A day in a life with rheumatoid Arthritis – Part 4

It’s a blessing I was born to a young mom, not to mention, a mom whose natural cheery disposition has kept her healthier than I am. In Part 3, I explained that Mom spent several days at my hospital bedside while I recuperated from a condition called pericarditis that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis disease.

I must have missed all that tender loving care because Mom was only home five days and I was back in the hospital a second time. This time I had to call an ambulance, I didn’t drive myself. My heart was racing, I had pain into my left underarm extending across my left chest area, difficulty breathing and a heavy feeling across my chest.

The paramedics took an ECG reading. They found my heart rate was 121 and they said the ECG print out wasn’t looking normal. At the hospital, I was examined by the ER doctor, a resident cardiologist and later the attending cardiologist. The examinations, a chest x-ray and ultrasound of the heart determined – fluid around the heart and a collapsed something something. Both cardiologist agreed that my heart sound muffled and like it was rubbing.

I complained, “Surely, there cannot be that much fluid accumulated in six days.”

The attending cardiologist replied, “Oh yes, there can be.”

Further, the cardiologist explained that I should not have been released without a prescription for prednisone. They gave me the drug while in the hospital the first time and it should have been continued. If taken off the drug too soon it creates a rebound effect and the body goes back into the mode it was in prior to the meds.

The cardiologist figured he would have to tap (drain) fluid and decided to have me stay overnight and tap the next day. That night they administered a dose of the prednisone and a healthy dose of an anti-inflammatory drug.

The next day, Mom jumped in her car and drove 2-1/2 hrs to the hospital.

The cardiologist ordered an Eco-cardiogram to determine the amount of fluid he anticipated draining. By mid-afternoon the technician arrived at the bedside with the equipment. Mom stayed and watched as the technician examined and re-examined all areas of my heart. Mom asked questions, the technician explained.

“I’m not seeing much fluid here, at least, to me it doesn’t look like enough to drain, but I’m not a doctor,” said the technician.

The cardiologist arrived, looked at the screen, agreed with the technician then he looked at me and noticed the great big smile on my face.

I was discharged the next day, this time with proper medication until my rheumatologist can help me sort all this out.

Beautiful day at the park

I have to mention that I have a correction to make since posting Part 3, (I’ll edit the post to reflect the hospital record details). When I had the fluid drained my nurse told me that they took 600 cc off initially. The tap was left in overnight to drain the leftover fluid. When they pulled it out my nurse said there was about another 150 cc which he poured down the drain in my ICU room. I totaled it up to get the 750 cc/ml number which was reflected in the previous post.

While in ER the second time, the nurse checked the last admission report and advised me that the amount recorded in the hospital records is 500 cc/ml. So that is the number I’m going with – 500 cc/ml.

The hospital released me on Tuesday, August 23rd. Still feeling shaken-up and frightened, I asked Mom to stay with me a few more days. Mom went home on Friday. Again, I am so blessed to have her.

I’m feeling better this week than last week, most likely due to proper medication for now. The entire experience prompted a plethora of thoughts and feelings that I will process for months to come yet (hopefully).

I must also acknowledge a few close friends who have supported me throughout the past three weeks: friends who came to visit in the hospital, friends who dropped by home with food, supplies, cards, flowers, and friends who I could call when I was really not feeling very well. I don’t know what I’d do without all you guys in my life either. Also, many many thanks to all who wished me well through the airwaves.  Relationships are priceless.

Once again, thanks for reading. I wish the very best for everyone today. May all be well, get well and stay well.

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17 thoughts on “A day in a life with rheumatoid Arthritis – Part 4

  1. Bless you heart, Marianne–literally and figuratively. I’m so sorry you are having this struggle with your heart. That must be scary. But thank God for your mother!
    Blessings to you, my friend,
    Kathy

  2. Lots of hugs to you, Marianne. I hope the medication has been working as it should, and that your rheumatologist can get things sorted out for you.

    You are so blessed to have such a wonderful mother to help you out. 🙂

    • Thanks Robin. I’m eagerly awaiting the rheumatologist’s return. I am blessed. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Robin. Hope your having a great day!

  3. Hi Marianne! You continue to be in my prayers.

    My mom went through double bypass and a mitral valve replacement not too long ago and I was able to take some time off work to stay with her. My big brother was able to spend lots of time too. We sort of traded off so she would nearly always have one of us there.

    You’ve mentioned before how at times like this, the importance of family and relationships are brought into clear focus. That’s so true. I’m glad your mom was there for you. There are so many people out there without that kind of support and love. You are blessed to have that during this trial.

    Blessing!
    Ken

    • I appreciate your prayers very much, Ken. So sorry your mom went through surgery. I hope all is well with your mom. It’s great that she has you and your brother also. I am blessed during this trial. Huge revelations have occurred during this trial and I hope to make the best of them. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I greatly enjoy your inspiring and well-written blog at Meant to be happy. 🙂

  4. Hi Marianne,

    My heart goes out to you that you had to go through this ordeal. I hope it can all be regulated and you will be on the right medication. How wonderful that your mother is available to be there for you. Take care of yourself and feel better soon!

    • Thank you, Cathy. I went to the rheumatologist yesterday. She is starting me on a new medication that she is having success with. In the meantime, I’ve got three other medications that is helping to control it for now and until this new drug becomes active. While this situation has been an ordeal, it has also provided heightened awareness of key issues for me to address on this healing journey. I am so blessed to have my healthy mom. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Cathy.

  5. My mother and father died of heart disease and my brother is living on a donated heart. My wife is presently struggling through the last stage of Lupus, so when I say take care and hope your feeling better, well, I say it with a lot of emotion. Thanks for the comment on my post.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your RA. My mother suffers from it and it is so hard to see her walk painfully with her cane. I am sure tons of people have asked, but have you read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life? If so, what are your thoughts about what Louise says about fearful thought patterns causing illness?

    WIshing you blessings and vitality.

    Neerja

    • My heart goes out to your mom, Neerja. It’s an awful disease.

      Yes, I have Louise Hay’s books. I know exactly how this disease manifested. Fear, stress and anxiety was very prevalent in my past. Although, I do think there is also a physical component or cause as well.

      Now, I feel like a new person. I have to be patient and let my body catch up. Either way, I’m no longer stressed or attached to this disease anymore. I still want to optimize my health, so my focus is on eating healthy.

      I just love Anita Moorjani’s story of healing because it’s like poof, the cancer vanishes.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Neerja.

      Wishing you a great week. 🙂
      Marianne

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