Posted in Health

In Which I Didn’t Have a Heart Attack

 

Saturday morning started very normally. Catie had to be to work at 9, so we were going to head out the door at 8:45. At 8:15 it crossed my mind that I could get a quick shower, but I decided nah, I’ll do it after I drop her off. And brush my hair. And brush my teeth. And get more protein to add to my “only had an English muffin and coffee” breakfast. Except, no.

8:45 I’m walking through my laundry room on my way out the side entrance of our house. I’m passing by the dryer and OW OW OW OW OW. My chest suddenly feels like there is a really tight elastic band around it and it HURTS. I can’t breathe, even, because it hurts so much.

What is RULE #1 of chest pain as an adult? PAY ATTENTION TO IT.

I paused a few moments, thinking it would pass quickly. It didn’t. Catie came up behind me, so I started to walk forward again. I took a step or two outside the house and stopped again because, really, I shouldn’t ignore this. Catie is looking at me at this point. I get my phone and start to google “women heart attack symptoms” because I know they are different from men’s. The first one is chest pressure.  Well, yeah. But I don’t seem to have the other ones, so I get in the car and keep scrolling, holding onto part of my chest because it still really hurts. Catie gets Dad, and I start to think–you know, I probably should get this looked at. I drive to urgent care and let Jim take her to work.

Urgent care scolds me, saying I should have gone to the ER. She calls 911. At this point I’m starting to get a little scared and cry a bit. Which I hate. Because I am woman, hear me roar, not cry in public! Jim calls and finds out what’s going on and agrees to meet at the hospital. The ambulance pulls up, gets me on a gurney and out the door (humiliations galore–I DO NOT like attention!) and into the back of the ambulance. The start hooking me up to stuff and asking 100 questions. The comes a moment when the band tightens around my chest and I literally couldn’t breathe at all. It passes and I can breathe, but am kind of getting really frightened at this point. If it isn’t a heart attack, what the heck is it?

We arrive at the ER, I’m wheeled in, hooked up to their EKG and asked more questions. They do bloodwork and a chest x-ray quickly. Jim and his mom come in. I get another squeeze-can’t-breathe thing. My bp (normally 110/72) is 145/82, which kind of freaks me out. I NEVER have high blood pressure. Even pregnant with quadruplets I never had it.

EKG is normal. Chest xray is good. Blood work is good except for the D-Dimer, which is positive or elevated or something and might indicate that I have a blood clot. It’s going to be a few more hours. I feel ok, so Jim’s mom leaves to go home to the kids. Jim leaves to get me McDonalds and then head home to take Ethan and Laura to a field trip with Overbrook at a local park. My sister comes to the ER to keep me company. The CT is ok, although the contrast part hitting my system is WEIRD.

While waiting for CT results, what the doctor tells me is that I did not and am not having a heart attack. Which, HALLELUJAH. Thankyouverymuch.

CT shows I have slight pneumonia. And the horrible band of pain and pressure is Costochondritis. “Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.” (mayoclinic.org) Yeah, that.

They sent me home on a Z-pack and an anti-inflammatory. I took it easy the rest of Saturday, but Sunday I was up and doing regular stuff. Today I was grocery shopping and feeling fine. If I had to go to the ER and have a dramatic adventure, at least it’s with an “all’s well that ends well” ending!

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Posted in Health

40 Hours Later

I went in on Thursday at 2:30 to get Betamethasone injected into my SI Joints. If I could have anything negative to say about going into it, it would be the lack of specific information I had. I didn’t know where I was getting the shots–was it two shots in the actually joints? Was it one shot into my spine and the meds would travel down? I didn’t know that I would experience several DAYS of bad discomfort/actual pain in the injection sites and hips, and that even though I was technically allowed to drive afterward because I hadn’t been sedated, the injection sites were so sore that I drove scootched up away from the seat back and that was really uncomfortable and probably a little dangerous. I didn’t know that I was going to be on restricted activity for five whole days afterwards. So, yeah, a little information going into would have set up much more realistic expectations.

I’m sitting at my desk right now, which I haven’t done much of since I had the procedure. Not sure if it’s going to be ok today, or will get worse and I’ll be laying on the couch again with ice packs on my hips like yesterday. Before this, I haven’t had a lick of trouble with my hips, so it was a little weird that that is how my body decided to get back at me. I couldn’t lay on them. I couldn’t sit up for long periods. Sleeping the first night was, well, an exercise in waking up and rolling over very carefully.

