Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Alive...



I'm not complaining mind you, but that was more or less the prognosis after my unscheduled visit to the emergency room a couple of weekends ago.

It was just getting dark and I was on a ladder in my garage, trying to repair the door opener. I thought I couldn't see because of the single light bulb in the light fixture itself. I got down, turned on another light, and realized that it wasn't the dimness...it was double vision in my left eye. Then the chest pain began...not sharp...kind of dull...but pain nevertheless. My wife pushed my stubborn ass into the car and we went to the nearest hospital, which happens to be Catholic. They immediately took me in when we mentioned the chest pain part..and without even one word about beJesus. Hallelujah!

Long story short, they gave me large amounts of  tests, pumped me full of "stuff", hooked me up to multiple tentacles and decided to keep me overnight for more tests the next day.

No fine, I-don't-want-to-go-home, loopy medications, however.

Aside from hourly blood draw pokes, the worse part was the stress test the next day. I have a sciatic nerve problem and the pain is severe when I put too much strain on it. The alternative to the physical stress test is a radiated chemical one...the name of which I forget. At first I thought  that this was the better method, given my sciatica problem. BUT THEN, the nurse began reading to me the possible side affects, one of which was severe headache and...and...and...another...CARDIAC ARREST! I have heard many first hand tales about this shit...and they aren't nice. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Time to "man up" and take the actual, frickin' treadmill stress test. This took a lot of grit and removing my mind from the actual event, it hurt like hell, but I did it.

In the end (the interim end, that is), they could not find one damned thing "apparently" wrong. So, I was given prescriptions for Nitroglycerin and some baaaaaad mo fo blood pressure drug. For those of you who don't know, Nitroglycerin is that tiny pill actors pop in their mouths whilst faking a heart pain in old "B" movies...oh, and did I mention, it is also a main ingredient of...Dynamite!

As to the cloud hanging there, I am doing a follow up with the Cardiologist this week (more tests). He did say that cardiac catheterization is a possibility if this reoccurs. But, hey...they do that every day...every day...every day...or so I am told.

At best, I consider the experience an ode to making it this far on the planet...albeit with tubes, probes, and Doctor Who type machines, self-inflicted physical tests and of course explosive sounding medications.

And it also reinforced an adage my dear ol' grandmother beat repeatedly into my skull...that is...wear fresh drawers...everyday...you never know when you are going to end up in a hospital.

Thanks granny.


31 comments:

Doug said...

You're still on the right side of the sod, you old sod. I'm glad your wife was able to corral you into the hospital. Scary shit, JJ, but I'm sure they will well and truly sedate you if you need the catheterization. Be good, and listen to your docs.

I hope you're around for a lot longer.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hey, glad it all turned out fine! Whew! And the moral of the story is "always listen to your wife when she says to go to the hospital!" I hope the follow-up tests indicate how to keep you on an even keel.

Jerry Critter said...

Heart problems are always scary things. Get a good cardiologist and do what he/she says. As long as you can walk out of the hospital, it was a successful visit.

jadedj said...

Doug---"...on the right side of the sod...". I like that, Doug. I would add: stayin' away from the spade of the man.

DSWS---Thanks for the good thoughts. I always listen to my wife...just ask her. Wait, nevermind.

Jerry---Good advice...and amen to the walking part!

intelliwench said...

I didn't know your mama was Cubano. That explains a lot.

Tom Harper said...

Christ Almighty! I'm glad you came out of this reasonably OK. As Jerry said, "As long as you can walk out of the hospital, it was a successful visit."

My only experience with a Catholic hospital was through my homeless brother-in-law (now deceased). About ten years ago he was rushed to a Catholic hospital. He got very good treatment, and they weren't even too cutthroat about it when he couldn't pay his humongous medical bills.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Long story short: I passed out in the bath tub while teaching in an Eskimo village in Alaska. I had been short of breath and occasionally dizzy. I was lucky to get a bush pilot to fly me into Anchorage and it turned out that an artery was blocked and I barely missed having a heart attack ( thanks in part to ingesting aspirin on the trip in.) I had a stent put in and have felt grate since then.

Think I will do a post about it.

Stress test sux.
the Ol'Buzzard

Ol'Buzzard said...

Oops: great not grate
the Ol'Buzzard

jadedj said...

Senorita intelliwencha---Just the stogie.

Tom---We had the same experience several years ago when my wife fell down the basement stairs and fractured her tail bone...we went to this same hospital. We had zero insurance at the time and the bill was way beyond anything we could reasonably handle. They ended up forgiving about 90% of the bill.

This particular hospital really does practice what they preach.

Ol'B---I was prepared for it and was shocked that I didn't leave that hospital with a stent. It could still happen, however.

Please do post about it.

jadedj said...

Ol'B, oops I didn't finish. I can't imagine having to rely on flying there in that situation. We are a little over 10 minutes from the hospital I went to and that time frame was stressful enough.

Jerry Critter said...

