Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Heart Patient

For years after my dad's summer of heart attacks I didn't sleep well. When I was living at home I'd often get up in the middle of the night to listen to him breathe. At school I would worry about getting a terrible call in the middle of the night. It was until 2 or so years ago that I stopped being so stressed out at night. (I was the only one who heard him yelling the night of his big one, so I lived in fear of not hearing another one.)

My dad didn't sleep well last night because he was worried if he did he'd never wake up again.

Tonight I'm wide awake. The anxiety has returned. I just want to puke. And I cried in the middle of the grocery store.

Tuesday he went to his family physician. His bp was elevated and the doctor put him back on blood pressure medication. He also did a full blood work up and an EKG. The EKG was abnormal. The enzyme test came back today and was elevated (they said 5.0 was normal and he's at 6.2). They told him he needed to be seen by his cardiologist as soon as possible or head to the ER.

It was a confusing few minutes (I don't know why M.As with no real experience are allowed to make such calls, you'd think the doctor could take a minute...but whatever). And there was a period in which I allowed myself every bad thought possible. Bad thoughts that included words like funeral and eulogy. Because that's what I do...think of the worst.

A phone call to my mom sorted things out a bit better. Her doctors and P.A.s decided that his levels were of concern but weren't panic worthy. Given his history and the congestive heart failure he might have, past heart damage could elevate the number, CHF could play a factor, nothing meant he was for sure having a heart attack this minute...etc.

So we made an appointment with the cardiologist (they were also aware of the numbers and felt waiting until Monday was okay and the ER could be avoided).

And this is where we are. Waiting (which I'm not good at), and trying not to panic (which I'm also not good at).

(I had to get this off my chest and 140 characters on Twitter were not doing the trick.)


SassyCassie said...

If you need to get your mind of things and want to do lunch or something let me know. I'll pray for you guys.

katie said...

i'm so sorry you're going through all this, i can't imagine how stressful/anxiety-inducing it must be. sending good thoughts and well wishes your way, and let me know if there's anything i can do for you!