Monday, August 4, 2008

Long time no see!

Has it really been almost a month since I posted? I've had a lot of stuff going on.

In mid-July I had to undergo an overnight hospital stay. I was having an irregular heartbeat, very fast, that wouldn't go away. We went to the emergency room. I'll cut and paste what I wrote on July 20th in my other blog.

On Friday night, we went out to dinner because the air conditioner is broken in our apartment, and although we have a window unit it doesn't cool particularly well and I felt that heating up the house with the stove was a bad idea. ;) When we got back, I started experiencing some irregular heartbeat type stuff. Those of you who've known me a while know that I have this every now and then, but it usually goes away in a minute or two.

It didn't. In addition, I started feeling a tightening in my upper chest/throat, was having shortness of breath, and was sweating (although some of that may have been from the no a/c to speak of). I looked on the WebMD symptom checker and like three things were saying "go to the hospital now!" So after waiting a few more minutes to see if the symptoms would go away on their own, we went.

Apparently at the ER if you say you're having chest pains you get right in. Who knew? They got me back and hooked up to the monitors, and started messing with my notoriously bad veins to try and get a blood draw and an iv site in. 6 sticks and 3 nurses and a doctor later, my blood was drawn and my IV was in......and I was mysteriously back in normal sinus rhythm, down from 130-160 bpm. The doctor speculated that it could be because of holding my breath and bearing down when they were sticking me (because it hurt so damn much)--she said sometimes that can fix an irregular rhythm.

So about an hour after I got to the hospital the thing I went in for was gone and you'd think maybe they'd let me out, but of course not so easy. The labs showed I have low hemoglobin, which I already knew, plus they wanted to do a few more EKGs and tests on me. They ended up admitting me at about 5:45 am on Saturday so that they could do an echocardiogram on me. So I spent all day yesterday as a guest of the hospital, with them running various tests on me. My hemoglobin had actually gone *down* at my 6:30 blood draw (it was 7.1) so they ended up giving me 2 units of blood in the late afternoon. The cardiologist signed off on me (with the stipulation that I'd see his colleague in the next couple of weeks) around 7, but I had to wait until 9 to have another blood draw and have it read to see if my hemoglobin was up, and fortunately it was 9.2 so they finally let me go home.

Synopsis: they think it's possible the low hemoglobin was causing the atrial fibrillation, and they're not entirely sure what is causing the low hemoglobin. I'm to start iron pills and follow up with my PCP, a cardiologist, and a GYN. Fun stuff. I feel fine now, btw.

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So that was some excitement I definitely did not need! Since then I've been trying to take it easy. We've done some swimming and such, and my best friend Kris came to visit last weekend. We're getting ready to get back into the swing of things with schoolwork. I'm hoping to get back to doing Menu Plan Mondays and posting here more regularly by next week. :) I had a re-check with the cardiologist today and my EKG looked good, and I have an appt. with the gyn on the 21st.

2 comments:

Angela said...

Oh my goodness, Barbara! I am so sorry. I had noticed you were absent from blogland, but just figured maybe you guys were on vacation or something. Glad you are back!

Angie said...

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better! What a relief. Hope things continue to improve and welcome back! We missed you. :-)