Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hospital Part 3

So I had to go the hospital. AGAIN. That makes 3 times in a week. Did I have time to do anything else? Like fill orders? Or catch up on my homework? Of course not, because I was in the hospital for most of the entire week. What did I do? Slept, took drugs, took drugs, took drugs, asked for more drugs, tried to eat my boyfriends hat, and watched Adult Swim from my hospital bed. For DAYS.

Anyway this hospitalization was as a result of a Pneumothorax, a precursor to a Collapsed Lung. Basically what happened is while they were putting in the pacemaker, they accidentally punctured my lung a tiny, tiny bit, and a tiny, tiny bit of air slipped out, resulting in massive amounts of pain. I was in the ER for 5 hours and received 5 syringes full of Morphine. Yeah. Morphine. It's like medical heroin. I was high as a kite. Anyway they took a CT Scan and an Xray and told me it would go away on its own, and then kept me in the hospital for another 2 nights to monitor it. They also gave me an oxygen mask to help it work itself out. Oxygen masks are cool because they give you more oxygen, but they suck because they are itchy and annoying and get in the way and irritate the skin around your mouth. I was an unhappy camper. If you have ever spent 7 or so nights hooked up to so many monitors that you cannot roll over without something beeping, or go to the bathroom without needing to be unhooked, you will understand my frustration. Although I look happy in the picture above (that's my boyfriend in the background, being a sweet heart and staying with me the entire time, running around the hospital to find me chocolate and dealing with my drug-induced craziness) I was not. Anyway now I am back at home with my trusty icepack on my wound, waiting patiently to drive back up to college on Sunday.

I think I am coming down with a cold. FML FML FML FML

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So, I got my pacemaker put in! The entire procedure consisted of my catheter ablation - the one they attempted to do on Friday, but could not complete because of the vicinity of the problem area to what is essentially my heart's natural pacemaker - and then inserting a pacemaker. First they stuck 3 tubes into one of the incision in the main artery next to my groin, went up to my heart and fixed the open pathway caused by the WPW. Then they made a slit in the skin near my collarbone, hooked up some leads to my heart and plugged in a little pacemaker. It's not very big at all compared to some, and after the swelling goes down I won't even be able to see it sticking out of my skin (yay)! Plus the doctor I had is INCREDIBLE at suturing, all my nurses were raving about him, so the slit is going to heal up without leaving much of a visible scar at all, just a thin white line. There are dissolving stitches underneath the skin and dermabond, which essentially glues my skin together, on top to hold it in place. I've got an ice pack on there now to help with the pain/swelling. Last night I was partying it up with some Loritabs and a Morphine IV (and by partying I mean mumbling random stuff about eating my boyfriend's asparagus flavored cookie hat and falling asleep).

All in all, I feel GREAT (aside from the intense pain in my shoulder/collarbone). I can already tell I have loads more energy. I can't really use my left arm for about 6 weeks, so I'll need to get help carrying my backpack around and going from class to class, but I'll be able to resume normal activities in a week or two - even exercise! My resting heart rate is now set a 70, low is 65, high is 150, but those are all easily changeable. My old resting heart rate was 40, so this is a HUGE upgrade! I feel awesome. As soon as I'm not in tons of pain with a swollen chest and a sling around my arm I'm going to go conquer the world! :D

Also, Flobee and I are awesome in hospitals.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Update on my surgery

So I went in for my surgery Friday. It was really not that bad - possibly because I was given 3 IV bags of sedation drugs - and I was only in severe pain for about an hour after I woke up. My friends came to visit me and Flobee (my boyfriend) stayed the night with me watching adult swim and hanging out, which was surprisingly a blast! Also the hospital room was SUPER nice, no hospital smell or anything! The nurses were really friendly and awesome. The bad news is, I have to go back on Monday to get a Pacemaker. So here is an homage to my collar, which will henceforth feature a small raised circle.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why I'm Having Heart Surgery Tomorrow

So I'm having heart surgery tomorrow, a fact which all of my friends and proffessors are aware of seeing as I'm going to be missing a week of classes! As awful as a week of makeup work is, the actual prospect of heart surgery is pretty freaking scary too - especially seeing as I just turned 20. Like I thought heart surgery was just for the over 50 crowd. I guess 20 is the new 50? Whatever. (I do this thing where I joke about stuff that's serious to make it seem like I'm not freaking out..... don't let it fool you, I'm TOTALLY freaking out. Like ... a lot.)

Anyway I figured I'd write a blog post explaining why I'm getting heart surgery at 1pm tomorrow and what exactly it is. First off, when I was 14 years old I was diagnosed with 2nd Degree Heart Block which essentially meant that my heart ventricules were not communicating properly with one another and as such I had a very irregular heartbeat with all kinds of skipping, resulting in an average resting heart rate of around 40, which is half of a healthy, average person's heart. This was not very dangerous, showed up randomly and didn't affect how my heart performed with things like excersizing, etc. It was monitored with an EKG and an overnight heart monitor every 6 months, and didn't change much except when I went through a period of not eating enough, when it slowed down even further and for a short time I was diagnosed with 3rd Degree or Complete Heart Block, which is quite fatal. (I started eating more after that wakeup call!)

