Sunday, October 9, 2016

Angie, you in danger girl!

Things certainly look different around here, don't they? G'head, take a look around. I worked hard ALL DAY ...with the help of the lovely Chelsea from Get Polished -THANK YOU, GIRL!.. to refresh this blog so take your time to check things out, but come on back, we've got a lot to talk about.

Like the new look? Good. I'm glad, me too! Now, where have I been? Well, I certainly haven't been away just giving my blog a facelift. No Siree. My life was literally in danger!

Yes, that's right. I almost died. Then exactly one month, to the day, later, my mother almost died. It has been the scariest time of my life. A life I can not believe I truly almost lost.

It started on July 21st. My husband had just come home from working a double shift, and I had just sat down on the couch after not being able to catch my breath for the last 15 minutes. I was starting to have chest pains, but below my breasts, so it was misleading. Russell immediately knew something was wrong and wanted to take me to the hospital. But me? Oh no, I was FINE. It was nothing, it would just go away. THREE DAYS LATER it hadn't gone away. I still wasn't able to breathe and the pain was getting too much for me to handle... and had moved/spread. So I finally called my mother for her to take me to the hospital.

5 hours later with one of the most incompetent doctors I have ever had the displeasure of meeting, I had a diagnosis... Pulmonary Embolism. Fucking "doctor"... the words came out of his mouth and all I knew was that all of sudden I was in the middle of a movie scene where a bomb had gone off... you know the kind of scene when you hear that annoyingly high-pitched ringing and you see the other characters' lips moving with a slight murmur of what they may actually be saying, but everything has just really slowed and blurred around you so you're not really sure what's going on? Yea, that, except, BAM! Back in the hospital bed I was. I didn't leave. It wasn't a bad movie. It became real while my husband was answering Dr. Mark Richman of Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Hospital, that yes he did in fact have a smart phone. Why was Dr. Mark Richman asking my husband this? Well, in order to explain what was happening to me, he wrote the words PULMONARY EMBOLISM on my blanket of my hospital bed and told me to google it. I guess they teach the staff that works at the hospital on Sunday afternoons to treat the patients horribly, because the doctor wasn't the only one that treated me terribly that day. The person... are they nurses?... that was at the front desk at the ER entrance, who admitted me, told me to just calm down and just tell her what drugs I had taken so I could breathe again. Fucking assholes. All of them.

Well, not all. Dr. Douglas Isaacs came a while after Dr. not-so-smart had rushed out passed me, out the ER exit with his briefcase to go home for the day, and it was Dr. Isaacs who actually explained what was happening, you know, with words. I guess he's part of the night shift. It was my birth control that had caused the clot. So I had to immediately stop taking it, be put on a blood thinner drip, and I wasn't going anywhere until the clot started to clear. Dr. Isaacs FINALLY gave me some pain relief. No, I wasn't given any the entire 7 hours I was there before Dr. Isaacs, nor had I eaten or drank anything, but I wasn't given fluids either. Like I said, not-so-smart. This also meant no smoking. I was given the nicotine patch to handle my cravings while I was in the hospital... anndddd I'm happy to say that I stuck with it and I'm 76 days a non-smoker! But I'm jumping ahead.

With a lot of morphine and some refreshing Slurpees, I was plugged into the wall on a blood thinner and oxygen, finally getting some relief and some rest. The pain really didn't go away until the clot started to clear though; once they had gotten the blood thinner drip to a therapeutic level. Once that happened, I was able to switch to a oral blood thinner and go home. I was doing OK for the first week -my second attending doctor, Dr. Saumya Sharma, had gotten the dose correct for the first week- but then something went wrong. Dr. Sharma prescribed the wrong dosage... you know, of the pill that was keeping me alive... for the second week, and I started not to feel so great. Oh, just when you think it can't get any worse. Thank Goodness for my primary care doctor, who saw the mistake and prescribed me the correct dosage! You see, after a PE you have to take two pills of the oral blood thinner twice a day for the first week, and then one pill twice a day for the rest of the time you have to be on them... they told me at the hospital I was to be on them for 3 months, but it's actually at least 9 & instead of the two pills twice a day, Dr. Sharma only prescribed me one pill once a day. BIG NO-NO!

Life was getting on as best as things can after one has a PE, and then that phrase came to haunt me "just when you think it can't get any worse"... I got a phone call from my mother, she was having a heart attack.

My world stopped. My husband saw me run off to our bedroom and caught me just in time to find me crying in my closet, trying to grab a pair of pants as the words "my mother's having a heart attack" managed to form out of my mouth. He helped me up, helped me put my shorts on, grabbed the keys and we were off to the hospital. By the time we got there, my mother was already being operated on. I was later told by her doctor that one of the arteries to her heart was 100% blocked so they put a stent in and that stopped the heart attack. The first 24 hours after a heart attack are the most crucial, but my mother made it through, and I didn't leave her side the entire time she was in the hospital. I requested a reclining chair, extra pillows, sheets, and blankets, and made myself a bed. First in the CCU, and then in her regular recovery room. She's doing well, on the required medication, and I still can't believe it happened in the first place. My mom is the healthiest person I know and certainly the last person you'd think would have a heart attack. And while it was happening, she actually drove herself to the hospital... crazy I know. But maybe not as crazy as it sounds. A follower on my Instagram page actually got in contact with me about a YouTube PSA that she posted about her own heart attack experience, and women and illness in general, and I'd like to share it. Her story is similar to my mom's, and it also explains the utter stupidity that comes over women when they become ill... like me waiting 3 days to go to the hospital when I couldn't breathe, and my mother driving herself to the hospital, only going there after first driving to Urgent Care and it being closed, just to make sure she was OK with her blood pressure being 200/110 -yes, you read those numbers correctly.

All women, please watch and take what this woman is saying to heart, literally.

After all that, everything seemed to be getting back to normal... until I had a scare. I had some blood in my stool a couple of weeks ago. It turned out to be minor, and I'm doing ok now (except for a terrible cold I'm getting over)... but I did have to miss my niece being Baptized, and getting used to this new life is hard. There's no such thing as "back to normal" and it's just going to take a while for me to accept that fully. And at the end of the day, as upset as I may get for things not being able to be the same or missing out on some things... like my niece's Baptism... I have come to realize that instead of me missing a day, my family could've buried a mother, right after a sister, and the fact that it came so close and DIDN'T happen is what I've gotta keep in mind, and keep on keeping on for.

Thank you, truly, to everyone who has been there for me, for your love and support.

I wish much love to all of you, please keep safe!

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