Thursday, July 16, 2009

I've Been Away

Well, I haven't posted anything since June 30. I have a good reason, though. And first, i want to thank BettieLee and E.Collins for their concern when I was missing. So here's the story, as best as I can tell it.

And now the baby cries, interrupting me. Hold on, folks... Okay, her nap is over. But she is being a sweet, content girl in her bouncy-seat.

So, back to me, LOL. On July 3rd I started coughing up a lot of blood. The day before I'd been coughing up bloody sputem, which is not a totally unusual experience--since the lung surgery in '07 it happens sometimes. But on the 3rd it changed over to straight blood. Mouthfuls of the stuff. Scared my wife Crystal a lot. I was leaning over the bathroom sink just making everything red. I had her get the kids into the car to take me to the hospital, and cleaned up as best I could so when she got back home it wouldn't frighten her too much to see just how much it actually was.

In the ER they of course told me I was going to be admitted. Then they did blood work, and a CT Scan to make sure I didn't have pulomary embolisms again. The on Saturday the 4th I saw my pulmologist (he works out of that hospital, and was on call over the weekend), and he told me the CT showed a possible aspergaloma. It's a fungus that can cause bleeding in the lungs. So I was scheduled for a bronchoscopy on Monday the 6th.

He couldn't go into the cavity where the most damge in the lung is, because it's a dangerous area. Given my past history with surgery--my thoracotomy ended up setting into motion events leading to a three-week coma, I'd almost died--he didn't want to take the risk. But he took cultures. The pulmonologist told me there was no aspergaloma, and my lung looked surprisingly good. If I continue to have the bleeding issues I might have to have the artery clotted off, which appearantly is not as scary as it sounds. It's fairly common. You have to blood sources to the lungs. So that issue seemed dealt with. And they did e-rays because I was sure I'd broken some ribs coughing. I did. I have osteoperosis, and really weak bones. (Right now the ribs are giving me the most problem. They friggin' HURT!) But that's a side note.

So the idea was that I would go home on Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. My body had other ideas. Tuesday morning, at 11:30, when I was going into the bathroom, my chest started hurting, and I felt a great pressure. I felt my pulse on my wrist, and it was going so fast it was hard to feel. I waited to see if it would go away, but when it didn't, and the pain got worse, at 1 o'clock I buzzed for the nurse. They checked me over, called the doctor, set me up on an EKG, and found out I had gone into atrial-fibrillation. Basicaly, the top of my heart (the atrium) was firing offat 190 beats a minute, and the bottom was trying to keep up. There's no actual heart-rhthym when that happens. It's not life-threatening, just uncomfortable. Very.

So they moved me down to the heart center, and kept me monitored. The IV meds they gave me to try to right the rhthym didn't work, and the plan was to use the electronic defibrilator to shock my heart back to sinus rhthym on Wednesday morning. The next morning the cardiologist said I was responding enough to the meds to hold off on that. They head gotten my heart-rate down a lot, but not enough, and I was still in A-Fib. But they wanted to hold off on the shocking because I'm on blood thinners for my clotting problems. Thank God, an hour later my heart went back to normal sinus rhthym on its own. That was not expected, but great.

They monitored me the rest of the night, and Thursday, the 9th, I was discharged. I still have to go next week to see the pulmonologist, then the following week to see the cadiologist, but I'm feeling better. Maybe 80% now. Besides the ribs, which are killing me. We had to get rid of our son's rabbit because I had just found out I'm allergic, and hopefully that will help my asthma. But I'm glad my heart is staying in check, for the time at least. I'm used to lung problems, had 'em all my life, but I've never had any problems with my heart. And now that it's gone into A-Fib, it's likely it will happen again at some point.

I wrote 5500 words, longhand because I don't have a laptop, half of them on my new novel, and parts on two new short stories, so that was good. What else am I going to do in the hospital? I finished the last 100 pages of "Life Expectancy" by Dean Koontz, read "Winter Moon" by Dean Koontz, read "The Dangerous Days of Daniel X" by James Patterson, and 129 pages of "Lisey's Story" by Stephen King while I was in there. Plus, we have a portable DVD player, so I had all kinds of movies. Gotta make the best of a bad situation. I have now finally transcribed the longhand onto the computer.

So, that's my past two weeks. Life stays interesting!LOL!


  1. Glad your feeling better and I hope everything goes well with the dr's! Take care of yourself!


  2. Glad to see you're home and doing better. Hope things continue to improve. P&L man.