The procedure itself involved a shallow shot into my skin of lidocaine, followed by a deeper shot of lidocaine. Both BURNED and HURT a lot. Then, within a minute or two, the doctor did the actual injections of the betamethasone, which is a steroid, into both of my SI joints–sort of 2 1/2 inches down from the top of my pants and about an inch on each side away from the middle of my body. The goal, as far as I understand it, is to calm down the inflammation in my joints, get some good pain-control going on, and then have me start back to PT and regular life again.

40 hours ago I was not a happy camper. The shots, quite frankly, hurt A LOT. I wanted someone to hold my hand–yes, really–and a nurse rubbed my arm. Having my 49 year old bottom out in front of two male doctors, well, let’s just say I’m glad I’ve had kids because that made it easier. Svelte I’m not. I sat in a recovery seat for about 30 minutes, eating cheese and peanut butter crackers and diet ginger ale (hands down, my all time favorite thing to drink, so at least that helped). The nurses were great and explained all the after effects stuff. Leaving the surgery center, I never wanted to do it again.

40 hours later, and after a decent night of sleep, I woke up and was able to fairly comfortably put on a pair of socks. Coming down to the kitchen–with no pain in my hips as I walked down the stairs–I saw a bowl on the floor and picked it up. Without pain or stiffness. That was AMAZING. That hasn’t happened in over a year. So, at this point, I’m cautiously optimistic about what the day holds. They saw 24-36 hours of needing ice, which ended a few hours ago.  They said to expect pain relief to start between 3 and 5 days. I think I’m starting now.

Here’s hoping for good results!

Posted in Me

For Today

FOR TODAY April 14, 2018

Outside my window… Spring is finally here! Green grass, open windows (for today) and sunshine! 70s!

I am thinking… Too much. Too many details about health and school and college and TOO MUCH

I am thankful… that I have such a wonderful husband.

In the kitchen… Dinner tonight is sloppy joes. Which ½ of the family will eat and the other half will turn their noses up at. Whatever!

I am wearing… Pajamas. I had a rotten night of sleep and got up late. I’ll change into proper clothes soon.

I am creating… profiles on scholarship sites for Bennett and Laura. A friend warned me that scholarship searching is a part time job in itself. I’m starting to agree.

I am going… to our storage shed today to grab any breakables before we clean it out next weekend.

I am wondering… how awful the shots in my SI joints are going to be.

I am reading… Better Than New by Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict)

I am hoping… to successfully get through the next 8 weeks of school with the kids.

I am looking forward to… seeing Avengers Infinity War in May.

I am hearing…Birdsong through the open windows. It’s a lovely sound!

Around the house… We organized the master bedroom closet finally. That looks great now. I just need to buy a shoe rack thingy so the shoes aren’t cluttering up the floor. And I think we might need to get a new dishwasher, but I haven’t broken the news to Jim yet.

I am pondering… all the changes that will happen in the next 1.5 years. And it makes me a little sick to my stomach and more than a little sad. How in the world did I get to have Juniors?

One of my favorite things… Bags of hard boiled eggs. Seriously! 10 eggs, hard boiled and no shells. So easy to grab for a quick snack or sandwich. We go through about 2 bags a week of them!

A few plans for the rest of the week… Small storage unit run today (and Catie working), church tomorrow, Monday coffee with a friend, Tuesday breakfast with old co-workers from when I was in college, spine injection on Thursday and emptying out the storage unit next Sunday.

 

 

Posted in Health

This Wasn’t The Plan

When I began this year, it was definitely with the idea of focusing on myself–especially my health. And yeah, I’ve been doing that, but not like I thought I would.

PT? Check, but then stopped because of pain.

Exercise? Haven’t started yet. Because of pain.

Breast Reduction? Haven’t started research. Because of pain.

Dietician? Check. Doing so-so with following what she’s told me, but better with eating more protein. Currently working on drinking more water.

Back? Did PT, stopped, saw a spine specialist, got an MRI and 6 x-rays. Saw them for a follow up and got an official diagnosis of Sacroiliac Sclerosis. Which, translated to the non-medical person, is arthritis in the joints shown below:

sacroiliac-joint-pain-exercises-diagram-copy

Which, honestly, stinks. Next Thursday I go back to the spine specialist and get two injections of Betamethasone, which is supposed to help the inflammation and pain. I’m utterly creeped out by the concept, although I’ve had two spinals with my c-sections. Everyone on Facebook has been encouraging about how not-big-a-deal the injections are, and how great my doctor is with them (he’s a very good doctor).

So that’s basically it. I’m waiting. No Ibuprofen allowed at this point because of the injections coming up, so sleeping is very challenging. I’m hopeful that this will help, but leery of the actual procedure. I’ll keep you informed. when it happens.