Saturday, March 28, 2020

Kidney Saga part 53

I was expecting yesterday morning that today's update would be about how relaxing and calm Friday was, and how I slept through the day. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way.

About 10am I started to feel a tightness in my chest. As I've been a little worried about some shortness of breath I've had recently (which I had already contacted the doctor about) I was primed to pay attention to it. It got worse. Then started to hurt. I wondered if it was just indigestion, but it kept getting worse. I finally decided to use the only tool I have to test my heart, and took my blood pressure. It was 95/60, which is as low as I've seen it since I started taking it. I had no clue if that meant anything (it doesn't).

I asked Eric to look up "symptoms of heart attack in women" as I took my BP a second time. After going through the lists of symptoms and not being sure, I called my primary care provider to talk with a nurse. By now the pain was intensifying, and she said in my condition it was better to go to the emergency room to make sure I was safe. So Eric and I headed down the stairs. At the door to the garage I asked Eric to grab something for me, then I stood there for a moment and everything went white. It was like I'd passed out, but Eric said I was lucid and made it to the car myself. But I don't remember getting into the car.

I remember Eric telling me to wake up. I remember trying to look out the car and everything was so bright it hurt. The pain in my chest kept getting worse and worse. Eric kept talking to me, then I have a vague notion of being in the hospital and people talking at me and asking questions. I don't know how much I answered. There were a lot of people there. Everyone was telling me to breathe, but I couldn't.

Then, suddenly, all the pain just stopped. I couldn't feel anything below my shoulders. I think I said that, and someone said I was stable. Slowly feeling came back. My arms first - I felt the IV. Then my feet and lower legs. Then the rest, bit by bit. I believe I was crying most of the time. I was terrified. The nurses were trying to get me to breathe slowly.

Finally, everything was calm, I was in yet another hospital bed. Eric was allowed in, and I slowly recovered my senses. They did a couple of blood tests, an EKG and an x-ray to make sure my heart wasn't busted. As it turns out, my heart is doing just fine, thank you.

So what happened? The doctor on-call wasn't entirely sure. It could have been something in the esophagus, which is in the same area, exacerbated by a full-on panic attack. I could have pulled a muscle somehow, which might explain why my chest still feels very tight this morning.

I will have a follow-up with my cardiologist, but this might turn out to just be one of those human body mysteries. I got severe chest pains, but we aren't sure why.

After maybe 5 or so hours, Eric and I were released from the hospital and got home to a very upset Dr. Inkwell. I was happy to make it up the stairs with minimal help from Eric, which may mean I can start using the stairs again soon, and maybe, just maybe, get to the point where I can cook for myself. I really want to bake something, but I'm going to have to find some diabetic/kidney friendly baking projects.

This morning my feet are completely free of dropsy, so I am very nearly drained of all excess water. Now I need some nice ankle socks, preferably with grips, to keep my feet warm and protected.

So, a bit of unwanted excitement yesterday. It hasn't kept me down: I managed a shower already this morning. Hopefully today will be completely uneventful!

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