I’m not going to drag those into their own posts. Saturday morning the cardiologist came to talk to me. He said that I have congestive heart failure. It just means that my heart (and lungs, abdomen and feet) are full of fluid, making it harder to breath, making it harder for my heart to pump. They did an echocardiogram and said my heart was working at 30%, but that’s not out of 100% (for whatever reason), normal is 55-70%. So, about half. My BP was still really high, I was on continuous 2L of oxygen and an IV dose of this diuretic that kids butt. They said they weren’t even going to talk about the splenic artery aneurysms until the heart thing was sorted out. There are 5 reasons for CHF – deformity, genetics, blockage, viral, idiopathic. The doc said I would have been seen for a deformity before now, he didn’t think it was genetics (since only 1 person in my family had a heart attack and they already said this wasn’t a heart attack), it could be a blockage (though the doc was thinking that also was out of the question), idiopathic just means they don’t know what it is and viral. Well, I was sick back in June, the doc said I had a cold, but this doc thought, well if that’s where you breathing problems started, then it was probably a virus and it went into your heart cells. So, we were going with that, but I’ll do a stress test to rule out blockage, but I can’t do that until my BP, oxygen and heart rate get better.
Ugh, my eyebrows. They started me on the cardiac diet, low sodium, low fluids, low fat, low caffeine.
Alcohol was NOT taken off the menu, so I look forward to my drink at jazz night. I get bored very quickly and this was day 1.
Meanwhile, back at home, Grace’s pumpkin went smush.
I made some hospital art.
Bethany came in and went to a Halloween event with her friend.
They kept sending me pics of Jack.
It was also Joel’s birthday today (20th), Iwas awake at midnight, so I sent him a Happy Birthday text. He’s on 6 hour call, so any moment now he’ll be on a plane to Germany for a month for training and then off to Kosovo.
Sunday, James was running around all day (like I would have been.) Church, Fall festival, Littleman’s pumpkin carving fest, picking up and dropping off a friend for that, getting dinner, then finally coming to the hospital. He collapsed in the chari and said, ‘My gosh, I haven’t been home all day except to eat dinner?’ Grace said, ‘So, we do that every day.’ Well, not every day, but we are on the go more than some people. Bethany’s friend dyed her hair, at first I was like, who’s that holding Jack?
A lot of people painted their pumpkins this year.
Meanwhile, I was working hard with my spirometer, they changed my beta blockers and added in another BP med.
I gave the girls a list of school work to do Monday, I figured I’ll just give them a day at a time.
Monday morning Jennifer came to see me and brought me some stuff, check out these glasses.
They made the nurses laugh.
Everything was a little better, so my stress test was scheduled for the next day. Instead of using the treadmill, I was going to be injected with this stuff that uses a chemical to stress the heart. Then injected with radioactive isotopes, then photographed while lying on my back for 17 min, and another 13 min on my belly. The deal is, the test will show that there is something wrong (like a blockage) or not.
Here is my FB post from Tuesday morning.
It was a harrowing day at Spa Ridge in room 5214, starting with breakfast. ‘Can’t have that, can’t have that.’ Yogurt and dry white toast. Nurse remarks it’s like prison food, I’ve never been in prison, but I’m pretty sure it’s better. Then they gave me a double dose of diuretic because – why not? Went to stress test where doc said, ‘if you have a heart attack because of this – we have everything you need!’ Got isotopes pumped into me (not isopods, those are an order of crustaceans, ie, doodle bugs, but – quick fact- they can also live underwater (you’ll need to give me some of your Jeopardy money when you win with that fact.)) Spent 17 minutes getting pictures (I did my hair), 30 seconds getting radioactive, 10 minutes getting stressed and then 27 minutes getting more pictures. Sad to say, I studied hard for this test and it’s inconclusive. So, tomorrow I have an angiogram which will: find a blockage or not. If not it’s viral or idiopathic, genetic or mutation (I might be an alien.) So, that’s today’s report – and no I’m not going home tomorrow.
And I want to say, my nurses rock, they piece together information and advocate for me, they make me laugh, I make them laugh, I empty my own pee hat, they give me shots in my belly….okay that one is not fun at all, but they are sad to do it.
So, the test showed that there was some area of the heart that was not pumping like it should. Bottom line, angiogram in the morning (that’s where they snake a catheter through your vein and inject dye so they can see if blood of flowing through everything. If there is a blockage, they fix it right there with a stint.)
Wednesday morning, my FB post after the angiogram.
wait for it….
no blockages. Virus is suspected. Beta blockers, BP meds, oxygen for a bit, cardiac diet, and low activity (if you know me, that one is the worst.)
Still not getting out until the vascular surgeon talks about those splenic artery aneurysms, which has nothing to do with my heart. In fact, they would never have known about them except for a slight peek at one from my lung CT scan in early October.
Yeah, the vascular surgeon said they are going to wait to let my heart rest and get better before they do anything. I also have to see an endocrinologist because on the CT scan they also saw a benign adenoma on my adrenal gland. The very good news for this day was – Jack could come visit in my room! And soon after I got that news, I was going home!
And Joel landed in Germany.