From the “lessons learned” dept.

(or, Adventures in the Integris Healthcare System, part 4)

If you don’t take your meds, or you run out and don’t get them refilled right away, bad things tend to happen.

Take last Thursday, for instance.

I ran out of Lactulose, the laxative that helps get rid of the excess ammonia that my liver can’t handle thru constant trips to the bathroom. I thought that I could wait on that for a few days to refill the prescription. Turns out that I can’t.

I ended up in the ER, because Daniel couldn’t wake me up from a nap. When I did wake up, I was all confused and my body didn’t respond to simple commands, like move, or nod, or speak coherently. Next thing I know, the paramedics were there asking me all kinds of questions, and me being carted off to the hospital.

Once at the ER, I was asked more questions, had blood tests, and got hooked up to an IV because I was seriously dehydrated. I also had a fever and wasn’t acting like myself. It was then I learned that if I don’t take the Lactulose for as few as 24 hours, the ammonia levels build back up and I get fuzzy headed and confused.

Oh. Joy.

I pretty much scared the crap out of Daniel, and the whole family ends up waiting in the emergency room for me.

I was given a dose of Lactulose, waited for my bloodwork to come back, and was then told I could go home. So no multi-day stay in the hospital.


Got the Lactulose refilled, had two of my other prescriptions waiting on a callback from the doctor, and went home.

And, as of Sunday, I now have health insurance, but it doesn’t go into effect for 2 weeks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a prayer of paying down some of the nearly $50K worth of medical bills I’ve accumulated in the last year.

I’m not liking owing doctors and hospitals money. In fact, it sucks. That’s why I started a page. I need help with this and this is a way to do that. So if you’re so inclined, go read my story and donate what you can. Every little bit helps.


I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~



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