Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some Things are Out of Our Control

I am a person who likes to be in control, I readily admit it.  Well, on  the Monday before Thanksgiving, I definitely was not in control!  I unexpectedly ended up spending the night in the hospital.  I thought I was taking good care of myself, I've been walking two miles a day/five days a week  for about 8 years or so.  I've also been trying to watch my diet more closely.  I had noticed that about the past six weeks I was getting short of breath while walking.  I  thought  maybe it's because I was trying to talk too much at the same time I was walking (I do have a big mouth sometimes)!   I also had been having some chest pain (during those six weeks), but thought it was because I am usually trying to do two or more things at the same time.  I was at the hospital that Monday morning  for a Stress Test and Echocardiogram.  I was scheduled for those tests because  towards the end of  October when I donated blood to the Red Cross and was getting the mini-exam the nurse said, "do you know that you have an irregular heartbeat?"  She and another nurse counted three irregular heartbeats in a minute.  They suggested I see my regular doctor.  About a week later, the doctor did an EKG in the office, which didn't show anything, but she highly suggested getting the Stress Test/Echocardiogram  just to make sure.  When I went for the test on Monday, within about five minutes the cardiologist found I had one abnormality, something called, "left bundle branch block."  He suggested I get a heart catheterization since I was already at the hospital.  I was lucky there was an opening at 1 p.m. I went for that test which showed I had no blockages (thank goodness), but it did show I have a heart condition called "non-ischemic cardiomyopathy."  Shortly after the catheterization, they tried a heart medication to get my blood pressure down (it was kind of high).  Within about an hour of that I started feeling faint - I buzzed for the nurse and within a minute I had three nurses and a doctor gathered around my bed injecting a different medication  into my I.V. to bring it back up. It had dropped down to a pretty dangerous level.  I remember the nurse telling another nurse, "we have a situation!"   I've been called a lot of things in my life, but never a "situation."   Another word tossed around regarding my blood pressure, was that it "tanked."  To be sure I was okay, they kept me overnight.  Before I was released on Tuesday afternoon,  I asked one of the three cardiologists that I saw, what is the worst case scenario for my two heart problems, his response was, "heart transplant."   That's not really the answer  I was looking for.  The cardiologists are hopeful  both of my conditions can be treated with medications.   One gigantic lesson I've learned from this whole experience is that I can't always be in "control" no matter how much I want to be.  Life just doesn't work that way!

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