Archive for the ‘ John is sick. ’ Category

I need your help.

Maybe the title of my last post jinxed us.  Because, honestly, the thought of me just not knowing when to shut up is about the best explanation I have for why this is happening.

Let’s do a quick recap, shall we?

  • October 1, Thursday

John was admitted to Clear Lake Regional Heart and Vascular Hospital by his new GP after he had done an xray that showed a very clear case of plural effusion that even I could see was bad news on the film.  His doctor remarked how hard to believe it was that John, standing there looking for all the world like his only problem was a nagging cough was the same guy on the xray.  He said he would have thought he’d be in bed saying he couldn’t get out.


He then admitted him to the hospital and his blood sugar, upon admittance, was in the 500 range.  I can’t remember exactly and it was before I was keeping my own record.  (Yes, that’s right, I refuse to go the the nurses station and find out, so get over it.)  His blood pressure was 134/98 and his heartbeat was 121.  Quite fast.

  • October 2, Friday

I only recorded the vitals 5 times this day and the lowest his blood pressure got was 95/64 and the highest was 120/96.  They were pumping him full of blood pressure meds and lasix to get the swelling down.  His legs, ankles, and belly were very swollen.

Highest blood sugar was 325 and he got 15 units of insulin for that one particular reading.

FYI, blood sugar levels should never be over 160.

He had several bouts with diarrhea, probably due to stress and nerves.

Cardiologist said that his heart was working at about 30%.  He didn’t bother telling us until later that the norm is between 45 and 55% or somewhere around there.  Doctors are such dumb-asses sometimes.

I stayed up a long time that night watching him sleep.  He has, what I found out on the internet is, central sleep apnea.  I made a video of him sleeping with my camera and considered posting it on youtube.  Figured he’d shoot that down and haven’t brought it up to him yet.

  • October 3, Saturday

Here it is Saturday and he, apparently, has no intention of taking me out to eat anywhere.  Where did we go wrong as a couple?

His blood pressure stayed low all day and his heart rate right around 100.  Blood sugar was right around 250 all day as well.

He had three bouts of extreme shortness of breath in the early AM.

Went for a cat scan around 3:00pm and the results weren’t that good.  Still signs of fluid in and around his lungs BUT, a rhythm in his soul.

Then his cardio guy told us that he had had a heart attack and the reason this was evident was the presence of an enzyme in his blood called troponin.  If I had a son I think I’d like to name him Troponin.

What was I saying?  OH, Yeah!  My husband had a heart attack.  Slipped my mind for a moment.  (read sarcasm here)

  • October 4, Sunday

His blood pressure was, of course, low all day.  His heart rate averaged about 100, and his blood sugar topped out at 396.  He received 15 units of insulin more than once that day.

He received a shiny new IV port for the procedure that everyone seemed to think was going to happen tomorrow, except the doctor who saw the chest films and heard all the coughing he was doing.

See he can’t have the procedure until he can lie flat in bed for at least 6 hours without moving.  This is to allow the entry wound in the groin heal so that if he moves and blows the clot, he won’t bleed out and die in minutes.  It’s a good thing, as Martha would say.

HOWEVER, he is still coughing due to the fluid in and around his lungs.  He has had enough lasix to dry up The Great Lakes.  I am beginning to wonder what it will take.

  • October 5, Monday

Oh. My. Gawd.  This has been a day I will never forget.  John wasn’t well enough to do the angigram, still.  It is definitely planned for tomorrow.

You know, I have had this feeling in my gut that something wasn’t right since this whole thing started.  It seems like years ago, but it was just last Thursday.   It is now 5 days since he was admitted.  I just keep repeatedly thinking about him going to the doctor on February 27 because he was concerned about losing a lot of weight very rapidly and told the doctor he was worried that he might have diabetes.  Said doctor preformed some blood tests and asked him lots of questions.  Tried to get him to do the colonoscopy, and John turned that down.  But he seemed to be fairly thorough.  I was a little bit on pins and needles wondering what the results were going to be.  I very much expected him to be diabetic just because it would be a very nice reason for the weight loss compared to what all had been running through my mind.  Cancer.  Though I never said it.

The day came when the nurse from the doctor’s office called and told John his test results.  That’s right, the nurse.  Automatically, we know the results are negative for everything from liver disease to athletes foot.  Because the nurse doesn’t deliver bad news, the doctor gets you in his office to do that.  In person.

So she ended up telling him that everything was good to just get his cholesterol down some it was a tad high.

He specifically asked what the diabetes testing showed.  She said negative. This just does not gel.  John has had a test since he got here called an A1C that graded an 11.  “They” said it should be no more than a 7 and this is pretty bad.  But they assured me that he has had the diabetes for more than 3 months and they know this for sure because of the test.  So since he supposedly didn’t have it in February and he couldn’t possibly developed it after July, I am supposed to believe he just magically developed it the five months in between and it got so bad so fast that he was admitted to the hospital with his blood sugar in the 500’s?

Clearly something is off.

