Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding Ways to Keep My Own Blood Pressure Soaring

Hubby had a rough night.  He came home around 9 p.m. from his "fiddling" around -- talking with family members long distance, riding his stationary bike, etc. and sounded pretty much like he was getting a cold.  Quickly, he was fast asleep. 

I had had a rough day myself-- my stomach had been upset and I felt "off" so instead of being the productive wife, I had fed Hubby some toast and called it quits for the day.  I laid around reading my Kindle, napping, and watching TV (that show about Alfred Hitchcock and Teppi Hedren -- The Girl -- was truly sickening). 

At 1:30 this morning Hubby woke me up.  "I need my new Vicks inhaler," he commanded.  We had bought this plastic machine in Williamsburg that uses hot water and a little cube of very potent Vicks and you hold it up to your mouth and nose and inhale the pungent fumes.  Hubby swears it works great.  It practically bowls me over, but whatever floats your boat. 

I got up, prepared the inhaler and then listened to Hubby sit up all night, hacking, spitting, and gasping for air.  At 8 he took the dogs out for walkies.  I rolled over preparing for at least a quiet hour of sleep, when the phone rang.  "I'm going to the emergency clinic.  Do you want to come along?"

I've learned the hard way not to send Hubby off for emergency procedures alone.  If he's really sick, he won't go to the hospital.  And he never goes for emergency care unless he's really sick.  So I quickly dressed and walked out to the car waiting for me in the driveway.

The Goppert Family Care Clinic has an emergency clinic attached so on signing Hubby in, I said we needed to go the emergency waiting room.  The new receptionist looked up Hubby's record and asked me what was wrong. 

"His blood pressure is elevated, his heart rate is high, his diabetes count is over 200, and he's full of congestion."

She immediately called in the seasoned receptionist who looked at Hubby, looked at Hubby's record and went to get the Triage nursing staff.  Emergency clinics are NOT for chronic illness.  Two lovely nurses came out and escorted Hubby to a patient's room and they called in a Faculty Doctor -- our own Dr. Patel was on call at the hospital and not available to us.  

We had wonderful service.  Nurses gathered, EKGs were taken, questions were asked and answered.  For an hour and a half the lives of four clinic personnel were interrupted while Hubby was assessed, diagnosed, and treated. 

Finally a verdict was reached.  We were definitely not in congestive heart failure -- always my worst fear.  Hubby probably had a cold but based on the problems we had just had during our sojourn to Chesapeake, we were to watch it carefully.  His EKG did show some changes from the previous one but not significant enough to warrant a hospitalization -- just a visit with the cardiologist which we had already scheduled for November 4th.  Finally,  if Hubby felt lousy enough then the emergency room should be the next stop.

"Nope," Hubby proclaimed.  "No emergency room."

Heart meds were increased to help with the high heart rate (which came down radically as Hubby received more and more soothing and pampering).  Scripts were sent off to the pharmacy.  Over the counter drugs that do not interact with heart conditions were recommended. Scopes and consultations followed tests and chest thumping. 

Eventually we were released from the doctor's office.  Just as Dr. Patel had held my hand and looked seriously in my eyes last week, they held both our hands and looked at us solemnly and with intent,  "Call us if you have any changes or worries.  Go to the emergency room if you feel any chest pains."

We were effusively thankful.  We had showed up with no appointment or advance warning and because we were concerned the entire clinic had jumped to and work us over -- probably only for a cold.  We had seen the most senior doctor and he had been warm and sympathetic.  Everyone had worried about us and shown their concern, never minimizing our problems -- which have probably turned out to be nothing more than a cold.

Now was my turn to take over.  After walking two dogs to wear off some energy (and eliminate some poop and pee) and taking Hubby home to bed to be surrounded by now worn out pups, I headed out to collect several new scrips and over the counter meds as well as lunch.

We left the house at 8:25 this morning.   I got home at 1:25 in the afternoon.  Everyone is now fed and dosed and sleeping off the effects of our activities.  Let's pray the meds all work and the "cold" stays just a minor blip in our lives. 


Margaret said...

Yes, these men and their health issues cause our BP to go sky high. Golden years--pffftt!

snugpug said...

Here's get well wishes for hubby; strength for you as you take over; love to you both and the dogs.