January Part 1 – New Year, New Start

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I am pretty excited that a new year has begun. Although I have had “a few days” being pretty limited, nearly always ending in tears of discouragement, I have an entirely new protocol to me, the lightest since I have seen my current LLMD, and best of all, I got my heart monitor out after 11 very long months!!

If you have been following me, you know how bad this little stick of gum sized implant in my chest was for me. It beat me down mentally more than any single doctor experience I have ever had. As many of you Lymies know, going to see a doctor isn’t the most pleasant of experiences… most of the time. Here is a recap of last year if you haven’t been following me: https://kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/yet-another-year-of-lyme/

It was a pretty long day. I was hoping it was going to be a quick ordeal, and told them to just numb me and take the sucker out. That is after all, what I had them do to put the linq monitor in. The whole process of getting the monitor placed took about an hour give or take.

As soon as I got there, I was admitted to the hospital as a higher risk patient, instead of having it as an outpatient procedure. Oh poo. This quick procedure that was also estimated to take the same amount of time to get in ended up being a just over 6 hour stay.
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Not going to lie, I was happy to get my non-slip hospital booties.

One of the biggest struggles was to get the anesthesia needle in my arms or hands. There was multiple stabbings. When I say multiple, I mean multiple. Haha. They were amazed that I didn’t even once flinch. I told them, “This ain’t my first rodeo, do what you gotta do!”. After so many attempts by nurses in my room, I was brought into the room for my procedure and there was my electrophysiologist, another surgeon, two anesthesiologists and two more nurses. Yikes!

I kind of felt like a science experiment. On one arm they were using a little red gadget that shows veins, the other I was getting an actual ultrasound. Wiggle wiggle wiggle.. “We have blood! Wait.. no it stopped.” They felt bad for me and injected lidocaine into my arms and hands to try to dull it a bit. I personally think lidocaine injections hurt worse than getting a line put in.

At one point, I told them that this wasn’t working, and to just stick it in my neck or feet. I really don’t know why they didn’t want to go that route. I have had to have a line put in my foot before. Not a big deal. I am covered in tattoos, I can handle a needle. As well as the zillion blood draws I have had in the past few years.

After being a literal pin cushion for about an hour, getting the line in was a success. It was so bad, they actually had to remove a sheet from my bed as there was blood all over it. Oy.

That night when I got home, I saw over 20 big red dots between my arms and my hands, all bruised up. I looked like a junkie that had to idea what the hell they were doing.

Once that was all done, we all got a good laugh. I had one personal request: give me a badass scar. My scar that I had from getting in my implant looked pretty much like a big zit scar. Ew. I told them a big “X”, my husbands initials, a gash.. if he really wanted to be creative he could do a kitty… anything would be better. I am sure that is a pretty odd request, but if I am going to have another war wound to add to the mix, I would rather have it at least look cool. He told me that it was definitely going to leave a bigger mark trying to get the monitor out, so badass scar it is. Way cooler than the zit scar I have had for the past 11 months.

I had to be put on two different sedation drugs as one wasn’t doing a whole heck of a lot. These drugs are used pretty lightly, so you are still awake, but I was fine on the first one, even talking to the anesthesiologist about what I wanted to eat when I was done since I was hungry and hadn’t eaten anything since about 7 in the morning and it was mid afternoon, so we were talking Chinese food. Mmmm… Chinese food.

The meds kicked in and I was ready for my procedure. It didn’t take all that long.. about the same amount of time that it took to put the monitor in. Being a high risk patient, they wanted to put me on an IV antibiotic. Sure! I haven’t been on any IV meds for a very long time, and maybe I would kill some bugs while I was at it. I am allergic to penicillin drugs, and Cipro was a big no-no for me after my severe mental issues, so we decided on Vancomycin. I have been on a lot of “mycin” drugs, so I figured this would be a safe one.

Nope. My hand and arm began to swell up. You couldn’t even see that I had a wrist. It was all one big swollen sausage. Then came the red blotches on my arm. They didn’t itch, but felt really hot to the touch. Finally, I began to uncontrollably shake on the table. Convulsing shake.The nurse had to hold me down and was trying to cover me in more blankets. So lesson learned. I am allergic to vancomycin.

I was wheeled back up to my room after my body calmed down and was frequently monitored. I was tired and Dave encouraged me to fall asleep, but I just couldn’t do it. At least there was an SVU marathon on TV, which Dave watched for the entire day.

It was almost 5:00 and I was really afraid they were going to want to keep me overnight, and I just wanted to go home. The last nurse that came in got a doctor, and I was able to go home.

We were naughty and did drive-thru on the way home for dinner, and I fell asleep for the rest of the car ride home. I stayed up long enough when I got home to once again do my thumbs up Kimmie pose, call my parents to tell them I was home and greet my dogs. Out like a light.
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I have been a bit sore, but really not too bad at all. Here is my war wound… it has been a few days.
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I have had a few decent days, at least for me. My mind has been a bit mushy, but I was able to go to the bank, post office to send out a bunch of certified year end work reports (I did have a hard time with this.. I think it was the lighting), and even went to the little grocery store in town to make a salad and pick up a dinner for Dave since I am not all that hungry.

I am hoping for going to dinner with Dave or a movie night in this weekend, and I will be back to the grind with my antibiotics. I am happy and scared at the same time. I am glad they listened, but am worried that it won’t go any better. I am being an optimist though, and that this will make a huge difference for me.

There will no longer be cardiologist appointments, so that is one less stress I will have to deal with in my life. This whole heart monitor experience is behind me, and the notes that my electrophysiologist gave me made me smile. Okay.. obviously no one wants anything else wrong with them but when looking at the big letters on my paper, “DIAGNOSIS: POSTURAL ORTHOSTATIC TACHYCARDIA SYNDROME”, it made me feel like I am finally validated. On paper. I am not crazy, I am not a drug user or partier. I have an actual diagnosis on paper.

Well… I guess that is about all for now! Things are already beginning to look up for 2016. Maybe, just maybe this will be my year. 🙂 Hope you all have a great weekend!

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