Hearts Afire

The last time I blogged, I anticipated there was nothing more to add to my story. Even though it's past time I get a little "dull" in my life. it's not quite there yet. My foot has stalled out on progressively healing the wound. It's been [mostly] the same with a few setbacks and a few improvements. Dullsville!

On May 31,I was on my way to the Wound Clinic at St. Luke's when I started feeling extremely nauseous and then the pain hit. It was severe and in the center of the chest with it radiating clear through to the back. I just tried to stuff the feeling and tell myself that there was nothing wrong that a couple of saltines couldn't manage. When I arrived at the clinic the nurses wouldn't give me anything. Instead, they initiated their "first response team - medical emergency" system and I ended up in the ER! (Just where I didn't want to be!) With several doses of nitro on board, the severity of the pain lessened. Blood tests, x-rays, etc. and then they decided to admit me.

During the next several days, they did tons of tests including a chemical induced stress test with three sets of pictures. These were not very infomative so they decided to do a cardiac catheter. Even though I was under "twilight sedation," I don't remember a thing but I was awake. When they were doing the cath, both the upper and lower halves of my heart stopped beating. Technically, I was dead for a bit but they got it going. Result: a temporary pacemaker with an appointment to put a permament one in later that evening. (No food or drink since the night before!) In the early afternoon I was feeling strange and nauseus. When I inquired about something for it, the nurse came in and started to look in my DR orders for anti-nausea drugs. Things got to spinnig around like I was in a spiral of a tornado and everything turned whitish. The nurse called for help and then came to the IV on the other side of the bed. She then noted that the wiring had come out of my temporary pacemaker and she reattached everything. Technically, my heart had stopped again and I was again dead [for a brief period of about 20 seconds]. Too spooky!!!

The actual surgery occurred much later than anticipated. Now I'm a whole day and one-half without measureable water and NO food. This time they gave me very little sedation and it seemed like everything took forever. Of course, I was very uncomfortable. Why do they design these tables for the tiniest backsides and make them soooo hard? Several hours later, they started to stitch me up and I thoght it was almost done. NOT!! Hurt and claustrophobic, I started begging for more pain meds or for more Versed. My pleas fell on what seemed to me to be deaf ears! Finally, it was really done.

I am now sporting mucho bruises and the outline of a piece of equipment on my left chest. They had me so padded and taped up that I couldn't move my head. Now, 8 days out of the hospital, I am moving much better. I still have some weight-lifting and stretching limitations [4-6 more weeks], but I am moving more freely.

My first question is, 'Why does the electrical system in the heart just plain stop?' Then, 'Is this part of diabetes?" (No signs of anything more than mild artery disease.) Lastly, "Is this going to change me [pschologically] so that I'm "dizzier" than usual?"

Went to my primary DR this last Tuesday and we talked long and hard about all the symptoms that were there for years that everyone, immediately dimissed without taking me seriously. I told him that I sometimes felt like I was a hypochondriac. It's good to know that I am not and that it isn't my fault that things were missed. He just sadly said that I had so very many issues. IS this all part of the diabetes or did I just dealt a rotten hand in life?

So sorry to hear about the terrible experience Lois. I do hope you'd feel better soon. Hugs :)