Saturday, November 22, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3


I'm starting to feel like I'm in an episode of House, M.D. where the team of doctors come up with several diagnoses and then finally come up with the right one just in time to keep their patient from croaking. This week I've been pushed on, poked, prodded, stuck, electroded, ultrasounded, echoed and wanded in just about every nook and cranny excluding my ear canals and my butt crack. The results are in, and I met with my doc yesterday to go over some of them.

First of all, I've lost 50 pounds in three weeks.

No sh*t.

I'm not sure that all of it was water, because I haven't been eating very much this past month, but whatever it is, it just emphasized how much water I have left to lose. My arms and hands look kind of twiggy, and my wedding ring slid off when I was doing the dishes the other day.

Then when I jumped out of bed the other morning, my jammie pants fell off. My heinie kind of disappeared, and my hips have shrunk.

But like I said, it just emphasizes where the water is. My belly is so big, it looks like I'm going to squeeze out a litter in the near future. It's full of water and gas. Yikes.

My left leg is almost completely normal. My right leg is still full of water. All in all, the doc thinks there may be another 15-20 lbs hanging out in there.

As for the test results:

The right side of my heart is performing normally. No sign of damage from blood clots. My kidneys, liver, spleen, etc are all functioning normally. No blood clots in my legs either.

And no gallstones. The tech kept poking and pushing with the wand and asking, "does this hurt?" After about the 4th time, my gallbladder started getting grumpy and I said, "well yeah, it's starting to hurt NOW".

The results from my echocardiogram were not as positive, but could have been worse. I DO have to say that I was apprehensive about the test itself----you know, having your breasts handled and flopping around unfettered is not a thrilling experience. But there was this cool little boob tray cut into the bed that my left one could fall into, and all I had to do with my right one was toss it over my shoulder like Zsa Zsa's fox stole (did I mention that with all the water loss I have two oddly shaped sacks of skin attached to my chest? I could wrap them around my neck like a scarf if it gets too cold out!).

Anyhoo, there are some electrical issues that may be a cause of concern and I'm seeing a specialist on Monday. The current thinking is that I might have had a small heart attack a couple of years ago when I first started getting symptoms that nobody picked up on. The left side of my heart is not performing optimally and will need a further look-see.

My heart is beating too fast, possibly because of the thick blood (from long-term oxygen deprivations or other reasons), even in a resting state. It is much lower than it was 3 weeks ago though. Doc has put me on some additional medication to try to slow it down a bit and to thin my blood. We'll see what the cardiologist has to say about everything.

I complained to the doctor about all the excess skin I suddenly have (it was all pulled tight like a sausage a few weeks ago, now it's really slack). I know it will take time to bounce back into shape, but I wanted to know what I could put on it because it's really itchy. The doc said I'd probably look like a California raisin when the water's all gone, but that we'd worry about that later.

Overall, the doc said my oxygen levels are great, and that all the test results came back much better than what he expected. He said he was a little freaked out when I came in three weeks ago, because I was practically blue. How could we have not noticed it? Was it that gradual?

So like I said, it could have been worse. I could have been this woman. Ack!!!!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back Away from the Remote!

Another reason to make the kids put down the game controller/remote and pick up a book.

“My brother and I took a fairy across to Martha’s Vineyard.”

Oh dear.

I have to add that when I started back to college I took an advanced English class. One of our assignments was to critique each other's writings and offer suggestions to make them better. The professor instructed, "don't offer criticism on spelling or grammar, but on ideas."

I couldn't do it. Some of the writing was so poorly done that I couldn't tell if there was an idea in there or not. How in the hell did some of these people get into an advanced class without even knowing the basics (like how to use spell check)? ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2008


Got some of my test results back. Here is the short version. ;-)

My thyroid is normal. No diabetes. Kidneys and liver working as meant to. Unfortunately, for some or a multitude of reasons, my oxygen intake has been low for quite some time. How long? Nobody knows, but some of my symptoms started about 2 years ago.

According to these tests, my blood is really thick, whatever that means.

I have a bunch of tiny little blood clots in my lungs. Have some more tests to do, but the docs think they originated in my leg, and that I still have more (hence the original swelling).

I've lost 30 lbs of water--YES 30!!--in 14 days and that leg is still all swelled up. Estimated that I'm prolly carrying another 20 lbs or so of excess fluid.

Anyhoo, the clots passed through the right side of my heart and stuck in my lungs. Which of course, exacerbated the breathing problems, which exacerbated the lack of circulation, which made my body swell up like a balloon and made my heart work harder.

The good news? My heart apparently was able to handle it. Doesn't look like it's in failure. I'm going to have more extensive tests done next week to see if there was any damage. Also going to have a venous doppler done on both legs to see if there are any more clots. And I'm going to have some eyeballing done to my gallbladder, because the tests came back and said I had some issues there that are completely separate from everything else.

But going to take care of the heart/lung issues first. Got some new meds to try. I'll probably have to stay on oxygen for awhile. Hopefully that will correct things until we can find out why it's happening.

Thanks again for all your good wishes. Other than a cold I picked up last weekend (which has really kicked my butt), I've been feeling a lot and I mean a LOT better.


P.S. Took a couple of grody pictures this morning to show what I mean. On the left is my left leg which is almost (but not quite) back to human-size. On the right is a much diminished, but still humongous appendage. ack

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Happy to say it's been restful these past few days. I had to get some insurance crap straightened out, so my tests are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Wish me luck!

On the plus side, I lost 16 pounds of water in the first week. It's mind-boggling.

That's about 2 gallon-sized jugs of water.

Or the pair of Beth Chapman's jugs (I swear that woman must have a spine of steel to be able to stand erect).

My left leg actually looks like a human leg again. My right still has that tree trunky thing going. And my energy level has gone way way up.

I can't tell if it's because of the water loss or the oxygen or a combination of both.

Thanks so much for all your kind comments and wishes! Can't tell you how much it's appreciated!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Heart to Heart

Sorry I've been away this week without a word. I've had a little bit of a shock, and had a few things to take care of.

The back/hip issue? Not really a back/hip issue. Apparently it's probably a heart issue.

The swelling I had in one leg spread to the other. The sheer exhaustion I've been feeling isn't from being over-stressed and unable to sleep, exactly. It's been from lack of oxygen. And who knows how long THAT'S been going on up here at 9000 feet above sea level.

Glad to say that I'm feeling a helluva lot better after a weekend on an oxygen machine and heavy-duty diuretics. I'm clear-headed, energized and pissing like a racehorse. Don't much like the hose in my nose, but it's better than the alternative.

I've already had one test, and I haven't had a heart attack or anything. I'm having more tests later this week to get a better idea of what is going on.

I'll try to pop in and comment, but hope you understand if I don't. It's going to be a wacky week.



P.S. It could have been worse. I could have been hanging curtains in my kitchen while nekkid, fallen backwards onto a pile of potatoes that were on my kitchen table and ended up in the emergency room with a tater stuck up my tooter. Really.