Wednesday, September 7, 2016

GIVE THANKS IN ALL THINGS

(This will be long, I want it for my records so don't feel obligated to read it)


My Visit To The ER

Life can throw you a curve ball from time to time and what you do with it is important. I am not happy about getting sick but I do believe that timing is everything. I could have gone into the hospital any day the week of the 15th but I didn't. I went in on Sunday the 21st. 

If the doctor in the ER hadn't noticed something odd going on we may not have known. There was a group of people around me in my room in the ER. Normal blood pressure measurements didn't show it. Showed my heart rate to be normal when actually it was beating at 180 and would go down to 137, then back up.

So I was admitted about six hours later. I hadn't felt well since getting home from New York and laid around doing breathing treatments and started my steroids. I would have a good day and then the next day was bad. I am super stubborn when it comes to going to the hospital. Not a good thing but I'm always afraid it will be for nothing and I will be embarrassed. 

So let's talk about the other doctor....I loved her! (I hope to get an appointment with her) She is way out there when it comes to sharing information. She came in saying "Your lungs are gorgeous, too bad you have COPD."  

Then she said "it's not your heart it is your lungs, I'm sending you into pulmonary rehab and if that doesn't work we will see about getting you new lungs but of course we have to hurry because they don't like to do them after 70!"

Then after I was admitted because we couldn't get my heart to stabilize she was like "If we can't get your gut down, get more space for you to breathe by getting you moving with the pulmonary rehab and a diet than we are going in and cutting it out! I'm guessing she has a thing for surgery!"

If you follow on Facebook you know most of everything that has gone on. The outcome was that I do have Atrial Fibrillation. Now keep in mind that I was in the hospital 2 years ago for chest pressure. My heart was ruled out, it was my lungs and the COPD. 

Side note: I had spent two years with a cardiologist which started before that hospital visit. I have had every possible test for the heart including an angiogram, stress tests and echocardiogram. He eventually dropped me because there was no reason for me to see a specialist. He was a nice guy and has since retired but he said everything is perfect except for one possible little thing.....which he would never tell me! 

That was about a year ago and I can tell you now that I know something has been off for awhile. Nothing I could pinpoint except for the possibility that my COPD was getting worse. My energy level was giving out compared to what I could do prior to that and I didn't have the same drive to do things. 

So back to my current hospital visit....it took a few days to get the heart regulated. It isn't exactly regulated yet but it was in a safe place, wasn't spiking like before. I had gone in on Sunday morning and went home on Tuesday afternoon advised to continue on bed rest for a week.

Two new medications were added to my already 9 prescription that I take. (two of my other medications have since been removed) So I am on a time released calcium blocker to regulate my heartbeat and a blood thinner.

Here is what I know. My lungs are good and controlled pretty well on my medications. My latest heart echo shows a beautiful healthy heart. I had no blockages and no blood backup from the AFIB. If we can keep it all under control I should be able to live my life like I have been but with more caution for injury.

The bottom line is that they both give you shortness of breath and I have no clue when the heart is in fibrillation. I now have a oxygen pulse monitor which will help me to determine if my heart rate is spiking.  I had a very good appointment with one of the doctor's and he answered all my questions. I will see him again in two weeks.

We are working on getting me into the Pulmonary Rehab program. You have to evaluated first and the first available appointment is October 31st! I hope I pass because I would love to find ways to get my lungs stronger so I can exercise.

My new diet is the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) and it is rather easy to follow. You could say it is the total reverse of a Low Carb Diet. Sure there are some changes when it comes to meat and dairy but I'm okay with that.

I still won't be eating the bad carbs because I've been doing that for years. The good carbs are the oatmeal, brown rice and whole grains which I was eating in moderation. Dairy is a little different for me because I love cheese but I can work with it. Hard to find no fat or low fat cheese!!!
So I was cleared for all my normal activities including bowling. Now here is something I didn't expect. I'm not sure if I shared with you about the time I tripped back in May in the movie theater. The rubber of my Birkenstock sandal caught on the rubber of the stair edge and I fell forward. I got right up, found a seat and watched the movie. 

A few days later my right leg was all bruised which wasn't a surprise. A few weeks later my left knee started to hurt. I ended up seeing my doctor because at times it was painful and I was heading to Florida to see my Dad. 

He gave me a pain pill for sleeping and we were going to watch it for awhile with the hopes that it would just heal on its own. I did okay in Florida, it hurt but not terribly. Made it through New York too, some minor discomfort but workable. 

So for some odd reason last week it flared up. Constant throbbing. I went to bowling (I had missed the first day) and I bowled. Not well of course because I need to keep it straight so I couldn't do my normal approach. Pretty much bowled like a kid walking up to the line and throwing the ball!  

Come Friday it was even worse so I ended up going to the doctor and getting an x-ray. I ended up seeing a Nurse Practitioner who was very nice. Doctor's were not in on Friday. The anti inflammatory medication so gave me was kicked out at the pharmacy for drug interaction and they never got back to them that day. So I haven't had anything other than Tylenol which doesn't do much. 

I did get a call from the Nurse Practitioner yesterday. I have a minor alignment issue in my knee. I will be referred to a orthopedic specialist and take it from there. It hurts when I walk or with any movement. I am picking up a prescription for another pain medication and hoping that it give me some relief. 

My lungs feel good and my oxygen level has improved which is wonderful. My stamina isn't quite there but I definitely have improvement which makes me hopeful for more.....

