One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned is that since coming home the second time, I’ve been suffering from what I call the heebie-jeebies. I’ve been just agitated as hell, shaking hands, twitching legs, I would go to bed at 11, feeling tired and then lay there unable to sleep. Just after I wrote the last entry, proudly proclaiming my progress, I was having lunch out on the deck in the hot weather. I suddenly started to breath much heavier than I should be, given the activity. I went inside and sat down, hoping it would pass. There was a strange pressure sensation in the middle of my chest, right where the pic line that delivers my antibiotics goes. I decided I was had a blood clot in the lungs. Becky rushed me to the emergency room.
Well we sat in the ER long enough so that if it had been a blood clot, I’d have died. But they finally got me in a room and hooked me up to monitors and put me in the care of Bob, a young male nurse with a West Indian accent. Bob was a good guy, brought Becky a warm blanket, since she was dressed for summer it was freezing in the ER. Then the Doc shows up. He looked like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, only younger. So he agreed that a blood clot was a possibility and I should have a CT scan to rule it out. Here’s something you might not know about a CT scan. When they shoot the contrast dye into you as your going through, you get this huge “hot flash” sensation and you will be absolutely certain you’re peeing your pants, even though you come out dry.
The CT eliminated the blood clot, and the symptoms had pretty much gone away, and I’d figured out that I was just having a panic attack. They needed to do one more test. They gave me nitro glycerin and then asked if the pain was gone. My answer was “yes.” Apparently they chose not to hear the part about the pain being gone before I took the nitro. So the Doc comes back and says he thinks I’m at risk for cardiac problems and they’re going to monitor me overnight in the hospital and do a stress test in the morning to check out my heart. At first I agreed. But then I got to thinking. Nothing showed up on the EKG when I came in. They ran the blood test twice that indicates heart damage. Negative both times. I’d already spent 8 days in the hospital in a month. I called in the nurse and told him I’ve changed my mind I’m leaving. After several folks came to talk me out of it, warning that one of the consequences could be death, I remained adamant and signed myself out against medical advice. Call me a rebel.
The next day I had an appointment with the guy whose treating the infection and told him about the heebie-jeebies and sleeplessness, he agreed that with all the shit going on that I was having an anxiety attack. He recommended that I get a “chill pill,” (his words) and wrote me a script for Atavan. I’m sleeping at night now and not fidgeting through the days. And yesterday I took the stress test, which was kind of odd because I couldn’t get my heartbeat up with exercise because of my knee, they had to stimulate my heart with chemicals. The results were good enough that they didn’t rush me off to emergency triple bypass surgery. The nurse said they’re letting me go home so there was nothing obviously wrong but they would call me if they found anything. No news is good news, I haven’t gotten the call yet. If I don’t have heart blockage, I must be immune to cholesterol, given my love for sausages, butter and ice cream!
Back to the knee bending, no pain, no gain, y’know.