Category: #anorexia, #recovery #cardiologists # heart procedure # radical will for anorexia # my journey to recovery

Radical Will part 12 Seeing The Cardiologists and Another Procedure

I was barely hanging on by a thread these last couple of days. Since I had talked to Pam my ED therapist my weight had dropped 2 more pounds, and I was on the feeding tube.

I couldn’t wait for Monday to come when I got to go see the endocrinologist in Boston.  Today I was seeing the cardiologist. I hadn’t really talked to anyone I could remember about my heart or my medications or what was my prognosis. I knew losing more weight made my prognosis worse on all fronts. I was pretty concerned about being admitted to the hospital again. I think my primary care might make that decision I don’t blame me. I am scared to death of my own body. This anorexia and recovery from anorexia wasn’t going accordingly to my best made plans.

What I didn’t want to happen was for Radical Will to get dumped by the wayside of the road towards a full recovery. Even with this heart attack I was still meeting my doctors. I needed to get in touch with Amber my nutritionist. I hope she could do something by phone and mail me more material I would really take the time to read it. I was desperate and running out of time. I was not foolish I knew that my story along with my medical history with the anorexia wasn’t pretty.

It was early in the morning, and I wanted my coffee drink but I needed Stephanie to go get it and I didn’t want to wake her up. So I went and I made a pot of regular coffee. It wasn’t nearly as good and they had first taken me off Adderall all together, but my mania was so bad they had put me back on a smaller dosage.  So between the coffee that I made and the small dose of Adderall it wasn’t very good. I would have to wait for Stephanie to wake up. I didn’t even bother weighing myself it was just going to be too upsetting. I needed to get into the shower but I wasn’t steady enough. I needed some help from Stephanie. I felt so useless and pathetic I went and laid on the couch in the study. I tried to wrap my mind around the unanswerable question of why did I get sick with anorexia? I knew it wasn’t as important as getting to recovery. I knew there were many factors that medical practitioners talked about. However, everyone is so different two patients are never alike in any way. We may share commonality in our twisted thought processes, but that is as far as it goes. Our bodies react all so differently as do our minds. I was nervous about seeing the cardiologist and hearing what they had to say about what happened and I wanted to know about the medication I was taking. My appointment was at 9 am. I didn’t know what time it was but it felt like it was getting on so I went and grabbed by phone. Good thing I did, it was already 6:45 am and I had to get Stephanie up. I woke her up gently she was still so tired I was wearing her out I did know that……

She got up and capped my feeding tube and grabbed clean clothes and helped me get into the shower. I had this all figured out. I had her help get into the shower without the water running. I then took off my clothes and flung them on the floor and my clean and warm towel was waiting for me right next to the shower. I didn’t want her or anybody to see my body at all. I was so disgusting and gross I don’t even know how she could bear to be around me. I took my shower and I was quick. We didn’t have any time to waste. I grabbed my towel and wrapped it around me and Stephanie helped me out of the shower. Now I was okay and I could get myself ready.

We left the house at 8;30 am for the cardiologist. This was a different group then the ones I had seen before the heart attack. We found our way and Stephanie dropped me off at the curb. I was just going to wait inside the door for her to park the car. She was there in a flash and I didn’t have my feeding tube hooked up. I knew I should but it was too much of a pain going out with it. We found the cardiologists suite and I checked in. They took me right away, I asked Stephanie if she wanted to come with me. She jumped right up and joined us as we headed down the hall.

The nurse took my vitals and said they were going to do a more sophisticated EKG, before I met with the doctors. This one included 14 electrodes and even ones that went on my neck. She couldn’t get a good read because I didn’t have enough body fat. Finally she got what she thought was a good reading. She printed it and told me to wait before taking off my Johnny and putting back on my clothes. She came back and said she was going to try for another reading  and had me lay differently. That seemed to work and she took all the electrodes off and told me to get dressed. The doctors would be in a moment.

I got dressed and I was nervous. In my haste I forgot and Stephanie forgot to call the visiting nurse who usually comes around 10 am. Maybe I would be home in time but I doubted it. I didn’t even have her card on me to call. I would at least need to know what pills I needed to take this morning. There was a knock on the door and it quickly opened. In walked three men in white coats. I have a habit of calling doctors “white coats.” They all introduced themselves to me and I didn’t really recognize them except for one who was part of my discharge day. They all knew Stephanie and I am sure were happy to see the hot babe with me.

