Saturday, November 9, 2013

Billy's Bad Bod: Backwards, Hey

Yesterday afternoon I got discharged from the hospital after a long talk from the resident MD and my current nurse: take it easy for a week; realize that a good portion of your problem with your heart has to do with your thyroid, which is producing too much bad stuff, making your heart race, filling your lungs with water, scaring the shit out of you as you try to breathe. So I'm seeing a Thyroidologist  on 3 December to see if he can figure out how to deal with it.  And of course, new drugs to address the problem and drugs to address the drugs.  Get it?

Yeah, but my cardiologist said, as he prepared to poke et, al, 'you did indeed have a slight heart attack. You wanna call it congestive heart failure, go ahead."  This was the day before yesterday, and, boy, them surgical nurses was cute!  Naturally, I charmed them from here to Chattanooga.  Drugs weren't much (proponol), but the girls made up for it.  Procedures didn't take long and proved: 1) zapping my heart four times (I was asleep) couldn't bring my heart back into rhythm.  This is not uncommon, but I think they're blaming that dirty ole nasty thyroid; 2) the rapid pulses I had experienced the day before had not done substantive damage to the chambers of my heart.  This was very good news.  And the witch doctors and mechanics and medicine men will see what they can do with this almost-71-year-old-machine called my body.  BTW: everyone who came into my room to poke, zap, measure (every 3-4 hours) remarked how I looked more like fifty rather than 71.  Heh, heh. 

OK. Now the fun part.

I usually lie down to read in the afternoons, hoping I'll fall asleep.  I usually do. On Tuesday, I didn't. At about 300 I noticed a little difficulty breathing.  I got up, walked into the bathroom (not sure why), noticed a lot of difficulty breathing, came back out and dived for the cell phone on the bed.  911 was really good, and as fast as they could possibly be. Not fast enough: I was gulping shallow breaths so that by the time they tossed me into the Unit, I was a wild man: wouldn't calm down, kept tearing the cup off my face.  I could only speak one word at a time, and could not talk to Erin.  It was a mess.  Poor Erin: she was scared almost as poopless as I was when she came home and found me gone, and all my modes of transport still there.

So yeah, folks, I'll tell ya that not being able to breathe is quite possibly the worst thing that can happen to you: no defense; no cure.  In the ER, they opened both arms and the back of one hand and pumped me so full of stuff that I could almost not hold it.  The mainlining of Ativan put me out, thank God, and whatever else they pumped into me seemed to correct the breathing problem and the pulse of 130-140 (think about that for a second).  They told Erin that my situation was very severe.  Poor thing.  When I woke up, I was fine.

As of this morning I feel great except for a pronounced weakness in the legs: to be expected after over three days on my back and butt.  Looking forward to a real breakfast, a little college football (no a lot).  Probably a nap.

All told: happy to be here.