Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chapter 39

I was back at the doctor's again.  This time because my tongue had started to swell a couple of different times.  It had felt like it was to big for my mouth and I had a hard time to talk.  It turned out I had developed an allergy to Altace, my blood pressure medication...after 10 years of being on it.  Since my blood pressure was on the low side I wasn't put on anything to replace it, which I was very happy about.  I was on to much medication already.

Then one day I felt a little down, the next day it was worse.  Then I found myself having to try and stop wild self accusations that were randomly making their way into my thoughts.  Then before I could see what was happening I was in another deep depression.  This time I got to the point where I was so depressed I didn't even have the energy to take my pills and insulin, so I just stopped.  Suicide wasn't the reason, I just had lost the ability to even care!  I knew that something was horribly wrong though and finally made myself go to my doctor.  Before I even left her office I had been admitted to the hospital. 

When I was admitted there were no empty beds so I was put in a lounge on one of the wards on a stretcher.  I looked at the nurse and said something about not being able to lay on the stretcher because of the pain the neuropathy was causing in my legs.  She said that they would move a very comfortable lazy-boy in for me instead.  I told her that would be fine because I was now sleeping 3 or 4 nights out of the week in a chair anyway.

I was started on new medication for the depression as well as put back on all my other meds.  For the first couple of days I was basically left alone.  I didn't even open the drapes or turn on the light during the day, I just sat there.  As the medication gradually started to kick in the nurses started making me open the drapes and go for walks around the floor.  I didn't want to, but it was the only way to shut them up!  Finally my doctor said she wanted me to talk to a psychiatrist from the Psych unit.  I told her that I wouldn't go over there.  That area still held to many unpleasant memories for me.  She said that I wouldn't be released to go home until I spoke to someone, but she would see if they would come to the ward I was on.

The psychiatrist came over 3 different times.  I couldn't convince him that I hadn't been trying to kill myself, so I gave up and just listened to the lectures.

I was finally let go, but it was a couple of months before I felt myself again.  I now realize that I'm always going to have a problem with depression and that its nothing to be ashamed of.  Depression is an illness, a definite medical problem!  Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty because you have a medical condition that requires medication to control!

A couple of months after coming home from the hospital I got up from my chair one evening and started down my hall when out of nowhere I got this terrible pain in my chest.  By the time I sat down the pain had radiated to my jaw and up both sides of my face and both arms were tingling.  I sat very still for a couple of minutes and when the pain had subsided I again attempted to go down the hall.  When everything started again, I panicked, unlocked my door, sat down and called 911.

The paramedic's that came knew me from previous visits to the house, and they knew where all my pills and medical information was kept  They also knew which arm they could start the IV in the easiest!  They thought I had suffered a heart attack and I was rushed to the hospital.

It turned out to be a esophageal spasm  Since the body cannot tell where in the chest the pain is originating, you get the same symptoms as if you were having a heart attack.  But to be on the safe side an appointment was made with a heart specialist for a stress test.  Because of the neuropathy in my legs being so bad I couldn't have the standard treadmill stress test  I had to have a drug induced one.

Alice and her two kids came with me that day.  It was a long day.  I started out in the x-ray department getting some sort of shot that had a radio-active ingredient in it that would show up on a special scan.  I then was put for around 40 minutes into this machine.  Then I was taken to have the stress test.  I had to have an IV put in BOTH arms...I wasn't impressed with that!  I laid on a bed while a medication was slowly injected into one of the IV lines.  It's a strange sensation;  your heart starting to speed up and it becoming harder and harder to breathe when your not doing anything!  All at once the pain started in my jaw and face.  I became very sweaty and light-headed.  They quickly injected another medication into the second IV and in a couple of minutes everything started to return to normal.

I was taken back to x-ray again and placed back in the machine for a second scan of my heart.  The way I was laying on the stretcher I could watch the clock on the machine ticking down the time remaining.  With only 8 minutes left to go it stopped moving and the machine started making this loud beeping noise!  A couple of people came running in.  Out in the waiting room the commotion could be heard and Alice's son turned to her and joked, "Mrs. Miller" (named changed)  must have broken something!"

Back in the room it became apparent that the machine was indeed broken and it wouldn't release the stretcher I was on!  The repairman was in Digby, an hour away  They put a couple of pillows under my legs to try and make me more comfortable during the wait and then one of the nurses went to the waiting room to tell Alice what had happened and that I wouldn't be out anytime soon!  I could hear them laughing from where I was stuck!

The repairman eventually arrived and got me out of the machine  I was wrapped in a blanket and taken out to the waiting room  Everyone there started laughing when the nurse wheel me in...sometimes its so hard to find a sympathetic soul!  I was told that if the repairs didn't take long there was still time to complete the needed scan that day, or I could go home and come back the following day.  If I left and came back however, the whole process would have to be repeated including the stress test. I opted to wait.  Thankfully the machine was fixed in time and worked perfectly  After nearly 6 hours at the hospital, I was able to go home.

Thankfully the results were good and my heart was fine.  I mentioned it as a praise in a midweek meeting, saying that the test results stated I was normal.  Pastor replied with, "Lady, I'd get a second opinion if I were you!"...I think I need to look for new friends!!

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