Friday, March 4, 2011

Never saw this one coming

Sorry that I haven't blogged in several days.

But I didn't have my laptop with me during my 32-hour hospitalization.

Yeah, you read that right. Hospital. The big H. Followed by the big "Oh," as in "Oh, my."

This all came about when I scheduled myself for a physical examination Wednesday, following a health screening on Saturday in which an electrocardiogram revealed an atrial fibrillation in what I always thought was a perfectly normal heart.

So my blood work on Tuesday at 8 a.m. turned into another ECG, which prompted my doctor to have me admitted to Lexington Memorial Hospital by 10 a.m. Never saw that one coming. Apparently, my heart was racing at around 140 beats per minute. I was told it was like my heart was running a sprint while I was standing still.

Through all of this, I never exhibited any symptoms. No sweating, no fatigue, no lightheadedness. Ever. I was still walking my daily four miles per day, no problem. Go figure.

You have to understand that the last time I was admitted to a hospital was 60 years ago. That was the occasion in which I was admitted into the world. Any subsequent trips to hospitals in those years were to visit other people. In that time, I've never had a broken bone, a serious illness or an organ malfunction that required hospitalization.

So being told that I had to go to the hospital kind of punched me in the gut, knocked the wind out of me and raised my anxiety levels several notches.

I imagined myself suddenly having an out of body experience — the hospital gown, the IV tube, the hospital bed, the heart and BP monitor were all happening to me, only I made myself feel like I was watching it happen to someone else. This OOB technique, I think, actually made all the subsequent injections, blood drawings and whatnot that were to come somewhat bearable.

The worst shots were the blood thinners I had to have injected into my abdomen. What? Shots in the belly? Whose bright idea was that? How could they not use my triple-T buttt? Never saw those shots coming, either. I had two of them, several hours apart, each about 2-3 inches from my navel.

Even today, hours after my discharge from the hospital, my abdomen has two large black-and-blue areas on either side of me. I'm telling people this is the side where the bullet went in, and this is the side where the bullet came out. It was a clean through-and-through, missing my vitals by mere centimeters.

The upshot of all this is that my heart rate is down, but it still has not converted to sinus rhythm. So it's medications from here on out, I guess. I'm on a beta blocker for the heart, I continue aspirin therapy for blood thinning to prevent clots, and I start Lipitor for my cholesterol.

I'm officially old now. I can talk medications with any senior around.

Because there is no true history of heart disease in our family, and I've lived a relatively clean lifestyle, the a-fib is apparently a random event for me. Oh, goody. Random events. How do you ever see those coming?


  1. were clean for a long time Yank. Welcome to the wonderful world of RX drugs. My golf group used to sit around, drink beer, and talk about women. Now we sit around, drink beer, and talk about colonoscopies, heart attacks, tumors, diabetes, BP medications, and who's freakin' sick now. Sucks. But, it beats death anytime!

  2. That does it. I am only selling you whole wheat cinnamon rolls from now on! AND, you need to come to my house next Thurs or Sat to learn about Juice PLUS+. It is very good for the problems you described. ;D

    Happy National Grammar Day!

  3. Bruce, this is Dereama. So sorry about your hospital tour of duty. I feel your pain! I, likewise, had never had any remotely serious medical issue until my little cancer episode. Here's hoping this is manageable and otherwise not a problem for you.

    Here's a tip -- check out and see if they can save you some money on the meds. They're a legit and totally reliable and legal outfit. I did lots of research when I was told I had to take an estrogen blocking drug for the next five years! The cost, through my drug plan, would be 90 pills for, get this, $1,200! The Canada place sold me a generic, which is not available in the US, 90 pills for -- $145 plus free shipping! I've referred several friends to them, they've ordered meds and all have been completely happy with the process and the quality. You can get the regular or generic from them.

    Good luck, God bless, and do what they tell you to do.