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Saturday, August 31, 2013

And so that's how it ends

The doctors released me from the cardiac ward Wednesday morning, and I went directly home for my first real bath since Sunday morning. With all the crap they had stuck to me for cardiac telemetry, I could only splash around in the sink, much like a sparrow in a summer puddle, but with far less exhilaration. I followed the shower with a huge fruit smoothie. The hospital food was adequate, except at breakfast when it was loathsome, but someone should tell them that low sodium does not have to mean tasteless. 

There are these things called spices that I'd encourage the hospital chefs to investigate.

No longer stinking and tum no longer growling, I headed out, first to drop off my new prescriptions at Kerr Drug, and then to noodle on over to see the massage therapist. If I've ever needed some time under his watchful care, it was now.

Two hours later, I'm headed back home. My earlier resolve to let The Rocket cook my dinner had faded, and now all I want is some PB&J and my pillow. By 8, I'm dead to the world.

Thursday is a full day of meetings at work. You can imagine my joy, but DaMan often pays me to sit around and talk to people, and it certainly beats picking cotton, so that's what I did all day. That evening, I stepped out for a five mile run toward dusk. It was uneventful. The calorie burn was half the usual it was with the afib. I even felt good at the end, not the usual run over by a truck feeling.

Maybe the doc was right.

Friday is PTO. That's paid time off, not power take off. Still, I went to the office at noon to pull five miles with the crew. They run a little faster than my usual, but that's a good thing because it pushes me to do more, and I thought I'd croak coming up the last hill. Yet we all survived. I crashed the rest of the afternoon except for a brief while to go grocery shopping. My blood pressure was cruising at 90/50, and I was feeling excessively nappy. This feeling was unexpected, but I'd had a rough week, so maybe I'm in recovery. Sleep came easily that night.

I slept 12 hours, awaking at 9:30 Saturday morning. Knocked around the apartment eating and doing laundry until 2 when I stepped out for another run. I really wasn't feeling it, but I know that feeling well, and my intention was to push through it. It didn't work out that way. 100 yards into the run, downhill, I knew this would not end well, and I turned around to go back home.

At this point, I suspect I wasted a lot of time and money at Wake Med. Obviously, the procedure ended the atrial fibrillation. Just as obviously, there's a side effect that causes excessive exercise intolerance, and I don't see that I'm any better off, just different and with an expensive maintenance drug to go with it.

The hospital gave me seven days worth while the drug store ordered what I need. (I'm number two in their world with this prescription.) It won't be in until next week. At this rate, I'm not sure I'll continue with the drug. In fact, if I had to make the decision right now, the answer would be a big negatory.

So here's the score. We have multiple strikes against Wake Med. The only thing that place has going for it is the Marine night nurse. Cary Cardiology is at least four strikes down, but they're damned fine at applying decision trees without much consideration regarding the rest of the systems interacting with the one, albeit very important, cardio system. All the while, Jim is substantially worse for the wear, and a damned sight poorer.

My patience with medical systems is about exhausted, and I cut off the treacherous drug with the last dose Saturday morning.


Updating...

And there's more. Sunday I slept 20 hours, rising enough to eat and do one load of laundry. I have no idea where that amount of tired came from, but I did enjoy the dreams.

Monday, I wondered if I'd do anything, but I found myself sufficiently motivated to get out to the park and try a run. I chose my usual 5-mile circuit. The first two miles had me thinking I should have stayed home, but them something happened, and I suddenly started feeling alive again. I suppose the drug from the hospital finally worked it's way out of my system. I almost added a few additional miles to the run, but I knew I was headed downtown for the nOg run at 6, and so I stuck to the original plan.

That left me with 9.44 miles for the day, and hardly more than that for the long weekend, but at least, maybe, this chapter is over. I sure as hell hope so. 

2 comments:

The Crow said...

Your experiences, both medically and physical exertion=wise, gives new meaning to the old saw, "Follow your heart."

I am learning, finally, at 66 to listen to my body. Unfortunately, it took some loud as hell yelling on its part to get me to listen, but I am paying close attention now.

Seems you are doing the same with yours. Good for you, friend.

jjkilgore said...

Hey, we just want you well and grumpy for years to come. Do what's best for you.