Thursday, January 21, 2010

And another major life change....

For those of you who are wondering why this blog has been so quiet - well I just spent a week in Hospital.

It started on Monday 4th January 2010, when my legs started swelling up. The skin became tight and my weight went up 20 pounds. I could not even get into bed without using my hands to LIFT my legs up. This is called Edema. My legs refused to go back to their normal size despite my elevating them. A few days later the heart started racing (tacycardia) and by now I was getting worrled. So on January 13th I finally went to the doctors.

I had edema, tachycardia and an enlarged liver, plus with the 70 pounds weight loss, I was looking gaunt and just not good.

I havent seen anyone looking as ill as you do, in all the 8 years I have been here, the doctor said. I want you to go to hospital - right now.

So I did. And had bed rest there for 6 days.

Thursday 14th I had several ultra sounds, an echocardiogram, and a CAT scan.

The hospital I was in, is a teaching hospital associated with the local university. On Friday 15th, due to my heart defect (I have a VSD that has never been repaired) and my other medical issues, I had several classes of students come though my room to see me and feel and hear what a real heat murmur looks and sounds like. These students were learning to be internists, cardiologists and nurses.

I was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid - and a condition known as Graves Disease. I was given medication to take, that will slow the heart down and keep it under control, control the thyroid and remove the fluid in my legs.

I was discharged on Tuesday 19th of January and am now back at home.

Graves disease cannot yet be cured, but it is manageable. and I will be taking drugs to control it for several years. It is possible to go into remission - where the disease behaves itself and the thyroid can function normally without any drugs. But if this never happens, then the drugs must continue for the rest of my life.

Because I had gone directly to the hospital from my doctors office, I did not have a chances to stock up on books. My weekend in hospital was so boring because I had no books to read. However I have read quite a few books and reviews will be up eventually.


Chris said...

I'm so sorry to hear you had to experience all that, and, being a booklover, can definitely understand that being in the hospital for so long with no books to comfort you must have been awful. Hoping that the Graves disease is brought under control with medication. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry to hear you've been so ill - but, glad that the doctors were able to diagnose you and offer treatment which will make you feel better. Take care of yourself! Keeping you in my thoughts.

Susan said...

How awful, to be so ill and to not have books to comfort you! Having just been diagnosed diabetic last year, I know all about medication and having the possible option of getting off it if everything goes well, and of learning to live with a chronic disease. All my sympathies to you, not because you're so ill, but because it does mean a life change, doesn't it? take care - and very glad you are back home amongst your books and things again!