Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So this is how it all started

On December 11, 2014, I went to the doctor because I’d been using my rescue inhaler a lot more than the normal once in a while I had been. I was wheezy enough that the doctor put me on nebulizer treatments and referred me to a pulmonary specialist.  I saw the specialist a week later and by then I was using the nebulizer the maximum amount of four times a day. My ankles and feet were swollen and I could barely make it from room to room without having to stop and catch my breath. He put me on a stronger inhaled steroid, and casually said he had half a mind to send me right to the ER to be admitted.

January 8th, was my follow up with the pulmonary doctor. The time between my first appointment with him and this follow up was nothing but a waiting game as I got worse and worse. When the day came I knew the doctor was going to send me right to the hospital from his office, so I brought a few things with me, to make any stay in the hospital a bit less boring (power charger, iPod, book, etc).

When the day came, I didn’t feel as though I could drive myself to the appointment and called my sister-in-law, who was able to leave work to drive me to the appointment. She had to help me out of the house and to the parking lot, where I ran out of breath and clung to a handicap parking sign heaving in breaths. With the help of a neighbor and a police officer who responded to my sister-in-law’s 911 call, they got me into the car and she drove me to the hospital (the police officer canceled the responding ambulance).

We got there at three in the afternoon. I saw a pulmonary doctor and a cardiologist, who ordered tests and scans, which took place while my brother (who arrived straight from work) and sister-in-law waited and worried. I was finally taken to a room at one in the morning. They made me step on a scale before I got into the room and I was shocked to see what I weighed. It had to be wrong. But I was too exhausted and caught up between nurses, nurses assistants, techs, orderlies, and my brother to really worry about the exact number. Later when I was settled in my bed, I did the math. 50 pounds.  I was 50 pounds heavier. That couldn’t all be the swelling could it?

The next morning the doctors came in one by one and explained to me what needed to be done as far as tests. They all told me I had a problem with my heart, that I was retaining fluid that I had to get rid of, and that they needed to do more tests to see what exactly the problem was with my heart. I was also informed that all my fluids, in and out, had to be measured and that I needed to be weighed every day. I was put on a diuretic and my heart function was constantly observed (which was a pain since I had to pee every half hour-ish and I had to deal with a monitor and wires).

I’ll leave you with all these awful images, I promise I’ll post something happier next time. Like the pair of socks I’ve been knitting that I’m almost finished with. Just a couple more inches to go and I’ll have another pair of wool socks just in time for this freezing cold weather.

Wasn’t it warm just a few days ago?

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