The Bionic Sleeper

You might remember my recent hospital stay where they detected that my heart had gone into atrial fibrillation.  It has been happening to me since I was in high school.  I had learned how to make the abnormal heart beat convert back to a normal sinus rhythm by holding my breath…and so I lived with it.   Yup, real fun stuff.  😀

My new heart doc has me taking some medicine that helps control it.  And so far it is working.  I’ve had a few freak episodes, but they only lasted about 2 seconds…nothing like the 10 hours of 190 beats per minute while I was in the hospital.  😀

I’ve been doing good.  I have not had a drop of caffeine…and I have not gone back into a-fib for more than 3 or 4 seconds.  Those couple times were really my fault.  I had been working outside all day cutting wood.  I had not ate or drank much of anything.  Dehydration and lack of potassium are just of the couple of things that can trigger a-fib.  Whoops…my bad.  😀

The next step of my treatment is a sleep study…this Sunday…yep Superbowl Sunday.  I get to sleep at the doctors office with about 3 million wires and sensors attached from head to toe while some really lucky nurses get to watch me toss and turn over a camera, and listen to me saw logs over a microphone.

Based upon the results, I may have to sleep like this from now on…

cpap

Looks comfy right?  Well, maybe I will actually feel rested in the morning.  I can look like the bionic sleeper if it makes me feel like the bionic man the next day.  😀

Do any of you that read DadThing use CPAP machines?  If so let me know what you think about them in the comments.

A Scary First…

DadThing has been filled with stories about Ace’s firsts.  From his first step to his first night with no bottle.

However, something happened this weekend that was a first for me.  It was not nearly as happy a time as when Ace rolled over for the first time.  I spent my first ever night in the hospital.

I have had a problem with my heart since I was in junior high school, but no doctor could ever tell me what it was.  I have had multiple EKGs, Echoes, stress tests, you name it…and they all come back normal.  I swear the doctors thought I was making stuff up.

Ya see, sometimes, especially when I exert myself, my heart goes crazy.  It beats really hard and with no real rythym.   Sometimes I feel like I’m going to pass out and I almost always have to sit down until my heart calms down a bit.  Usually I can get it to stop within 10 minutes or so with some techniques I have discovered over the years, but not Saturday night.  After about 3 hours I drove myself to the emergency room.

I did not feel bad.  There was no pain, I did not feel faint or anything.  I just knew that something was not right.   I walked up to the ER receptionist and told her that I would like to be seen for a rapid and irregular heart beat.  She took my name and social security number and I immediately went back for an EKG.

The nurse doing the EKG seemed very urgent and I immediately went into triage to have my vitals checked.  My blood pressure was high and my heart rate was 180 beats per minute.  A normal heart rate is around 70 beats per minute.  Yikes!  The triage nurse, said “Wait right here.  You are next to be seen.”

I did not pass GO, did not collect $200, and went directly to an ER bed where I was immediately stuck with an IV, had X-Rays, and then lied there for a few hours hoping the medicine would make my heart beat normally.  The urgency of everyone in the ER was kind of frightening. 

This has been happening to me for over 15 years now and I had become used to living with it, but I guess it really was something serious…atrial fibrillation.

About 6 hours later I was admitted to the hospital.  After another 4 hours of lying in the hospital bed hooked to heart monitors a nurse rushed in my room as she yelled into her phone, “I need an EKG STAT!!”  I thought that something bad had happened.  I thought my heart had really gone crazy and I was in trouble…

However, she then looked at me and smiled.  “You converted!!”  My heart beat had converted back to a normal sinus rhythm.  This was a good thing because if the medicine did not convert me, they would have had to shock my heart with the paddles….while I was awake and alert. 

I had to stay in the hospital for another day in observation to make sure that my heart did not go back into atrial fibrillation again, and to also make sure I did not have a stroke (a side effect of being in atrial fibrillation for an extended period of time).

Momma brought Ace in to visit me and I will never forget the look on his face when he saw my lying there in that hospital bed.  He was confused and scared at the same time.  After he realized that I was OK, he did grab my finger and we took a few laps around the observation unit.  Ace pulling me, and me pulling an IV.  The little old ladies and the nurses got a kick out of him taking Daddy for a walk.  😀

So now I am back home, with no restrictions, and a little different out look on life.  I have cut caffeine out of my diet.  Once I have that under control, smoking is next.

I can’t live like there is no tomorrow anymore.  There are a few people in this world that count on me being there…and I’m going to do my part to make sure that happens. 😀

Today’s the day…..

It’s Wednesday, and here I sit; when I should be sleeping. 

I go to the doctor today to make sure that everything passed like it was supposed to.  And God, I really hope it did….I don’t want anything else to have to take place.  As if this whole thing isn’t bad enough, I might have to endure more and I don’t think that I can.

