Wednesday, November 16, 2011
My Scary Wake Up Call !!!
I don't know how to start this post but here goes. I landed myself in the hospital emergency room last friday and was in the intenstive care unit since monday....I am finally home but my body is still trying to figure everything out.
You see I was feeling perfectly fine friday, however, around 1 pm I just started coughing and thinking I was coming down with a chest cold. (mind you I don't smoke) but the cough kept getting worse like I had alot of phlem. I thought, I should try to cough it up and as I did.......it was not phlem but ALOT of BLOOD. Well, needless to say I was terrified! I just kept coughing up lots of bright red blood. Weird thing is, it did not hurt. Thankfully my husband had just stopped to see me at my studio to say goodbye to me because he was heading out to meet his friends at their hunting camp for the weekend. He happened to be with me when I was coughing all this blood.....so he rushed me to our Urgent Care. As soon as they got me in, they were trying to take my blood pressure and it was just not registering.....it was way off the charts. The top number was well over 300. They immediatley gave me pills to lower the pressure and shipped me out in the ambulance to the hospital ER.
Once in the ER, they began with all the tests....chest xrays, nope I wasn't having a heart attack, then CT brain scan, yup - found abnormal brain images due to the high blood pressure.....did a full body CT scan with the die that runs through your body to see if my heart and blood vessals were working ok....all was fine. Doctors perplexed at this point. My coughing of blood stopped once the pressure subsided from the pills they gave me ....but pressure was still 280. They admitted me to the ICU to find a cause.
They were thinking it was my kidneys because I am young....nope did kidney tests...was fine......all blood work came back good accept low pottassium levels. Thought it was my heart, nope ...my echo test came back fine.
Then I had an MRI done on my brain to see what was abnormal....and yes, they found that my left side of my brain is swelled. Had more tests with a neurologist and he concluded that I had experienced some damage to the brain but should not be too serious as long as I control my blood pressure down under 200.
He was dead serious when he was talking to me at like 10pm on sunday night..... he says, you were very very very close to having a brain hemorrhage and could have died. You were very lucky you came to the ER when you did.
Once the doctors had my pressure down I was able to move out of ICU and go home the next day. (If you have been in a hospital for days, you know how badly you just want to get out and go home...needless to say I was sooooooooooo delighted to get home)
Now, my body is trying to work on keeping my pressure down but with all these meds, I feel aweful.....
The thing is that I am not over weight and I have been exercising regularly for 2 years now. I'm pretty heart healthy. My diet is not that bad, however, today I will be switching my coffee to decaf and my diet pepsi to decaf diet pepsi. ( as I am a diet pepsi freak and drink 2-3 a day). I have other life style changes that I will be making, such as trying to cut back on my STRESSFUL life...which means one thing is the need to re-evaluate my work/business......take a slower approach.....
I just want to say that this has been a very scary wake up call for me.... they say that High Blood Pressure is a silent killer and it nearly killed me....SOOOOOO I want to take this opportunity to wake you all up and have your blood pressure checked! If it is over 200 you really need to do something about it .....DON'T WAIT ! Just because you feel great like I did......does not mean that you can't die from it. And the other scary part is, that if I was not coughing blood I NEVER would have known anything was wrong with me!
They have determined I have had hypertention for years but I never knew. There are signs to look for ...like frequent headaches...which I have had frequent headaches for years (about 2-3 per week) but you all know .... I told myself I lead a stressful life so your gonna get headaches....so ya just take a tylenol and go on... right ?!! Wrong! A big sign is having headaches...have them checked. Also, about a week ago my right eye was occassionally seeing a little round hazy spot I was going to have it checked out with an eye doctor next week...but never made it.... Another big sign is change of vision! So there were signs that I ignored thinking it was just due to growing older or being stressed all the time........ stupid me!
The picture is of my arm when I was in ICU....kinda got bored in there, cuz they don't let you get out of bed.....but they let me keep my cell phone with me ;) They wanted me in the ICU all that time because then they can keep you hooked up on all the monitors as the machine would take my blood pressure every 15 minutes and I had all those wires hooked up on my heart.
Let me tell you it was a very scary ordeal for me and I NEVER want to go back to that again :(