I was listening recently to my favorite local radio station, Birmingham Mountain Radio and a new Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings song came on titled "I'm Still Here." I love Sharon and her band and I had not heard the song before, but it resonated to me.
A month ago I was admitted into the Emergency Room of the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. My oxygen was in the lower 80's, where a normal person would be near 100. X-rays confirmed the diagnosis and I was admitted for the next week for IV antibiotic treatments. This isn't a surprise to me since with having one lung and a chronic lung disease, I get infections and have to be treated in the hospital a few times a year. However, this was not a normal visit. After a week of the hotel UAB, I convinced my doctors that at home therapy would be much better for myself (that and I couldn't take anymore of Frank Stitt's wonderful hospital food). So a three week treatment plan was set into place for home therapy, which would be the longest run of antibiotics I would have had since I was a child.
I played nurse to myself giving my medications to my PICC line 4 times a day, once including IV Benadryl, which I don't recommend anymore, it's fun at first, but after day ten, you are pretty much tired of the way it makes you feel. I caught up with every single show I had been routinely watching (even the Bachelorette, who am I?) along with dozens of movies (Thank GOD for Stranger Things) and now the Olympics. My strength was very limited and with my immune system so low, there were no day trips to be had. I was homebound for three weeks.
This was my summer long "staycation".
So here I am, week five, a month since I was in that ER room and with some slight side effects still looming, I'm feeling much more like myself every day. I am very thankful to be living here in Birmingham where we are blessed to have one of the best hospitals in the country. There is no other place I'd rather be when I am sick. It goes back to 1993 with Children's Hospital and ECMO to today with the amazing staff of UAB hospital, the doctors, nurses, Respiratory Therapists, the techs that take your vitals (and sometimes braid your hair when you haven't washed it in two weeks) to the wonderful Pulmonary doctor I have been working with at Kirklin Clinic. Without them, I could not be able to continue my treatment of care in order to be the healthiest version of myself.
This week I was back in the kitchen and it felt great to get some normalcy back to my days. One jam that my customers and I look forward to at the end of every summer is fig jam. It's one of my best sellers when the season comes and I'll finally be back to finish the summer markets starting this week. As that is coming to a close, art festival season begins with Artwalk in early September, so I'm ready to be busy again.
Thank you to everyone who have sent messages, cards and provided dinners for me and my family during these weeks, it's great to know we have such wonderful friends and family and friends that are like family.
Come see me and say hello as the summer ends, I'm glad to finally be around for it.
Because I'm still here..
I’m a girl that likes the pork, eggs, homemade soups..vintage books and children’s books, artists who love what they do, writers/bloggers who inspire me, and good food and music with fabulous people to share it with.