Monday, May 28, 2012

Worst. Week. Ever. (Part One)

It could be said that last week was the worst week ever in the Bell household. It was definitely the scariest for us.

The week started off like any other. Sunday was a day of finally getting my garden started, and I was pretty proud of my work. Monday evening brought the monthly meeting of the Mayland Writers' Group, which is always a good thing. The rest of the week was to consist of pet sitting and a scheduled AFLAC training session in Hickory, which I was actually looking forward to.

Then came 2:30 on Tuesday morning. I was awakened by a loud thump. I looked over the edge of the bed to see Chris, my husband, laying on the floor, passed out. He came out of it pretty quickly, but something obviously wasn't right. Now, the passing out thing had happened before, right after one of his phlebotomy appointments. They had taken that pint of blood even though his blood pressure was very low that day. So, a few steps down the hall and he hit the floor. That's what I thought this might be, a low BP issue, but he couldn't snap completely out of it this time. He tried to lay down for a bit, but couldn't get comfortable. He had a bit of pressure in his chest, but no pain. He had a bruise starting up on the left side of his back where he hit the bed frame (we have a water bed, lots of wood) and another on his right arm where he hit the air purifier, so there was a bit of pain there. But his hands and forearms were hurting, finger tips going numb. That was odd.

After a bit, he finally decided it might be a good idea to go to the ER. Besides the numbness and pain in his hands and arms, he just couldn't get his breath. And when he tried to get up to go take a shower (something he just felt he HAD to do before going to the hospital), he couldn't make it there. Walking from one room to another was a chore that made him nearly pass out again. So, I got us dressed, moved the truck so that it was a straight shot from the front door to the passenger door, shoved all his meds into a bag to take with us, and drove us to the local hospital. I reckon we got there about 3:30am.

At the hospital, I had to get a wheelchair and bring him inside. Walking was pretty much impossible for him. The nurse triaged him, trying to get him to slow down his breathing to no avail, and sent him on back. When they got him hooked up to the monitor, his BP was high and his heart rate was 213 beats per minute (bpm). Normal resting heart rate is 60 - 90 bpm, so this was definitely not good. They put him on oxygen, managed to get an IV inserted, and gave him something to get his heart rate to slow down. It finally started working and he was pretty well normal.

EKG's were done (several) and an ultrasound of his heart was done. He was admitted, being told he would be there for at least 12 hours so they could monitor his heart. Blood was taken, of course, for various tests, and not long after they got him in his room and served him breakfast, his GP came in and said there was some concern with some sort of enzyme level. It's something that goes up when there is a heart attack. We were assured that he did not have a heart attack, but that he (the doctor) didn't want to take any chances and so was ordering an ambulance to take him to the hospital in Asheville. He wanted him to see a cardio specialist and though he could wait and see one here, it wouldn't happen until Friday and the doc didn't want him to wait that long.

So, they piled him into an ambulance while I ran off to get some stuff together (clothes and such), quickly feed the cats, and see if I could get a pet sitting client of mine to prepay me so I could put gas in the truck (she did without hesitation...I have some great clients) otherwise I would probably not make it to Asheville.  Then I was off to rush to the Heart Center at Mission Hospital where, unbeknownst to me, we would be spending the next couple of days.

{Wow, that's a lot. I will continue the saga of our worst week ever tomorrow.}

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