For nearly two decades this friendship grew, becoming a natural familiar pattern of caring for one another, and having many adventures. Last year Teresa started not feeling well. Feeling off all the time, spending a lot of days in bed, sick, but not knowing quite why. She was so afraid of Doctors that she started not telling me about the symptoms she was having. And the ones she did have she would google or look up on Web MD. She started throwing up a lot as well as having these strange wounds on her body. She thought they were from ingrown hairs or what not, but I wondered what the truth was. The homeopathic things she did for them did not help them as they should, and she got sicker and sicker.
Last year for her birthday I surprised her with Foo Fighter tickets. She loved the concert but was not feeling well enough to stand during a lot of the songs, and she looked almost green sometimes. But she shrugged it off, and again, would not confide in me; the closest person in her life. She lied to me about her diet as well, and I found later that she was eating tons of snacks and candy bars. Her co-workers were worried but had no reason to get on her case about it.
By February of this year she was clearly not well. She could barely function at home and I have no idea what was going on at work. She had trouble getting in and out of my truck as well, and she has no energy to walk to the bus, her usually transportation. One night in early February we got into a knock out drag out fight. For the fourth day that week she couldn’t move or get off the couch, and when I tried to get her to go to the doctor, or move she started screaming and cursing at me, completely out of her mind. I nearly left the house, and considered going out or going to a friends to get away from her mood swing, but I was still very concerned for her. When I got back inside she had moved off the couch and we didn’t speak until that morning. I looked in on her and she was in bed, groaning in pain, refusing my help. So I told her if she wasn’t better by the next morning I was going to force her to go to Urgent Care. That night I wondered if she would survive the night, and I was thankful I hadn’t gone down south to visit family as I was invited.. if I had she would of died.
The next day she couldn’t move out of the bed, she had an edema on her legs and arms, and she was screaming in pain. After fighting her on going to the doctor I called her work, and told them I needed help getting her to Urgent Care. I helped get her dressed and ignored her cursing, and then a sweet co-worker came over and lifted her up like a rag doll. We went to Urgent Care and they couldn’t find a vein to take a blood sample, but she was so out of it and so sick that they insisted she was too much for them to handle. The two nurses there helped me get her back into my truck and we went to the Emergency Room.
At this point I was beyond worried, and she had finally relented and knew she needed a doctors help. She was in and out of it and for the most part doesn’t remember her hospital stay. The Urgent Care had called ahead and we were rushed through the reception area and into the back. Five minutes later we were in a room, her vitals had been taken and then we waited for awhile. But again when they went to take a blood sample they couldn’t find a vein and even the expert on staff had an issue with them. The liquid water from her body’s edema had filled her veins, so no blood could be taken. Thats when they had to drill a hole into her shoulder bone to get at a vein; I’ll never forget that and will always think of her shoulder as an ikea desk needing work. She does remember that, the noise woke her from her strange void her brain had gone, long enough to notice the tubes running in and out of her shoulder. They did end up doing another pick line in her neck too.
I left then, with her blessing, thinking she was in the best place possible for her; and went to work. Not that I could concentrate at all. So by the time I returned in the evening she had been in the ICU and through there to be admitted into the hospital. She had a private room and was quarantined because of her wounds; it was a possibility that she had mercers. She looked horrible now, and had succumbed to her illness fully. They told me then that she had Diabetic Ketoacidosis. There was a chance she could die, and they were running a number of tests.
By the next day she had so many doctors and nurses looking out of her, slept most of the day, and couldn’t eat. She didn’t want to move and they found her uncooperative.. but this was just the beginning.
That started my daily routine of spending most of my time at the hospital, trying to work and keep my job, and taking care of our home. It was a very lonely time for me, and I was scared shitless that she would die on me. When the talk at the hospital kept being very grave I even looked at who I could get to be a roommate with, or thinking about what I would do if the worse came to pass. I also started talking to her family back East, who at first didn’t seem to give a damn about her. I wondered what she had done to have that happen. So I was in this alone, for the most part.. it ruined me on so many levels… and I feared the loss of my very best friend in this world..
To be continued….