Sunday, August 18, 2013

Well, That was an Adventure!

Post # 899 -Who'd a thought, when I started this blog over 7 years ago, I'd still be telling you my stories and showing you my photos? 

I certainly didn't - - -

Now here's the "funny" part - I started my blog so I could keep my family and friends up to date on a "health issue" that I was having - and here, almost 900 posts later, I'm about to tell you a new story of "a health Issue" that came to a head on Monday.

This pretty little orchid?  A gift from a friend, who visited me in the hospital. 

THE HOSPITAL?? Yup, the hospital.- for some of you, this may be TMI - feel free to CLICK HERE

For a couple of weeks I've had problems breathing - several of my co-workers have had coughy-snotty colds - I thought maybe that's what I had - but then, it seemed more like an allergy - and taking an antihistamine did seem to help - till last weekend.  by Sunday night I could barely walk across the room, barely get my breath.

So, Monday morning, I called my Dr.'s office - they could see me at 9:30.  I felt bad leaving work - I am the main phone answering person - I have three back-up people - one was on vacation, one had called in sick.  The other, whose husband is a nurse, said :"You get out of here and find out what's wrong"  -  Little did she know...

My regular doc was on vacation, so I saw one of the other docs in the practice - probably a good thing, because, I think that a new Dr. will often see things that your regular Dr. might miss - but in this case it was pretty apparent - they took my blood pressure - pretty normal -  took my pulse - 140 beats per minute.  ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY???  Well, I said, what is normal?  60 - 100 beats is normal - An EKG was done - I was proclaimed to be in atrial flutter and Dr. M. said "I'm on the phone with the cardiologist office in town to see if they want you there or at the ER - Can someone come get you?  Well, I drove myself here, I said - No, I'm afraid you may be having a heart attack - you are not driving anywhere.  The final verdict - They wanted me to go to the ER ASAP (or is it STAT?) and the Dr's office printed up some official paperwork that would get me in faster than a speeding bullet.

Hrmphhh - The Shepherd was working "out in the county" (translated - about 45 minutes away) - 
                 An ambulance would probably cost me about $750.00
I guess I could have called a taxi, but calling my boss seemed to be a better idea.  Bless his heart, he came and got me and took me to the hospital and dropped me off at the ER door - Did I mention that I work for really nice people?

So, long story / I'll try to make it short - I check into ER and they take me back to a little cubicle = by this time, The Shepherd had arrived -  They did another EKG, several shots of medicine (through an IV) that were "supposed" to drop my heart rate - and didn't - a chest ex ray, a CAT Scan (when the lady asked me if I'd ever had a CAT scan, I replied "Only of the four legged feline variety" - she was nice enough to laugh) (Can you hear the "cha-ching" noise running in the background?)

Now on an IV drip of the medicine that was supposed to drop my heart rate - Going down, but only slightly - and then there was that "A-flutter" thing to worry about.  They took me upstairs to the cardio unit and got me settled in a bed and put me on a heparin (blood thinner) IV in the other arm, so I didn't develop a blood clot and have a stroke.   

Everyone kept asking me "Didn't you notice that your heart was beating so fast?" Didn't you feel the flutter"  "Are you in pain?" 

All I could say was "No, I didn't notice that my heart was beating so fast, because I was focused on the fact that I couldn't breath"  And after the 10th time that someone asked me if I was in pain, I just started my conversations with people - "Hi, and NO, I'm not in any pain -  "

Did you know that they do not intend for you to sleep in a hospital - at least not at night - 12:00-vital signs, 1:00 blood draw, 2:00 check the IV's, 3:00 another blood draw, 4:00 - vital signs again - this time she wanted me to get up so she could weigh me - "I just got comfortable" I complained - "Can't you do it later?"  - She allowed as how she could - so, yup, 5:00 - in she comes to weigh me.

At about 7:00 Tues a.m. Dr. D - the cardiologist (young - cute, and looks like I could easily be old enough to be his mother) came in to chat with me and give me some care options -  My heart rate had slowed down to about 107 by that time -

Option #1 - they could load me up on medicines & send me home - hope that it continued to drop - and they would still have to do a procedure called a cardo-version to try and shock my heart back to normal rhythm - I would also continue to have the breathing problems.

Option #2 - do an esophageal ultrasound of my heart, if there weren't any blood clots, then do the cardio-version right then.  If that worked, and my heart beat returned to normal, then I could probably go home within a few hours. 

It didn't seem like rocket science to me - I went for Option #2 - and it worked - my heart "converted" back to normal - After passing a "walk about the halls" test with the nursing assistant to make sure it wasn't going to revert - they sent me packing.

Yay, home sweet home.  And things seem to be getting better - breathing issues are pretty much gone - in fact, we're going to Portland for a wedding in the next couple of days -

They never did figure out why my heart was beating so fast - The Shepherd thinks it's actually been building up to this for a month or so - I guess I just didn't notice until it "smacked me" last weekend.
I took Wednesday off to rest from no sleep the night before - and was back at my desk on Thursday.

The kittehs stick to me like glue  - I have to take an anti-clotting medicine for a month - it's a "new" one -  my insurance only pays for generics - it was $276.50!! - luckily I only have to take it for a month. 

I have moderately good health insurance - but I figure my part of this adventure will be in the $1000's of $$$ - and I was just about to get my knee replacement from 8 years ago paid off. 

You know what they say - Nature abhors a vacuum...  So it's back to The Salt Mine's I guess. 


Lilylou said...

Tina, how scary! I'm so sorry you're going through this. Keeping you in my prayers.

Michelle said...

Nope, nothing but catnaps are allowed in hospitals – just ONE of the reasons you want to get out of them ASAP (or STAT)! ;-)

I understand the financial pain. Our deductible is $5000 per family member; in years Rick had hernia surgery and a heart attack and Brian had an emergency appendectomy. I told Rick and Brian (I've been healthy, praise God) that if they have any more medical 'issues,' they'd jolly well better have them ALL in ONE YEAR and be done with it!

I'm SO glad your heart seems to be playing nice now; tell those kitties to do their magic and keep it that way!

Katnip Lounge said...

Holy CRAP. The scariest bit is they don't know how it started!! I'd be a paranoid wreck...

I'm so glad you have such nice co-workers and you DID go to the ER...please, take care.

xx Trish

Momma Maria said...

Oh my gosh Tina, that is scary, and I'm glad that you are doing okay! Blood clots and hospitals bring back bad memories for me, so I'm glad that your story has a happy ending.

Take care of yourself, and I agree, I'm glad that you have co-workers that care!

Tammy said...

Oh Tina...I'm so glad you are okay. That is scary stuff. Thanking God that everyone (but you..ha) were on the ball and got you where you needed to be. Sometimes being made of stern stuff works against us, since we put off going to the doc.

Thankful you are doing okay, and please stay that way!

Kathy said...

OK, we all need to bug you about taking good care of yourself, don't we? ;)
I am so glad you went to the doctor, although having John take you to the ER on Sunday would have been the thing to do (pinging you on the upper arm...)!
Unfortunately, we are of "That Age" to where these things should not be taken lightly.
I have been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers every day. Please take it easy and keep getting better!
And do one thing for all of us, please...if this happens again (God forbid), have someone get you to the ER STAT< ASAP!!!!!!!
Much love and hugs from Airy Zona!

Yvonne said...

Hi Tina! I am so glad you went in to get checked. Please take care of yourself & if you need anything, we're back home now.
Hugs, Yvonne