I had a routine six month appointment with my doctor last month., which I was anxious to keep because my legs had been swelling. I figured I was in for another round of Lasix, the darn "pee pill".
The doc mildly chewed me out for not making a special appointment to come in, listened to my heart and lungs and did not like what she heard. She took an EKG, which she did not like at all. The "spaces were too far apart." She sent me to the emergency room, which also was unhappy with my "symptoms".
The ER recommended being admitted to the hospital for an assessment. From my 1 p.m. appointment with my doctor, I lay on the ER gurney until 9 p.m. at night until a hospital bed opened and I was transported by ambulance to the Cleveland Clinic, downtown Akron.
In spite of the hour I was put on a heart monitor and given a full assessment. They told me my heart rate was occasionally dropping below 30 beats per minute, and they were recommending a pace maker, a simple procedure. It would happen the next day or the day after, another day of observation and back home.
This was Monday, March 20th. I got the pacemaker on Wednesday, I think, and woke up with it in place, and a perforated lung. The fellow who placed the pacemaker told me it was because I was so tiny. I said it was not my fault. He did apologize.
So, I stayed in the hospital, having my lung plugged. That and the eventual removal of the drainage plug were painful, but quick. By Sunday they were willing to release me, and I sprung for it. By the time I was back in this chair, I knew I'd made a mistake not staying another day (and surely be punctured by more needles). I was in a lot of pain. I went to bed to sleep it off.
Come morning, no improvement. I called Blake to come help with the cat for the duration, and asked to move from Independent to Assisted Living. A new big mistake. In AL, one has no rights. The new story:
Monday and Tuesday I joined in the activities, and met up with a couple of previous IL residents, Big and Little Marge. Tuesday night I contracted the Lurgy sweeping the facility. Vomiting all night, then diarrhea. For two days I made it to meals, as required, but could not eat. I essentially spent the next four days sleeping, bringing the time line to Sunday, when I felt human and could get to the dining room with no rests.
I joined back in the community activities and worked on walking strength. I had been asking for release back to IL, but the AL staff wanted me to stay thirty days. They didn't think I was up to it. I insisted on an assessment, which I did get today, I was released because I had friends here in IL management advocating release. They were tired of hearing from me!
That's what happened. Because of the pacemaker, I am physically better than when I left. I was winding down before it happened. The pacemaker increased my stamina tenfold. So far I'm not dozing off during the day. And, I'm back where I'm happy. Just two weeks late.