So in the last 3 weeks I’ve been in the ER 3 times. The first time I was diagnosed with cellulitis in my leg, was put on antibiotics and it cleared up. Then I was on a Lovonox bridge (blood thinner shots) so I could have my IVC filter removed. I started having stomach pains and spasms. So I go to the ER, the doctor does an x-ray, does an ultrasound and tells me I’m fine. They tell me to take some over the counter medication and send me home.
I take the over the counter medication and in 12 hours I am weak and no better. So we go back to the ER. They run my blood tests again and my iron and blood counts have dropped dramatically in the 12 hours since I was last there. So they run more tests. They then tell me that I have abdominal bleeding. So I’ve gone from you’re fine you are wasting my time to you could be bleeding to death….yes that is my life.
So they start to scramble to figure out where the bleeding is coming from. They do another ultrasound and figure out that I have a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst. So now they are asking if I will accept a blood transfer, and are prepping me for emergency surgery. Apparently because I was on the Lovonox bridge the cyst ruptured and never stopped bleeding.
So we went into surgery and I came out like a champ! I lost a LOT of blood. I am really bruised due to the blood loss, but I am on the mend now. My message in all this is- you know your body. I knew after 12 hours that I was worse, I knew I needed to go back. If I hadn’t gone back I could have bled to death.
I am really happy that I knew to go back, that I went back and they found the real problem. I wish I didn’t have to have another surgery this year, but I am feeling better. I am taking life slow right now, making sure to rest. When you need to slow down life has a way of making sure you get the message!
So almost a year ago is when I had doctors telling me if you get out of this bed YOU’LL DIE! Normally they say those types of things for dramatic effect, in my case they were saying them because it was true. I have never in my life been that sick. I came pretty close one other time when I had gallstones and developed pancreatitis, but last year when I had a saddle pulmonary embolism that was definitely a brush with death I wish I had not had! There is nothing scarier than looking multiple medical professionals in the eyes and seeing sadness staring back at you.
I said this to my wife, the nurses tried to hide it, but every changing of the guard they would come into my room and as soon as they found out I was their saddle pulmonary embolism patient you would see it in their face. That brief moment before they could plaster on a fake smile that shock of here was a young patient who was given an almost death sentence. I still get doctors who will review my medical records and go this can’t be right and I’ll go yes I’ve had a saddle pulmonary embolism. They just look up at me almost startled. I just smile-the biggest cheesiest smile I can for them.
It’s unusual for a patient to have a saddle pulmonary embolism I have been told that about 1% of the population get saddle pulmonary embolisms and I am lucky to be in that 1%. The thing about blood clots is they don’t discriminate based on age. In my case we feel like all the back surgeries aggravated an underlying genetic predisposition to blood clots (to which I am being genetically tested soon), but anyone can get a blood clot. So it’s important for everyone to realize that no matter how old you are, you can get a blood clot!
The issue with my blood clot which did start out as a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is that my leg did not swell any! So I keep checking for my leg to swell, and I do not remember it cramping either. My symptoms were I was having chest pains a couple days prior which I wrote off as getting a possible upper respiratory infection due to change in weather, then two days before I was hospitalized my pulse was going through the roof which I took my blood pressure and my blood pressure was normal. The day before I collapsed I had a bad cough and I was coughing up blood that morning, but I thought I was having an asthma attack to be honest, and we went to the ER. I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I was given antibiotics and cough syrup and told to rest.
Had the doctor done a D-dimer blood test he may have seen that I had a blood clot, since he never ran the blood test we have no idea if I would have been diagnosed a day earlier or not. However I had the classic symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism and since I had just had major surgery the doctor should have done a D-dimer blood test on me just as precaution.
I am blessed. I am glad that soon I will be here another year, and I plan to be here MANY MORE!
So yesterday wifey wasn’t feeling well and she went to the ER. So I met her there. The ER was busy so they got her back for triage quickly, but then sent us back into the waiting room until a bed opened up for her.
While we were waiting I played on my phone. I had my spinal chord stimulator on hoping to keep the back pain at bay as best as I could. Sitting in the ER waiting room chairs is really hard on my body, but I knew wifey wouldn’t choose to be in the ER unless she needed to be there. When we finally got back to a room it was a trauma room…it was my trauma room from 6 months ago.
I looked at the trauma bed and I had flashbacks of laying there and being told by the doctor I should be dead. Flashbacks of them not being able to get the IV in. I was not real thrilled to be in the trauma room where I had my saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosed in. At least wifey was not on the trauma bed, she was on the other side of the room. She got to lay in the normal bed. They ran testing and determined that she was stable that there is no infection, but her specialists are going to need to run more tests. She sees one on Friday and one Monday. So we’ll go from here. I’m glad she had a better outcome than I did in that room.
So we learned a few things yesterday during my physical therapy session a) my competitive nature will make me go farther than I probably should and b) my heart rate can and will go over 170 doing the exercises if I allow myself to be pushed. So I was working with the new guy, and he does know most of the medical history, he did know about the nuclear stress test, the tachycardia and the heart issues. What he doesn’t know about me is my competitive nature and that if you say to me oh you can do 2 more, I’ll do 4. So we got my heart rate up to 170 and today my hamstrings are sore from the exercises yesterday.
So I am resting today to allow everything to relax and repair from my session. Last night my knees kept buckling and I almost fell multiple times, so that wasn’t very happy either. I know part of that was that I was so tired from physical therapy, the other part of that was that we pushed my body too far. My heart rate was 170 and my oxygen levels were low and at one point I got dizzy. This is not a combination that is healthy. I am familiar with this combination due to the blood clot, but it’s not healthy. I also today am having some mild chest pains which I am chalking up to my increased heart rate yesterday.