How are you feeling???

(No Hodgepodge Today)

24 comments:

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Praying you'll get in to pulmonary rehab. {{{hug}}}

Sandra said...

my word, I did read all of this and am so sorry to hear this. I pray they will be able to control the afib with meds and the orth doc can figure out what is wrong with you knee. they might put you in therapy and added to the breathing rehab you might come out of this in a few months a truly better healthy body

April said...

Bless your heart, Debby...you sure have been through the mill. Sorry for all you've gone through, but I'm trusting that better days are ahead! Praying for you, my friend!

Little Penpen said...

I read every single word! I'm happy you are getting the help you need and I pray that you don't need new lungs!! Your doctor sounds like a hoot! I hope your knee settles down. I fell in January and mine hurt for six months... pretty bad at times. Thankfully, it has resolved itself. You hang in there and get better, friend!!

betty said...

Its too bad that your knee decided to flare up in the midst of you trying to work on your heart/lung problems. I think your doctors you are working with now seem like they are competent and know what they are doing. Them taking the time to explain things is always a good thing! That eating plan of yours sounds interesting; I'm going to take a look at it. I think you are making great positive steps for good health down the road and I think it will pay off!

betty

Empty Nester said...

I know that you'll be just fine! I didn't know about your knee. Talk about timing. Ha! Keep us posted on everything and, if the doctors don't take good enough care of you, we'll find you some on this coast. :) You've got this!

Nonnie said...

Wow, Debbie. That is a lot going on. So sorry to hear because I know what it is like not being able to breathe. Do everything you need to do to keep things right and what good news to hear your heart and lungs look good. I am going to check out the eating plan for my husband because he has COPD and he does have heart problems with Afib in the past.

Keep us posted.

Chatty Crone said...

I read it all too - so how did you get COPD? And I do think you have some good doctors there - I remember last year you didn't get your questions answered. We had a girl at church get a lung transplant - is that what you are talking about? Take it easy and follow the doctors orders. Love, sandie

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Prayers my friend! Take it easy and don't over do it! HUGS

Ann said...

oh my, you sure have been keeping the doctors busy. Sending prayers that all works out for you and that you get into the rehab

TexWisGirl said...

you are a classic 'if it's not one thing, it's another...' aren't you? bless you! but hopefully you're on the road to normalcy.

Mary Hutchins said...

Wow, a lot to handle! I understand about the COPD and heart, I went through the same thing. Lung doctor sent me to a cardiologist to make sure it was only COPD and not heart issues too. Basically had the same test you had with the same outcome. I sure don't like having COPE, but I sure didn't want heart issues too. Hope all goes well for you!

Mevely317 said...

Expect a miracle healing, Debby. You deserve it!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I hope the diet changes make a big difference. We don't eat much cheese because Cort can't have dairy. You find ways around it and after a while you really won't miss it as much! A few weeks ago he was reading Garfield comics and begged for a lasagna. I made a very tasty version by using a concoction of shredded zucchini, carrots, chopped garlic, basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and other seasonings for the filling instead of ricotta cheese. We all loved it.

Stephanie said...

Oh Deb you've had a rollercoaster of a ride. Thank goodness you found a Doctor you love and even better than that, you have such a sunny attitude. Sending hugs and love!

KC Bob said...

I have an appt with an ortho doc next week Debby.

I pray that you will find relief with the meds and therapy.

Being in pain sucks.

Mildred said...

I did read your post and I am very sorry about all that you are going through. I pray that your doctors can get you to feeling better and you can resume your regular activities with no pain.

bp said...

Thanks for the update. You have been dealing with a lot. I hope you get relief. Reading about your knee at first made me wonder if you had a blood clot.

God bless you.

NanaNor's said...

Dear Debby, What a time you've had lately. Glad the news wasn't any worse than A-Fib(my brother has it and so did my dad). I know how hard it can be to not have energy and be short of breath. I dealt with Asthma for most of my life and when you aren't getting the oxygen, you are just plain tired. Hope they figure out how to help your knee.
Sending you hugs.
Noreen

Terra Hangen said...

You have a lot of different problems to deal with, some with confusing symptoms. It sounds like you are getting good treatment.

Sarita Boyette said...

Debby, I'm so very sorry to learn of these health problems. I haven't been on FB lately so didn't know the full extent - I believe I did know you were feeling badly. Honey, my heart and prayers are with you. I do hope you get into the program and that the Lord leads these doctors & nurses & therapists to get you into a better place. May God watch over you especially. Love to you!

Sharon said...

What a long process of healing for you lately. And sometimes it's frustrating when doctors can't get to the bottom of what's going on, or don't share completely with us what they know. It does sound like you've got some good people now, and some hope for relief. Hoping you get into the pulmonary program, as it sounds like that would be most helpful.

Continued prayers for the Great Physician to work in tandem with your diet, meds, and medical personnel, to bring you the healing you need.

GOD BLESS!

Joyce said...

Praying you continue to do well Debby. Finding the right doctor is key, and also not such an easy thing to do. So glad you're feeling better and managing the new challenges. I think of all the years I took my good health for granted, and once you pass the 50 mile mark : ) you just can't. It requires a lot of attention. Hope you have a great weekend!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Debby,
Praying for you! Happy you are feeling better. Be Brave my friend, I know this is scary!!
Love, Carla

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