Wednesday, January 18, 2012


So, when I was sick last year in the hospital, my window looked out at a brick wall.
It was sleety and gray out, early March once I was out of the ICU and on the med surg floor, the one with the dreary view.

I was glad to be alive after the Strep A ear infection had gone into my brain, made me forget I had children and generally and completely kicked my ass.
I lay there with yellow pus fluid draining out of my ruptured ear while vomiting and retching frequently from the antibiotics and infection as the days dragged by.
My children were not allowed to visit, too many freaky germs so children were not allowed on the unit.
My devoted family, who had constantly been at my bedside when I was dangerously sick, was gone for part of the day for well deserved showers and naps because I was going to be OK.

The left side of my face and head were swollen and sore from the effects of the enormous ear infection (a week later a puzzled Ear Nose and Throat doctor would sit back on his stool and stare at me, after looking in my ear with his light, reporting thoughtfully, "I don't even know what I'm looking at in there. There are no landmarks. I've never seen anything like it.")

My roommate was crazy, loud and incontinent of stool; demanding Coca Cola all night and then yelling that she couldn't sleep. Her TV was on day and night.

It was some serious suffering.

One day, laying there watching the sleet fall, I thought. "Next year at this time; if I am still here. I am going to an island."
It settled in.
Then I declared to myself, "I am going to an island next year."

I went home and slowly and totteringly got better. I had to give myself antibiotics and anti-nausea drugs through a mid-line IV in my arm for weeks to kill off any stray bacteria that might lurk in my bones and start proliferating again.

Here is a photo of me from that time with my medicines on my desk, my IV and hotpack at the IV site because it really hurt when the antibiotic would run. I was so weak, all I wanted to do was sleep.

Here's a link back to my postings about my illness if you missed the adventure and want to read up.

I got better; months went by.
I got to thank all the beautiful people in my life who prayed for and cared for me.
I got to feel the residual gift of feeling held and loved by the universe itself, allowing for a deeper feeling of trust in the process of this beautiful life.
We worked on paying off bills. (I was out of work for a month and now we had medical bills!)
I got stronger.
We recovered and slowly processed the experience.
My hearing slowly started to come back (really slowly after getting my eardrum punctured 2 more times to try to relieve pressure. uggh!)
My short term memory loss begrudgingly disappeared and I began to feel like myself again.
I stopped having really frequent medical appointments.
I stopped worrying about random pain possibly being residual bacteria hiding in my bones and spreading.

After many months I got a cat scan and was told by the doctor he was relieved to find that "there was no brain material protruding into my ear canal or any cracks in my skull to allow in further bacteria." Well, happy day, who knew that was something to worry about?!

The island pledge to myself has been with me all these months.

Shortly after getting out of the hospital last year, my friend who did not know about my island plan, mentioned wanting to go to Culebra, a quiet little island off Puerto Rico.
Then another dear friend surprised me by saying she went there on her honeymoon and told me I would love it.
Then I found out another friend has been there several times and really enjoyed it.

Culebra Culebra Culebra.

Rob was skeptical, and worried about the money, but I was persistent.
Very persistent.
I have to go.

So, just after these hectic holidays I focused on doing some research and finding a spot.
Tickets are crazy cheap (230 round trip no stops )

One cold 9 degree day Rob sent me an email:
"Book the tickets."
And I did!

We found a sweet spot to stay with a kitchen.
The girls are over the moon.
We're hoping to see dolphins, turtles and iguanas.

I'm so glad to be going.
I'm so glad to still be here.

It's time to celebrate with an adventure.

Photos of Naniqui Guest House & Rentals, Culebra
This photo of Naniqui Guest House & Rentals is courtesy of TripAdvisor


  1. So happy for you guys! can't wait to hear all about it and compare notes!

  2. You deserve every moment of bliss and we send our blessings for you and your family to be filled with the love and light that Culebra present. Love love love!

  3. You are making your dream come true! First we have the struggle, then the dream, then the work to make the dream come true. And if we're really lucky, then the dream comes true! I'm so thankful to have you in my life. Thinking I could lose you was a really scary time for me and for a lot of people. We love you, Katherine. Have a wonderful time in Culebra! You deserve it!!!!!

    1. Thank you ladies! For your presence in MY life and your good wishes! Love you!