Anyway, since then nothing much has happened with my heart. I turned 18 and switched around to find a good adult cardiologist. I saw a new one justthis summer. She squinted at my EKG and immediately said "You have WPW." I had never heard of that and was quite confused. The cardiologist explained that it was an electrical issue. Usually, electrical impulses flow one way through one part of the heart into the next, a one-way little doorway. With WPW, there is an extra little doorway which the electrical impulses occasionally get confused and go through the wrong direction, resulting in too many impulses going around and around in one place. She sent me to an electrical specialist, who confirmed the diagnosis and informed me of a symptom I'd never heard of before: Tachycardia, which sounds like a dinosaur but is really just a rapid heartbeat caused by the circling electrical impulses, which can happen at random. He said that I should look at getting a "diagnostic procedure" in the next 6 months or so. I discussed things with my parents and, as it was a new cardiologist and a new diagnosis, they wanted a second opinion. Over the next 6 months I started noticing a tachycardia about once a month. My chest would hurt a lot, I would feel extremely anxious and usually cry, need to lie down and relax and wait for my heart to stop pounding out of nowhere. Several times it lasted for over an hour. My boyfriend did some research on the subject and eventually blurted out that there was a 15% chance of me going into cardiac arrest during one of those episodes, which only caused me more anxiety! Finally, in December, I reminded my parents that I needed a follow-up cardiologist appointment.

The second opinion of the cardiologist was much more abrasive than the first cardiologist. Like the others, she immediately pointed out the WPW on my EKG and asked me about how often I had tachycardias, expressing shock and alarm when I told her about once a month. She used the terms "playing with fire" told my mother that if it were her daughter, she would get the diagnostic procedure done immediately, and that our vacation to california the following week to visit family would have to wait. The words "cardiac arrest" were also mentioned several times. Scared shitless, my family cancelled the trip and attempted to schedule the Catheter Ablation Procedure, a diagnostic procedure that was actually a lot more serious than it sounded at first. Basically it is a 4-8 hour procedure that involves going in through the main artery in my groin, poking around my heart and checking out what the heck is up with it. After that I'll need to stay completely immobile for 24 hours and then rest for about a week. Because the procedure involves so much, we weren't able to schedule it over my Christmas break and it got pushed back to this weekend.

Here's the really fun part though: my little collection of heart deficiencies (I also have a murmur and some other random stuff) is apparently extremely rare. I don't know why, exactly, but apparently it is. Also, I was apparently born with WPW, but nobody noticed somehow (????) until this past summer, and the symptoms just randomly showed up more and more frequently this semester, which is strange. Every cardiologist I've seen gets really excited over my records and nerds out trying to figure out what the heck is up with this strange irregularity, which is flattering but also weird. The other thing is that my procedure is TOTALLY not predicatable. There are 3 possible endings to tomorrow: 1) they poke around, figure out the problem, come out without any problem and I can take medication to fix things. 2) They poke around, realize they can fix the issue while they're in there, and fix it. 3) They poke around, realize I'm totally fucked, and put in a pacemaker at the last minute. I won't know what happened until I wake up after the procedure. I might have a pacemaker. I just have to wait and see.

So basically I'm super freaked out. My sweet boyfriend came down for the week to help take care of me with my parents. He bought me cupcakes and roses this weekend because I was freaking out about everything (collective awww!) Hopefully it will be OK.... I'll just sit around in my pink polka dotted robe watching movies for a week! Anyway, wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cute oufits I wore while I wasn't updating my blog

Oh geez, where do I begin. Merry Christmas? Happy New Year? Happy 20th birthday to me? Yes, I am now 20! Yay! I'm also dating a really super sweet amazing guy now - I am OFFICIALLY douchebag free - and my classes this semester are 90% fashion related so that's SUPER fun. Of course, I'm insanely busy and blogging has fallen to the bottom of my priorities list - don't feel bad though, lots of other things are down there too! Like, showering. Homework. Etc. Although all of these things are great, I am actually getting heart surgery this Friday to examine my Wolff Parkinson White disease, an electrical issue that I was apparently born with although NOBODY NOTICED IT EVER until now. Fail. So I have to awkwardly inform my teachers that I won't be in class for a week recovering, then pretend like it's no big deal when everyone gets really concerned because lets be honest, it's a HUGE deal, but I'm sick of crying all over the place about it (this is where superboyfriend comes into play! He bought me roses and cupcakes yesterday, for no reason other than that I was feeling down!!! ^_^)

Anyway, since I abandoned you all for so long, and probably will again, here are some super cute outfits I wore recently over break and such. They are relevant to your abandonment because frankly, I prefer looking at pictures of people's outfits to reading whatever they have to say anyway, so if you're anything like me, you will enjoy this.

As you can see I am in love with tights. And finally, a pic of me and some of my friends at my 20s Flapper themed birthday party!