Still Not Dead

So, for the record, I’m still not dead.

While I did have some sort of a heart event, with continuing irregularities after, it is not in any way a “conventional heart attack.”  Those are the good news.

The contributing factors to this debacle seem to be in no particular order: auto-immune paroxysm of some sort which made my breathing very ineffective, mineral imbalances (I seem to SHED potassium and sodium, aka why I can’t wear contact lenses)  persistently low blood pressure and low heart rate.  Apparently it’s a bad idea to put less oxygen on your low-pressurized blood.  Who knew?

The bad news is that no one knows how it got so far so fast, and “keep your d*mn autoimmune under control” seems to be at the top of the list.  This does mean diet, exercise, regular breaks for fun things with family, and less facebook, I suppose.

They haven’t ruled out all possible causes, and I’ll have to come back for an MRI, since the autoimmune does things to your brain too (Yeah, you knew that. And no, not that way.)

BUT we’re inching ever so slowly to their letting me the heck out of here.  The hospitalist said one more evaluation and I could go, so expect a couple of hours or three.  Hospital time is different.  From “we’re going to discharge you” to walking out has taken anywhere up to five hours..  Then I can go home, take a nap and finish this novel.

Okay, I might shower first.  I’m gross and haven’t even rinsed conditioner off my head for two days.  (I collapsed in the shower.)

As of right now, not only is my demise not expected, but I’m being given the oddest orders you ever saw from a cardiologist.  OTOH raising blood pressure through stress is counterindicated as that sets off the autoimmune.

So, stop that incursion into the infernal regions right now.  Go bribe someone to get me checked out, instead.  You know what would lower my stress?  Getting home, getting some writing done, and maybe getting a party of you reprobates to go off with us to see the lights at the Denver zoo sometime next week.  That would be amazing.

91 thoughts on “Still Not Dead

  1. So, for the record, I’m still not dead.

    I am sorry, but we need more evidence of that before we start voting you Democrat.

  2. The bad news is that no one knows how it got so far so fast, and “keep your d*mn autoimmune under control” seems to be at the top of the list.

    Oh, is that all? Sigh As if you weren’t trying to do so already.

  3. Shucks! And I even renamed you! Anticipating a pacemaker, or at least stents, I added to your official moniker
    Beautiful but Evil Cyborg Space Princess.
    Sigh. Some days.

  4. While none of us gets out of this alive, let’s get back to the traditional human hobby of seeing how long we can postpone the inevitable, shall we? For a couple-three decades, at least?

    Our prayers at Casa de Moore are with you and yours.

  5. While I did have some sort of a heart event,

    N.B. Wrong sort of heart event.

    In future, try to have more of <I<this type of heart event.

    it is not in any way a ‘conventional heart attack.’

    Leave it to our Sarah to have an unconventional heart attack.

    Imagining picture of Ann & Nancy Wilson and Band members in full combat load, charging …

    1. RES, that sort of image is why I do NOT open the comments on this site with a drink in hand or even on desk, let alone in mouth. Heart doing combat rock . . . Oh &h1t, you just gave me a story idea. Nag dabbit!

  6. From “we’re going to discharge you” to walking out has taken anywhere up to five hours..

    First round in the hospital the primary surgeon came to see me on a Friday morning. It had been days of uncertainty, waiting for my body to start doing things it needed to do. Now he said, ‘O.K., we are going to discharge you after lunch.’

    I said, ‘No.’

    He looked very startled, and after a minute inquired as to why. ‘Because,’ I replied, ‘I will have no transportation. The Spouse will be at another part of the hospital in the wound care center with The Father-In-Law.’

    He looked me straight in the eyes, smiled brilliantly and said, ‘Good!’ Then added that he would have everything ready so that once The Spouse was free I could go home. He was good to his word.

    1. Good on him!

      I’ve been stuck in the hospital for *days* because the doctor couldn’t be arsed to look in and sign the release papers.

