Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cardiac Arrest...

I know some people are going to come looking for this post, so here it is...

For those who don't know, I had a cardiac moment a week ago today. For thirty seconds I thought I was going to keel over in my bathroom. My goal this year was to finish an entire academic year without medical interruption, and come hell or high water I would make it to the end without any great crisis of HIV or Health.

I discussed this issue with my care givers and told them what had happened. They gave me suggestions. I did not get to the clinic until this morning, when I could get into the rotation. I dropped my labs this morning first thing, (after a cut and dry at the salon) I am so CUUUUTE!!

It seems that 3 doctors cannot get their stories on the same page.

My "in house" doctor I trust him, if he thinks something is wrong then he will tell me and that is how its been. Over the last year he has not flagged anything "worrysome" so why worry, if it ain't broken then don't fix it. I am to understand that my protease inhibitors and such have taken a toll on my body physically and medically. Some numbers are high, but that is the trade off for not changing to other meds, which proved almost fatal last March as some of you well know. So no words of caution, then I don't worry.

This morning, I saw the triage nurse and he took my vitals and the specifics of my medical concern and sat me in a room as he talked to the doctor. I waited almost an hour before he came in to talk to me, I had come to find out he got me a STAT appoinment with cardiology this afternoon - that it was a MUST GO appointment - and that was the deal. He looked at my labs and almost freaked out. He noticed my blood pressure has been high for the last year (that was news to me) he also said that my cholesterol was high - too high for his liking (that was news to me) he also said that my triglycerides were astronomical (that was NOT news to me) he took my family history (my father's problems I thought, were coming to haunt me) he stated that based on my cardiac complaint warranted IMMEDIATE attention and not a minute later than the appointed time. It was a "Command" not a request. The doctor I saw had severe reactions to the past labs, I did not get a phone call today which means either the labs from today are not done or they did not show anything warranting a phone call, but tomorrow is a maybe.

He gave me an appointment slip and I left the Hospital and marched down the mountain to class, I got there late but its all good. I dropped the bomb to my husband and my friends (yes you - you know who you are). It means alot that my friends are part of my life, because it tells me that I am worth caring about by people I care about myself. And that is the meaning of friendship to me. I might look calm and cool on the outside, just be glad you're not inside my body.

My hubby walked me to the bus stop to go back up the hill for my appointment at 2 p.m. I got there 30 minutes early, so I made headway into the Cardiac Clinic waiting list. There were 20 people ahead of me, and I told them I needed to be out of there by 3:30. I had responsibilities and after waiting less than 30 minutes the Cardiologist saw me after I had an EKG done. This doctor was very down to earth. He took a look at the EKG and we talked about family history. He told me that hereditary heart disease was not something that could affect me, a slight chance, but considering where I was health wise, he saw no link to my father's bad blood. It is all about proper care and guidance, not surgeries and drugs. Why have surgery if you are not going to take care fo the vessel?

We talked about the fact that I thought I had a minor heart attack, but the EKG was clear. He said to me that all the surgeries are not worth their weight in gold if you did not live up to ones potential. Change the diet, get rid of tobacco and exercise (all in moderation) and things should even out. He did say that he could run my ass through all the circus rings of tests - pokes and prods - and I rolled my eyes - and he said that he did not think that THAT was necessary at this time. We talked about statins and blockers - cholesterol drugs and all that shit. This doctor told me that a little change to my cycle - and I could make headway. He did not put me on any meds nor suggest that we needed to explore further. He seemed to be confident in his words and how he used them. He listened to my concerns and questions and we had a nice discussion.


My doctor did not want me to quit smoking all together until my next round of labs because I wanted his supervision and a script for the patch. But I was down to 1 pack a week and I can put time between smokes very easily.

Order number ONE - quit smoking !!

No patch, in his words, the patch will only prolong your suffering. Just Stop - smoke the last one - bite the bullet sweat the few days of withdrawl and get it over with. I have to be in the right space to do that at the moment. One minute at a time. God give me strength. Now I am done with school for a few weeks, I can concentrate on me for awhile and do what I need to do.

Order number TWO - Loose 10 pounds !!

My "bump" needs to disappear. I have gained some weight, this weight gain - I was told is directly attributed to the protease inhibitors. Cardiac doc does not agree. So exercise and loose the extra pounds.

Order number THREE - Change my diet !!

I have a printout on the fridge of what needs to be trimmed and maintained. There are do's and dont's to the list. It's all about calorie intake, it does not matter when you intake them, just the amount you eat caloric-wise. ok, I can deal with that.

The Cardiac Doc did not give me a cardiac diagnosis nor did he say that I should worry. I have his card and a private number to reach him should something happen in the meantime. He left me with a good feeling of confidence and support. He "Listened" to my concerns and advised me well, that he took the time to set me at ease was very striking.

I still have tightness in my chest, but I have been anxious all day long today. Thank God today was my home group meeting. I know why I need to go to meetings because if I didn't I think I would loose my mind. Not to mention, my home group is home to me. these people have seen me through the last 4 plus years and they did not let me down today. Thank you Mike for the hug, I needed that.

So that's the deal...


Blogger geek_boi said...


I'm glad you're okay! It sounds like you've got everyting as under-control as possible. Hang in there and know that you DO mean a lot to all of us!

1:57 AM  
Blogger eric said...

Hey Jer,

Sorry to hear about this latest, but I'm really glad it's nothing to worry about.

I've been 2 weeks without a cigarette as of today... it does get better!


5:42 AM  
Blogger Echo Mouse said...

Hey Jeremy,
I'm keeping positive and encouraging thoughts for you and sending them your way. As your doctor said, these are all fixable with diet and health routines. I know you can make these changes and will.


12:55 AM  

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