It all started on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Rebecca was in town and we were going to lunch in Georgetown. After lunch we were going to shop a little bit before going over Guanella Pass. By the time we got down the street to the second store I could not breath. Rebecca shopped and I sat down on some steps in the shop. She found me and we headed back to the car. I had to sit down two more times before we made it and it was not that far. Yes, we went over the pass before coming home...I insisted.
I still had some shortness of breath after I got home but I made it through the night. Got dressed and headed to work the next day, walking. I almost did not make it. By the time I got there I could not breath. They rushed me to the hospital, I did not let them call 911.
I walked into the ER by myself and told them I had severe shortness of breath. Within five minutes I was stripped naked with five/six people in the room at any time...mostly men. I did not even care. I just wanted to breathe...oxygen please.
I don't remember the last time I saw eveyone moving so fast. Oxygen, Blood draw, Chest x-ray and then CT scan. Results not good. It was determined that I had two life threatening sub-massive blood clots, one in each lung. My heart was working too hard on the right side and the EKG was abnormal because of the blood clots.
Now it became even more challenging because of my Cancer diagnoses nine years ago. Diagnosed with two different cancers, one kind straight forward and one rare aggressive metastatic. After five chemo treatments I refused further treatment I was given approximately two years to live so I saw no need. However, after many, many consultations it was decide to not to give me the clot buster TPA. The pulmonologist said they could not risk it because of the high risk and the uncertainty that I had active cancer cells in my body..
Heparin was given and then I was moved to ICU so they could watch me. Now that I can breath with the oxygen I did not feel sick.-sick. PETscan ordered for the next morning. I was moved to the oncology floor. Listen to me, “I do not have cancer”.
The PET scan was clear - no cancer noted. I told you that my God takes care of me. Thank you Lord. However there was a small spot on my 3rd rib and they did not know what it was. I pointed right to where it is located. With all of the falls I have had I believe it is just a bruise so hey are going to watch it. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy but I explained to him that even if it was cancer I would not have it treated.
The doctor said that I will not have a stroke from this experience but that I will be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. I will be on oxygen for a couple of months. By then the blood clots should start being absorbed by the body. I need to be super careful of any falls or hard bumps and brain bleed.
Just before discharge I had to go for a walk. My heart rate shot up to 177 and I was in tachycardia. It went back down pretty quickly. I went for another walk with a different nurse and it only went up a little. They called the doctor. He explained something that I had never heard of. When you are talking you are not breathing - what? The first nurse and I were talking, the second nurse and I were not talking. WOW - who knew. I look most everything up just to verify what I am being told.
I was discharged on Friday evening with oxygen. All new to me. The gentleman did not finish installing the oxygen concentrator and teaching me how to use it until midnight. Yes, I slept in on
Saturday morning.Felt good.
Oxygen is an experience in itself. It drives my nose crazy and it dries my nose like crazy. And my big problem is that I forget to put it back on after I blow my nose. That causes the oxygen level to drop really fast. I think my problem is that when I put my reading glasses on there is something on my cheeks so I forget the tubes. I do have a pulse oximeter thank goodness. The tubing keeps getting caught in my recliner. Lots and lots of tubing for the little apartment. I have to rest a lot, no choice. And I am being extremely careful not to trip and fall.
It seems like I am learning to breath all over again. When I eat, my oxygen level goes down. When I exert myself in any way I start breathing through my mouth and my oxygen level goes down and I get short of breath. I catch myself breathing through my mouth at other times while I am on oxygen but I really notice it now. I wonder if I have always done that. Breathing is normal - I have just never thought about it. Can you really teach an old dog new tricks?
While I was sitting in the ER, my question to the doctor was, “Can I go back to work on Friday”. I think you can guess what his answer was. So I like my job, what can I say.
Home now and bored. I cannot go back to work until the doctor says so. Ugh!
Jeremiah 29:11 will be my verse to lean on until the end of my days. I made it through cancer and I will make it through this. I am one of God's miracles and I love Him so!