      Of course, now that I’m older and considerably more crochety, I can remove the IV and call for a ride myself…

      1. This was a man who knew what I meant when he inquired of my socks, and I answered, ‘No, they are not Duke Blue. They are TARDIS Blue.’ He watched the program with his ten year old daughter, who dearly liked Amy because, like Amy Pond, she was a ginger.

      2. In 2005 maybe, I got a case of G.E. and had to E.R. it.
        After getting my diagnosis and prescription, the doc took too long to sign me out, and when he finally got a round toit he found no one to release, as I had walked out, got in my truck, and drove home before the stuff that was going to make me drowsy actually, you know, made me drowsy. He made the mistake of saying I was done to a nurse within my hearing and I wasn’t waiting in the canker palace any longer.

    2. Variation is large. The second morning after I woke up in the hospital I was told I could be discharged whenever, I called my parents to arrange a time — nine — and when they got there at nine I was ready to roll out the door. (In spite of having spent quite a bit of time walking around the day before, I was sent out in a wheelchair.)

      1. In spite of having spent quite a bit of time walking around the day before, I was sent out in a wheelchair.

        Standard protocol to avoid risk of falling en route to the exit.

        Only a churlish knave (raises hand) would suggest that the hospital, having invested heavily in wheelchairs, is seeking to game additional opportunities to bill for their usage.

        1. Which still seems weird, after having been pressed to spend x minutes per hour walking around the ward with an IV plugged in for four days straight.

          Lawyer repellant is what it is.

          1. Also prevents jerks from running into in the more public areas, and if you NEED to sit down– there aren’t always benches in the general area.

  7. Let me know when you want to do the Zoo. I’ve got a gap between finals and dress rehearsals week after next and might could squeeze in a run to Denver and back. Maybe.

  8. You know what they say, “life” is that thing that happens while you’re busy making other plans. God bless.

  9. Sarah, you are in our prayers. As someone who had his own strange ailment that came and went a couple years ago, I hope you also have a swift recovery! Prayer, family, and friends can all accomplish a lot.

  10. You know, Colorado doesn’t seem like a really good place for someone with oxygen deficiency issues to live…

    1. Actually it’s close to perfect. Since I was little I was told to live in a “high/dry place.” In NC I was on permanent constant inhalers ALL the time 24 years ago. Here, I went several years without needing it. Because humidity/polen make me breathe worse.

      1. I used to spend two or three weeks at a time with a friend in Colorado Springs, just down the street from the Olympic Center. No allergy problems there. I could feel them starting to kick in as I neared Oklahoma’s eastern border…

  11. oh, you’re still in the hospital. Bookstore work, bad migraine and trying to keep up with the blog. Do whatever they say to raise blood pressure, it could be odd stuff like ritalin, that’s what Buckley took for years for too low blood pressure. Prayers.

    1. You DO want to avoid thinking of the Hugos, puppy kickers, and Asterisks, however. Those, m’dear, are RIGHT OUT.

  12. Did they tell you that you could have all the salt you wanted, and to take some Epsom salt baths? Heard that one before, for raising sodium & magnesium levels!

    Glad to hear you’ve got a plan; here’s to less stress!

    1. Hmm. Know a guy who swills Gatorade (low calorie) but his, I think, was an imbalance not just low.

  13. Your problem sounds remarkably like one of my sister’s. I have a number of sister’s and we all have autoimmune problems but that particular sister has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. Make sure they check it out. Sorry you are having so many problems, we are older, I am actually now an octogenarian. Unbelievable but true, we expect some problems, you are younger than my children, keep yourself healthy. Prayers and good health to you.

    1. That’s a good* point. A rheumatologist would test for “inflammatory markers”, which, as I understand it, includes a lot of things. My wife has them for RA, Lupus, and Sjogren’s.

      * I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting the double ‘o’ in some words lately (including above, but at least I caught it this time), so if you see “god” in a place where it makes no sense, it’s probably supposed to be “good”, and I just can’t make my finger move vertically enough to break contact with the keyboard so I get the second ‘o’ to come out.

