When someone suggested that I consider setting up a Caring Bridge page my immediate reaction was, "But that is for sick people." My experiences w/ CB in the past were extremely helpful as I followed the journeys of several friends (who all got better). Now I have all kinds of people expressing their concerns and care - and I don't have the ability to keep everyone up to date. And I can't remember what I told to whom. So here we go.
A few days before August 23rd I found myself getting short of breath (SOB) with increased frequency and less activity each day. On the 23rd I could barely take Ezra out to the grass by my house. [I can't go on right here without telling everyone how much I miss my dog. As you will learn, I couldn't take care of him and so I made the the incredibly difficult decision to "re-home" him.] The afternoon of the 23rd I went to Urgent Care. My HR was 170 and I was in a-fib. They did a lot for me there then I was transported to the hospital via ambulance. (Four good looking men to appreciate as the UC staff had done a lot to reduce my stress.)
I was in the hospital for 6 days. Trying to get me stable, trying to figure out what and why. I couldn't walk much further than 20 yards. On day six I was scheduled for a cardiac cath. 3 of the 4 docs I talked with felt it wouldn't reveal anything but it was a diagnostic procedure they needed to do because if I had any blocked vessels they could put in stents and then we could work on healing. I've had 17 or so surgeries so there is no reason why this procedure freaked me out, but it did. And I told them . They did their best to reassure me and started giving me ativan. I got incredibly confused, I might have been hallucinating, and by the morning of the procedure I was terrified. I had to get out of there. I left AMA - against medical advice. (Someday maybe you'll hear the story of my wandering around outside the hospital not being able to walk very far and not being able to get my Uber ap to work.)
Because I left AMA I never got any real summary of what was happening. But I did get my new cardiac meds - all 8 of them. I did know my heart was "very weak" and there was no evidence as to why this happened.
A friend had Ez while I was in the hospital but when I got home I was still confused, totally exhausted, and still could only walk 20 or so yards. I explored multiple options for Ezra - fostering, dog walkers, friends, etc. I put out my need to re-home him and of course he was wanted! He is now with my SBC cruising friend, Gayle, in Orange county. He is doing fine. And as some days present struggles of the most trivial I am relieved that I do not have to worry about the basic care of my sweet dog.
I reconnected with my cardiologist and saw him in his office eventually. He is a REALLY nice person and I like him a whole lot. It is a long wait until the 27th which is the earliest we could get the cardiac cath scheduled. In his office I learned the numbers. In this case, bad numbers. A common measure they use when discussing heart failure is the Ejection Fraction. For normal people it is 50-75%. Mine is 10% and my heart is grossly enlarged as a result. I'm in serious acute heart failure.