Monday, September 5, 2011

Good Health is Not Picking Your Nose with a Kleenex!

I had lots of excuses for why I became obese, and eating dog food and jousting with lances were not among them!

In April I contracted hellacious flu virus which kept me on the verge of throwing up, in bodily pain, and sleepless for four days. On the third day of the siege I had so much chest pain I thought I was going to die. My wife took me right to the ER - the EKG went crazy!

They gave me all the heart attack related drugs: nitro, aspirin and Plavix. The nurse worked quickly and efficiently, all the time assuring me and my wife that my vitals were good and that was a good sign. I am not so sure how blood pressure at 62/28 is so good, but she's the expert, not me.

As the paramedics whisked me out the door she kissed me on the check and said "Don't worry, God bless you."

Sirens wailing, the paramedics raced me across town via ambulance for an emergency catheterization at the cardiovascular unit. They slid me onto the operating table, and within minutes were looking through my arteries for blockages - there were none - WTF?

In spite of the lack of atrial blockage, I was having congestive heart failure.

Exercise saved my life.
Since I spent a week in the hospital, I have a few observations about hospitals:

1) The care was excellent.- I was amazed at the compassion of both nurses and doctors, something I never saw before. Kudos to the staff! And during my ER visit over the weekend, my little one got a nose bleed while I was having an EKG - one of the nurses stepped right in. It was sort of like a 2-For-1 deal.

2) The lack of showers was a shock.- I am not too good without a shower! It was a glorious first stop the day I got home! I am trying to imagine why this is the case?

3) Drugs, drugs and more drugs.-They have drugs to fix this and that, and drugs to counteract the side-effects of the other drugs. I had 13 different ones during my visit, and I was taking 7 for months afterward. I am grateful for medicine, but my head is still spinning over the amount that one person needs to get well. But if I had to pick a favorite...

4) Tape!-I had 3 IVs and nearly a dozen heart monitoring pads as well as a dressing on the incision in near my hip. All I can say is this: there is money, big money in tape that does not rip off your body hair.

5) Dignity- there was pretty much none. Covering my privates with a 3-inch neon orange cloth was not comforting - well unless it was meant to save me from some other disaster. However; with enough Fentanyl, you could care less!

5 1/2 Sleep- it was no where to be found.

What do you think, did I miss anything?

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