I’ve known about my heart issues for a couple of years, and am used to the frequent palpitations, so when my ticker started feeling ‘unusual‘ at lunchtime I was a little concerned. I’m a firm believer in the adage ‘you know your own body’, and mine was decidedly not right, so when I also started feeling hot and cold and then giddy and faint I figured I needed to get myself seen asap.
Within 10 minutes I was getting into a taxi and 10 minutes after that I was in A&E, struggling to remember my address, shaking like a leaf and clearly looking like hell. All credit to the doctors and nurses at the hospital because I was fast-tracked through, having all manner of tests done until I finally conked out. Luckily, a nearby paramedic helped the nurse get me onto a trolley so I could be swiftly moved to a more appropriate examination area. Once hooked up to the machines I was eventually lucid enough to ring a friend, who spent the next 7 hours by my side.
After constant monitoring, endless blood pressure tests, an xray, and two extremely painful blood tests I was finally given the good news that I hadn’t had a heart attack and was given antibiotics for an infection before being allowed home. I’m very, very grateful to all of the doctors and nurses who, despite being busy, made sure that I was well looked after throughout. I’m also very thankful that I have such wonderful friends…
As my cardiologist insists that my blood pressure drops below impending stroke range immediately (if not sooner), I’ve now been given a brand new monitor to use at home for the next eight days so that they can discover whether the figures are genuinely sky high 24/7, or if I’m simply suffering ‘white coat syndrome‘ whenever I’m within range of an NHS facility. It’s all fancy with buttons that beep – how exciting (mustn’t get too excited or the numbers will go up even higher).
The initial reading was, in fact, low (that’s a first), but I guess by this time next week I’ll be closer to finding out whether or not further cardiac intervention will be required. Just as well I didn’t have to do this last week while I was getting sozzled every night in the land of ‘all sheep and no vowels’!
It’s not easy dealing with unexpected medical woes while trying to avoid taking any time off work, not to mention maintaining a busy social life, but somehow I’m managing, despite undergoing more tests and xrays. An emotionally challenging appointment with a lymphoma consultant this week means I’m now on yet another list; this time waiting for biopsies. Well, that’s something new and ‘exciting‘!
I’m fully aware that I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my wonderful friends and family during this particular saga, who cheer me up when all I want to do is mope. Endless blood tests have made my veins a tad sore, but thanks to ‘Team Karen’ I’m actually in a really good place mentally. I’ll give you all a great big hug … once my arms are better.
Now, my birthday is looming and someone mentioned cake…!
I’d only gone to see my GP to discuss my upcoming cardiology appointment, but after simply asking for a second opinion on a small lump on my neck the focus swiftly altered and I was immediately booked in for blood tests and a scan! I must admit, all I was expecting was confirmation that all was ‘normal‘ so this sudden turn of events took me totally by surprise.
In less than a week I’d undergone both procedures and a few days later I was back with my GP to find out what the hell just happened. Apparently, anything to do with iffy lymph nodes throws the NHS into panic-mode, which is why I subsequently ended up with an urgent (within 7 days) referral to the haematology department at the local hospital! It’s the first time my doctor said the word lymphoma out loud, but I’m choosing to ignore it and am assuming it’s just a virus of some description.
I don’t have time to be ill – I’m far too busy living the dream…
“You do KNOW you have a heart murmur don’t you?!” were the 10 little words that tumbled out of the doctor’s mouth after rummaging around with his stethoscope down the front of my t-shirt. “Erm…..” I couldn’t speak. He had another rummage and confirmed “Yes, I can definitely hear one”.
I’d actually booked to see a temporary Gp at my local surgery for a blood pressure review as my usual one was away. The nurse who’d seen me a few days earlier confirmed that my blood pressure remains sky high and therefore the new medications weren’t working; to be frankly honest, this new information wasn’t exactly helpful in that department! (Although I guess it might explain the high readings along with an apparently high pulse rate).
Quite how this malfunction hadn’t been spotted during the numerous medical examinations I’d had in the past I have no idea, but hopefully all will become clearer once I’ve seen the heart specialist for my echo-cardiogram. I’m now trying NOT to focus on the fact that my father died from heart problems, and am choosing to be thankful that it’s been spotted (better late than never) and I’m excited about a whole new experience, rather than terrified of the implications. At least life’s never dull in my world!