  14. Keep hanging on, Sarah! C.S. Lewis, after St. Francis, called the body “Brother Ass”; too dumb & too silly to be hated, while too prone to going wrong to be an idol. Something like that, IMHO.

  15. “This does mean diet, exercise, regular breaks for fun things with family, and less facebook.” That is a plan! Stick to it, please!

    And friends. Denver zoo lights sound awesome (thanks for the BFTP) – so that too. (I’ll be there only in spirit, alas…)

  16. I would so love to do the zoo with you. that sounds really beautiful. If a might cold. Unfortunately, the ship took a little bit of hail damage. But we are down to our last month! I’m so excited.

    Also, feel better. You can’t be properly *evil* if if you don’t feel *good*.

  17. I miss ONE day.

    Hope they figure it out and send you home, and that it requires easy fixing measures.

    I put a quarter teaspoon of No Salt (brand name is pure potassium chloride) in my protein shakes several times a day. You can’t taste it, and my potassium levels stay normal. It’s a CFS thing, and they haven’t figured out for sure that’s autoimmune or not, but that – and the fun you have when you can put all the salt you want on food, in public – keeps the fluid levels and the blood volume up. Cheaply (the potassium supplements from the doctor – K-lite? – can be very pricey).

    Please, this is not the way to get out of writing!

    Take care. Better care. More care.


    1. [squelches wild prescription med rant]

      A friend’s *co-pay* was something like $60 for a month’s supply of a niacin supplement. I looked at the bottle and said, “You know you can get a three-month supply of the same thing at GNC for $7, right?”

      1. Labs confirm my potassium is fine – I wonder what it would be if I didn’t get the extra every day.

        I know it’s water soluble; shall have to ask if I’m putting to much work on my kidneys. Sigh. It’s always something.

  18. If the doctor says you need to move to sea level, I know where there’s one that needs a little work. Two nice magnolia trees, right under the approach path to an Air Force base, not always down wind of turkey houses, 20 minutes to the closest emergency room, 45 minutes to a trauma center, less than 100 foot elevation.

  19. Oh, if you need a chuckle, oldest offspring didn’t know she was suppose to march in a parade, despite joining the marching band; apple far from tree myself is not.

  20. I went with C to the main hospital in Riverside a month or so ago, on advice from an urgent care site (fortunately, the possible diagnosis of a blood clot was disconfirmed!). They checked her in, and in the process they gave her a sheet of paper that listed the initial diagnostic procedures and estimated how long each would take. That was a wonderful procedure that I’ve never seen any other emergency room use, and I wish it were universal. Medical establishments tend to act as if they were a secular priesthood, but I wish they took “priest” to mean more service and less mystery.

    I’m glad your situation isn’t worse, and I hope they come up with effective ways to make it better!

      1. Ourselves, quantum creatures, various dragons, keebler elves (they’re like mice, I tell ya), book monsters (oh, the shredded bookmarks they just get *everywhere*), kittens, plot cats, flat cats, and the occasional detritus left by wandering trollkin who blunder into the Wrong Sort of Blog out here in the Right Nook of the internets. *grin*

        1. The aardvark does a fair amount of housework — on top of watching the brownies work right — and of course Fluffy is eminently reliable for incinerating the rubbish.

  21. If you turn out to need extra oxygen, that will give you an excuse to wear a bubble helmet in public and speak disparagingly of Earthlings! 😀

    Being medically “interesting” is no fun. I always worried that I would be one of the .01% of the population with their appendix on the wrong side and that would get me if I ever came down with appendicitis. Turns out, I *did* come down with appendicitis and my appendix is right where it should be–however, when they opened me up to do the needful they discovered I had an extra emergency backup appendix, (Meckel’s Diverticulum)) which is also rare (especially in women). They yanked that out too. When you’re an Odd, you’re an Odd all the way…

      1. I don’t worry about my appendix.

        It got removed years ago.

