The Birth Of A Book – “Am I Healthy Yet?”

Brian HaydenThese next three posts, while written and posted over a two day span, covers memories I have for 2001, 2002, and part of 2003.  My writing is beginning to show signs of of a potential future manuscript, but my attention to grammar and spelling is still missing.  Missing too, is a coherent story line. The chronology of events is accurate, but the story needs  transitions, a beginning, middle and ending. Extra information must be added to each  mark on the timeline, i.e. the posts.

I am reliving these old posts right along with you, but if I had to venture a guess, (and I will)  I would say that I did not work hard to produce a quality blog (in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation) until the blog began to bleed into the second book. I am not going to look back at the old blogs to see exactly when this happened, but August/September 2010 sounds about right.

Heart failure again?? or was it another DVT?

April 17, 2010 by brha99 

By October 2001 I was living in Long Island New York. Although I traveled a lot, the plane ride from Dallas to JFK airport the first week of Oct 2001 was a bit stressful. My new hospital: the Northport NY VA hospital. I must say, this is by far, the best VA hospital I have ever used. Not very big, but they were friendly, helpful and actually seems to care about you. It is there that I was diagnosed with a DVT in my left leg. Thats right. The same area that I had the last one. The strange part was that I was already on coumadin (blood thinner) when I was diagnosed. I thought the coumadin was supposed to prevent this. They dismissed this phenomenon for now and treated me with a 4 day hospital stay, shots of Lovenox in my stomach and a cautions good-bye. With DVT, the biggest threat is the clot (all or part) can break away and cause a heart attack, stroke or lodge in your lungs. So I took it easy for a while. Give the clot a chance to be absorbed. A few weeks later, I was in the ER for chest pain. After lots of tests, they ruled out heart attack, but thought I was in heart failure. Too much load for my heart and lungs to deal with. Lasix became my drug of choice for heart failure. Over the next year, I was taking 160 mg of lasix every day in an effort to keep the fluids off my lungs and let my heart work easier. This was a land mark moment. I didn’t realize it till just now. Today. This was when my health began to deteriorate. Significantly.

Can you please hand me my dignity…it’s right over there

April 17, 2010 by brha99 

I know it is hard for the friends and family of those of you, like me who are chronically ill. It’s hard to spend hour upon hour in emergency rooms. Then day after day in hospital rooms. I was reminded of that just recently when a family friend was hospitalized for a heart procedure. Three days or so in the hospital, only to be let down by the realization that the procedure didn’t work. Then, the next day, barely 12 hours after arriving home…swish…back in the emergency room. The age old question is: when you have a chronic illness, particularly a heart related chronic illness, and you have pain in your body (chest or otherwise) when do you go to the emergency room? People like our friend, and me are going to live with various levels of pain in various parts of our body all the time. Even now, as I write this, I am having chest pain. Combine that with the fact I have been experiencing symptoms of heart failure today, and most people would tell you to go in. But my baseline pain level is higher than the average person, and as our friend will discover over time, her baseline pain level will probably be higher than the average person. Does that mean we shouldn’t go to the hospital?..Absolutely not. I think if you wonder if you should…you should. Better safe than sorry. I guess what I am getting at is this: I empathize for those of you who support those who are chronically ill. You should know, however that we chronically ill live on a balance beam. Take the pain or go to the emergency room. Let me finish by saying this: every time I go to the E.R. I have to take off all my clothes, get one or two catheters placed in me and get medicine that usually makes me sick and gives me a head ache. I don’t ask to go to the hospital because I am bored. I go because I think I may be dying. So I am not going to die this trip…good…hand me my pants. They are right over there.

Can’t beat ‘em? Take a pill

April 18, 2010 by brha99

So here we are. Long Island NY. The year 2002. luckily for me my ailments usually come in individual cases and not combined. Heart failure without the copd. Ischemia without heart failure, and so on. Oh, we have introduced a new word. Ischemia. Let me get you the definition I just now pulled from the internet.

Myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart) usually occurs as a result of coronary atherosclerosis, but it may also reflect dynamic components of coronary vascular resistance. The reduced flow of oxygen-rich blood may cause cardiac dysfunction which may manifest as angina.

I am getting it both ways, but at this point in my life (2002), I didn’t know that. My doctors did, but not me. As we discussed the other day, the doctors were treating my heart failure with lasix. (commonly refered to as a water pill). It makes you pee. It makes you pee a lot, especially if you have excess fluid building up in your body. So there I am, taking this pill, but it doesn’t quite make me feel better. Oh I know. Give him another pill to help control his chest pain. You know. The ischemia. By the way, we need to protect his kidneys, so he’s gonna need another pill for that too. Yea, now we’re cooking. While you’re at it, can I have one to control my arrhythmias? Sure you can. AND, what about clot prevention. Oh yea. You need two pills for that. By the end of my time on Long Island ( Jan 2003 ) I was taking 11 different pills. Some once a day, some twice a day and some three times a day. AND…two different inhaled medicines for my copd. Now I axe you (NY humor), with all this medicine, am I healthy yet?

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