June 24, 2005

So Where have I Been, Anyway?

In an exciting flashback to the hellish year known as 2002, I have spent a large part of this week in the hospital. Don't worry--everything's fine.

Monday I had severe stomach cramps related to that exciting time of the month, and in the evening I woke up from a nap and went to take some more ibuprofen. Pills and glass in hand, I headed to the refrigerator to get some water and then took a nose dive. I mean that literally. All I remember is the sound of the glass shattering on the floor, the edge of the counter speeding toward my face, and coming to sitting in a pile of glass with Kevin holding me up trying to keep me from laying down in the glass which I apparently really wanted to do. I had totally passed out, smacking my nose on the edge of the counter (rounded, thankfully) on the way down. I was completely disoriented with a bloody nose, so Kevin got me to the bed and called 911. Off I went in an ambulance (no lights or sirens) to the closest hospital.

Where I stayed from Monday night through Thursday night. Fun! I had basically every conceivable test known to mankind and it was 100% NOT heart-related. Phew! It also wasn't a seizure, thanks to a rather unpleasant EEG brain scan. They attach electrodes to your head and I though they were going to glue them like they do for a sleep study. Nope, they have little pins on the ends and they just poke them into your skin. Nice. When he took them off he blotted my head with a towel and tiny spots of blood came off. Extra nice.

I had an ICD interrogation (completely silent--no activity) and an echo, which actually showed an improvement in my heart function, which was good news. I even had a stress test, where they used a drug to dilate my blood vessels instead of making me run on the treadmill. That was interesting. But again the results were completely normal--no coronary artery disease.

The verdict was that the cramps were menstrual. I have NEVER had anything like this before and am frankly terrified that it might happen again, so I have a follow up appointment with my gynecologist on Wednesday to discuss my options. After ruling out just about every other possibility, we decided that the fainting was a vaso vagal response due to the pain, possible low blood pressure, and a falling heart rate (but not enough to be picked up by my ICD--that would have to be below 40 bpm which is really slow).

All in all I held up rather good emotionally during the visit, unlike my last visit where I went completely bonkers. The hardest part, as usual, was waiting for all of the tests and for the doctors to show up. So anyway, that's where I've been lately and I'm SO glad to be home and in my own bed with my beagles.

Posted by Shelby at June 24, 2005 11:55 AM

Oh Shelby - I am so glad you are home and safe. It is good to know your heart is fine. I really hope it never happens again. Good look with your appointment, and let us all know how you are doing.


Posted by: annie at June 24, 2005 12:25 PM

Dear Shelby, schön, dass Du wieder zu Hause bist. Pass auf dich auf!!!
Liebe Grüße
Ira & Marie-Louise

Posted by: ira at June 24, 2005 02:27 PM

Wow! That's quite a week! Glad you're back, safe and sound!

Posted by: David at June 24, 2005 04:40 PM

Man, and I thought my cramps were bad! Just kidding... Seriously, I'm glad you're okay and I hope your gynecologist has some better answers for you. *hugs and beagle snuggles*

Posted by: staz at June 24, 2005 07:11 PM

Shelby!!! Ack! I was all frantic after reading on the forum that you'd been in the hospital. I'm so glad it's not your heart - not that it's any better or worse I suppose that it's anything else.

I'd been wondering where you'd been lately.

By the way, be sure your doc tests for PCOS, it's one of the most under-diagnosed problems out there. I've had severe pain, and I've passed out from dizziness and low blood pressure from my PCOS so... just makes me wonder.

I'm so glad you're home and doing okay!

Posted by: Katie at June 25, 2005 05:27 PM

So you either pass out from vaso vagal response or get a mule kick in the chest from the ICD? This is just a fantastic choice--will the wonders of medicine never stop?


Posted by: marc at June 27, 2005 03:23 PM

Shelby -- so glad you're home! Take care.

Posted by: Katrina at June 27, 2005 08:08 PM

Aww, geez Shelby, that sucks that you had to go, but I'm glad you're home and ok.

Posted by: Tori at June 30, 2005 12:54 PM
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