So I have had a few email conversations with a guy from New Richmond who also had Blastomycosis. We have never met, but a mutual friend made the connection and we have reached out to each other about some of our experiences. He was originally diagnosed with walking pneumonia and was sent home, but soon after he could barely move and told his wife he thought he was going to die. The ambulance came to get him and at the hospital, a friend of the family got him to see a doctor right away and he thanks that friend for being the one who saved his life. Wow.
I can relate in several ways to him there. I could have died in New Richmond. They didn't know the severity of my illness. Thank God they sent me off to Regions when they did. I owe several thanks to several nurses and doctors who went above and beyond their job to save my life.
We had several similar experiences in the hospital including how terrible our amphotericin B treatments were. You know when it gets cold when you're outside and you start to shiver, and then it gets worse and you have a difficult time stopping your shivers? Well it's like that, except A LOT worse and way more painful. I think I bit down on something with my teeth(?) and grabbed my bed with my hands and pushed out with my feet as hard as I could to the back of the bed trying to slow my shaking. Nothing helped. I felt bad for my family that watched me, that would be very difficult to sit and watch your loved one go through something like that time and time again for each treatment. Thankfully I don't remember much.
He remembers when he thought he was dying and feeling bad for his family when he was gone. He talked about faith. Can not be a feeling I would wish for anyone being conscious and believing you are going to die and the helpless feeling about your family. I don't personally recall having this, but I know I had dreams where many of them include fighting for my life and or questioning death.
This gentleman is not on FB but said he may check out my blog. If you do, hi and thanks! He said he would like to somehow make awareness of this illness more available to members of the medical industry as well as normal "joe blow" people like myself and the rest of us, particularly in this area of the country where it seems to be centralized. I know it's not contagious but every time someone in the family coughs, Sarah and I look at each other and our hearts drop.
I also contacted another person who had blasto and asked if she would be interested in telling her story. I told her my story and what I'm doing here and asked if she was willing to tell her side and if I could publish it on here or if she wanted it kept confidential. I would understand someone wanting to keep their story quiet because it really messes you up: you can be put in some real unflattering situations and helpless feelings. However, none of that mattered because I contacted the wrong person. Talk about feeling like a dip shit! I started reading her response.. open palm quickly and hard to face. ugh lol. Anyway, I had the correct first name but wrong last name when I messaged 'her.' Thankfully she was super nice and was happy for what I am doing, instead of turning me in as a creeper or something. Still is embarrassing ;-)