So fast forward to today and picture me sitting around in this hospital room with a very sick husband for the last 5 days and know that I am going to get to the bottom of this.  I called the doctor’s office this morning and asked them to make a copy of his file for me, and I would come by and pick it up later this afternoon.  The lady did and I got it, tore it open in the car and started pouring over it.  The first thing I noticed is his blood sugar was 272. IT WAS EVEN CIRCLED.   Then again on another page it says glucose 2+ along with protein 2+ and ketones 1+.  I don’t know what all of these are but the glucose amount was circled as well.

So at this point I am furious because they found out he had diabetes back in February and didn’t tell us.  If they had NONE of this would have happened in all likelihood.  Every doctor we have seen in this hospital has told us that the heart condition was brought about by the untreated diabetes.  So if this doctor, that shall remain unnamed for the time being, had told us about it we would have begun treating it immediately and gotten it under control way back then.

Now let me tell you why I became a bit hysterical earlier.  (Geeze, it’s 1:35am.  Ok, it was yesterday.)

At the bottom of one of the pages it says, “Diagnosis: 1. Malignant neoplasm without specification of site; other (199.1), Primary Diagnosis, Onset  2. Abnormal loss of weight (783.21), Secondary diagnosis, Onset”


He has a cancer that, well, I will just link to it because it is pretty clear and succinct. And you may have noted with all the extra gibberish that I am anything but succinct tonight.

So.  Here we are EIGHT MONTHS LATER.  I found a nurse when I got here and asked her to verify my findings and she agreed. (OR, did she concur?)  I asked if they had done a PSA test here and she said no, that was a test for cancer and they hadn’t done one.  It was about 7:30pm so I am going to wait until after the angigram tomorrow and then ask his cardio dr. to do one and show him why.  Then, if it’s really true and this isn’t just some really, really bad cosmic joke, I’ll find an oncologist.

Now, my question for you.  It is almost 2:00am and my nerves are shot.  I am so sorry this was so long and rambling.  You regular guys know that I usually try to keep the posts to a manageable size.  And definitely lighter in mood.  If, in fact, you are still with me, please tell me what you think you’d do.  I am not a violent person at all but, I really have a distinct desire to bodily attack that original Dr.   Do I get an attorney?  What to do?  Please ask other people that you think might know if you can come up with any.

I am Just. So. Angry.  and scared.

What else could possibly happen?

I am sitting here feeling overwhelmed.  And I have pushed everything out of my mind except just “do a post”.  John is sitting here, asleep on and off, in that chair they have in most all hospital rooms that reclines all the way out for someone to sleep on because he is sick of the bed.  I’m in the bed.  It hasn’t been that long since I posted and yet an eternity seems to have gone by.  Time has no meaning here, it seems.  It just wanders around and unpredictably slows down and races forward leaving me wondering why one thing is taking so long and how it’s possible to already have results from something else so fast.  What happened to yesterday when things were so much better?  Will tomorrow ever finally just GET HERE?

It seems the hits just keep on coming.  Here is a 52 year old man that has never in his life been in the hospital.  Has never missed a single day of work in all the 10 years he’s worked for the Kr**er Company.  At 6 feet some odd inches tall and all shoulders, he’s  always been a formidable enough man to scare the hell out of Kes and Keelan’s boyfriends when they were in high school.  Now, we’re told he’s had a mild heart attack and he won’t ever be able to get rid of the excess fluid in and around his lungs until his heart is back working correctly and can “pump it off”.  He has been on massive amounts of lasix since we got here and has finally gotten rid of most of the swelling in his limbs and belly from all the fluid.  However the fluid in and around his lungs is being produced faster than the lasix can keep up.  Because the heart can’t pump hard enough to get it gone.

Something like that.  You would be amazed to know the extent of the crash course I have taken in cardiac terminology.

So now on Monday they are going to do an angiogram.  Or sometimes it’s called a catheterization.  They will run a tube from his groin up through his body into his heart and put dye into it that way.  The x-ray will pick up the dye very well and indicate where it is able to go and not go.  Hence, they will be able to see what all is damaged, why, and, hopefully, how to fix it.  Hopefully with medicine.  If not that, with a stint or a balloon.  And, I guess worst case scenario would be open heart surgery.

I am scared and he is just plain depressed.  He has always been a fairly pessimistic person, I mean he’d have to be having been raised by Henrietta, right?  But, he is really down about all this.  He keeps saying things like, “Our lives are never going to be the same, now.”  And I tell him that even if this hadn’t happened our lives change everyday anyway.  But that’s not what he’s trying to say and I know it.  However, my attitude is you just have to buck up and handle it.  I have got a ton of literature on diabetes and he is quite despondent about the whole change in menu that is about to take place.  I am seeing a great opportunity for him to get healthier and feel better than he’s been feeling.  And I’ll lose weight, too!

Well, I have probably bored you all to tears with this emotional, rambling, drivel.  I will try to hit it again tomorrow if I can find the time and energy.  I am SO sorry that I haven’t been a good blog reader lately.  I am feeling like it’s all I can do to get phone calls made and emails answered.  This post is just to give everybody a heads up as to what’s going on and to tell you thank you so much for all you guy’s kind words and love and prayers.

