Why was I in the hospital for 6 days? There were many reasons, depending on the day and where I was in the hospital.
I hate going to hospitals. I know not many people really like it, but I really hate it. I have a chronic disease, every hospital stay means there's a chance to find out something else is going wrong or something is getting worse. I also know my body enough to know when something is really a problem or not. After being sick for a week, I ended up in the emergency room on Sunday. I gave in when the breathing hurt more and more.
Initially, I was kept at the hospital for high blood pressure. Over the years of RA meds and surgeries, my BP has been harder and harder to control. The control level they can get me to is still high but for me it's in the acceptable range. The problem with having a high acceptable BP is when I am in a lot of pain or very sick, my BP goes even higher and into dangerous level. We are talking levels that most people don't realize it can go to or when you get the really concerned look on the emergency room staff's face.
It's strange to say but I am very used to it doing it so it doesn't freak me out as much. Normally it's controlled within a couple hours and goes down. That didn't happen this time. My BP spent most of the first 24 hours in the dangerously high range. Which is what put me in ICU. While in ICU, I also ended up being treated for abdominal pain, chest pain and a massive headache. That's what kept me int eh ICU the 2nd day.
By Tuesday night, I was well enough to be moved to a cardiac step down unit. Unfortunately, new problems arose when I was in that unit. I had a new chest pain which caused them to be concerned for lung clots so I got a couple more days onto my sentence. It also didn't help that while they got my BP under control (mostly from the jump start of the IV BP drug and arterial line), my heart rate started randomly increasing. This earned me another day at the hospital and a nurse's visit every time I set off my heart alarm at the nurse's station and the central monitoring station.
Let me add at this point, I have been to a cardiologist before because of the medications I take and my BP (as well as a hypertension clinic), the cardiologist previously and the one I saw at the hospital on this stay both agree that my heart isn't the issue. In fact as much as my RA inhibits participation in activities and the medications I take they expect to find damage that they don't find with the heart.
So this brings me back to the question of why I was at the hospital...there isn't one answer. But here is the list of what they treated me/kept me for:
Very High Blood Pressure
Randomly increasing heart rate
I would like to say that I am feeling better but realistically I'm not yet. I pushed myself too much the first day. I am also feeling like I did the day I went to the emergency room. So we will see, hopefully I will not have to revisit the hospital.
The worst part for me is actually missing out on stuff now that I'm home. It's one thing to be stuck in a hospital bed but I came home to a week of supposed to be staying in my house all the time, followed by a second week of not being outside if it's cold or rainy. This means I have to miss PBR in Detroit. I really really really wanted to go, unfortunately I was told a flat out no on that one. While I'm not one for fully listening to every thing the drs say (which always gets mein trouble), the whole no you can't go unless you are taking someone who is medically trained with you in a car for over 2 hours thing definitely is stopping me on this one. I know that there will be other events, I just really wanted to go. And for those that don't believe me, yes I really started complaining to nurses on Thursday that I needed to be out by Saturday to watch Douglas Duncan ride HeeBee GeeBee on PBR LEC. Hey it got me out on Friday didn't it? ;)
Darn RA making me worse anyway!
What's sad is as rambling as this post is, it's the clearest it has been since I have been home. I have rewritten it about five times