Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

I feel so much better

Well, I'm home from the hospital, and what an experience it was. Lots of ups and downs, but before I get started telling you what was going on, I just have to say that I have felt frustration many times in my life, but not being able to blog the last three days has been unbelievably frustrating for me. I cannot believe I missed my turn commenting on McCain's withdrawal from the debates and campaigning. Nor did I get a chance to comment on Palin's quick but silent appearance at the UN Women's conference. Or get to praise my own beloved Congressman Barney Frank for his again brilliant work on the 7 trillion dollar bailout. I love me some Barney. And Chris Dodd, too. Don't think I wasn't watching every second of it, though. I had CNN on the whole damn time I was laying in bed.

Thank you all so much for your good wishes and prayers. Apparently they worked very well because I'm feeling so much better!

So, anyhow....

I called my cardiologist on Tuesday after having been sick for about a week. I could NOT figure out what was wrong with me, but I knew I wasn't right. I was coughing and bringing up bloody mucus (sorry...gross), I was not just short of breath, I was OUT of breath all the time, and although those are common symptoms of being overloaded with water, I was taking huge doses of my Lasix and still not peeing anything out. Usually, I can just increase my Lasix when I feel overloaded, and that will get rid of the fluid that collects in my lungs, but this time it just wasn't working. Plus, I was experiencing aching muscles, stiff neck, stiff and sore joints, and running a slight fever.

On Sunday, as I posted, both kids came home with some kind of gastroenteritis/flu. One was barfing, the other was shitting. Both were feverish. So they both stayed home on Monday and the Boy stayed home Tuesday as well.

The Boy came with me to the ER after my cardiologist ordered me to go there asap. They took me in right away, and started the parade of med students/interns/residents coming in to look at me and ask the same questions over and over. That is so irritating. I know why they do it, and it's the right thing to do, but geesh. We got into an ER bed around noon, and the Boy left at 4:30 to stay with a friend overnight, and it seemed that I was going to be admitted.

They finally brought me up at 8 pm, and I was admitted to the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, which is a brand new building, just opened a couple of months ago. The building is pristine and every patient gets a big single room. The room was very posh, with a sofa, a recliner, and two TVs, one for the patient and another for the guests that can stay overnight on the sofa and recliner. There were questions and more questions from the nurses and the rest of the staff, and a bunch of residents with the attending came in about 9 to chat and listen to my heart.

At first they thought that I might have had a 'silent heart attack' or endocarditis because the chest X-rays showed a new strip of heart damage that looked like dead heart muscle. So there was talk of doing a cardiac catheter or even an alcohhol ablation. But that's surgery and I wasn't all anxious for more heart surgery.

The first night there I was up all night coughing and trying to breathe. So day two they kept me NPO from midnight to 4 pm while they tried to decide what to do. Meanwhile, my blood sugar, from being starved, went all caflooey and was making me dizzy, and I was slurring my words. My poor friend Ora called during the worst of it and I sounded like I had a stroke or was dead drunk. I wasn't either, but I was just going nuts from being food and water restricted. My body NEEDS water. And food.

So the team came in that evening and they were leaning towards the catheter, but wanted to try this new medication first. It is a med that is contraindicated with my regular heart med because they tend to do the same thing but not really as complementary as they could be. One makes the heart beat more slowly, the second does that as well as relaxes the heart muscle. My heart is very stiff and rigid and works very hard to present an outflow, so they thought adding this medication might be helpful.

And it was. The stuff was like a miracle! I slept the sleep of the dead last night, the best night's sleep I've had in forever. I woke up feeling so much better, no coughing at all, no mucus buildup, regular breathing. When the 12-member team came in around 9, they couldn't believe how much better my heart sounded, and my lungs were all cleared up as well, so they cut me loose.

However, I couldn't go home because the kids both had echocardiograms, EKGs and appointments with their cardiologist (my illness is congenetial and shows up after puberty) scheduled. Luckily, all the hospitals are connected with underground tunnels, so I had the transport guy take me from Shapiro, under the street to the regular hospital, then up on the Pike and over the Bridge to Childrens. Just as I arrived at Childrens, my friend Roxanne, who had picked up the kids, was marching over to find me because I had the insurance card and their blue cards and the hospital will not even talk to you until you surrender both.