So I talked to my doctor about my ER visit at the beginning of the month the cardiac testing that has been done and what will be done soon. He asked if they will be looking at the electrical element to the heart, I told him I don’t know yet. He suggested that might be the next step since the plumbing is looking good, but my heart rate is not, maybe looking at the electrical aspect of the heart is where we need to look since the blood pressure is spot on. So we shall see. It also looks like I will be coming off the blood thinners in the next month which I am HAPPY about!! YAY for BROCCOLI! I will be able to eat as much as I want without having to worry about INR levels! I am so excited about that you guys have no idea! I am going to be eating green smoothies and all the vitamin K foods, I might turn into Kermit the Frog for a bit from overdosing on greens..but I’ve missed being able to eat them to my heart’s content!
I was thinking about physical therapy and part of the problem with me is I am really competitive. As a child I did soccer, swim team and I did gymnastics for a short period of time. I mainly did soccer and swim team. If you tell me oh come on you can do 2 more, I will do 4 more just to prove you wrong, but then I’ll pay dearly for that. My heart rate going up so high and me almost passing out that was me being stubborn and not stopping when I should have. Later me almost falling and my knees buckling was not good. I need to learn to say no. I know my regular doctor was not happy you could read his face. There is a fine line and I went to far. The sad part was we didn’t do that much yesterday in the grand scheme of things which is why I think the new doc didn’t realize how far he was pushing me.
I have bruises all over, the coumadin clinic is going to wonder WHAT in the world I have been up to in the last two weeks! Short answer is I’ve been in the ER, and had a couple minor accidents…well I am rather clumsy. Then from the manual therapy last week I got a few bruises which we aren’t sure why. From being on the coumadin I get bruises easier. So I look like I got in some fight with the bruise on my wrist from eating out, the bruise from the IV from the ER, the bruise on the other arm from them drawing blood and then the bruises around my knee from pt….yeah I’m a hot mess right now!
So to celebrate Rounded Pi Day we are having Pizza! Hey they didn’t say it had to be sweet! It’s gluten free of course! So I’m excited, it’s pepperoni and mushroom. YUMMY!
So I was in the ER last Wednesday with chest pains and the only thing I can tell you for certain is that laughing brings them on. I was at a meeting today and I got laughing so hard for a minute I thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen. I was laughing because I was having such a good time and then the room started spinning and I started to panic and I realized I just needed to BREATHE. I started to take slow deep controlled breaths and focused on an object, and just breathed. After the room slowly came to a stop I asked Mom for some water to which she clued in that I wasn’t feeling alright. After a couple sips of water I started to feel okay again.
BREATHE!! BREATHE! You will be okay as long as you DON’T FREAKIN’ LAUGH! Please! Asking me not to laugh is like asking a child not to eat a free ice cream cone! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I was talking to my cousin, yes the favorite one, I get paid money to say that you know, on the phone and I got laughing so hard I said to him stop or you’re going to give me chest pains again! He of course not realizing that I was being totally serious made some witty remark and got me going again. So I say to him no I’m actually being serious stop for a minute. So I calm down. Tell him about the laughing and the chest pains and then we keep going.
I’m too young for all this, I want to go back to being 4 and a half WITHOUT the medical drama! I liked it better when I had time to color and play in my pretend fort! Now I don’t even get to play in my fort because I hurt to bad. The only thing with this chest pain I have figured out is that laughing aggravates it which is annoying since I LOVE to laugh, I love to make other people laugh. Laughter is normally very good medicine, but not for me, not right now!
So this was yesterday in a nutshell…I went to routine cardiologist appointment I get one way ticket to ER, I spend 9 hours in the ER before they decide I can go home, I go to bed around 1am, my body wakes up at 7am like usual……internal clock…I HATE YOU!!!!
Next month will be 6 months since I had my saddle pulmonary embolism and I need to have a repeat echocardiogram to see if my heart is back to normal size. So I had made an appointment with my cardiologist for this week before the chest pains started on Monday. So I went over everything with him. My EKG that they did in his office was normal, but the chest pains plus other symptoms he wanted to rule out another blood clot. I understood the reasoning because every time he asked me do you have this symptom it was yes, BUT…. so he said chest CT to rule out blood clot today.
So we went to the ER they took over an hour to even take me back to triage. I had another repeat EKG which was normal, they ordered the CT. They put me back out in the very full waiting room. So I finally went back after waiting for about 5 hours and they had an incoming trauma, so they had to wait for that to clear before doing the CT. So I waited some more. Which trust me when I say I totally get that waiting. I was stable and I would much rather wait for someone in a life or death situation because that was me almost 6 months ago! So we got the CT and then the doctor came back told me it was normal but now he was calling my cardiologist to find out if I needed to be admitted for more testing. Oh geez! In the notes he gave the charge nurse (and I know this because I was standing right next to him when he gave them to her) he said he just needed me cleared of a blood clot, then I was free to go. So I say okay, and we waited another hour for me to be discharged to follow up with the cardiologist. So I spent 9 hours in the ER.
Wifey laughed about only I could go in for a routine doctor’s appointment and end up with a 9 hour ER visit. At least I got a normal CT out of the deal! That should count for something….rigght? So I have more cardiac testing in my near future. I really need a punch card, I want something free! I am really happy that all my doctors are working to keep me healthy because I plan on living a LONG life. I mean I have a lot of goals to work on like farting on que. Yup I just said it! I tease the wifey ALL the time about that I am going to learn to fart on que so I can fart on her whenever I want! I haven’t quite mastered that skill yet, so I’m still working on it.