My husband is ill :(
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This has been a very stressful week. On 7/6, my husband Ben told me that he was having some shortness of breath, left sided jaw & shoulder pain, as well as chest pain upon inhalation.
Because he has had 3 bouts of pericarditis since October, 2007, and these symptoms seemed similar, I took him to the emergency room. To make a long story short, he was discharged after several hours. He had some blood work, a chest x-ray and a CT scan. We were given instructions to contact his cardiologist's office on Tuesday to get an appointment that day - and hopefully an echocardiogram as well.
On Tuesday, we saw the cardiologist and they sheduled the echocardiogram for later that day. He also had more blood tests drawn - (tests that should have been ordered the night before).
We received good news about the echocardiogram--it looked just like the one he had this past May, which showed that the pericarditis had resolved : ) .
His sed rate (an inflammation marker) was high, at 81. In May, 2009, his sed rate was in the normal range.
When we spoke with the cardiologist that evening, he told me that his echo looked good, but it still 'could be' pericarditis again. Regarding his sed rate, there must be some inflammatory process in his body somewhere. He said to book an appointment with a rheumatologist.
I then gave the phone to my husband and the doctor said he wanted him to start on high dose Ibuprofen again, along with Prilosec, and to see his regular cardiologist in 3 weeks.
It's unfortunate that she is away - she has known him since his first episode.
Ben had a difficulty sleeping Tuesday night, and kept his head propped up on 2 pillows. He said his breathing improved after the Ibuprofen kicked in.
We spent 45 minutes with our primary doctor late Wednesday afternoon who wanted to help try and sort this out. After examining Ben, she decided that he had clearly not improved. It was evident that he was having difficulty breathing, and he had continued pain. She gave me a copy of his chest x-ray and CT scan.
On the CT scan, I noted that there was mention of Mediastinal lymph nodes -- We had NOT heard of these findings before.
I told her that I did not believe that this is another episode of pericarditis because his echocardiogram was negative. We were told that this one looked like the one he had in May, 2009, which looked great. Now, with what that CT scan shows, it only furthers my belief that they are missing something.
She sent us to the emergency room for what we thought would be an admission. She wanted him to see a pulmonologist and a rheumatologist ASAP. Well, after being in the ER a few hours, the ER doctor spoke with both our primary doctor and the cardiologist. The cardiologist really feels that this is another case of pericarditis, and that he should just take the Ibuprofen 800 mg, three times/day. So, we were sent home again.
I called the pulmonologist's office on Thursday morning. After telling the person who answered the phone his symptoms, she sighed and said, "And he was sent home?" The first appointment she had was mid-August, but was going to get some of his files and show them to one of the lung specialists and get him in much sooner. I will call her on Monday morning to get that earlier appointment.
I know that if there is an inflammatory process going on in the body, and if you take large doses of Ibuprofen - it seems to make sense (to me) that you are going to feel better, that some symptoms will resolve.
Both physicians called on Thursday to see how Ben was feeling. I answered the phone both times, so I was able to make my feelings known. He spoke with both of them and let them know that his symptoms were better.
We share a strong faith in God. I love my husband more than anyone else in this world and I will ALWAYS be right by his side. He has always been by mine.
I knew that I wanted to write down the "happenings" of this past week, whether on paper or in this blog. When I was younger, I used to write what was going on in my life in notebooks, and that really did help me. I had started a couple of blogs before, but if I felt that my writing wasn't perfect or that the blog post might be too long, I stopped posting in them after only a couple of days.
Hopefully I will keep this one going and try not to be too critical of myself. I think it will be beneficial for me in getting my feelings out.
Thank you to Spark People for all that you have to offer.
Much peace & love to all of you!