So some serious stuff has been going down in the Mackadoo Estates.
The Monday before last my husband was complaining of being run down. He figured he was coming down with a cold or blamed it on the super late gig he had the night before. I believe on Tuesday it was, he stayed home from work.
When questioned what was going on, he just said: “I feel weird…but I took some cold medicine and that is what happens when I take cold meds.” The next day he still felt “weird” and under the weather, but he is in the year end time for his work and had to go in. The next few days were a lot of the same. Going into work and coming home and going to bed really early. Sleeping for almost 12 hours a night – and that is highly unusual for him.
Rob and I have a compromise when it comes to sickness. If it isn’t getting better in a few days, we go to the doctor. Usually, we never have to resort to that, but we have a couple times.
Late in the week he started complaining of jaw pain. It was always on both sides so that ruled out a cavity. I wondered about TMJ, but he was able to stave it off with Advil so we let it go.
That weekend he let me know that he had sometimes been having chest pressure with the jaw pain. He had looked it up and those were symptoms of a mild heart attack.
Long story short…
On Sunday night we had an
argument discussion about how he wasn’t going Urgent Care per our agreement and that wasn’t fair. He wasn’t getting any better, he was just getting by. He swore that if he wasn’t 100 percent better in the morning he would go to the Doc In A Box. Fine.
Monday morning he woke me up saying that he wasn’t feeling well, but that his work was waiting for an important document to be emailed and if they had gotten it by 8:30 he would head into work and then to Urgent Care. If not he would head to Urgent Care and then work.
So I headed into work and on my first morning break I found an email from him stating he was too sick to drive himself to UC. He said maybe he would have me bring him later that night when I got home, or in the morning. I called him and told him I was coming home to get him.
My work was so cool about the whole thing, I gave them the readers digest version and they said: “see ya!” and I was out the door.
The wait time at UC was about an hour and a half. An hour and a half of sitting in a room full of sick people. One kid in particular who had never been taught to cover his cough and was hacking openly around the room while he looked for magazines to read. Not cool.
When we finally got into a room they performed an EKG and deemed it had a slight abnormality. Given his symptoms and the EKG she directed us to the ER. She told us that there was a blood test that could determine whether or not he had had a heart attack and only the hospital could perform it. They gave him some Aspirin to chew and made us sign a waiver that we were not going to be transported by ambulance and off we went.
At this point I am freaking out. I mean, I know we looked up the symptoms and heart attack was one of the causes, but that couldn’t possibly be what had happened! My husband is only 50 years old! Plus, he’s my husband, so he’s invincible duh! However, I hold my shit together because this is just the beginning of our journey and I can’t fall apart yet.
I drive him to the ER and because the UC had faxed over the info, we were taken in 1st thing for another EKG. After that it was a lot of waiting around and then answering questions, then waiting around and checking vitals, then waiting around and verifying insurance, then waiting around and getting a blood test. The ER was absolutely slammed and so we are now again subjected to a bunch of ppl hacking their heads off.
Finally we get an ER room and he is hooked up to a monitor. After a few minutes the ER doc pokes his head in and says that not all the labs are back but it looks like he did in fact have a heart attack and they are waiting on the rest of the labs and someone from radiology to take a chest xray. He quickly starts to disappear behind the curtain, but um no.
“I’m sorry, which labs are back and how do you know that he had a heart attack?” Asked the normally soft spoken wife.
The doc then went on to explain to us that when one has any sort of heart trauma, a chemical is released into the bloodstream and stays there for like a week (details are sort of fuzzy on this so I might have the timeframe wrong). The test did show that chemical in Rob’s blood. He told us he would be back when he knew more.
People began to come in and out and check on different things and Rob started cracking jokes. Like he didn’t have a care in the world. I will always thank him for that and I suspect the whole reason he did it was to keep me from melting down.
Everything else happened at a lightening quick pace. The chest xray showed his heart was not too large and his lungs were not filled with fluid so that was good news. A cardiologist came in and explained they would need to perform an angiogram to check his heart for blockages. They would go in either thru his groin or his wrist and shoot some dye into his arteries to see what was going on. She gave us three scenarios:
1) No blockages and it was just some random heart blood vessel blip.
2) Blockages that are not too severe that they can insert balloons and stents to clear them.
3) Major blockages and they need to go in for open heart surgery.
They gave us all the specifics of everything so we understood that if they had to do stents that he would have to be on a blood thinner for at least a year as well as all the risks for surgery.
Before I knew it, they were rolling him out of the room and I was driving home to let the dogs out and feed them, have a small breakdown and head back.
In the hour and a half it took for me to do that, he was already out and in good spirits.
They had found one artery that was 100 percent blocked so they put in one stent and that was that. He was told that he was on bedrest for the next couple of hours and he was not to put any sort of stress or pressure on the right wrist where they had performed the angioplasty.
They brought him some food, but he had passed the point of starvation hunger where his stomach could tolerate much. He had a little bit of chicken noodle soup and a bite of bread and then I brought a basin over because he was ready to hurl. He managed to keep it down but we then had to figure out the bed pan situation because he had to pee.
With that taken care of he took a little more food and was ready to rest. I think we saw a nurse that explained more at some point but honestly, things were a bit of a blur by that time. I was running on sheer adrenaline and was ready to crash at any moment.