You guys are tops and I love you all.

PS I promise to make a really good stab at getting back to reading YOUR posts soon!

It ain't no Man Cold.

Hi, gang!  I haven’t been around much in the past few days and we’ve been kind of in an incredibly busy holding pattern here at HH, (HalfAsstic Headquarters).

John is sick.  And before anyone out there has the usual, accepted and, yes, expected response of, “Well, yeah…. but he’s a MAN and therefore no matter how bad he thinks it is, it’s about a tenth that bad in reality.”, I need to point out that we passed the point of not taking this thing serious several days ago.

Looooooong ass story cut down to a dime novel size is this:

On the 12th he was starting to have this nagging cough that kept waking him up and bothering him anytime he laid down.  This went on for about two weeks and he finally went to the Dr. He told him he had a “viral infection” in his lower throat, (where John was telling him all the clogged up feeling was). How he determined it was viral and not bacterial or well, anything else is beyond me, but whatever.

The dumbass doctor prescribed Cipro, an antibiotic.  Apparently no one ever told him in med school that antibiotics don’t work on viruses.  Anyway, John took it faithfully since we really didn’t know what was the matter and he was getting no sleep at all at this point.  Literally.

Fast forward to today and we have gone round and round with the stupid doctor’s office about all the problems he’s been having and, mostly, the fact that he is feeling a tad crazy due to the fact that in the past two weeks he’s probably had 7 or 8 hours sleep, total.  And I am talking not more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time.  The doctors wouldn’t call us back for a couple of days since, apparently, lack of sleep is not on their emergency call back criteria list.  I was also telling them that he was having anxiety attacks because I didn’t know what else to call it.  He would all of the sudden start hyperventilating and couldn’t catch his breath.  For no reason.  At all.  Apparently me just calling it an anxiety attack threw them off and they thought I was trying to invent problems for him or something.

Finally this evening I called and left another message saying that his ankles and lower legs are swollen huge, he is having a hard time catching his breath and his heart is racing in addition to the chronic cough that he has had for ALMOST THREE WEEKS NOW and I don’t know what to make of it.  Apparently this red flagged some little pea brain there and I got a call from one of the doctors who said to take him to the ER or to the clinic.

I glanced at the clock and it was 4:30.  They close at 4:30.  So what does he have in mind?  Tomorrow morning at 9:30 they will “squeeze him in”.  If he has ANY changes for the worse during the night go immediately to the ER.

Of course he went back to work today and is doing the late shift.  He is supposed to be home early.  I am just so worried.

Look at the first thing that came up when Kessa entered in some of his symptoms, swollen ankles and legs, persistent cough, swollen belly, shortness of breath.

And I looked around a bit and located this that has all of his symptoms on it too…

I will just add an amendment to this post when we get back and settled in tomorrow and update you guys on what happened.  I am wigging out right now and am done with crying, cause, after all what my aunt Minnette said is true, it makes you nose snotty, eyes red and your head hurt, so the tears didn’t last too long.  I’m just so scared.

God, if you people can understand how tired I am you will go easy on me for having such a boring, long-winded, HalfAssed post that can only be made better by the assurance that I am about to go and get into a bath that I NEED.  BADLY.  I smell a bit… just Assed, no Half about it.

Yes, that’s what I am going to do for YOU right now.  No reason to feel shame for me in public any longer.  I promise I will be clean and fresh and even change the sheets when I get out.  I love you that much.

*Amended to add:

We are back from the Dr. and he was sitting up paying attention this time.  Indeed, I believe he begged for a treat before we left.  He listened to John’s chest, front and back, heart, etc. just as he had before, only this time he said he could hear that John wasn’t getting  a “good sounding breath”.  He was also concerned about the extra 7 lbs that John had put on in the past 5 days.  All fluid retention, and he’s not even on his period. (Weak attempt at humor)

Took an Xray and gave a couple of vials of blood.  Then, while we were waiting for him to come in I leaned over and looked at the film the radiologist had thrown up.  I was a bit floored.


I don’t know how much you can tell from John’s cell phone picture, (they looked much whiter in person), I forgot my camera at home.  All the cloudy white stuff, especially on the left side, (John’s right), is “mysterious”.  He said that there is fluid sitting in the bottom of the lungs and you could see it in person, but he’s not too sure what all the other white masses are.  He wanted a cat scan ASAP and sent us down the street to an imaging place to do that.  Poor John had to lie down to run through the tube thing and hold his breath, over and over again.  He was coughing so hard when we left I thought he was for sure just gonna cough one of those bad boys up and I could get a first hand look at whatever was in them.

The radiologist stuck his head out of the door when we were leaving and said he was going to be calling the doctor within two hours.  The doctor will be calling today.  If for no other reason than to prescribe steroids for the mess that we already know about.

I would like to say at this point that John does not and never has smoked.  His dad smoked until John was about 10 years old and then quit.  Other than that he has been in smoke free environments his whole life.

So Krissa, what does this mean?  I dunno.  You tell me.  I will get back as soon as I know something.