Saturday, September 12, 2015

Our Last Weekend in Malaysia: Part Three

This is a continuation of a previous post. If you have not read part one, you can find it here. Part two can be found here.

My husband and I were not originally planning on spending our last weekend in Malaysia in a private hospital. We had rushed off in that first taxi with minimal documentation and identification. Once I was transferred to a private room off of the A&E floor, my husband made a taxi run back to our home to gather an overnight bag.

This was my husband's first time making an official hospital run with me. After many years of practice, my mom and I had a pretty good routine down. We know what to bring. We prepare in advance. If you have not done so yet, create a "grab and go" hospital bag that contains letters from your doctor detailing your diagnosis and emergency treatment, lists of all your current medication, ID cards, insurance cards, good snacks, and even maybe a card game or two. That way you don't find yourself arguing with a dishonest Malay cab driver around 3AM because you had to run home for critical items. My poor husband.

The next morning, I was shocked when my endocrinologist walked into my room to pay me a visit. She was notified of my crisis less than seven hours before, and yet here she was seeing me in person, early on a Sunday morning.

We retraced the events of the previous day and concluded that my Adrenal Crisis was triggered by questionable chicken at Central Market. I had gotten food poisoning that was made so much worse due to my adrenal insufficiency. She wanted to keep me in the hospital for a few days in order to ensure I was stable. After all, I was set to leave Malaysia at the end of that week. I thanked her again for caring for me over the past six months. I said goodbye to her, again, and she wished me luck as we would venture back to America later in the week.

Because it was food poisoning that triggered my crisis, I was put on the very restrictive "gastro sensitive" diet. No flavors. No spices. No oil. Oh, and no gluten. There was a bit of a disconnect with the snack cart, so every day they still brought me my afternoon snack of 100PLUS (the Malay version of Gatorade) and a piece of bread.

It was too difficult to explain to the staff why I could not eat bread.
It was easier to just let the bread stack up and laugh at the situation.
Photo from August 2014.
I remember receiving my first meal in the hospital that wasn't bread. They brought in a covered food tray. When my husband lifted the cover, I didn't see anything on the plate. The bowl of rice noodles was blocking it. He saw a minuscule piece of fish which made him make a very audible sigh of disappointment. I honestly thought they had brought me an empty plate, and that was why my husband was so disappointed. When I realized I was actually getting food, I was ecstatic. Perspective is a very important thing.

They didn't bring me an empty plate!
Photo from August 2014.
I was also incredibly grateful for our friends who visited us during our stay. They smuggled in fresh fruit so that my meals could be more than flavorless chicken and rice soup.

Read about our other adventures with this couple here, here, and here.
Photo from August 2014.
I went into the A&E late Saturday night/ early Sunday morning. I was released from the hospital on Tuesday. Wednesday, I remained home from work. Thursday, I returned to the office to pack up my belongings. And Friday, my husband and I started our trek back to America. We had no idea our last weekend in Malaysia would play out like it did.
But that was over a year ago now.

We've been back in America for over a year.

I've also been ER and Hospital free for over a year.

And every single day, I am going to fight to remain Clearly Alive. I'm going to fight to remain hospital free. And I am going to continue to learn how to manage my disease so that I can one day be able to celebrate being ten or more years hospital free.

Visiting with our friends, on this side of the world, one year later.
September 2015.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Amber,
    Thank you for all of your postings. I have been a reader since before you hit the 50,000 mark.
    I just want to share with you that every time I read your blog
    I am inspired.
    I am inspired to keep on living.
    I am Inspired to keep moving forward .
    I know take one step at a time and try my best not to look back.
    I have had Addison's disease ( Primary Adrenal Insufficiency), and Grave's Disease ( Hyperthyroidism) since 2004.
    I was recently in the ER three times in California on back to back dates. I cannot remember what got me to the ER the first time.
    Needless to say, I was not treated for Addison's disease even though I had a bracelet on and my family was there to insist on treatment. They even brought all of my medicines.
    Thus, they took me again the next day to a different hospital and then the day after that to continue care.
    I feel so lucky to be alive.
    And I thank you Amber for staying Clearly Alive and inspiring so many people to do the same.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      Encouragement like this reminds me why I write. Why I share. Why I continue to fight to remain Clearly Alive.

      May we continue to not just live, but remain Clearly Alive.

      Because, yes, we are walking miracles.

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