They asked me how I was doing. I said, “I have no idea. I take handfuls of pills two to three times a day, and a visiting nurse does an EKG once a day.” I said, “I haven’t left the house except for this appointment and have an appointment scheduled on Monday in Boston if it is okay to go.” One doctor asked about my anorexia and the feeding tube. I said I had lost some more weight and my primary care ordered the feeding tube and that I had a whole medical team dealing with my anorexia. I said, “Welcome to team Corey.” They all laughed. One of the doctors took out my reading from this morning. He said, “We are still seeing unfavorable electrical activity and your qt interval which was prolonged after the heart attack has elongated further it appears.” I said, “Can you just answer me a couple of questions? Am I a walking time bomb? Is my heart okay? Am I going to be okay long term? Lastly what is the damage and what does it mean that I have now had a heart attack.? I apologize if you went over this with me in the hospital it is all very foggy to me, but I am scared about my body.”

One of the doctors spoke and said, “We wouldn’t have sent you home if we thought you were a time bomb. However there are no guarantees especially with a reading like today’s and continued weight destabilization. You were very lucky you suffered minimal damage and don’t really have an residual damage which is quite remarkable. We do need to address the electrical issue and we suggest a procedure we can do in a special procedure room here with guided imaging we would insert a tiny probe into your heart and hopefully restart its electrical rhythms. We have done this to you already and it worked the first time.  For some reason your electrical rhythms are off again and that is a precursor for another cardiac incident.” I was scared but glad to hear I wasn’t a time bomb or not really. I asked about the medications. The same doctor spoke, “You are on a standard regime of medication for a patient like yourself who suffered a heart attack with out significant damage. We will keep you on all the medication for 6 to 8 weeks and then wean you off of most of them. You were already taking one and will remain on a few others for some time. None of them have any long term worries associated with them. You tolerated them well in the hospital and now are still tolerating them well. As far as activity going forward, I think we would like to do this procedure, do another reading and discuss activity levels then. Okay?” “Yes, will I be given something for anxiety and pain or will you put me to sleep?” “The procedure is practically painless, the only thing is you will feel a weird sensation when we try to shock your heart. And yes, we will get you something to relax now and we will meet you in the procedure suite.” “Thank you,” I said.

I looked at Stephanie and she seemed worried. I wasn’t worried. If my heart was out of whack I wanted them to shock it or do whatever it took. I asked Stephanie what was wrong. She said, she was just surprised and worried about me. She told me she would feel all better when I got back to the room. A nurse can in to start an IV. Funny how you think you have the story and clearly you don’t. She was great putting in the IV and then she injected a couple of syringes into it. I immediately felt woozy and she got a wheelchair and helped me sit down. She asked if I was OK and I said, “Yes.”

I don’t remember a lot about the procedure. Once they got me into the suite which was just like an OR they gave me more stuff to relax. I remember closing my eyes and feeling peaceful. I prayed to God and soon I was opening my eyes in this area where the doctors and a couple of nurses were with me. They said the procedure went well and they had already taken a reading it was near normal which was great. I finished coming out of the haze and the nurse asked if I could get back into the wheelchair. I told her I was fine to walk. The medication wore off instantly. I had a sore spot on my chest and a bandage I noticed. We got back to the room and Stephanie smiled. I loved her so much. I was so lucky.

The doctors came in immediately and said they had new orders for me. They were changing up my medication a bit, and I could now with comfort do stairs slowly and return to normal activity slowly. So going to Boston on Monday was fine but no running around town afterward they joked. I laughed and so did Stephanie. I told them what happened with me missing the nurse and not having had my medication. They were going to call the VNA and have someone meet me at the house as soon as possible. I would see a change in a couple of pills as the nurse would get the new medication before coming over. They told Stephanie actually, that the visiting nurse was going to be discontinued and could she have the visiting nurse go over the medication with her. I didn’t need the visiting nurse for my heart but I would still have one as my feeding tube required one. The doctor who did most of the talking said they wanted to see me next week just to run the reading. If that came back good, we would extend the visits out longer. They asked if we had any questions, and Stephanie did confirm a nurse would be coming and coming tonight to help her get the medications straight. They said correct, and we were off!

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

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