My friends must think I’m awful or a basketcase or just plain crazy at this point.  I have avoided everyone that I can for the last week, actually longer, but I think now I’m going to have to face them.  I’m sure everyone will want to tell me that everything will be okay, that this is for the best; but honestly I don’t want to hear it.  Not anymore!  I’m ready for this to be over, O-V-E-R, to just be a memory.  A really crappy memory!  I’ve grieved, believe me I’ve grieved over this, but now I honestly think that I’m beginning to heal.  That God really is taking this pain away.  It’s been 10 days, is this even possible?  I would like to think so.  Some people think I’m pretending to be fine when the truth of the matter is, I’m all cried out.  My tears have run dry….that whole in my heart; Ace is filling it up with so much love that I don’t notice it as much today as I did yesterday.  Today I walked right by the baby clothes at WalMart and didn’t stop to wonder if I would need pink or blue this time.  Just a slight trick of my mind maybe, but I would like to think that I’m done.  I’m done feeling hurt and miserable and sad and sick and all that mess that comes with it.  I’m ready to think of what next month might bring, or the month after that.  I’m ready to get back to living my life instead of just watching it happen from the sidelines.

I miss laughing for no reason at all, and sleeping late without my family thinking I’m alone in the bedroom crying my eyes out, and I miss exercising (which I haven’t really done and used to do everyday and I hate more than anything), and I miss talking on the phone without wondering if this will come up, and I miss my friends and family just being normal.  So please, stop asking if I’m okay when you don’t believe my response anyway, and stop tip-toeing around the subject of babies (of which I know 9 people due to have their own in the next few weeks to months), and stop treating me like I might fall to pieces any second.  I’m okay, not totally healed but I’m getting there and the sooner everyone gets back to life as usual the easier it will be!

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I really appreciate the support and love and prayers from everyone; honestly I think that is what has helped.  That this ordeal was not a secret that I had to go through on my own, that I did have so much support to lean on when I was at my lowest, that is what has helped me heal the most.  So let me heal…..and believe me when I say that I am getting there….and that I am okay.

I know I’m not the first woman in history to go through this, but if I could be the last that would be fine by me.  I wouldn’t wish this kind of hurt on anyone, not even my worst enemy.  So to those who have suffered through this, I wish you to be healed and let God’s love surround you and make you whole again; that’s what I’m trying to do.

Thank you Jared for being there and dealing with my crazy mood swings and irrational behavior at times, and for letting me scream when I needed to, and for listening without speaking, and loving me through this all.  You really are the best friend I have ever had, and I’m lucky to have you in my life!  I love you more than words….you have my heart until the end of time!

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Things I need to get out of my head!!! (Update)

Friends, some days I wonder what they are good for!  Other days I know for sure, but Friday when I needed someone to cry to, a “good” friend of mine didn’t have the time to listen.  I’m always aware of how people are feeling, this is a personality trait I suppose, but I thought maybe hearing the tears in my voice or just my words would be indication enough that I needed to talk.  Maybe she didn’t know what to say, in which case just listening would have been fine; or maybe she is not used to hearing me cry, this could be the truth.  I can’t remember the last time I had a good cry; you know the one where your nose is running and it’s hard to catch your breathe (not that this was the way I was crying) but I’m not a crier so this is new to me.  But I needed her and she wasn’t there for me and at that exact moment (well after I hung up the phone) I decided that I wouldn’t be there for her either.  I didn’t answer my phones this weekend when she called (about 9 times total) and I deleted her voicemail messages without even listening……irrational behavior on my behalf?  Maybe, but if she would have listened to me on Friday she would understand!

So back to Friday:  I finally went to the doctor on Thursday, being a good listener, I was there to follow up from a previous visit about a week before.  My thyroid (and the waterworks start) is causing some major issues!  I have elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, headaches, shortness of breathe, insomnia, forgetfulness, (scatter brained as the doctor stated) shifting moods, raging emotions (of which I can no longer control), and yeah I think that’s about it.  Oh wait no, I am NOT ovulating, I must now go on birth control and have been strongly advised to not become pregnant anytime soon.  I’m apparently loosing my mind  though and that is the primary concern next to the crazy-fast thyroid.  My mood swings and raging emotions, let me tell you, that is hard to handle!  I think I’m going crazy inside my own head, not the hearing voices or anything like that kind of crazy, just the regular kind.    My PCP suggested that I begin Prozac for some depression issues that I’m experiencing.  Further making me feel insane, but it will also help with my insomnia.  You mean it’s not normal to be awake for days at a time and then sleep for 15 hours?  Here it’s 1:33am as I type and I’m not a bit tired, but I did get to sleep for 13 hours last night, I thought that was the problem obviously I was wrong I have some issues!  So right now my PCP is going to treat the symptoms of my fast thyroid and let the specialist actually treat the problems with my thyroid.  That brings us back to the baby making problem.  I’ve been advised by both the PCP and my OB/GYN to avoid pregnancy until the issue is resolved with my thyroid.  My question was what does one have to do with the other?  I guess my thyroid is causing me to not ovulate (although I still get a monthly bill, this is just my body going with the flow /no pun intended) which is problem #1; and problem #2 is that my heart is at risk for injury due to the increase in speed caused by thyroid hormone production.  The problem with getting pregnant while going through the process of killing my thyroid is the possibility of damage to the fetus, good enough reason for me to avoid pregnancy.  My concern is how long will this take?  I’m requesting they just remove my thyroid, the doctor suggests radiation therapy to kill my thyroid: who’s suggestion is correct? I’m a big fan of the old if it don’t work get rid of it method, but I think that any doctor would suggest otherwise.  Does anyone out there have any experience with this….can you offer any advice? I don’t know where this leaves me/us, but I hope this gets taken care of sooner rather than later.