Eventually Rob told me to go home and go to sleep, there was nothing more I could do since he was going to go to sleep. So I did.
I must say this. I texted a few ppl while I was waiting in the ER for Rob and every single one of them offered to come sit with me. I’m not saying that that I don’t know how much my friends mean to me, I’m just saying that it takes a crisis like this to put it in perspective.
So I went home and the dogs were very confused as to why Father wasn’t home with us. The fact that I was bawling my head off probably did not help the situation. I got on chat with my good friend Koly who immediately offered to come down and spend the night. I politely refused because I was not in a way where I could see anyone face to face. Chat was fine because I could walk away, but I was basically an emotional wreck and to have someone in front of me telling me it would be fine would be my breaking point.
I tossed and turned all night getting very little sleep. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but the way I was sitting all day in the waiting room chairs while staring down at my phone had strained my upper back pretty badly. That in turn was calling on my pectoral muscles to compensate. So basically every time I laid down I would get a pain in my chest and be convinced I was having a heart attack as well. Did I mention I’m a hypochondriac? Yeah, there is that. Every single pain, I was wide awake thinking: “No Kelly, you cannot have a heart attack now! Rob is having his. I cannot afford to upset him at this stage in the game!” I know, I’m quite the prize.
In the morning work had already cleared me not to come in. We were told by the nurse that it was hopeful Rob would be discharged that day. I showered and contemplated a cat nap, but I was plagued by the same problems as the night before.
Eventually around 8 or so Rob texted me that he had no news, but to head on over whenever I wanted, so I did.
We spent the day hanging out in his room. When he slept I would go out and find a comfy chair in the lobby to rest on since his room only had one of the waiting room chairs to sit in.
After his walking around with no complications and staying until the afternoon, he was finally discharged. He is to be on 5 different meds and we have a follow up appointment with the cardiologist that performed the angioplasty on Tuesday to go over all the information.
I went into work on Wednesday because Rob said he felt fine. I kept my phone out with permission from my boss’ in case he needed anything(he didn’t), and by mid day I had this wicked tickle in the back of my throat. I kept clearing my throat and then there was a flood of post nasal drip that was happening. Our office Christmas party was that night so while I attended that, my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t feeling well and I was just wanting to be with my husband. I did have fun, but was glad to get home where I could get comfy and make sure Rob was okay.
Thursday morning I woke feeling decidedly under the weather, but not so much that I couldn’t go into work. I had the post nasal drip thing and was feeling kind of funky as well has a dry cough and a feeling of weirdness.
The weirdness turned out to be a fever. I checked my fever at work and found it to be about 101.5 at the max. I took and Advil and finished what I needed to workwise before heading home around three.
Now the last thing I wanted was for Rob to catch whatever this plague was that I picked up in UC so we brought down the air mattress from storage and put that in the front room for him to sleep on.
I went to sleep around six that night but couldn’t get any solid sleep until around eleven. Every time I laid down I would start coughing. I managed to get about six hours of sweaty sleep. My fever had gone down to 99.6 but was still lingering. I took another Advil and then a shower and was off to work. I was still icky but felt better than I had the night before when I had no appetite and no interest in doing anything but laying in bed.
Made it through work sanitizing my hands every five seconds and covering cough so not to get my coworkers sick and headed home. I posted up in the bedroom with my laptop and wrote most of this blog before conking out and getting a really good nights sleep finally.
I woke up around three this morning coughing and hacking up all the crap that had been ingested into my lungs over the past couple of days, but my fever had finally broken without the assistance of Advil and overall I felt pretty darn good comparatively. Dropped off again around six thirty this morning and woke drenched in sweat around 10:30.
The bed in the bedroom has been stripped and dressed with fresh bedding and Rob is napping in there while I enjoy feeling mostly human for the first time in a couple of days. All my germy sheets an blankets are in the process of being laundered and even though it is cold, I have some windows open to get some clean air circulating.
So far Rob swears he doesn’t like he is getting sick. And the good news is that he has been taking Congaplex (an all natural immune booster) since last Monday at my request when he thought he was getting sick, so hopefully that will work in his favor. *knocks wood* I really don’t want him to get this. The coughing alone would cause such stress on his newly mending body. Ug.
So that has been my week.
What I have learned from this adventure (that is not over yet):
I have amazing friends and family. Again, not that I didn’t know that before, but when put to the test it proves to you who really cares about you and who doesn’t and ppl really stepped up.
I am stronger than I think I am. Not by much, because I’m pretty much a basketcase 80% of the time. However when I need to be, I can hold it together to get what needs to be done. When it is done, I will crawl into the corner and cry for hours, but NOT until then.
Stress + The Flu = An excellent weight loss tool. As of this morning, I have lost 7 pounds since Monday. 😉
In all seriousness though, while this week has been rough and I still haven’t fully comprehended it all yet, I am grateful. I’m so grateful that we caught it when we did. I’m so grateful that we heeded the warning signs and didn’t take it that lightly. I’m grateful for the amazing technology in modern medicine (while I may not agree with all of it) that got my husband on the way to healing so quickly.
Also, hug your friends and family and tell them you love them. Every day.
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