Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about...

Looking over my posts since I rebooted the blog, I notice that I failed to mention the first major event of my current health crisis...so I'll rectify that omission with this post.

Flashback to Sunday, March 23rd, a month ago. The CT scan that revealed my cancer was already scheduled due to other issues but hadn't been performed yet. I wasn't feeling too good that Sunday morning, I was moving a little slow. I was momentarily disoriented while walking down the aisle in the church auditorium, but steadied myself on a chair for a moment and the feeling passed quickly. I didn't think much about it. At the end of services my wife noticed I wasn't feeling well and asked if I was able to drive us home. "Of course!" I answered. Standing up, I immediately had a light-headed feeling rush over me and I started to reevaluate that statement. I remarked something to the nature of maybe somebody else needs to drive us home. I staggered around and a couple of other church members grabbed me by the arms and pretty much dragged me outside to a friend's car. By the time I got to the vehicle I agreed they needed to take me to the local ER.

The drive to the ER from the church building took somewhere around thirty minutes or so. I wasn't watching the clock, I was moaning, groaning, and dry heaving all the way. Pulling into the emergency entrance, they dragged me out of the car and threw me in a wheelchair. That's where my memory starts getting spotty. I remember laying on a really narrow bed with my right arm hanging down feeling like it was about to fall off but they wouldn't let me move it. I recall a lot of people around me and one guy pushing really hard on the right side of my neck and complaining about some problems he was having with whatever it was he was doing. There were some big electrode patches glued to my chest and I felt a few shocks from them. In my foggy half-awake state I said something a little fresh to one of the nurses also...she did look pretty.

While all of this was going on, I later discovered my frantic wife was meeting with a grief counselor. My heart rate was down to 27 BPM when they brought me in. Not sure about the other vitals, but I'm pretty sure they thought they might loose me.

I eventually woke up with a temporary pacemaker in my right neck and IV lines hanging out of my right arm and left shoulder.  Eventually I was told that the level of digoxin in my system was way too high and had caused the episode. Four days later my medications were adjusted and I was able to go home. Once home, I looked up the normal dosage for digoxin. My old prescription called for the maximum dosage of 500 mcg per day. I'm now down to just 125 mcg and only 5 days a week. Some of the other heart medications have been cut back as well and I'm doing a lot better, thank you.

My cardiologist recommended a pacemaker on my followup visit after my release from the hospital. That's on hold now while I deal with the cancer thing.

Just got a call while I was writing this post with the appointment for the out-of-town specialist for May 12. Let's get this show on the road, people! I don't want to wait another three weeks!!!!

1 comment:

Sherry Kepp said...

So sorry to hear about your illness Alan, but im glad to see you aee facing ot with courage. I love your style of writing, such good therapy. God speed to you in your journey