Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Day, All Is Well

My heart monitor is beeping at me because it's been unhooked since 1pm this afternoon, but I don't care.  I have a healthy heart. The little tube that went down my esophagus for an up close look at that most vital organ told me so. Well, told the doctor, while I was gorked out on versed after apparently asking him if he was going to turn on heavy metal after I fell asleep and what his favorite group was when he was in high school. I have only a very vague memory of this, as well as gagging on something in my mouth and trying to move it around. (This all happened after gargling liquid lidocaine that didn't taste nearly as nasty as they said it would.) But really, the worst part was just the waiting, the setting up, and then waiting some more.

Brandon was with me, and the nurse and I had a lot of fun joking about "a doctor's minute." Then I made Brandon tell urology jokes to keep me distracted until the doctor got there "in a minute." (This was after my iphone and gum were taken from me, my earlier distractions. I was reading the most fascinating true story of a woman whose fiance was sent to Vietnam, got injured, came home and was in a coma for three years, so she finally married someone else, then her ex-fiance died and she didn't feel she could mourn him because it would be disloyal to her husband, so here she was twenty years later going through all the stages of grief while writing a novel about the whole experience. Distracting, right?) After two whopping urology jokes I begged Brandon to please just chatter. Distract me! Reassure me! Something!

What did I get? A quote from The Lord of the Rings of course: "I don't want to be in a battle, but waiting on the edge of one is even worse."(Pippin)

I got the feeling Brandon was tiring a little of my crazy questions, like what if I'm allergic to the versed? what if I go too deep or not deep enough? is it possible that I will experience everything, but just not remember after it's over? and other ridiculessness. But WHAT DO I KNOW?  So Brandon tried to reassure me by telling me he has used versed on probably over 500 patients and only had a "problem" twice and then proceeded to explain the problem to me . . . NOT HELPFUL! Then of course the doctor had to tell me that even though it is extremely rare, the risks of the procedure are bursting through my esophagus and breaking my teeth. By this time I'm just begging for the versed . . . JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!

It really was no big deal, just as Brandon and the doctor had assured me, and the best part is--as mentioned--my heart is in good shape, the hole is a tiny one and not the cause of whatever the heck happened at that restaurant, and he did not recommend a repair.

Little by little we're getting down to the conclusion that I'm simply a basket case. What a relief!

It really is, because for the last two days I have been completely "panic free" and am becoming more convinced that for the last week I have in fact just been suffering from "after shocks" which I have successfully overcome through a few of the methods I have read/heard about from friends/family/internet lore. But based on how I felt today (great!), I think I may be out of the woods.

One more blood test to look at my adrenals and re-check my potassium, and then I'd like to talk to a professional who knows a little bit more about panic attacks, but I really am suspicious that the combination of a three day migraine, lack of sleep and my caffeinated beverage may have had to do with what happened. (I'm not pulling this out of thin air, these are semi-legitimate connections I have read about.) 

I suppose I should be more discreet about all this information sharing, especially since a panic attack sounds like something a self-respecting person like myself should try to hide, but I don't feel like that's healthy for anyone. Especially after all the people who have come out of the woodwork telling me they have had similar experiences, but more importantly because of all the people that may suffer from this stuff all the time and just think they are crazy or are too embarrassed/scared to see someone for help. I hate the thought of anyone suffering from anything in loneliness and/or fear when there are so many people in the same boat and so many helpful solutions.  

So at long last, I have a few scrappy hospital pictures to share. 

The original hospital bed where I had my first real vacation in a long time. (The hospital cleaning lady, who had a hysterectomy vacation last year, really got me laughing about how a mother only gets a break when she's admitted to a hospital.)

 My personal slave, taking a much deserved break:
That awesome view from my hospital room:
Today, waiting to get admitted:
 Right before I was stripped of my iphone:

Daily bits:
Kate-made no-bake cookies for the fam.
Will-created several dominos tracks with his neighbor buddy.
Elizabeth-WORE her bandana creation to school today.
Rachael-told me I was going to die last night. (Nice!)


  1. You drink caffeine? You are way too Type A for caffeine. I quit a few years back and felt much better. Of course, I stopped the meth, too, but I really think it was caffeine that left me naked in that alley behind that strip club. Yes, caffeine.

  2. I'm so glad you're figuring everything out and that there will not be heart surgery involved. Thanks for sharing your story. You make me laugh!

  3. I just caught up on your last four posts. I read your Valentine's Day experience last week and have been thinking a LOT about you lately. I was Especially thinking a lot about you last Sunday as I rested on my ER bed hooked up to an EKG machine. The EKG reading only lasted a minute as they ruled out heart problems; but the room continued to spin as I experienced severe vertigo, which I never have experienced before. I'm still having a hard time concentrating on the slightly tilting screen in front of me, or I would fill you in on all the gory details of calling 911 and not being able to even move, for fear of blacking out. I actually gained a lot of strength from Brandon's comment, "It takes a lot to kill a person". (maybe I'm paraphrasing) Still not getting things straight after being on my anti-anxiety med. (diazepam) So, not being as witty as I'd like with this response, as it's taking all out of me to just read and type. I'm hoping to look back on this with a little more humor in the future. Also, when I feel a little better, I'd like to send you a private message about another ER visit back in IC years ago, that was chalked up to panic. In the meantime, thank you for researching and posting on here, so that I don't have to do so much googeling while things are still spinning. Take care, you've really helped me to not feel "ashamed" about my ER visits. Oh, and my two-yr-old kitten who keeps licking me, and crawling on my lap as I lay on the couch, says hello to your little doggie.

  4. So glad that things turned out okay. That is a relief and must have been somewhat terrifying. However, you have not lost your touch in telling your truth-is-crazier-than-fiction stories. My memories take me back to a tent in the middle of cornfields only to be disturbed by Hulk Hogan and a gorilla! I must find out what book you were reading. Take care and I will keep tabs!

  5. breathe in...and oooouuuuuutttt. Whew. So glad there's no need for repair. My heart goes wonky sometimes, most often when I'm really stressed. So, I think you're right. But it's so important to get all those physical things checked first! Glad they're going well so far.


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