Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Major Whine Coming Up...

On Monday, after several days of pressure under my breastbone  (I know, I know...) I reached a point where fear overcame what I thought was common sense, I called 911. The Fire Dept. was here in three minutes and the EMS arrived a few later. The four of them took stats and gave me a choice of hospitals. 

I had a stress echocardiogram the Thursday before, which showed that my MVP had gotten to the stage "extreme", instead of "moderate" and is allowing some blood to regurgitate back into my heart instead of pumping through  arteries and veins. I was to meet with that cardiologist on Tuesday for consultation, to learn my options.Since that test, I have felt as though someone had reached into my chest and is squeezing my heart, very tightly.

We proceeded to Wake Medical Center, where Jim was treated for stroke 7 years ago, and where my younger daughter was born. I was admitted and placed in the cardiac care unit for observation. Preliminary tests showed that I had not had a heart attack, but it was decided that I should have a catheterization, to determine the status of my mitral valve, as well as cardiac arteries. Results from the stress echocardiogram (obtained at another facility) were requested, and  the catheterization  (hereinafter known as cath) was scheduled for 3pm. 

During the cath, the doctor opted to go through both my femoral artery and the one in my wrist. (I now have two extra holes in my body, along with 2 IV sticks and several blood drawings.) I fervently hope they will heal quickly, without infection or other incident.

The results of the cath contradicted the results of the stress echo, and the doc at the hospital says that a more definitive test for MVP will likely settle the degree of degradation of that valve. (Oh, joy.)

So, I am to make an appointment with the cardiologist to hear options and decide future testing, or not. My current dilemma is:   Which one to choose?  The first cardiologist was recommended by my primary doctor, and he works within the same hospital/university system that the primary doc does.  The second cardiologist, who works at Wake Med. and has offices there, was chosen due to his availability on the day I was admitted. Also, I had had a previous stress test in his practice about 2 years ago (with another doctor.) Somehow that memory eluded me when I was first admitted and I said I had no cardiologist. I suppose the stress of the moment will do that to you. I really like both of them; the first has an added perk of being close to home.....and the second proves to be knowledgeable and able to transmit information very well.

My reasons for writing this out in such detail are twofold:  1. I can refer to it if my memory fails me with another 'emergency' and 2. it serves as a blog post and Facebook status, so that I don't have to type it more than once. A third possibility is that some of you may have similar issues in the future, and you will know some of what to expect, should the same symptoms befall you.

I am home now; they discharged me at 10pm last night. I doubt the wisdom of sending a 73 year old home to a husband who is nearly invalid due to stroke..... so late at night, but luckily my younger daughter stayed overnight with us and will be there throughout the next 24 hours, as suggested. During my stay at the hospital, my older daughter, cardiac nurse (in a different hospital) and wonderful caregiver/companion/interpreter of nurses and doctor's lingo/ and family go-between was with me overnight, from 5pm Monday to 7pm Tuesday. If you have to go to a hospital and you have a nurse in the family,  take them with you!  It assures you will have not only proper care, but get it more quickly than other patients. YAY!

My wonderful son came to Raleigh to care for his father while I was gone, and also came to visit me. I am so Blessed by God in the children department (along with others.)

There were two perplexing things that happened:  1. When I scooted over from the bed to the "plank" on which they perform the cath, I banged my tailbone. There is a tiny bruise, but in truth, it feels as though I've been hit by a 4x4. I am very sore, and I woke myself up several times last night moaning and trying to change position to take the pressure off it. 2. The cord from my laptop went missing and the nurses cannot find hide nor hair of it. You all know how lost I am without my computer, and it is especially hard at the moment. I have my iPhone and Jim's computer, neither of which are satisfactory for blogging and Facebooking. It is SO very frustrating. Another one will be bought - but it may take a while. 

13 comments:

amarkonmywall said...

Miserable, miserable. Mostly because it's more of that weary business where the current model is just not completely up to snuff and the maintenance gets overwhelming. I'm glad to hear no heart attack and glad that the MVP isn't overly severe. Judy, just hang in there and when the ambulance bill comes don't look at it for a few days and then after you've had a glass of wine.

Celia said...

RIn my opinion you'r entitled to a good whine. So glad you did not have a heart attack and have your daughters there. Stressful stuff.

Celia said...

Sorry about the typos! Result of eating and typing ;-). Hope you replace your laptop cord soon.

Redondowriter said...

Judy, this is the pits--except that it sounds like you haven't had a heart attack. This getting older thing is mighty scary. I try not to dwell on what is coming next or I get too anxious. Here's to a clean health slate and hope that tailbone thing heals quickly. That happened because you are too skinny. Or at least that is what one of my sisters was told who had a similar thing happen. Send one of your kids or neighbors out for a new cord. That's a must while you are recuperating.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Judy...What a nightmare! But it's good you did not have a Heart Attack. Thank God for your wonderful kids and especially your daughter who is a nurse.....
Choosing which doctor is always such a tough call, isn't it?
I hope you will get that cord for your laptop ASAP....Essential to one's Health in so very many ways....
Sending you Healing Hugs, my dear....(((((((HUGS)))))))
and many prayers for a good outcome!

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

Judy very sorry to hear you have had to go through this. I can well imagine it is not easy nor desirable. Here's hoping for good news.

robin andrea said...

So sorry you've had such a rough few days, Judy. Good news that the pain wasn't a heart attack, and really good for you for taking it seriously and going to the hospital. Lucky that your daughter is a cardiac nurse and that your son could come and take of your husband. All good. Take care and let the healing begin! Thinking of you.

Weary Hag said...

OH dear, Judy! I do hope you feel better soon. Glad you didn't have a full out heart attack - though anything cardiac is quite the scare and not to be taken lightly at all. Adding you to my prayer list. Hugs, WearyHag xx

Star said...

Barely home and multi-tasking ! You can 't keep a good woman down, Glad you took care of yourself. Stay well my friend.

LL Cool Joe said...

Glad you didn't have a heart attack! I skipped some of the post because if I'd read it I would have passed out!

I'm so pleased your family were there for you too!

Arkansas Patti said...

Relieved that you didn't have an attack and even more so that you are pursuing this thoroughly. How wonderful to have a cardiac nurse for a daughter. I feel better knowing you are in the best of hands. Do let us know how this progresses. My thoughts and prayers for a quick and easy solution.

Miss Dazey said...

Smart of you to have a daughter who became a nurse.
Take extra special care of yourself. You are a very special lady?

Miss Dazey said...

Good golly, I didn't mean to have a question mark at end of that sentence. Sometimes old woman with crippled hands on iPad click wrong.

You are a very special person!