While my pacemaker/ICD never had a problem and didn't pick up or record any irregular beats, they still wanted to admit it for overnight observation. By the time there was a bed ready, it was 6:30 in the morning (My mom and I had come in around 12 or so on Saturday) and we were exhausted. Since I was feeling better and had finally stopped throwing up, we asked if we could just go home. Turns out, it was a good thing I got admitted.
Later on that Sunday, I got up to use the restroom and when I came back to the bed and hooked myself up to the machines they saw that my oxygen saturation was in the low 70's. I don't ever remember a time in my life when I've ever been that low. An X-Ray and CT Scan later, they discovered that I had a pleural effusion around my right lung. In other words - fluid around my lungs. The doctors immediately wanted to drain it but with my medical complications, putting me under anesthesia wasn't an option. So then they thought about maybe doing local anesthesia in my side and taking a small sample of the fluid to test it in hopes of seeing if it was bacteria or some sort of infection. Well thanks to my collateral vessels, my doctor up in California told them that that wasn't an option either because there was a good chance of them hitting one and that would cause me to bleed quite a bit, they said that it was "too high risk".
- Collateral Vessels: new blood vessels that are created by the body to provide extra blood flow to an area when the blood vessel(s) that are already there are too small, narrowed, or blocked. (So in a way they are good for me since they're keeping me alive... but not at the same time because they complicate surgery. =P )
So with those two options off the table, they started me on two new breathing treatments, more Lasix to help me get rid of the fluid and a bi-pap machine at night to help force air into my lungs and open them up. When I went to the doctors earlier that week I weighed 121, that night in the ER I weighed 126. Two days later, I weighed 130 and the day after that - 132. Something was off. I was on my low salt diet the whole time in the hospital but I was still retaining fluid, and lots of it! When we checked my BMP (it's an indicator of heart failure) the number was 6,000... the higher the number the worse it is and earlier in June I had only been 125. So it was quite a big jump and things weren't looking so good.
Eventually I ended up being flown up to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital inside of Stanford but by that time I had been losing some more water weight and my BMP was down a bit - I was heading in the right direction. LPCH kept giving me more Lasix to help get rid of the extra fluid and I was released on Saturday to go home to Arizona. I'm home now and thankfully my strength and body is feeling much better than I was when I was in the hospital. When I had been retaining all that fluid, especially at my highest weight point - I wasn't hungry and felt full constantly not to mention I had stomach pains. I weighed myself this morning and I am thankfully down to 118 now, our goal is to keep my between 115 and 117.
Before this I thought I had been doing well with my low salt diet, I was maintaining my weight at 121 but apparently that was even too much and with all that fluid over time, something just snapped. While at LPCH I spoke to a nutritionist about how I can eat out when I go out with friends. It becomes a problem when I am going out to dinner every weekend and we eat at Denny's quite a bit. When I told them where my friends and I ate a lot, it wasn't hard to tell that this restaurant wouldn't have been their first choice for me and my low salt diet. My mom even threw in, "I mean, Denny's doesn't even taste that good!" Trust me, it's not for the taste, it's because we're broke college students and it's cheap. The nutritionist gave me a menu with the sodium count on it and I looked at some items on the menu and decided on what would be okay for me to have when we go out. It's gonna be hard for me to go back to my low salt diet and learn to limit myself but I much rather do that then spend even more time cooped up in the hospital that's for sure.
I want to thank all of you who prayed for me, sent me messages, texts and came to visit me while I was in the hospital. It means more to me than you'll ever know and I appreciate it so much. I plan on being able to update more on this blog now that I have my strength back and I am feeling better! Oh and a special thanks to Mike who let me barf in his car without ever complaining, you're a true friend.
Hope and Love,