“Can you breathe alright?” That’s an odd question to be asking. I think, just about functioning on the two and a half hours of sleep my distressed brain managed to grab last night. And then I realise there must be a reason she is asking,
“The scan you had yesterday shows fluid on your lungs.” Really? Even after the diuretics? But I could breathe. You weren’t even looking at my lungs were you? The woman told me there was nothing obviously alarming. She said she was scanning my kidneys. The doctor listened at some point before that and said my chest was clear. Am I even awake yet? Is this a messed up dream? Did I eat too much pizza? So. Many. Thoughts.
“I mean, I couldn’t stop coughing or actually breathe the other night (recounts details of other night when my lungs sounded like a bowl of rice crispies) but I feel a lot better now.” Correction – I have actually just adapted to not really ever feeling like I’ve filled my lungs, and now that she’s left the room and I’ve had time to actually think about breathing, I’ve realised this isn’t how it usually feels (oops). You know when you need to take a deep breath? It feels like that. All the time. And even when I inhale fully I feel like I still need to breathe in more. Hmmmm can I hide and/or ignore this well enough to get home? Or should I mention it? This of course, depends on my level of freak out on the next occasion that I encounter a doctor.
“I need to speak to my boss. And Dr (whatever-his-name-is) is back tomorrow, we’ll talk to him too.” Excuse me wait what what WHAT WHAT?! TOMORROW? NOPE. Infinite. Levels. Of nope. I said one more night. Yesterday. I HAVE NO MORE CLEAN UNDERWEAR!
My bank account can’t afford for me to be in here any longer. I’m being serious. Last night I decided that I didn’t want other people to go through similar circumstances as this and stared throwing my money at various charities I thought might find ways to stop it… I also treated myself to a few congratulations you haven’t had a meltdown yet presents (because motivational quotes on string bracelets were clearly a necessary purchase… Help I have a problem. Online shopping is a blessing and a curse) I know the amount of money I donated will probably only buy a research team a teeny tiny microscope slide or a single pipette, but every little helps. When I was 14 I wanted to devote my life to raising money for charity. I may not be capable of completing physical challenges and sponsored events any more but that part of me is still very much alive and kicking. I hate the thought of somebody else stepping onto an emotional rollercoaster like this because of a physical one.
On the plus side, to quote my nurse yesterday, within an hour of being given ‘water tablets’ I’d “gone from pregnant with twins to beach ready” The diuretics did exactly what they were supposed to; all the fluid sitting in my abdomen magically returned to my bloodstream, allowing my kidneys to kick it all out, and meaning that my bulging abdomen has shrunk to such an extent that we can now finally see where my ribcage ends. But not my lungs. They did not, apparently, want to empty themselves (totally explains why I can’t lie flat). I mean seriously lungs, get it together! Not cool! In less than 24 hours I’ve lost 2.3kg (despite the amount of pizza I consumed last night)… But I’m still obviously retaining water because there’s a fair amount of weight left to lose. Deep joy.
Probably skip the next paragraph because medical jargon. If that sort of stuff interests you… Read on.
I spent most of the night watching TV, with unusually frequent palpitations and occasional chest pain. My P waves (a feature that is frequently missing from my heart tracings, you don’t need to know what they are to understand this bit.. I think) returned from their lads holiday but decided they wanted to be upside down. The monitor kept insisting that I had abnormal heart rhythms originating in the top parts of my heart. I took photos of the squiggly lines every time I felt weird, and googled heart tracings until I found ones that were identical. My research led me to believe I was completely fine, and that upside down P waves and an upward sloping ST segment (even with the irregular heart rate I experienced with it) was harmless (despite the fact that it sounds pretty alarming. Thank you cardiology textbooks, for all you have taught me – You can tell I’m doing a degree in biomedical science haha. Also thanks to denial, for y’know… Being a thing). Occasionally chest pain and weirder stuff (which the Internet said can occasionally be benign, so I decided clearly was) occurred, but by this point it was 4:30am so I went to sleep, still not thinking anything of the fact that I had to sleep sitting up in order to breathe.
I’m not sure if I was woken up by the heart monitor freaking out (the bottom chambers of my heart kept beating too early for a couple of beats at a time. Feels weird, isn’t anything alarming unless they do it for more than three beats I a row), or by the palpitations which this was clearly causing. The machine was all “this is happening too many times in a minute heart, could you just not” (ok well it said it in a different way but yeah) They tried to record the event and, as the nurse watched, my heart decided to nosedive from 120bpm to 80bpm within a couple of seconds (which, for the record, feels bizarre). Go home pacemaker, you’re drunk!
For the entire morning I’ve had alarms of “missed beat” and random stuff such as this…
It’s happening more and more frequently, the crackle in my lungs is back, and I am still here boring you all to near death in hope I may get some company. (I’m joking because who is even reading this post any more?)
But trust me, I’m finding a way to get out of here today. I have to.