4weeks ago--Nov. 7th--11th
I’ve felt rotten for a few weeks. I had seen the Cardiologist P.A. on Oct. 21, and they added a new BP med to lower my BP. I told them that I thought it was already low enough, as I was having feelings of light headiness.
So last Saturday, I sat in my chair all day and watched football games. Sunday morning I woke up and felt so weak and faint. I took my BP and saw it was 92/45—and my heart rate was 140. Usually I can feel a high heart rate in my neck, but I couldn’t feel this.
I decided I had better call 911. I knew I had to let my sister know, but at that moment, I couldn’t remember even how to use the phone to get her number. Someone said, “Why would you post that on FB?”
Well, I knew my sister would see it that way. Like I said I was, “out of it”.
When I got to the ER, my BP was 89/38—they wondered how I was still conscious…AND I was in active AFib. High heart rate and it was tap dancing all over the place—140 to 100 to 150 to 108.
My daughter-in-law had thankfully seen the FB post and texted my sister and daughter’s. My daughter Jennifer, way out in New Jersey, called two of the local hospital’s until she found me and called the ER department and insisted she talk to me. I did not have my cell phone with me—never even thought about it.
The ER was full—all beds taken and people waiting in the waiting room to get in. After 12 hours of laying there, they finally had a bed open up on the “heart” floor and I was admitted.
I had gone through this AFib nonsense 6 years ago and the med they gave me then had worked just fine, until the Cardiologist decided to stop it and put me on 3 different ones. BTW—I have a new cardiologist now.
So, back on the original med—Metoprolol—to get the BP stabilized and then a cardioversion yesterday morning. That’s where they shock the heart and it goes back into normal sinus rhythm—takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, no big deal—I had it 6 years ago.
I did have fun in the hospital—with me, the more concerned I get, the more I joke around, so the nurses/techs/residents, thought I was their comic relief for the week. Of course, I knew what to expect. One MD told me, “You are the most knowledgeable patient I have ever treated.” I wanted to reply, “Yeah Doc. The better to know so you can’t kill me!” But I didn’t say that. Like I said, I actually had fun and if it weren’t for their insistence to poke needles in me to check blood levels, it would have been a lot more fun.
So—end result. They took away 4 BP meds and kept me just on the Metoprolol, which had worked so well for 6 years and 2 months and sent me home. I’m fine. Worn out of course. Back hurts from laying in that hospital bed, but no heart flutters, which is a good thing.
First of all, if someone tells you that COVID is still rampant—believe them. I just got home from a hospital with over 500 beds—about 75 beds per floor—and they have 3 floors devoted to COVID patients only, plus over flow in their Emergency Department Trauma Center…about 250 COVID patients.
Adventure 2.0: I had been feeling so dizzy and tired. I thought it was because my BP was high, than low and all over the place…not so and not related to what I was in hospital for Nov. 8-11th.
I was short of breath on Saturday, Nov. 27th, but there was an important football game on TV, so I decided to get through the day and if I didn’t feel better, to call Sunday morning. I woke up at 2:00am Sunday morning, fighting to breathe. If I sat upright in my chair, it was easier, so I sat in my chair, trying to nap for the next few hours. I wasn’t going to call anyone in the middle of the night nor early Sunday morning, so at 8:30, when I realized that I needed to get help, I just posted a quick FB post, knowing that my DIL or sister would see it and text the other kids, by then, I was shaking so hard that I couldn’t have made a phone call to anyone and have to explain—911 was the best I could do.
It took the ambulance guys about 8 minutes to get here and determine that I should go “in”, I fought hard once again to have them take me to the “small hospital” in Howell, rather than the Main hospital 35 minutes away—where they wanted to take me. I won the battle and we arrived at a once again, over loaded ER—people in beds all along the wall, every ER room full. They did a chest x-ray and came in to tell me they were transporting me down to the “mother ship” big hospital—as the hospital in Howell is a satellite hospital. Never been in an ambulance before and now I got 3 rides in 3 weeks!
We arrived there an hour later, into a bigger ER department with an over-flow in their new Trauma Center—all the rooms there were full with 17 of us on beds along the wall. The next few hours are kind of a blur—bright lights—noisy—so much activity. They did take me for a chest scan and by midnight, I was in a room “upstairs”. More people coming in to check me out—vitals and then at 2:00am, some doc prescribed that liquid LASIX be put in my IV line. Lasix—a water pill, at 2:00 am? I felt so bad for my nurses and tech, because I had to pee every half hour and they had to help me to the bathroom. I told them I could manage with the walker, but “hospital policy” says…….and they had snuck an alarm pad into my bed, where if I got up, because of course, I tried it…loud alarms sounded and 2 quite large, male techs showed up, scolded me and told me they were required to help me to the bathroom. GEEZ!
Monday was a day of tests—another Echo Cardiogram and the Doc told me my heart was very strong and healthy and “it won’t be your heart that takes you out!”—HAH. Then another tech and wheelchair showed up at my door and the words I was scared to hear, “we are here to take you for a needle aspiration of your right lung, you have fluid build-up—no wonder I couldn’t breathe! I had heard about needle aspiration—they stick a 6 foot needle in your back, through the ribs and into the lung to drain the fluid, so I was scared, but, it wasn’t bad at all. I silently prayed, “Dear God, help me be brave” and He did. NO—the needle isn’t really 6 feet long—it’s pretty long, but………..
600 ml fluid off that lung—helped with my breathing. The fluid was clear and I asked if I had any lung problems like COPD or anything and the needle tech wondered why I would ask. “No you don’t have COPD or chronic bronchitis…no stenosis…your lungs are in very good shape, why did you think otherwise?” “Oh,,” I replied, “because I smoked for 60 years.” “WELL, YOU’D NEVER KNOW IT BY LOOKING AT YOUR LUNG SCANS.”
Tuesday noon, the head of PT came in to inform me I had a fractured right scapula (shoulder blade). “I do not!” I said. He went on to try and convince me that the fall I had taken on the day after I got home from my first adventure, had broken my scapula and caused the retention of fluid in my “bruised” right lung. He said the fracture had showed up on the x-ray from the Howell ER. Now I had fallen, but I didn’t tell anyone and I (thought) I had recovered because I had no pain for the last couple of weeks, but I do remember someone asking me if I had fallen recently and I said, “Yes”, but didn’t explain further. “You know,” I said, “the equipment at Howell is probably older than what you have here, maybe you should take another x-ray because……I do not have a broken shoulder blade!”
So he put me through some tests with my right arm and I did all of them really well. He just stood and stared at me. Then he wheeled me down to the PT clinic and had me walk around with a walker and up and down steps and checked my right shoulder and……..I had no pain. Then he said, “I’m going to notify your Doctor, write you off and have you released this afternoon.”
What a dummy I am! I know very well that a fall can cause internal bleeding or fluid build-up. Heck—my Daddy, at age 92, died a few days after a fall when his kidney area filled up with blood and his kidneys couldn’t get rid of it and his kidneys failed. Why did it never occur to me that I could have a similar problem? A lot of “olders” die from falls every year and it’s usually from internal injuries. Why did I not think of that? Because I can’t get it through my head that I AM OLD and if there is no pain, I think everything is okay.
So—it took me 3 ambulance rides, a myriad of scans and procedures to find out—the earlier hospital stay and this one were entirely unrelated—this was caused by a fall that I didn’t pay attention to AND my heart, my lungs and all other innards are really in very good shape.
Once again, I found my hospital stay to be interesting and I actually had fun. More social interaction than I’ve had in nearly two years. LOL.