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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The rest of the story

I uploaded my last post at 4:30am yesterday from my room in the cardiac observation unit. I never did get back to sleep. I tried, but all I could do was toss and turn and go from being too hot to being too cold.

I turned on the television and found that there was a "relaxation" channel available. You could choose from relaxing music, calming scenes or guided imagery. I decided guided imagery might be a good option, thinking it would give me a chance to settle down and maybe do a little praying. Unfortunately, the program wouldn't load. So I opted to check out the movie channel instead.

"Up in the Air" with George Clooney was one of the choices. I hadn't seen it yet and decided that watching George for a few hours might be just as relaxing as guided imagery. Good plan, if the movie had not been the most depressing movie in the history of forever.

Shortly after the movie was over, the morning shift tech came in to take my temperature, blood pressure, etc. Then the doc arrived to let me know that the stress echo was scheduled first thing and by about 8am, I was in the treadmill room. In case you've never had the privilege, let me just share that the prep for a stress echo allows for about as much modesty as childbirth, except it's not your hooha that's on display. I just looked straight ahead and tried not to think about the fact that my girls were just hanging out there. The nurse and the echo ultrasound tech were both friendly and very professional. Once all the leads and wires were set, I could cover up again.

If you have personal space issues, you should take care of yourself so you're never lying on your left side on a table with an ultrasound tech literally draped over you. After the initial pictures of my heart were captured, the cardiologist came in, reviewed them and said we were a go for the treadmill. I walked on the treadmill at a slight incline for 6 minutes. Starting out, I was all chatty. After about two minutes, there was no more chatting because I was trying to conserve my oxygen for simply breathing. The cardiologist stood there during the test and said the EKG was looking good.

He also offered that I look much better in person than I do on paper. I guess that's a good thing, right? After 6 minutes, when I was breathless and sweaty, they quick stopped the treadmill. I dropped right onto the table and the ultrasound of my heart was repeated. Then it was back to my room to wait for the results.

As I anticipated, the results came back and everything was good. Of course I was happy about that, but a little frustrated that I'd spent 24 hours and who knows how much money to figure that out.

So what happened? It's likely that I was dehydrated, which caused the low potassium. My blood pressure was low and that started the blacking out that kicked off the whole episode. In hindsight, I feel kind of stupid for all the drama. But if the outcome of the test had been different, I would have felt justified. Since I don't have a crystal ball, I'll stick with the better safe than sorry line of thinking.

And hopefully, that's where the drama ends.


Anonymous said...

Amy -

I was very concerned to read your original posting from the ER/Cardiac Lab; it sounds like the tests came back as good as you could hope they could, which is a big relief. I've had my own little cardiac "wake-up calls" myself, and I'm trying to listen and pay attention to what my heart and body tell me - that I needed to get off the couch and get exercise, in my case, manage stress better, etc.

I'm sure that Mike and your whole family are as relieved for you as I am. I'm very glad to hear your good news!

(Uncle) Bill

kbiermom said...

I'm so glad you're ok, Amy!

Yesterday, when i signed in as a guest at NIFS, I had to check off boxes stating that I'm in pretty good shape -- and remarked to my friend how those questions really are no joke :/

I typically have low blood pressure -- so now I'm going to make more a point of staying hydrated.

I've learned: do not black out and drive (I'd like to say I would have chosen A,B, or C, but I'm pretty sure I would have gone with D, too -- thinking/ hoping it was "nothing.")

I'm glad to know to stay away from "Up in the Air." I hate being blindsided by a cute face like that.

And hospital, really? No modesty and no relaxation channel for a cardiac patient? Do you just want her to have a longer stay, or do you have some weird thing for irony and dark humor? LOL :P

Sharon said...

Don't feel stupid. Better safe than sorry! Especially when you have kids. ;) I'm glad you're ok. The mental peace of mind alone might be worth it, I presume.

Momza said...

Sooo grateful you are better!!!
Take care of yourself, Amy--you're very much needed!

Cherie from Queen of Free said...

Buying you a ginormous water bottle so this doesn't happen again. It might be expensive but it's worth every penny girl. Every penny.

Amy said...

This sounds sooooo like something I would do! I have had B/P issues and I KNOW high and Low pressures make you feel just horrible!! So glad you are better. Take care of yourselves Mamas!! WE ALL have to do a better job of that. Hopefully this weather will get better and we can do more walks...with a water bottle! :D

bluedotmom said...

glad that everything came back ok...i bet it was very scary!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Safe is always a better option than sorry ... especially where your health is concerned! We've had more than our fair share of hospitalizations followed by a distinct lack of real answers and this last time I sat in the ER and asked if we should really even BE there! The doctor, the tech, an EMT guy, and several nurses all stopped to tell me that not only should we be there but I should have sent him by ambulance!

Sorry about the modesty issues though! I hate that!

Nate's Mom said...

Amy, I'm glad you are ok. Would have stopped by the school to have the nurse check if it was one of the kids nearly passing out? Why do we never take as good of care of ourselves? Sorry about the modesty part, but you know after bearing children, there's not a whole left, at least when it comes to medical stuff.

Sheri in CA