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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home From Hospital


It turns out that the asthma and allergies causing my problems, weren't. After 9 hours in the ER, a night in ICU, and another day in the hospital, multiple punctures, pictures, etc., I have been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), which came as a major shock to us.

I had gained nearly 20 pounds in the last 2 weeks and looked and felt like I was in training as a balloon float for the Thanksgiving Day parade. When it got so bad that I felt like my chest was being crushed and I couldn't breathe, the Doc sent me to the ER. After figuring out what was wrong, they administered huge doses of Lasix intravenously and by the next morning I had run off around 25 liters of fluid. Needless to say, I didn't get any sleep that night.

Doc said I had improved much faster than he expected, and attributed part of that to the Bible I was reading when he came into the room this morning. I can breathe so much easier and feel so much better. I expected to come home and start gardening. But.......I can't go out in the hot weather, and I am so weak and tired I can hardly sit here. My daugher, Kat, is coming to stay with me tomorrow morning (we had planned for her to visit next week anyway) and I hope I feel good enough for us to do a few fun things together.

After a Stress Echo test of my heart on Friday, they will have a better idea of what is causing this and how we will treat it. I would love to hear from any of you who live with CHF to see how you handle it. The Doc thinks that it was precipitated by my high altitude camping trip and the extremely hot weather we're having putting too much stress on my heart. Evidently it is more common in people with Diabetes or lung diseases, both of which I have.

My room on the second floor of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City had a nice view of Fremont Peak and the Skyline Drive across the ridge of the Hogback on the West side of Canon City. The early settlers here called the skyline of Fremont Peak the Sleeping Indian. If you have a good imagination you can see him lying there at the top of the peak. The Royal Gorge runs through on the south (left side) of Fremont Peak (named for the Pathfinder Fremont who explored through this area after Pike discovered the Gorge.) Skyline Drive is one of our tourist attractions with a narrow one-way road following the ridge and the city straight down the east side and U. S. Highway 50 running through a valley, on the way to the Royal Gorge, straight down the west side.

I could use good thoughts and prayers for an independent old Granny to learn to be less independent and to stop trying to be Wonder Woman. I'm exhausted and need to go to bed for a while.

19 comments:

Vicki W said...

Oh Fran, I am so sorry that you are going through this but so glad that you found out what was really going on! I hope you continue on your speedy recovery. Relax and let people take care of you!

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Fran, you have my prayers and best wishes. I'm so sorry that you've developed this problem. Rest and take care of yourself, and no doubt you'll be back gardening in no time. Hugs and good wishes, Susan C.

jenclair said...

Fran, what a frightening experience. Even in dreams, the feeling of being unable to breathe is horrifying.

When Laddie was in the hospital in May, they used Lasix in the IV to help get rid of the fluid build up. Eventually, the doctors also decided to give him a pacemaker and hopefully avoid the build up of fluid again. It took awhile, but physically, he improved very quickly with the Lasix.

Take it easy, let Kat take over and care for you. This is one of those times when paying attention to the doctor is crucial...and someone else can cook and wash the dishes!

paula, the quilter said...

Fran, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and don't do anything too soon.

Fruit Jar Nicky said...

Oh my, Fran!! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

We recently went through this with my grandmother. No history of heart problems, but they think CHF might have been caused by undiagnosed diabetes. It was very scary and she had to be brought back twice while in the ER. It was a very close call. Took a long time to finally get her heartbeat regulated, but she is doing so much better now.

Take care of you!!

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

You have my blessing and prayers!

You do not have to be wonder woman but you do need to take it a bit slower.

Barbara C said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been sick Fran! I'm praying for your speedy recovery. Take care of yourself and get lots of rest.

Rian said...

Fran, I'm so very sorry to hear this news. You could come stay with me, it never gets very hot here.

I hope you're feeling better already. It won't be long before you are able to get in the garden. Hugs and prayers are being sent your way.

We're all pulling for you!

ruth said...

Sorry to hear that you have been ill, sending warm and positive thoughts your way. Hope your recovery continues to be quick.

Samantha said...

Sending all my good thoughts out to you. Rest, let your family care for you, and feel better! :-)

Debra Spincic said...

Remember all those nights you stayed up with Kat when she was little? Now it is her turn to stay up with you! Just rest. Nothing has to be done that can't be done by someone else (or not done at all--that's my motto!)

xxoxoxox

McIrish Annie said...

Granny Fran, You are in my thoughts. Hope you recover quickly and can get back to the garden you love.

Anonymous said...

This is Ann and Don Dennis Fran. Bless you. You are in our prayers. The word FAILURE in the CHF sounds so final. Please don't be discouraged. My mom has had it for years and years and with proper medication is doing great. Slow down and listen to your doctors and we'll be reading your wonderful blog for years. We are thinking of you and that big old generous heart that WILL get put under control. Love, Don and Ann

Jane Ann said...

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think that big ole heart of yours is asking to take a break. Not that you can love the things and folks you love any less--but you're gonna have to let them give back some of that support you give them. I know they'll do it--but you have to LET them! Take care, friend.

Suze said...

Oh my, Fran...sending prayers that you feel better very soon! So sorry you are having to go thru this. Take care, dear friend!

Deborah said...

Fran, sorry I'm just getting arond to reading your message. I'm sorry to hear this but please, take it easy and let others do for you. It'll be no time before you're better. Will be thinking about you!

Beth said...

Praying for you to get better, Fran! Take care of yourself!

Marsaili said...

Fran, everyone ahead of me has pretty much summed up everything I'm feeling for you---but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers! Take good care of yourself and let your family help you (I know, it's hard when your an independent woman, eh??!!)

Hugs from Ohio!

Marsaili:-)

Kay said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this, Fran. My mother was diagnosed with CHF about 18 months ago. (She's 93). It is now under control through medication and a very strict low sodium diet, which has been very hard for her. She weighs herself every morning. Apparently more than a couple of pounds of weight gain is something to watch since it can indicate fluid build up. Good luck. If she can do it, you can too!