Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heart of My Heart - The Rest of the Story

So as I was saying in yesterday’s post

On Thursday night, I was exhausted and fell into a deep peaceful sleep pretty quickly.   I was asleep for  only a few hours when I heard the rustling. I was so tired and groggy, that  I turned over,  pulled the covers up over my head and tried to get back to sleep.  But, there it was again, rustle, rustle.  I lifted my heavy head and looked around the room.  As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that it was Ross pacing back and forth from his side of the bed to my side.
When I asked him what was wrong, he said he just didn’t feel right.
The EMS crew responded within minutes of my 911 call.  They immediately gave him oxygen and nitro glycerin under his tongue.
I wondered how they were going to manage to get a gurney down those three flights of killer stairs.
                                      That’s how   ———————————>

So the emergency room visit (you were right, JT) turned into an overnight stay for observation which then turned into a Cardiac Catheterization.  Thankfully, the test showed that Ross’ heart is fine.  His discomfort was probably due to a hiatal hernia, which they discovered during a chest X-ray.

The whole experience was intense and insightful.  I may now have a better understanding of why health care costs are so high.

One of the first things they do when a patient of a certain age is brought into an emergency room complaining of any kind of chest discomfort is a series of blood tests.

From the website
"Cardiac enzymes include troponin and creatine kinase. Creatine kinase, or CK MB, can tell a doctor if you have had a heart attack and whether medicines you are receiving are effectively dissolving the blood clot that caused the heart attack, according to Troponin helps medical professionals determine if a heart muscle was injured during the heart attack.”

Three blood tests are performed and tested at three hour intervals.  The first two of Ross’ tests came back negative.  We also explained to the doctor’s that Ross had just had a stress test done two weeks prior and that test came back okay.

However, the on staff hospital cardiologist recommended that Ross have the Cardiac Catheterization. No, wait let me re-phrase that.  When he saw that Ross was hesitant to have this invasive procedure done (particularly in a hospital that we were not familiar with) he began to pressure Ross with what I would consider heavy duty scare tactics.

It went something like this:

Dr: Heart:  "Now you can leave here without having this procedure done, but I have seen too many cases of patients ignoring these warning signs only to drop dead on the way home.”
“Besides, you’re already here.  I can get this done right now for you.  Why wait?"

No kidding, those were pretty much his exact words.  He basically made Ross an offer he could not refuse.

At the end of the day, I’m sure Ross made the right choice to go ahead and have the test done.  It was a relief for us to know for sure that the problem was not caused by his heart.

I just sometimes wonder, though,  who the doctors are trying to protect more…the patient or themselves.

So that’s how our vacation ended a day early.   Pretty tricky of Ross to fake a heart attack just to get out of packing up the vacation house and schlepping everything down those three flights of killer stairs.

On December 5, 2011, Joe passed away. 
Nine months is so significant to a mother. 
The weight of carrying my grief from the loss of my Joe is heavy on my heart. 

I miss my son.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Thursday, September 5, 1929
Home all day.  Not feeling very well.  Took it easy and let all the work go.  Junior very swee to me and tried to cheer me up and take care of me.


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  2. We are all still reeling over our loss of Joe. We will always miss him.

  3. I hope you didn't have to lug all that vacation stuff down three flights of stairs all by yourself!

    So happy to hear your Ross' health scare was not too serious.

    I wish I had eloquent words to share about the loss of your son. I wish I could sit with you in silence and share your grief. I'll do the best I can do-- in my prayer. I'm so sorry.

    1. Hello Maggie,
      Actually my sister and her husband were there to help. I was very grateful for that. Yes, I was very relieved when Ross came home with a clean bill of health.
      Thank you for your kind words and prayers for Joe.

  4. Booooooo for the husband being sick. That's never fun. I hope he starts feeling better soon and that it wasn't too serious.

    1. Hi Renee Anne,
      Yes, Hubby is feeling much better. Thanks!

  5. So sorry to hear about your husband's health scare. How traumatic. Thank G0d it wasn't serious. Hope he feels better soon.


    1. Hello Kathy,
      I think I was numb during the whole incident. Actually I was probably running on sheer adrenaline. Ross is feeling much better, thanks.

  6. I remembered for you yeterday, Lynda -- and I actually thought about the nine months piece - you have carried him in life and death. Sadness reigns.
    And then there is Ross..... yay, Ross for making it through the ER - sucks to be there. but, yup, he didn't have to do those stairs!

  7. Hi JT,
    Thank you. I know I probably have said this before, but it means so much to me that you always remember the 5th.

    Ross is quite a proficient patient. For example, when he was packing up to be released, he and one of his nurses were discussing the book that he had recommended to her. He makes sure he treats all of the staff with the respect he feels they are due.

  8. I think of you and the loss of your son often, even though we have never met. So sorry about your husband's scare and very glad he is okay. I hope that I will NEVER be scared into having a heart cath. My sister's story ended much differently than Ross' did. If you want to know the whole story, email me. I will ask for an MRI before any heart cath is done. That said, I know many who have had heart cath's that saved their lives. I just personally can't do it.

  9. i am so happy to hear your husband is okay! i've had the heart cath {with the same good result of nothing wrong} and though he may not have really "needed" it, now you can have complete peace of mind. too many times i have heard of people dying from a heart attack a short time after passing a stress test. that said, if an MRI will reveal if there's a blockage as clearly as a heart cath, then i think i would prefer that option first, too.

    my heart goes out to you, Lynda, for the loss of your son. *hugs*