It was the first time I had consulted a doctor in 5 years, just because I don't really get sick often and when I do, it's just mild...so I haven't had any real reason to go to all the trouble of lining one up and making an appt and whatnot. (We have moved since my last check up.) I was able to get into the office quickly, as my daughters and granddaughters and niece and greats are patients there.
The doc said that he heard something funky going on in my lungs and so I had a chest X-ray and some blood work. Hm, well, it appears to him that I have an enlarged heart, and that I am FREAKING anemic (his words), and so he prescribed a zpak for pneumonia (actually he said there was a fuzzy shadow in my lung that he was going to treat as infection...later dr's used the P word.) Then when that was cleared up, we would more closely examine the heart issue.
I took my Z-pak as instructed, and was also on a high dose of iron 3 times a day. The z-pak helped some, but I was still coughing, still gasping for breath, my chest and ribs still just hurt, and plus the iron was doing really bad uncomfortable things to my guts! I hadn't slept in several days and nights...just dozing 10 or 15 minutes here or there...and I was just waiting for those antibiotics to kick in! But I was kind of miserable and exhausted and one Sunday evening my daughters convinced me to go to the ER. I personally thought that that was over-reactive and over-dramatic, but I thought that at least maybe I would get a breathing treatment and some sleep! I was just a little desperate for oxygen and sleep.
SO!!! After a long night and some bloodwork and a ct scan, This is what happened. I was sent in an ambulance to the big hospital in Lubbock, because evidently my pneumonia was really pulmonary edema (or something like that) and there was fluid building up around my BBH (big beautiful heart) because I have, formerly unbeknownst to me, Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF, and I was in the process of drowning in excess fluids. SO I guess having an extra big muscular heart is a BAD thing, causing it to not pump efficiently.
The first day in the hospital, I had a bunch of test done....another chest X-ray, and echocardiogram (that I failed) and a stress test that I did not like! I was pretty much told that I was staying put until all that fluid was out of my chest area and other tissues, and thanks to the failed echocardiogram, I would have an angiogram later in the week.
The only other times I have been in the hospital have been to give birth. Those are pretty short stays, ya know, so i'm not really an expert on hospital beds. What I can tell you is that mine was an air mattress, which seems new and different, but it has been almost 18 years. Pretty basic model, I think, with the buttons to move the angle of head and feet. What was interesting about it was that it would noisily and randomly move all by itself. Not just head or feet, but random points in between. I asked every single nurse (and throughout my stay I had 8 different regular nurses, and a few aides) what was up with my bed moving all by itself, and none of them ever actually answered me...they were just like..uh, I dunno. So. that was interesting and maybe a little annoying.
Until the restrained me to the bed.
Oh yes they did.
Over the course of the 5 days that I was languishing in a hospital bed, 5 different people came into my room and claimed to be my doctor. Does that not seem suspicious? How many doctors does one person need? I was pretty thoroughly confused. Every time I turned around, someone new was coming in, saying they were my doctor and telling me to lose weight. Among other things. I think I finally figured it out, though. I had a cardiologist, and he has a nurse practitioner, and then I had a general doctor, and he also has a nurse practitioner. So those four became pretty familiar to me, although I still am not sure why i needed four different people visiting me and telling me exactly the same thing. I have absolutely no clue who the 5th person was.
My really funny sister-in-law came to visit me one day, and we did what we do...laughed a lot!! One thing we were talking about that had us giggling was my bulletproof coffee adventure. Being an incompetent blogger, i have no idea how to link a former post here, but not long ago I wrote about bulletproof coffee, which is just coffee blended with coconut oil and BUTTER! Mine was not made with just any butter, but IRISH butter, ya know...anywho, SIL was mentioning about how I was going to have to lay off of butter coffee, and the Chief would be relieved that he didn't have to pay for IRISH butter anymore. (In reality, I actually only stuck with butter coffee for about a week. It kind of lost it's charm, even with IRISH butter.) The nurse came in a little later, after SIL had left, and mentioned that our laughter had caused them to laugh, and they wanted to joint our party, wondering what was so funny. I told her the butter coffee story....
And so she wrote this on my board!! Teehee!! We were wondering how many others would ask about it. Only one ever did!!
As it turns out, I actually do not have a cholesterol problem or clogged arteries. I do have CHF, and a damaged heart, but they can't tell me exactly what caused the damage. It is suspected that it was caused by poorly controlled high blood pressure, but they can't say for sure. So. All of my tiredness and moodiness and lack of good humor did have a cause after all. If I do everything i'm supposed to do...take a handful of meds, keep my BP under control, lose weight, exercise moderately, limit sodium, and stuff like that, there is a possibility that my heart function will improve, and at the very least not deteriorate. Possibly some year in the future, I will require an implanted device. Or, I can just do nothing and die sooner than later of CHF! So. I guess that I will take my wretched pills. I will work hard to release these regained pounds into the wild, and I will take my 30 minute walk every evening. And I will lay off the coffee, as I am restricted to two liters of fluid TOTAL for the day!!!! I have to weigh every morning to make sure i'm not becoming water logged again. Oh, and I have to REST. So now I have a verifiable excuse to take naps! I have a follow up with my regular doc next week, and then a follow up with my cardiologist (ya, i'm the kind of girl with a cardiologist!) at the end of Sept., and then an echocardiogram in 3 months to check my heart's status.
This is me and Audrey, headed out for our first daily evening walk!!
And I guess that's all, so quackity quack!