Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's been verified...I am big-hearted!

      The coughing started in mid-July, an innocuous irritating little thing that hardly was worth a second thought. A month later, it was a monster, rattling my ribs, clawing my throat, and stealing my breath. Well, thought I, it has been a humid summer so probably I have a little bit of asthma acting up, or possibly just allergies. After all, my granddaughter just had seen a doctor about her growling chest cough, and that was her diagnosis for which treatment was effective. Finally it occurred to me that maybe I should just go get it checked out, perhaps I did have bronchitis or something. Even though I didn't feel "sick" so to speak and wasn't running a fever at all. I have had bronchitis before and definitely had a pretty high temp.
     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 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.
There I am ^^ newly installed in my room.
^^^ Some visitors! pain chart.

     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.

^^^ Some more visitors...aren't they cuties?? Niece Brittany, granddaughter Audrey, and great niece aamiyah.

^^ Some remains of the grand cuisine I was served. I guess I should be grateful that they let me eat at all, but golly...I was for some mysterious reason on a diabetic meal plan, and it was just uninspiring. One morning, whole wheat french toast was served...with sugar free syrup. Ya know,  there are just some things that if you can't have the real deal, you might as well just not have it at all. Sugar free syrup is one of those things!

^^ This is my new room! On the second day I was in the hospital, the entire cardiac floor moved! This was interesting in that the poor nurses were running around looking for their supplies and equipment, much of which had already been moved! The reason for the move was that another floor had just finished being remodeled, and so we were moving to brand new digs! I was actually the first patient to be moved and to take up residence! They piled all my stuff into my lap, and wheeled me away...I felt like a should have a tiara and a princess wave! The new room was much bigger and nicer, and that sunflower picture sure did cheer me up!

^^ That is a skywalk, connecting two wings. I walked up and down it quiet a bit.

^^^That there, folks, was my favorite place!! COFFEE!!! Except, I was on fluid restriction so I didn't get that much. And I kept getting questioned about exactly how many cups I had. And I sometimes had to just suck on crushed ice because I drank too much coffee.

     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.

^^What you see there is  a padded ankle restraint that was used to tie me to my bed. This, of course, was after the angiogram, a procedure after which one must not move the leg in order to prevent arterial bleed-out.  So, while I was tied to the was a huge relief when my bed would randomly move FOR me! I finally understood.

^^^ That is just a picture of one of my many IV sites. The bruise you see there is actually from the initial IV in the emergency room that went wrong. I still have that bruise 11 days later.  Over all, I had four different IV sites, and blood drawn every single morning.  Also my blood sugar was checked like 4 times a day, so lots of finger pokes, and I also got shots in my stomach every morning..a medication to prevent blood clots. So my poor jelly belly is all black and blue! At one point, I had to have a blood-gas draw, which is blood taken from an artery, and those are a little deeper than veins.  The technician went in my wrist and hit a nerve! Holy smack-a-nurse, that hurt! I'm not really a big baby when it comes to pain but that made me holler out loud!

   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! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


One should not write blog posts in the middle of the night when one has been awake for far too long and is under the influence of narcotics. Therefore, the original post has been deleted.
The gist of it was:
I went to the doc for the first time in 5 years. It didn't go all that well, except I did get antibiotic and cough syrup for this ugly bone jarring cough that I have had for a month.
And I have to get super serious about getting my weight back down and getting regular exercise and all that wheehaw.
That is all.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Moody Grays

I have this pointless little blog that is about nothing.
It's not about junking or decorating.
It's not a cooking blog.
It's not about country life or urban farming.
It's not a book blog,  an art blog,  a crunchy blog, a health and fitness blog, or an anything blog!

I don't even take good pictures.

My blog is about nothing. Except, perhaps, me...and that is not all that interesting!
Which is why I haven't written a post since the beginning of July!

Frankly, i've been in a mood for quiet some time, and I don't really know why. I mean, certainly there are daily challenges, and things that I like to call adventures that aren't really adventures but just things to cope with and get through, but I have had MUCH bigger, less funny adventures in my lifetime and I have so much to be thankful for, and NO REASON to be in a funk!!!

And yet, I am.  I mean, I am here living in a gray cracked house, and that should be hysterical, but i'm not really laughing.  I should be considering trim colors that go well with gray...I mean, gray is sort of  a neutral color, and pairs well with red or yellow or bright white or pink....but, ok, I obviously have thought about it for a minute, but mostly I just want to shoot my house and track down that one guy who made such a mess of it and cement his feet. We have been told numerous times that we should just sue him, but its seems to me that that is a lot of money and time and hassle with no benefit .
Speaking of gray (or is it grey?), I see that 50 shades of grey is being made into a movie, and I don't even see how the filmmakers are managing THAT and, even with today's extremely lax standards, making it suitable for public consumption! Seems like the movie will have about 5 scenes it it and last half an hour. Not to mention....REALLY???? All the stories in all the world, and THAT is the one being made into a movie? I'm just speechless.
Actually, i'm not speechless at all, I have a whole bunch to say about that, but guess what? I won't. Because my opinion of the whole shebang is the extreme minority, and that in itself is highly disturbing. (Um, yes I did read the books. No, i'm not a prude or a party pooper or a stick in the mud or a cold fish, or whatever anyone might want to say. It was just a BAD story, bad plot, bad characters, just bad bad bad. Except the writing was halfway decent and that just compounds the whole tragedy.) I just have to ask, am I the only one who sees the irony that there is so much hoopla and hurrah over women's LIBERATION, and this story about SUBMISSION AND BONDAGE is so extremely, shockingly, mindblowingly popular? WHAT???!

Summer has pretty much passed me by, and I can't even fathom that school supplies are on the shelves and summer apparel is on the clearance racks!
On the upside, I don't have to ferry S. around this year, as she is now the owner of her own vehicle (with a sunroof! I'm kind of jealous!) On the other hand, she will be driving. By herself. And that strikes deep intense fear in my heart. My last little duck has wings. Or wheels, if you will, and is just mere months away from 18!

I'm really looking forward to fall, but not to going back to school. I am terrified of the class I am taking, and I have SO MUCH anxiety about it, and I would almost rather be taking college algebra! At least I know what to expect and that even though I completely suck at it and I have to work really super extra hard, I can learn it and even score an A in algebra. Imagine, taking a writing class and finding out that that is what I REALLY suck at!

Anywho,  this is my life: My days are spent keeping the baby clean, fed, entertained, and alive, and fishing foreign objects out of her mouth. and feeding and attempting to entertain the tween and then the momma comes home and i cook and do whatever stuff I need to do in the evenings. And then on the weekends, I catch up with whatever didn't get done. And also I obsess and stress about school about to start. And I am feeling sort of hermit-y and introverted, which isn't all that normal for me, but there you have it. That mood thing.

I suppose that wraps up this random issue of the nothing blog!
Until next time..