Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Madness

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And that it so true,.especially when the child is just two years old and needs full time supervision.

In my case, it takes a husband, a friend, and a babysitter for the week as I try to recover from the virus that put me in the hospital over the weekend & caused fluid to accumulate in the heart sac. I wish for my mom in circumstances like this,but she is 2 states away and works full time..not practical to come up,unless I'm dying.

It started late Thursday morning, a heavy sort of chest pain with random stabbing action on the side. It didn't feel muscoskeletal or heartburnish,and iboprofen/Mylanta failed to do anything to it. I've been worried lately about the cumulative effects of diabetes on this heart of mine,and was convinced I was having heart problems of some kind..the hubby got home and I went to Urgent Care. They did bloodwork,an EKG,and a chest X-ray. The UC doc told me I needed to see a cardiologist,there was a minor irregularity on my EKG, don't worry about it but do get it checked out. I asked whether the irregularity was causing the chest pain and they said it was possible but they weren't cardiologists. I asked whether the irregularity could cause a heart attack and they said it was possible but not very likely. Joy. Went home,slept, woke up..spent much of the morning lying in bed (while my toddler played on my iPad beside me)feeling progressively worse,got an appt with my primary care office for that afternoon. They looked at the urgent care report,looked at me, and told me to go to the ER I might be having a blood clot. By this point, it was 4:30 pm and my husband would be back from work soon so I called him, called a friend to ask her if she could take me to the ER and drove home to wait for them both to get there. We drove to the ER, they take a bunch more blood/EKG/chest X-ray, eventually get called back to a room...the ER doc comes in,takes a listen,says I sound tight in my breathing and he's not sure if it's lung or heart related..they do a breathing treatment which fails to have an effect. I get up and walk around for him and after 10 feet I'm absolutely winded,with a heart rate in the 120's and a respiratory rate around 30..my lungs sound clear,I just can't "move" air very well. So then they do a CT scan which turns out negative for any problems. He decides to admit me overnight for observation. Move to a diff area in the ER. The nurse comes in and says its time for my nightly injection of glucagon, a rather scary proposition considering my blood sugar was 311. (Needless to say,that didn't happen. My friend and I thought it was hysterically funny,though. And that is why it helps to bring a T1 friend along with you. ) By 1 am,they brought me upstairs and my friend went home to sleep. I think I slept about 1.5-2 hours,the breathing treatment had me wired pretty well. I was also on a portable heart monitor and trying to bring my blood glucose down to earth.

(When you are 5'2 and have to wear a giant hospital gown with a pocket to keep this in it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "indecent exposure")

Also,my roommate alternatively coughed/snored/IV went off for much of the night. And because I was there to rule out heart problems,they drew blood every 4 hours. At some point they wanted to put a nitroglycerin patch on me and give me aspirin.(I agreed to the aspirin but my blood pressure is normal-low and I wasn't about to take a powerful vasodilator without a cardiologist talking to me first.) Morning came..they took me down for a treadmill test. Injected radioactive stuff in my IV and took images with a scanner. I couldn't walk very far & the treadmill part wasn't going to happen,so they were going to do an alternate injection of a drug to stimulate the same thing but I had drunk caffeine free diet coke in the ER,and that would invalidate the test results because it still contained caffeine. That meant another day in the hospital,before they could repeat the test. I was rather peaved at that turn of events,but it was what it was. They called a cardiology consult who came by a couple hours later. He took a full history and checked me out and said it sounded to him like I had a virus,but they'd like to do an echocardiogram (that day.) The nurse practitioner on the floor was a very jubilant/go getter/lets do this sort of person..coincidentally, the wife of a nursing instructor in the program I was in.(I was like, that's where I know that last name!!!) They did the echocardiogram...my hubby and baby came by for awhile to visit. (It was nice to see them again.)

(Baby snuggles)

My friend brought some food by(hospital food sucks) and hung out for awhile.


My room mate was very sick,newly dxd with several life-threatening conditions and ticked off at the entire world/the hospital. Needless to say,it wasn't exactly peaches and cream having to listen to that 24 hours a day.(they need private rooms) They gave me an IV for hydration and I got about 8 hours of sleep,despite the wake-ups and blood draws.

Next day,the NP came in and said that my echo had shown periocarditis (caused by a virus)and the cardiologist would be by to talk to me about that. I could possibly go home that day if I wanted to,but my mag levels had dropped to 1.0 and I needed a few grams of that.(through IV) The treadmill test was cancelled because they knew what was going on. I did want to go home, and since I knew what I had and that it wasn't something that would likely kill me. I just really needed to talk to the cardiologist about what the plan was,going forward, before I went anywhere. The cardiologist eventually came (6:30 pm-I was the LAST patient he saw) and we talked about the echocardiogram results. He said he still felt it was mainly a virus causing me to feel crappy,much like a cold virus would do(I had a cold about a week ago,but it's long cleared up). The echo needs to be repeated in another week,to make sure the fluid has cleared but there was not a lot of fluid in there and it hasn't affected the function of my heart. Soooo,basically I rest and recuperate. My friend came and picked me up (7:30'sh) as I got discharged. It's good to be home,but I still feel pretty crappy. If he's right,the virus will pass in 1-2 weeks,the fluid will reabsorb and I'll start feeling better. Meanwhile we have a babysitter for the days this week because I'm still in no shape to care for my toddler. I very much appreciate the people in my life who are helping me out,as well as my FB friends..I do not know what I'd do without them.

(It's 5 o'clock somewhere..while you wait on the doctor!)

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Colleen said...

Glad you're home.
Glad you have a sitter for a few days.
Now - just do the rest and recuperate thing!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Oh my gosh, Heidi! I'm so sorry that you had to experience all of this! And I'm sorry that I've been so behind on things and hadn't known and been by to offer my support and well wishes.

I hope that things are getting better and you're ramping back up to full-speed again.

What a scare!