Just as an aside should you or any reader need to get to a hospital in a hurry.

My doggie's vet recently had a heart attack while home alone. He was able to call 911. And they came and got him. His heart stopped 3 times on the way to the hospital. The paramedics restarted it for him.

He said that if his wife had been home, he would have had her drive him. They are about 10 minutes from the hospital. He would have died on the way.

Next time, call 911!

Beach Bum said...

...wear fresh drawers...everyday

That's easy to say, but wouldn't you know it the one time I don't wear any I have to go to the emergency room.

jadedj said...

Jerry---That's good advice, for sure.

B B---HA! That is not so much a problem here in Nebraska...in the winter. Icicle scrota prevention is high on the stay warm list...for this ol' fart, at least.

Professor Chaos said...

Holy shit, that sounds horrible! Heal up soon!

jadedj said...

Professor C---Thanks. I don't know what's scaring me the most...my faulty ticker, or all the gun nut shitheads that are crawling out of their holes.

JACKIESUE said...

holy shit..someone's not doing their job if they ran all the tests and didn't find anything..did they check for diabetes.?
I wake up every morning, pee, wash my hands and look in the mirror and say"I'm Jackie Denney, I'm 69 years old and I'm a great grandmother, how the fuck did that happen?"...

jadedj said...

Jackiesue---Well, it's not over yet. I had a follow up for today, but had to cancel and will have it next week. I could still have to do the stent thing.

I don't know that dude I see in the mirror either...but, I have a solution to that...the mirror...break the fucking thing.

Harlequin said...

jadedj
first I am glad your wife got your sorry ass to the hospital
second, I am glad you survived the whole ordeal with your dignity more or less intact and your humour well honed.
Having had some recent adventures with amazing drugs myself, I feel your pain.
Hang in and do what you need to be well.

jadedj said...

Harlequin---Thanks for the good words and know that I am indeed hanging ;-)

PENolan said...

Never underestimate the importance of clean underwear.
And take care of yourself . . . a lot of people seem to love you, you know?

Bella said...

Glad you are doing okay. I am not looking forward to the chest pain moment, but I know its coming at some point. I am a fatty artery waiting to happen, so says my doctor, if hereditary has anything to do with it. You can't escape hereditary, hopefully there's no cardiac hx or stroke in your family. I think once it happens the dread it could happen again and worse would just scare the beejezus out of me, or I could go the opposite and say fuck it all and hit that bucket list doing some outrageous shiz! I'm shutting up now. Like I said, glad you're okay.

Jerry Critter said...

Bella,
Fatty arteries can be improved.

Bella said...

hey Jerry, you mean with stenting? cholesterol meds?

Jerry Critter said...

No, not with drugs ( although they can help), but with the food you eat. It is discussed in the link in my previous comment.

Pixel Peeper said...

Wow - what a scary episode! Let us know what happens at the follow-up visit with your cardiologist.

One of my co-workers had a heart attack at age 30 and ALWAYS has his Nitroglycerin with him. His cardiologist told him that chances were he would not ever die of a heart attack - he is taking meds to prevent that. So thank modern medicine for that.

If it turns out that this is your problem... Double vision and chest pain can be a symptom of many things, many a lot less scary than heart attack.

jadedj said...

Tricia---You knew my granny? Awwww shucks. However, I am sure my ex would dispute that lovely point.

Bella---Yeah there is the scare factor hanging over my head and it is most likely hereditary in my case.

Jerry---Thanks for the link. Actually, my diet is pretty low in fat and I am a vegetable fan, so who the deuce knows.

A relevant aside on one's diet: I read recently that research indicates a small amount of 80% cocoa dark chocolate daily significantly contributes to a drop in the incident of strokes or heart attacks in males. Not all by itself, obviously.

Pixel---Yeah, my cardiologist told me the same thing the night of my "scare". So, we'll see (as it were).

Mr. Charleston said...

Sorry to just be getting here JJ. Wishing you the best pal.

jadedj said...

Mr. C---Thanks for the good vibes, C. Thus far, knocking on wood.

Holte Ender said...

Your grandmother, and mine, must have been related. Keep well.

Sunny said...

Hey JJ ! Glad you are okay now, whew!
Oh that injection stress test ? Noooo way !!

and I'm still alive, yes! I refused it and also the treadmill tests.

Sept 2011 when I had that heart attack.

They actually think we are that dumb as to have yet another heart attack ??

R.A. is a big cause of heart attacks, by the way. Take care, Hugs, Sunny

jadedj said...

Hey Holte...Que pasa? Good to hear from you!

Hahahahahahaha to your grandmother. Did she smoke cigars, as well?

Sunny---With ya. In addition to that, I was prescribed a beta blocker drug and when I looked over the literature regards "side" effects, two things slapped me in the face...possible interaction with two blood pressure meds I take...and...risk of CARDIAC FAILURE! WTF?

Yeah, I am familiar with the RA possibilities. But not much one can do about that.

Thanks for the hugs, dear one.