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  • Suzanne Venuta

I Never Saw This One Coming...



Yes its been awhile since my last post…..


After hitting my stride with the TEDxSurry talk- I spent the month of March recovering. I was still somewhat tired in April, and on April 18th I ended up in emergency with a kidney stone attack. While in emergency I had lots of blood tests, there was talk of my blood being thick etc, but I knew I was in the right place.


They gave me good pain drugs and antibiotic and early the next morning I went into surgery to get a stint put in.


I come out of the OR and am in recovery and there seemed to be an issue with my blood pressure being pretty low- and to make a long story short I ended up in ICU with Septic Shock- I tell you it was a tad scary for a while.


I was well taken care of and thankful for the medical system and 6 days later was able to go home. The following Friday I had the “doozy of a kidney stone” vaporized- its amazing on what they can do now a days- now it was time to recover.


I was still pretty ill when I got home, it was awful, but I am happy to say that I am on the mend.


And ten weeks later- I am still on the mend. Yep, didn’t see this coming.


And yes, I did ask myself if this was my mental health issues back to visit, but this is different in so many ways, even though some of the symptoms may look the same. I will explain the difference in a future post.


I am grateful that I am here, and know it could have been so much worse, and there was a day or two while in ICU that I thought I was either going to die, or be put on a ventilator- it was not a fun time and scary for everyone.


I had no idea my recovery would be continuing almost 10 weeks after. And like any illness, this does not affect just me, but my family and friends also. We are all feeling the frustration that I am yet back “to my normal self”


Physically I look ok, even though I have not a lot of energy. I need a lot of rest, but am able to do a chore or two, or run an errand in the morning. The rest of the day is down time and rest and it usually consists of at least a nap a day. My afternoons I am often tired, and bored as there is still things, I have challenges with.


There seems to be some higher functioning cognitive issues going on. I will have what I call “Word Boggle” where I go to say something, and an entirely, unrelated thing comes out of my mouth. Times where I go to say something and I can’t, and have to stop, take a deep breath, slowdown and focus on every word so I can get it out. I call this “Sentence Dump.” For someone whose trademark is having no issues with talking, explaining or storytelling, this is just a tad frustrating.


I will sometimes be a little wobbly- nothing bad- but if I stop to turn, or go to turn a corner in my house - I bump into the door frame- we have become very acquainted in the last little while.


I am also extremely sensitive to noise and visual stimuli and ended up buying myself a set of cancelling headphones- ahh- my system takes a deep breath and relaxes when I put them on.


I am also finding for now- I am optimistic this will all get better- I am unable to read very much, can’t read or process long emails etc, and can’t focus on zoom, or conversations where more than one person talking etc.


Like I said, I am full of gratitude that I am still here, but I am also feeling the frustration of it all.


I have talked to the folks on my health care team, and am now in the process of working on a care plan, for sake of a better word- and implementing things to help with all of this, and coming to the realization, that this will take time.


I am thankful for my family, friends and care team who are walking beside me along this journey, even if they to get frustrated because they cant fix it. It means that they care for me.


It was explained to me that this is like a head injury, or concussion recovery, without the concussion. But while I was very ill, I had poisons, toxins and drugs to keep me alive, going through my entire body via my blood stream- and this included the brain. Its like I am now in the detoxing stage, and the detritus is being washed out, but if I over do it, this will create more detritus and prolong my recovery.


Its like when one defrags a computer. If you try to run a program while doing so- the program will be running slow, and the defragging will take longer.


As the “spoon theory” goes, I only have so many spoons a day for energy and functioning, and if I over do it, I borrow spoons from future days.


I am getting there, for example I am now able to enjoy a cup of tea- couldn’t do that until a couple of weeks ago. And I able to write this blog- even though it would normally have taken me 30 minutes if that- but this time round it took 3 hours. But I need to honour this journey, and have in fact taken a leave from any board responsibilities until late September or October. I have taken time of from any writing expectations, projects etc- because putting stress on myself about all of this, will just delay the healing.


And Im trying not to stress about this time right after my TEDxSurrey, that I should be working in and getting the word out about what I do etc.


And last but least- if you have any cut, scratch, infection etc that just will not clear up, or if you are not feeling well after such things- please do get it checked out. No one wants to go through this, and as I said, I am very fortunate as I know it could be so much worse.

Take good care of yourselves, and each other and will write when I can.

Suzy

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