Health Update: Anemia
I received an iron infusion at the hematologist office today. I’ve lost over a unit of blood since Friday. (Last week, I lost that much in one hour in the ambulance).
The good news is I had enough blood to lose a few units; the bad news is I’m still losing blood. I go back to the hematologist Thursday for a blood test and was told to go back to the ER if I become symptomatic.
I’m a bit frustrated that no doctor seems to be in charge. The hospital sent me home Thursday night with a prescription to get blood work on Friday but didn’t tell me who to give the results to. I called my cardiologist who took it and gave it to the hematologist. The OB-GYN has no clue I’m still losing blood and hasn’t asked.
This medical system is for the birds. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing unless I squawk. Let me give you an example.
One Long Horrible Scary Night in the Hospital
The fourth day in the hospital (after I had received 6 units of blood and they slowed down the bleeding) I was scheduled for a colon scope. To prepare I had to drink a gallon of a horrid solution to clean out my system (I know, too much information, but I have a point to make). I started drinking at 10 pm.
I drank the solution and it worked well by 2 am. Then I was not allowed any water so I was dehydrated. They were unable to start an IV or draw blood because they could not “get a vein” even after they tried in the top of my feet.
By midnight my legs started cramping really bad (I’ve had nine natural child births–I am no baby about pain). By 2 am I was crying hard. My legs hurt bad. The nurse had no idea why my legs would hurt except maybe because I had been in bed for a few days. She reported the leg cramps to the doctor who allowed me a mild pain medication. The doctor did not know why I was having leg pains.
In less than two hours I was begging for more pain meds but couldn’t have any for 2 hours. Then the pain went into my chest. At this point my BP was falling, my EKG was a bouncing all over with double, triple and quadruple beats. Many nurses were running in and out. They gave me morphine. It lasted 10 minutes.
No one on the entire cardiac ward at Vanderbilt (a billion dollar teaching hospital) had any idea what was happening to me.
I had my Kindle with me so I looked up leg cramps on the Internet (through the tears of pain). Within 10 minutes I found one of the major causes of leg cramps was a lack of potassium. This made sense because the cleanse had wiped out all my electrolytes.
Any elementary soccer coach would know I needed electrolytes (even Gatoraid) so why didn’t the cardiologist or nurses know? I asked for potassium, but they refused because they couldn’t do a blood test until 7 am when the IV specialist got in. Accck!
After crying for seven solid hours they gave me the potassium. Within 15 minutes the pain was gone. If they would have started an IV before I was dehydrated, with electrolytes, I wouldn’t have had to lose a night’s sleep, bear excruciating pain nor have the trauma happen to my heart.
That morning they took me downstairs for the colon scope. The nurse asked “How was your cleanse?” I explained the leg cramps. She said, “Oh, that happens a lot.” THAT HAPPENS A LOT!!!??? Why isn’t there a warning label on the bottle of solution????
The whole hospital experience was something out of Bizarro Land. And from the way my blood looks I may have to go back in for more blood transfusions within the week. Sigh.
Well, thanks for listening to me vent. Maybe there is a scriptural lesson in here somewhere? I’ll watch for it. I have learned that anyone who goes into a hospital needs to be a bold self-advocate or get one. Don’t face this system alone!
Please pray for me. Thank you.
Subscribe for 65 pages from The Heart Wisdom Teaching Approach (pdf)