MISC RAMBLING: I’m so glad we had a great weekend together as a family, it kept my mind busy with other things.  That is until now, that while the world sleeps I am wide awake!  Awake and able to think and type about last weeks appointment, to go through the conversation again, the parts I remember at least, and figure out what my next step needs to be.  Wishing my problem away didn’t help, so now I must follow the doctors orders!  No more baby-making in this house, at least for awhile.  I guess the upside is that I can get more homework done….one of these years I intend to finish my bach degree!  God knows, maybe I’ll have my PhD by the time this is all said and done, I sure the hell hope not!

The Doctors Office: Farts, Burps, Ear Wax, and Red Poop

If you know Ace even the slightest little bit, you would know that if you found him sitting still for longer than 0.163 seconds with his eyes open and the TV not on Noggin, that something is seriously wrong!

Well that was the scene when I arrived home from work a few nights ago.  Momma called during the day and said that Ace wasn’t feeling good, but I figured it was like any of the other numerous times he was sick.  Usually he still runs around like the Energizer Bunny with snot running from his nose only stopping when it is time to eat or sleep, or both.

I walked in the door and Ace was lying on the couch by himself.  Just lying there like he was paralyzed from the neck down.  He turned his head to see who walked in the door.  When he saw it was me, there was no smile.  There was no running across the room to greet me.  Nothing!  Just a look of exhaustion… 🙁

Ear PlugsWhen his normal bed time came around, we tried and tried to get him to go to sleep, but all of our normal tactics were deemed useless.  The sickness was beating all of us! Finally after an hour or so Ace fell asleep on my chest and remained there for most of the rest of the night until Momma put him in his bed in the early morning.

Momma calls me the next day at work and needs me to take Ace to the doctor.  Things aren’t getting better and she has a doctor’s appointment herself on the other side of town.

So I picked up Ace and off to the pediatrician I went.  Even though Ace was feeling like crap he still managed to flirt with the nurses at the doctors office.  He was just lounging there in my arm when the nurse walked up to the reception desk to greet me Ace.

Of course, he perked up, pulled out a big smile, and hypnotized her with his blue eyes.  They “talked” for a few minutes before the older grumpier receptionist asked told me to have seat.

I grabbed a few magazines from the stack and was flipping through the pages to keep Ace entertained, but my reading kept getting interrupted by the little old lady sitting across from me… farting and burping!

She was talking away with her friend and would fart mid-sentence (Phhhhtttt!!!) without even losing her train of thought!  I’m not talking about a little squeaky fart…I’m talking about a day after drinking 12 beers and eating 24 hot wings kinda fart!  I’m not sure if she didn’t know she was farting or she didn’t care, but it sure did echo in that quiet waiting room!  I’m just glad I didn’t catch a whiff or the doctor would have been treating me for nausea for sure! 😀

Our name was finally called and we sprinted back and took a seat in room #4 before we passed out from methane inhalation.  The doctor lady performed the normal checks…temperature, heart, lungs.  All look OK until she checks his ears.

I hear her say something like, “Little man you gotta start letting go of that ear wax!”Ear Wax Candle

She grabs the smallest pair of tweezers I have ever seen and goes in to pull it out.  While digging around in his ear she says to Ace, “I bet Daddy is going to be shocked at how much ear wax you have in here.”

Now seriously how shocking could it be?  You ever looked at a 1yr old’s ear hole?  It’s tiny!  I figured a few small globs of ear wax.  Maybe something I would see on a Q-Tip after being pulled from my ear.  My ears are probably 5 times bigger than his so a man sized chunk of ear wax would be considered a lot of ear wax for a little guy, right?

Wrong!  What I saw literally made my jaw drop.  I’m talking about a chunk of ear wax about a 1/2 inch long and a bit smaller round than a pencil!

She takes another peek in his ear…there is more!  She goes digging a few more times and pulls out more ear wax every single time!  All in all if it wouldn’t have broken apart it was probably an inch long. (And I thought Ace had been ignoring me when he wouldn’t respond to me at home…the little guy was probably couldn’t hear a lick)  😆

His ailment was diagnosed as an ear infection (jeez, imagine that!) and antibiotics were prescribed.  She says there is nothing we can do to prevent the build up of ear wax.  It just happens in some kids and they will eventually out grow it, or their ear canals will rupture from an excess build up of wax.  (OK,  I made that last part up)

Before leaving the room she warns me… “Oh yeah.  If his poop turns a brick red color there is no need to worry.  It’s just the medicine.”

It’s a good thing she told me that piece of important information!  I’m pretty sure red poop requires an immediate emergency room visit in any other imaginable circumstances. 😀  If you know of a situation where it doesn’t please let me know…just incase…you never know…

Photos by: http://flickr.com/photos/nickstarr/ and http://flickr.com/photos/fuse/