Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not an auspicious start to summer

hospital piccie 5-18-2010a So here's the deal, as I mentioned in my previous post I've been having some ongoing medical issues including extremely low blood pressure (high of 80/40) and pulse rate (between 35-45), as well as anemia, low platelet count, stomach issues and insomnia. On top of that, this past Friday morning I awoke with almost total laryngitis which I attributed to allergies but who knows. I was scheduled for an endoscopy on Monday morning for a little look-see to see what-if-anything is causing my stomach issues and when I spoke with the surgery center Friday morning they said that as long as I wasn't running a fever, not to worry about the laryngitis. Over the weekend I never ran a fever but I had a dry cough that would keep me up at night so Sunday at 11:30PM (before the midnight stop eating/drinking cutoff) I took some cough meds so that I could sleep through the night and not wake coughing and needing water. An hour and an half later I started having major pain radiating from my clavicle to my navel wrapping around the left side of my body. The pain was so severe and unfamiliar to me that I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. After two rounds of intense pain with brief periods of lesser yet continued pain we decided a trip to the ER was indicated but as Eammon was getting Maisie and himself dressed my pain intensified again so we called 911. The paramedics and fire department both showed up at the house as did K & A's Dad Steve, who took Maisie and tucked her in bed with K & Anne. The paramedics checked me out, ran an EKG which they said looked okay and suggested that the pain could be reflux of taking the codeine cough syrup on an empty stomach. At the paramedics suggestion Steve ran out to the 24-hour pharmacy and picked up some Prilosec which I took and after about 30 minutes the pain subsided considerably. Around 3am Eammon brought Maisie home and we all got in bed together to sleep the few hours until we needed to go to the surgery center.

Monday morning the alarm went off at 5:40 and though I had maybe slept an hour I was feeling tired but okay. I checked in at the surgery center and once they took me to get prepped Eammon and Maisie headed off to get some breakfast as the procedure was only due to take about 30 minutes and then a little recovery time. I slipped on an hospital gown and the nurse took my vitals which she commented were still low but that she had received surgical clearance from my primary care so that was okay...until, she started me on oxygen and inserted the IV and I was o.u.t as in passed out. I don't know for how long I was out but when I awoke I thought that they had already done the procedure as there were five people around me calling my name, asking me how I was feeling and I felt completely drugged. Then the nausea hit and as I had nothing in my stomach it was dry-heaves and stomach acid coming out. During the entire episode my already low b/p and pulse dropped even lower and so it was decided that it wasn't safe or in my best interest to have the procedure that day and that I probably should go to the ER or at least go to my primary care doc. While I waited for Eammon and Maisie to return and pick me up I called my doc and scheduled to go in later that afternoon but during our drive home from the surgery center my doc's nurse called and had already discussed my case with my doc and he wanted me to go straight to the ER. After a quick call to Steve to see if he would be around to watch Maisie, we swung by the house to drop her off and Eammon and I headed to the hospital.

Once at the ER I was taken back immediately and it wasn't long before blood tests & an ekg were done, an heart monitor was attached and the decision to admit me was made. Once the decision to admit me was made and while I waited for a room, Eammon headed home to pick up Maisie and for both of them to take a little nap. Not long after I got into a room Eammon and Maisie showed up to visit and Maisie snuggled in bed with me. Yesterday and overnight all sorts of tests were run and I swear that they were drawing blood every three hours. When the cardiologist came in last night he said that the episode that I had at the surgery center was most likely a vasovagal syncope but that they wanted me to stay in the hospital for a few days as there were additional tests that they needed to run. I asked if the tests could be done outpatient and he seemed hesitant but said that he would see how the overnight labs and monitoring looked. When he returned this morning I was happy to learn that he was releasing me today as he looked at my previous hospital history and 10 years ago it had been documented that I had bradycardia, low b/p and pulse so he felt that, in his words, we were "having an acute response to a chronic condition."

Now I'm home and on Midodrine to help raise my b/p...shoot everyone I know seems to be on meds to lower their b/p, guess I'm the odd duck out. Then on Monday I go to the cardiologist for an echo, stress test and an holter monitor...goody! The following week I return to the cardiologist for all the results and to see what the next step, if any, will be and I also see the hematologist for my anemia, low platelet count and other wonky blood results. Oh my goodness, I just want my energy back and to feel better already. Well shoot, I haven't had a good Lisa medical whinge since my Return from the seventh level of Hades post of 2008. Honestly I could have gone a lifetime without ever doing another medical whinge post but at least I'm out of the hospital quickly this time and hopefully things will be resolved.

On a much happier note and a nicer way to end this post, here's a picture from Saturday night when after dinner K, Steve, A & Maisie were doing a little fishing off our dock. Steve and the kids were having great luck as the fish were biting on almost every cast.

Fishing off the dock Got to love those smiling kids and oh are we ever thankful for our great neighbors. Big thanks for all your help!


  1. Awww Lisa!! Praying that you get to feeling better. It looks as if you are in good hands though! ;o) Hope things recover quickly for you.

  2. Thinking of you Lisa and hoping you are well soon!!

  3. Oh my word, Lisa. You poor thing! My first thought was thank heavens that none of this was a major issue while on your cruise a couple weeks ago. I'm so sorry it's happening now.

    I understand how totally terrifying it must have been to think you might be having a heart attack. It's dreadful! And it's kind of funny that I've just been through wearing the 24 hour holter monitor and now you're going to have to. (It's not so bad.) I hope that the results to all your tests come up with an easy fix. It will be good to get these scary health issues behind you so that you can enjoy the summer ahead. Hang in there.

  4. Oh sweetie, how frightening!! Sending you huge good thoughts, good wishes, and hugs. Wish I lived around the corner and could deliver them in person. I hope they figure out what the heck is wrong and (most importantly) that it's something minor and easy fixable once they get it diagnosed. Love, M

  5. Oh my goodness! I've been thinking of you lately and knew I needed to get back to checking in on the blogs - when this what I see? My first thought, also, was "thank goodness she's home and not still on the cruise"!

    Sending good thoughts and healing wishes your way.

  6. Oh my gosh, that's freaky! I'm so glad it had a happy ending and you know what was causing your symptoms. Phew!

    For what it's worth, my BP is low too. ;)

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  7. Lisa,

    I am so sorry. I am nervous with you and hope they find something out quickly. You need to be feeling better!

    Hang in there my friend!

  8. Oh Lisa! I just sent you an e-mail before I read this nightmare blog post! I got back from vacation yesterday and had no idea!

    Good luck with all your testing. I'm so sorry. You don't deserve to have all this medical stuff happening to you again. Feel better soon!! Hang in there!! Hugs!!!!

  9. I hope you are feeling better. On another note, I received the sheets today-they look great!

  10. Feel better soon! Praying for you.

  11. Elise3:21 AM

    Wishing you all the best, and a speedy return of good health and peace of mind!

  12. Sounds like you've had it rough for awhile. Hope you're feeling better soon.

  13. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Hope you are doing better now. Been thinking about you.


  14. Oh Lisa! When I clicked on your blog and saw the picture of you in the hospital bed, my heart just dropped! I'm glad you are okay. I really do hope that they quickly find out what is going on and that you feel better soon. Please keep us posted. By the way, my blood pressure runs low, too... usually around 90/60ish. When I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy a few years ago, it was tricky for the cardiologist to find meds for me that wouldn't lower it even more!


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