If you follow me on Facebook you already know this and I appreciate all the heartfelt messages and prayers......(This will be long so don't feel obligated to read it)
I didn't know my post "The Moment" from Friday was going to have a part two! I worked on that post a few different days last week and had it scheduled to post on Friday morning.
Little did I know that something was going to happen to me during the night on Thursday, or more precisely at 1 am Friday morning.
I had another awakening only this time it was personal. It was as though I was pushed up into a sitting position in bed, beyond my control. I had a pressure in my chest that I have never felt before in my life.
I have told my cardiologist who I was assigned last summer because of the Acute Pericarditis I had that I don't know heart pain. I know lung pain because of my 40 years of experience with it. I believe that what I was feeling was heart but it wasn't a pain but extreme pressure.
I immediately went into my side table drawer and reached in for the tiny little bottle of nitroglycerin pills that they gave me last summer. I walked into my office off the bedroom, sat down, took a pill and waited. All I could think about doing was praying to God "Please don't take me now, I'm not ready" so that's what I did!
My mind was going a million miles a minute wondering what I should do. Should I tell Mark??? Should I go to the ER??? Am I having a heart attack??? This wasn't a feeling I've ever felt with my lungs before.
The last thing I want to do is go to the ER and be sent home because I have indigestion or heartburn! Of course that statement is silly because I never ever have heartburn or indigestion although I did take a tums that night!
I took another pill and was feeling some relief. I didn't dare go back to sleep in fear of dying. It was like 4 1/2 hours before Mark got up when I told him what happened. He said you want to go to the ER and I told him all the things I just told you.
I made a decision to call my cardiologist as soon as I could and go see him. I was out of the house by 9 am. The EKG they took was not good. (Reminded me of an EKG that landed me in a cardiologists office 10 years ago when I was first put on High Blood Pressure medication) So he told me to go to the ER, I'm like "your kidding me right" and he said "no, tell them that I sent you." I was lucky this time and should have gone right away in the middle of the night......
Thankfully the ER moved very quickly because waiting is never fun in the ER. They admitted me to the hospital. From what I was told the ER ended up being one of their worst days in a long time and they couldn't even get beds for people. I was glad to be processed fast. Was in a hospital room by 1:00 pm.
Bottom line here is that the plan of action was to do a drug induced stress test on Saturday. If it showed something we would follow with a angioplasty on Sunday. Had to fast with not even water after midnight and the test wasn't even started until noon.
Boy was I hungry. They also wouldn't give me my medications so my lungs started getting very tight. Finally they called the doctor and they gave me my morning medications and a jello around 11 am, along with some oxygen.
So the test came back around 6 pm and the heart looks great which was great news. My mother died of a massive heart attack at 56 and her father also died of one. What we know and what plans the doctor's often take follow family history right? I think I now have my own history because no one else has my lung issues. I'll explain why. (I know too long already.......)
The admitting hospital doctor had come up to meet me on Saturday morning and was a very nice man. We talked about what had happened to me. I told him about the pressure, we talked about how long it lasted and a few other details. He said on Saturday I don't believe this is your heart, I think it is pulmonary. Smart man!
So they are releasing me and I'm thinking "okay it's not heart but pulmonary so why not bring in a specialist for that while I'm here" but it doesn't work that way. Blah, blah, blah......so I will continue with my referral for the Pulmonary Specialist which my regular doctor is working on.
The HMO wants a recent chest x-ray which I just received the paperwork to go for but I am going to call tomorrow to see if they can use the hospital one which our doctor has access to rather than go again. Just had it on Friday. Also all blood work tests were good, nothing out of the ordinary.
In the mean time I have done some extensive research which is a good thing. I need answers, I'm tired of not having the answers. I know my health, I know my lungs and I know what I feel. Twenty years ago I was in a doctors office for a checkup after treatment for a lung infection. So the doctor listens to my lungs, said everything sounds good and I burst out crying "BUT I CAN'T BREATH." That is when I got my first nebulizer machine.
Right now I believe I have something that should have been diagnosed many, many years ago. When I had the drug induced stress test 10 years ago they couldn't find anything but put me on blood pressure medicine and everything since then has been considered heart related, asthma or COPD.
There is something that is called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension which involves the blood vessels of the lungs and not the blood vessels of the heart. I'm not saying that some of the medications used for high blood pressure are not exactly the same used for this. My lungs have always been tight and unresponsive to most medications until I got the Spiriva almost 3 years ago.
Also my blood pressure which was controlled is not under control right now. It is into the 150's yet they didn't give me anything additional to bring it down!
What has happened this time is that when I went to my doctor on August 29th my lungs were tight. After heavy doses of steroids they are not opening up this time at all. I was almost thinking I had Angina the other day. It is quite possible I've been misdiagnosed for a very long time. This is just speculation at this time......
That is why the nitroglycerin worked, it opens up the veins for blood to flow better. They used nitroglycerin patches in the hospital and I have been given a time released form to take at bedtime until we are able to get this all sorted out. I will keep you posted.
Remember the scene from "On Golden Pond" at the end of the movie on the porch when he drops the dishes and you think he is going to die. That is when he took his nitroglycerin pill!
So what did you do this weekend???
(P.S.) If something is unclear or if I made mistakes let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org . I re read this several times but maybe you will see something I missed.