Saturday, January 16, 2016

Low blood pressure and relatively obvious epiphanies

Yesterday I met my new primary care physician, as my previous physician left to get married. I felt sorry for the new guy, as he was walking into what was probably the most bizarre case of his life. Sure enough, this young man walks in and shakes my hand, and essentially didn’t blink anymore for the rest of the visit. He sat and shook his head and laughed with me as we recounted the past several weeks in my medical history, from the “simple-gone-complicated” cyst removal to the funky situation in my cardiovascular system. He complimented me on my sense of humor, told me to come visit him for anything at all, and dubbed me the new VIP of his practice. (I guess being a Super Mutant accounts for something these days, right?) I’m looking forward to having him on my team, since he has a good eye for things and also took the time to review my entire chart before my visit. My. Entire. Medical. History. 

While Mom and I were waiting on the good doctor, I chatted with the nurse who was there to take my vitals and do all the things prior to the physician’s visit. She told me that a close family member recently was diagnosed with cancer and her emotions poured out of her with every word. As many of you know, I recently lost my younger sister to cancer, and so I could feel the pain in her voice. I gave her a hug and told her that it was okay to not be strong all the time – however, as nurses and family members, we tend to be strong for others. That was kind of a wake up call for me… I’ve been strong for many, and have cared for many. This time it’s my turn, and it’s odd for me. It’s hard, and difficult, and a major challenge to sit back and let people come to my bedside. When I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I insisted on walking when I could and was as independent as possible. I want to be as “normal” as I can even when I’m limited to going as far as my 50-foot oxygen line will take me, or as far as this new medication will allow…
Roxy and O2D2
I just started metoprolol, 50mg twice a day, to reduce my heart rate over the next several days to prepare for the specialized heart CT scan I mentioned before. My heart rate has lowered some, but my blood pressure is also dropping, leading to a bizarre dreamlike state. I’m drinking fluids and eating salty foods, and am monitoring blood pressure and heart rate several times a day. This will be another tip in the books for my patients when I return to work, however it will be from experience, not just from a textbook: “Please, be really careful when you get up while you’re on this medication. No going boom.” 

I intend to keep my sense of humor through this, as my Grandmother mentioned to me in a Facebook post. While it’s going to hurt to laugh, I want to laugh as much as possible. I still don’t have a date set for this thing, but will update friends and family when that little tidbit is solidified in stone. I continue to research, and am currently purchasing some items (yay, Amazon!) that may come in handy during and after my next hospitalization. I’m continuously grateful for that clinical side of me that allows for some flat-emotioned knowledge since yes, this is terrifying. I know my family and friends are worried, but like I told my doc yesterday, “I’m stubborn.” I’ll keep working on my Master’s degree until the day I go into the hospital, and will pick it back up as soon as I can sit up enough to type on a keyboard – if the nurses and physical therapy staff don’t completely wear me into the ground first. J 

My next post will include photos of gifts, flowers, and visitors as a “thank you” to the most generous and kind people I know. Love all of you.

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