Sunday, September 7, 2014


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, 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 . I re read this several times but maybe you will see something I missed.


Chatty Crone said...

Wow I did not know what you were going thru this weekend, You need to get thee to the ER sooner than later Debby. I am not sure if I understand what exactly you have now - pulmonary Hypertension? What does that mean and what will you have to do? I hope you are feeling better.

Sandra said...

Oh my, what a week you have had... and I can understand the not going or going dilemma about eh ER but am glad you went and I pray now you will get a doctor that can properly diagnose and treat what ever this is, it is a relief to know it is not the heart. keep us posted please. God bless you and keep you safe

TexWisGirl said...

oh, dear. please do not sit for 4 1/2 hours the next time! please wake mark and go to the ER! i hope they can properly pinpoint the cause for you.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to read this. I don't follow on fb so I had no idea. God bless you and I hope you get the answers you so desperately seek.

Terra said...

I hope the doctors will get the correct diagnosis and treatment for you soon. This is a long ordeal. God bless you.

Debbie said...

WOW..You have been through quite the ordeal. I am glad to hear your heart is good, but I am praying they get to the bottom of what is going on. It is soo frustrating sometimes because you long for someone to just KNOW what you are dealing with for sure. Your own research sounds good. Hopefully they will figure this all out soon and get you on the right medications! HUGS to you!

betty said...

Oh my gosh, Debby! I echo what the other commenters said; don't wait until the morning the next time but get help sooner. I will pray that the doctors will be able to find out exactly what caused this and get to the root of your health problem, whether it be lung or heart, so you can get some answers and then the right treatment.

Do let us know!


Terri D said...

Oh my, Debby! I am adding you to my prayer list right now! Now that you know that feeling, I hope you will go to the ER when it first happens next time (hopefully there won't be a next time!). My Joe has asthma and heart disease, so I am familiar with all that you are describing. It's scary stuff.

Little Penpen said...

Debby!! I had no idea you were going through all that. ((hugs)) and prayers and I hope you get to the bottom of this and feel better soon!

kyooty said...

What a scary thought. I've heard that women feel heart events differently than men.Men get that chestpain but apparently women have a feeling of dread? I'm wondering if your Friday sched post was part of your getting ready? hugs! so glad you are here and posting. Also royalty pregnancy announcement! like you were meant to be here today. :)

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Debby, Debby, Debby ... please promise me that you will not wait to go to the ER next time! Better to be sent home because you went unnecessarily than to wait and find out later that you waited too late.

I sure hope you get this all figured out. I know that my eyes perked up when I read "pulmonary hypertension". My youngest grandson had persistent pulmonary hypertension -- PPHN (respiratory failure) at birth. He was put on 100% oxygen and a ventilator. He also had pneumothorax (air pockets due to weak areas in the lungs/bronchial tubes -- similar to aneurysms in blood vessels). And because he needed increasingly higher-pressure ventilators, he had developed pneumopericardium (where air is between the heart and the covering around the heart). Both of the PPHN and the pneumopericardium are very rare and frequently fatal (in fact, in newborns, a pneumopericardium is almost always fatal because by the time symptoms show up, it's too late). Praise God, the pneumopericardium was discovered during x-rays taken to check the status of his pneumothorax. More praise to God, who worked a miracle and healed this little boy. I don't know that the same implications exist for adults, but if you factor in your COPD, I would think that pulmonary hypertension isn't something to be taken lightly. I say this, not to scare you unnecessarily but to caution you to get yourself to the ER if this happens again, dear one. I'm praying for you and your doctors.

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh my goodness!! What a scary weekend for you!
I hate that not knowing what to do sort of feeling... the ER's are so expensive & time consuming & I do that all the time - wonder if its nothing & don't want to deal with it... but I'm in agreement with others - with heart, don't wait... especially with a history like you have with your parents!!!
Praying you get some final answers that can keep you from having scares like this any more from happening :(

Joyce said...

My goodness, what a weekend you have had Debby! It sounds so scary, and I'm glad you've at least seen a dr to eliminate a few things. I hope you find the answers and treatment you need. And I do hope you get to your reunion!!

bp said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and know your blog friends are thinking of you.


Mara said...

Oh, take care of yourself Debby and don't let anybody bully you into anything you don't feel right about.

And most of all: GET WELL!
Thinking of you.

Sharon said...

Dear Debby, my goodness! What an odyssey you've been on! Though I really think you should have immediately gone to the ER (!!), I'm glad that it wasn't your heart. I'm hoping that you will find answers to what's going on, and that God will direct you to just the right doctors and tests.

We never know when life is going to *hit* us with stuff, and this was a big curveball. Prayers for you, and a continuing healing for your body.


Secret Agent Woman said...

I just read both posts together. Tough weekend! I'm glad it wasn't a heart attack and it's good for you to make yourself as informed as possible. Take care of yourself!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh no! I hope they figure out what is going on so you can stay feeling better!

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a very good weekend either, but after reading your post about your weekend, mine seems much better than I thought it was!
I hope you find the answers you are seeking, and I hope you don't have any more scary episodes! ((hugs))
Ed and I are both headed to the dr. today, since neither of us have been feeling well...

Ceil said...

Hi Debby! What a scary weekend you had! I'm glad your doctor sent you to the ER, because you met a wonderful doctor who got you thinking about your lungs again. Of course you'd be worried about your heart considering your family history!

Sometimes it the patient that knows a little more than the medical people when it comes to symptoms. You had to cry in the doctors office before you got treatment...your exam said 'no problem' but you knew there was one. Good for you for standing up for yourself.

I sure hope that you will find an answer for your breathing issues. I am already praying for you, but I'll remind the Lord again how much you need his wisdom in the doctors and medications. And how much you need his peace too.
Keep us up to date!

Sweet Tea said...

What a frightening experience. - I can relate. God bless you Friend. Keep after the docs until you get an answer that you're satisfied with.

Trish said...

I am praying for you Debby. Hope that you are feeling better. Big hugs.

Empty Nester said...

I'm just glad you're still with us! Now, make them figure this out!

Michelle F said...

Hi Debby! I am just now reading this.
Sweetie, I am praying they find out soon what the answer is.

Claudya Martinez said...

Thank you for writing this. When you posted on Facebook, I was very worried about you. Please take extra special care of yourself.

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