcomes. But the cold, that silly little cold, that's the rub, the root of it all.

If course I knew I was coming down with a cold on Monday night, the destructive virus settling into my lungs by Tuesday morning. The cough began in earnest. Weakness settled into me. I was lethargic, unwilling to commit to doing any of the many things I had planned for the day. It was at this point that I began to realize that my bladder had become spastic. If you are wearing a catheter, as I often do, you don't notice this so much. It was a fateful decision when I decided to take the catheter off for Tuesday night.

Tuesday night was a wet one. I went through multiple sets of underwear and every towel I own, all have which been twice laundered since then, thanks to Kate and Katherine. By the time I got going ton Wednesday morning I was beginning to feel with weakness which signifies something significant going on in my body. I still thought I could beat it, I still felt like I could fight this on off.

What I didn't know was that, in addition to the impact of the cold on my lungs, the resident bacteria we all have in our bladders sensed that my body was weak, so took this opportunity to rise up and multiply. Now I had a cold, and a bladder infection. This really took hold on Wednesday night. I had to call Home Care for emergency assistance in changing my wet clothes, again, and in getting onto my bed. I simply lacked the strength for even this simplest of tasks.

At 1:00 AM Thursday morning, tried sitting up in bed. I was sufficiently weak that I failed at this maneuver, ending up with one leg half way out of bed, stuck between getting up and falling down. I called 911. The came and rescued me, and even helped me change my wet clothing, again. By morning my temperature had reached 38.5C, high but not dangerously so. However my bladder spasticity and weakness were very severe. I called 911 again.

I've been here since Wednesday morning. The doctors want me to stick around until they can determine the cause of the bladder infection, the root cause. The are also talking about teaching me to self-catherize with an internal catheter, not a process I look forward to. It doesn't really matter though. This is not a longer term situation. I have ALS, That means, soon enough, that I won't be able to do any "self" care.

I'll wait for a couple of days while they do bladder scans and urine tests, while they observe me closely, but not all that closely. Then, once the medical team has a better handle on what to do, I'll take what they have to say, and go home to start living my life again.


  1. Love those last 5 words Dad <3 Merry Ho Ho

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  3. Dear Richard,
    Sending positive vibes from the ancient city of Athens and wishing you a very merry Christmas my friend.