Now, all of this sounds coordinated and pleasant and successful. Heh. Of course not. This is MY life we're talking about.

Problems: The Girl was supposed to stay home the first night, since she was sick and I didn't want to foist her off on anyone. I had a bunch of people checking up on her, but she decided to go to her boyfriend's house because she was 'scared.' Like I believed that for one second. After a LONG conversation with her boyfriend's mother, I agreed that she could stay there because 1) he would be in the basement and 2) she would be on the second floor and 3) the parents made it VERY clear that no hanky panky was going to occur since they already have been though this with another kid and have the grandchild to prove it. (Remember that baby shower...)

So she slept over there and then came home after school and invited the boyfriend over here, which is SO not allowed, and then had a friend who I cannot abide and KNOW FOR A FACT IS A THEIF, sleep over last night. If anything is missing, we know who stole it, This girl is SCUM and I don't even allow her in my house. Guess who is grounded?

And, to make things even more interesting, the Boy was awakened this morning to get to school, but he 'forgot' to get up and slept until 11:50. I must have called the house 25 times, and he didn't hear the phone. I did speak to the head of his program 3 times, and then had my friend Roxanne prepared to wake him up (she has two teens, she gets this) but then he woke on his own and called and I told him to get dressed and brush his teeth before R got there, but she arrived right that second, so he got to the hospital in slept-in clothes and pretty damn dirty. GROSS.

Not to be outdone, Worthless Pet peed in the house because I was gone. Or because the sun wasn't shining in the right place, or his food bowl didn't have enough kibble. He doesn't really need an excuse to be a big giant crabby piece of shedding fur.

Plus, Pepper will not admit I'm home and has been ignoring me. The dishes were not done the entire time I was gone, there is food residue everywhere, and I'm annoyed with the whole lot of them.

But I'm home! Yee haw. You know your life sucks when being in the hospital is more relaxing that being at home.

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Blogger bethany actually said...

Thank God for miraculous medication! Sorry about life going on and kitchen messes and difficult pets and annoying teenage behavior...but I am so glad you're home and feeling better.

25/9/08 4:39 PM  
OpenID cahwyguy said...

I'm glad you made it home, and are doing better.

25/9/08 4:59 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I missed you and worried about you! Make those teens do the dishes. They owe you. Big time.

25/9/08 7:23 PM  
Blogger liz said...

I'm glad you're back and sorry that I wasn't here to send good wishes while you were gone in the hospital.

So so so so very very glad you are feeling better.

25/9/08 8:00 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I was away from my computer all yesterday and had no idea you'd been admitted. Thank goodness this new medicine worked so well and you were able to get home (and feeling well!) quickly.

Welcome back.

26/9/08 2:11 AM  
Blogger madamspud169 said...

When I'm in hospital I spend all my time wishing I was home, really deep and sincere wishing. I want nothing more than to be home surrounded by my things and loved ones.

I go home..........

There's mess everywhere, nothing has been picked up, dirty plates and clothes are left strewn through the house. I look at the mess and I cry. This happens every time I go in hospital, no matter how tired or bad I feel I end up tidying and cleaning because I cannot happily live in filth even if the men in this house can.

26/9/08 4:14 AM  
OpenID icouldcrybutidonthavetime said...

loved the last part of this post. i had a friend who told me her colonoscopy was her most relaxing day of the week.

makes you wonder about the lives we hae set up for ourselves!

26/9/08 6:58 AM  
Blogger Domestic Sensualist said...

I'm so glad you're back home and feeling better. Whew, what a fright.

26/9/08 9:40 AM  
OpenID chloefieri said...

Seven trillion dollar bailout? Oh, don't we wish! It's 700 trillion. As in a million dollars a day for two thousand years. Glad you made it home again.

26/9/08 6:45 PM  

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