Friends! Big news!
I broke my record!
Previous record: 14
New record: 17.5
17.5 vials of blood, that is.
And the .5?
Evidently my left arm has decided to close for business after years of blood draws and IVs, and has built a blockade of scar tissue. After it took the phlebotomist 5 minutes to fill half of a vial, we decided it was time switch arms.
After all, at that rate it would have taken approximately 85 minutes to draw 17 vials of blood.
No, thank you.
On the contrary, that would ALSO have been a new record…
To say I am back in my starring role in a medical detective series may be an understatement.
In fact, the past few weeks make for a nice little counting book:
2 Neurological studies
3 Cardiac tests
4 Visits to my friendly neighborhood phlebotomist
6 Doctor’s appointments
Oooo, or perhaps it would be better sung backwards like the “12 Days of Christmas?!?!”
“Fiiiiiiiiiive intravenous infuuuusssionnnnssss!”
Take that, golden rings.
Needless to say, it’s never dull around here. In addition to smashing records left and right, I also got myself a brand spanking new diagnosis code!
Recently, I had a tilt table test. I’ve had one of these before, but this one was much more extensive and was monitored on multiple levels.
If by multiple levels, I mean I could have walked into a bee hive and been protected, as nearly all the surface area on the top half of my body was covered by sticky, beeping, pulsing things.
After being strapped to a freezing cold hospital bed with a footboard, the bed is raised to nearly perpendicular.
And then you just stay there.
Strapped to a board.
Unable to move a muscle.
Chatting with the cardiologist, who tells you to “get comfortable.”
I mean, you lose feeling in your arm as your blood pressure cuff squeezes every minute or so, and the pulse oximeter decides you are dead here and there because the bed is so darn cold, but other than that you are totally comfortable laying against the pillow made of plastic bags…
In any event, while this whole process is happening, the nurse and doctor are watching a little screen behind me (so sneaky!) and monitoring my heart rate and blood pressure.
And in my case, literally watching the blood drain out of my upper body and into my legs, much like a sand timer in a board game.
Reallocating resources? Eh?
I also had an IV, where the nurse was supposed to give me something to put my body in a dehydrated state halfway through the test.
Honor roll student that I am, they didn’t even need it!
In fact, my blood pressure took a trip to around 70⁄40 and instead of watching my heart start to beat like crazy to fix the issue, my medical duo watched my heart rate take a mini vacay to a whopping….31 beats/minute.
On second thought, I’m a pretty big fan of those bed straps.
So anyway, dysautonomia.
Malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System.
Also known as, when your body doesn’t do what it is supposed to do automatically.
Didn’t we already know this? Yes — but now we have some more specifics.
Specifics as in, my organs haven’t been getting enough blood. For years.
So let’s review my stats:
Hates to be cold
Goes to bed early
Eats exclusively mushy food
Attends adaptive yoga
Owns several pairs of compression socks
Recently found her phone in her shoe rack…
Just in case those statistics didn’t already confirm “85 year old woman,” my cardiologist thought he’d go ahead and give me his instructions.
On second thought, 31 is the new 90?
Evidently my feeding tube is lonely.
As hesitant as I was to continue decorating my midsection, after further research and discussion it does seem like the little gizmo would make a tremendous difference. Unlike a traditional pacemaker that reminds your heart to beat, this pacemaker would give my heart instructions when there is a change in blood pressure, therefore supplying my organs with adequate blood — a novel concept!
Before I further my goal towards robot status, my medical fan club needs to do a few more tests to fine tune the details. How there are tests I have yet to check off the bucket list is beyond me, but regardless, this Wednesday I’ll have a wire snaked up my leg and into my heart for an Electrophysiology Study, followed by assorted others in the next few weeks.
What? That’s not how YOU celebrate hump day?
More importantly, do you think Easy Spirits come in silver sequin?