So, everything was going along swimmingly with my November NaBloPoMo and NHBPM challenges. I was posting every day. I was really enjoying being back on track with daily posting. It was all good. Then, this little life detour happened …
Yep, that’s right. I ended up in the hospital on Thursday. I noticed that morning that I seemed to be having difficult taking a good deep breath. I wasn’t exactly having shallow breathing, but I just kind of felt like I needed to take a good deep breath and couldn’t. I decided to head home on my lunch hour to pick up an inhaler, but never quite made it there. When I was just a couple of miles from home, my heart started feeling like it was going to pound out of my chest. Instead of making the turn to go home, I went straight to the hospital instead.
One little side note here, it’s really amazing just *how* quickly you get taken back to the ER when you walk in complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. I didn’t even have time to fill out the paperwork before they were taking me back and hooking me up to an EKG, putting me on oxygen, drawing blood, etc. Of course, that didn’t stop the ER admitting clerk from coming back and asking for my $50 insurance co-pay.
They kept me hanging out in the ER for a few hours continually monitoring a variety of things to see how I was doing. On the good news front, most of my numbers came back GREAT! My blood pressure was right on track at 111/74. My blood glucose levels were normal, so no signs of diabetes which is awesome since both of my parents have Type 2 diabetes! My total cholesterol was 176 which is good. Unfortunately, my good (HDL) cholesterol was a bit low, so I’ll need to do some work the bring that up a bit. I triglyceride level was right on the border between normal and borderline high, so I need to get that down as well. I’ll be writing more about those two things in another post in the next several days.
They didn’t like the way my heart rate was bouncing around all over the place though, so they ended up admitting for observation and to run a full cardiac work up on me Friday morning. That meant I got to spend a very uneventful Thursday evening lying around in a hospital bed hooked up to a portable heart monitor. Woo Hoo! Do I know how to part or what?!
Actually, the two worst parts about it for me were 1) my phone battery was running low and I didn’t have a charger with me, and 2) I couldn’t eat or drink anything due to the cardiac work up the next morning. Since I hadn’t eaten anything since my breakfast at 7am that morning, I was feeling pretty hungry by that point. Instead, all I got was a “dinner” of ice chips and a saline IV bag. Mmmmm, tasty.
Friday morning arrived and I spent a few hours going through the cardiac testing process. Thankfully, everything came back normally there as well, so no heart disease. Yay!! I was looking forward to getting back to my room and finally getting something to eat since it had been well over 24 hours by this point since I’d last eaten.
Unfortunately, some additional blood work they did overnight revealed that my d-dimer levels were elevated. Since that can be a sign of a thrombosis (clot), the doctor ordered a CT angiography just to be safe. Given I had been having chest pains the previous day coupled with difficulty breathing, she wanted to rule out a pulmonary embolism (PE). This was my first time ever having a contrast dye test. Boy, that was an experience! It’s a little astonishing just how quickly the heat sensation from the dye courses through the body! Again, that came back normally as well showing no signs of a PE.
That’s kind of where the good news ended for a bit. While the test didn’t reveal a PE, it did reveal that I apparently have a rare genetic disorder called granulomatous disease. It only affects about 1 in every 250,000 people. For those doing the math, that means that this affects around 1,600 people in the U.S. Lucky me! If you happen to be a science geek that enjoys reading about recessive genetic mutations, here’s an article from the National Institutes of Health about the disorder. Next order of business in dealing with this new health revelation will be to make an appointment with my primary doctor to get a referral to an appropriate specialist for further testing and treatment.
After all that was said and done, it was time to head back to my room. By this point, it had been just over 33 hours since I’d had anything to eat or drink, so I was about ready to gnaw my own arm off. As I was being wheeled into my room, the RN taking care of me said she would be right in with something for me to eat. Woo Hoo!!
Uhmmmmm … seriously? I’ve gone 33+ hours without eating and you bring me a s Snack Pack pudding cup? WTH?! Since it was between meal services, it was probably going to take at least 45 minutes to get a tray sent up for me, but they always keep a few shelf-stable pudding cups on hand on the Med/Surg floor, so that’s all she could offer me. As it turns out, given how hungry I was, that was the best damned pudding cup I’ve ever eaten. #truth
Once I had at least something in my system, I was feeling better and a lot less cranky. I was rewarded with even more great news a few minutes later when the nurse came back to let me know I was being discharged. Yes! All she had to do was complete the discharge paperwork and give me a flu shot which I was quite happy to receive after being told I had this bizarre immune disorder. I got home just in time for dinner on Friday night and then promptly spent the rest of the weekend lazing around because I was feeling a bit run-down between my hospital adventure and the flu shot.
So, that’s how my past few days have gone since suddenly disappearing from my blog. What about you? Do anything exciting or take any unplanned detours the past few days?
Until next time …
P.S. – This is my day 12 post for the NaBloPoMo and NHBPM challenges.