Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Painful Lesson From the Road

As a new blogger I struggle with how much personal information do I share.  But when I think about it... I really want my blog to be a reflection of life as I meet it on the road.  Good stuff happens on the road, bad stuff happens on the road and we make decisions with the best information available to us.  Sometimes I need an object less to reenforce this for me.

On my last trip into Oregon I was having a grand time and yet near the end of the trip I wasn't feeling like myself.  Nothing big... just a little fuzzy thinking, a little achy, just a little off.  I did my customary day on the couch on Monday and didn't feel a lot better however I also had a head ache and my jaw was achy.  Tuesday woke up with puffiness.  I called an emergency dental clinic and they got me an appointment for later in the week... and said to call back when they opened in the morning to be fit in for an emergency appointment.  In I went for the emergency appointment where they discovered I had an abscess and the beginnings of a brain abscess.  The Surgeon impressed upon me how this was life-threatening and I could not leave without the surgery and how important it was that I sought medical treatment when I did.  Emergency surgery, antibiotics and I am on the road to recovery.  I had a few rough days, but it could have been soooo.... much worse. 

I am so grateful to fellow blogger and friend Chinle, of Spotted Dog Ranch who I talked with by phone and her thinking prevailed when mine was fuzzy. 

So I learned a few things about myself and it has led to some my impending time on the road.
  •  Seek routine care..... routinely.  This can often catch a problem before it is urgent.
  • Trust yourself.  If you are not feeling normal for you, check it out. Don't wait for it to get better. 
  •  Know where you are in relationship to medical help, you never know when you need it.
  •  Make sure you have a charged cell phone or access to internet if you are not feeling well.  It literally  can be a lifeline.
  • Keep in touch with family or friends that can help you plan for your care.
  • Keep an emergency kit that address your medical needs.
  •  Keep emergency information and ICE (in case of emergency) information stored on your phone,  person, vehicle and trailer.  This information can talk for you if you can't.
  • Keep a digital copy of your medical records that can be accessed about your medical history by medical professionals.
This is not probably a newsflash to those on the road already... in fact they probably have things to add to my list!  Feel free, I would be very grateful to learn from your experience.  My lessons are way to painful


  1. Great reminder to everyone, not just full-timers, as you said. I would add that if you have a living will and/or durable power of attorney for medical care you have a copy of those with you also. I found a neat medic alert bracelet that has a flash drive built in. It is programmed to allow you to enter and scan in medical info so if you are ever in a position to need care away from home your information is on your wrist! I will find out the info on getting these and post the link. Thanks Karen and thank God that you got the care you needed it in time. Remember that I shared on the phone the other night that my Grandfather (paternal) died of a brain abscess from a decayed tooth- and my dad was a dentist!

    1. I will certainly update this with new information... that would be great info to included. Maybe someday we will all have medical 'chips' to aid in our medical care. Thanks Barb!! Glad to have you aboard!

  2. Karen,
    Having had a very bad episode myself on Friday, I empathize and sympathize with you. These things come out of the blue and provide, in my case, a smack into the head.

    Get well quick.


    1. Life lessons are always pleasant are they? I only hope that I learn them the first time through so I am not required to repeat the lesson!! I'm hoping that You are out of the hospital and on the road to recovery. By the way thanks for the inspiration for my latest blog post. I am glad you post the good, bad, and unpleasant. (I gave me the courage to share this event in my life as well.) Take good care and get to feeling better!!

    2. Wow! So glad you are recovering. It is difficult to know sometimes when those things happen. It is a good thing you realized you needed to get it checked out. Thanks for relating your experience as a reminder to us all.

  3. Scary! I had never heard of a brain abscess. Now I'm going to be poking my face obsessively.

    You're feeling better, though?

  4. OMG - Karen, I'm SO glad you're OK - have been thinking about you and wondering how things went. That's really scary. Wow.

  5. Sorry... I didn't mean to scare you all.... I am doing so much better. today is the first day in a week and a half with NO headache and I'm feeling clear-headed (at least for me). Thanks for the well wishes. Life is indeed good again!!

  6. Glad to hear that! I've been out of it myself (just more of the same, nothing serious) - was going to call you. Glad you're OK. :