        Oh, it was a weekend that I was scheduled for a Boy Scout camping trip.

        Fortunately, the Scout Master learned that my parents would be out of town and didn’t want me on the trip.

        My parent’s left me at Grandma’s place (in the same town they were at) and before we returned home I had to get my appendix removed.

        1. Got mine removed before the millennium. It didn’t hurt at all, which is why it nearly killed me.

  22. “So, stop that incursion into the infernal regions right now.”

    Do you have *any* idea how many deals with how many beings I had to make just to open a portal to the netherworld? Man . . .

    1. I know. On the other paw, if Trump does terminate the EPA, it’s not your fault [redacted demonic name] won’t get the post.

      1. More oxygen, less water, less plants… I’d suggest a low-lying desert if you hadn’t just finally captured The House (plus other location factors). Two out of three ain’t bad?

        (All best wishes, glad you got home, praying everything further sorts out.)

        1. Come to think of it, if Sarah really needs more oxygen, she could always get a big canister full of pure oxygen that she could cart around, and put special tubes in it leading up to her nose. Maybe even put a valve on it, to control the flow.

          You know, maybe I should put something like this together, and patent it!

          (The scary thing is that I *might* just be able to do so, particularly with enough patent-legalese…although I have a funny feeling that such a patent wouldn’t last long in court…)

  23. From “we’re going to discharge you” to walking out has taken anywhere up to five hours..

    I think my record is they said that at 7AM, and we only got out a bit after 5 because my dear husband got all tall, dark and looming.

  24. This is going to sound conspiratorial, but…

    It’s your thyroid.

    Have your Dr. do all thyroid values, not just T4 and Free T4.

    If you aren’t on T3 and T4 meds, get them now. Get your values down as low as your doctor will allow you. It will help with everything, weight, hair loss (if you don’t have that fun side effect yet), and pretty much all the auto-immune garbage that is linked directly and indirectly to the thyroid.

    My wife suffers from the same issues as you, with many of the same side-effects of hypothyroidism.

    If you could afford to get on Armor Thyroid (dessicated pig thyroid), that would be best, but only the rich can afford that med now (it isn’t covered under most insurance plans, so I doubt it is covered under the starving artist insurance plan.)

    Good luck.

  25. Auto-immune stuff is the pits — between my mother, my daughters and I, we have a whole book worth of that garbage. The auto-immune protocol has helped me and Juniper a lot, though. Sure hope you are able to get yours under control and enjoy some good health for a change!

  26. OMG! Glad to hear you’re all right, for at least some value of “all right.”

    Lights at the Denver zoo? Contact Sabrina via Facebook, or have Daniel contact me (I’m on his list). We’ll see what we can do.

    1. Please note: he said “all right” — ay-double-ell right.

      Not, repeat, NOT, alt right, ay-ell-tee right.

  27. Hmmm … “sheds Na+ and K+” … did they mention anything about Ca2+ electrolyte levels?

    Other than wondering if the Na+/K+ ATP pump cycle is jammed with the throttle wide open and whether there’s some sort of anomalous conversion of glucose going on, it sounds very, very odd.

    Did they check you out for hyperosmolarity?

    Some of your symptoms sound like a match for it, in fact, especially the low blood pressure.

    Hopefully your motley crew of over-fussing medical busybodies has considered doing more than a basic electrolyte panel to figure out what’s going on, but if they haven’t and you’ve already been released, see if you can find a walk-in lab that’ll run a complete metabolic profile (CMP) series on you.

    Let’s just say I have a hunch … and it’s not lupus. 🙂

    1. You’d have to talk to my older son. I went to my pcp this week and since the report was less than clear she stared at me like I was nuts, until I called my son and gave her the phone. Then she went “oh, I see bigemini, oh, creatonin, I see.” And now she gets it, though she wants a follow up.
      For the record my dad has apparently been pulling exactly this every two years or so for decades and they’ve not determined the cause. No, I didn’t know that either. Mom only told me… when I was in the hospital.

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