Heal me, wake me from this day

I’ve been flipping back and forth on which I should post next. Both posts I’m planning on writing have a little bit that ties into the other one. So, either way, the first post is going to have a bit that’s going to create a “huh? what? when did that happen?” type thing in it. I should probably stop over-thinking it and just start writing and see which one comes out first, huh?

Or.. or I could just pick up from the last post — coming home from Toronto. My seat on the flight home was at the back of the plane — only about 4 rows from the very back and I had the entire row to myself. So, I was one of the first people on the plane, after those in first class. I tossed my backpack in the overhead bin, then moved into my row since there were people coming up behind me who wanted to pass me. I kept scooting all the way in the row, and turned to sit in my seat. (I try to always get the window seat.) As I turned to sit, my left leg didn’t move right and the knee turned funny and it hurt like Hades. I managed to get into my seat, and I sat there for a while, practically in tears from the throbbing pain. I wanted desperately to cry, but there was no way I was going to let myself cry on an airplane full of people. So, I managed to grin and bear it, and like I said before, I just played Sudoku the entire way home, listening to my iPod, trying to keep my brain too busy to think about the ouch.

When we landed, I was very glad that I was at the back of the plane. I just stayed seated as I let everyone around me go ahead and get off the plane. I think I was the second to last person off the plane, as I limped my way down the aisle and out to the baggage claim. Mom was picking me up from the airport, and before I left Canada, she had let me know that I was going to have to drive us home, because she wasn’t feeling well. Once I got into baggage claim here in Dallas, ma got my luggage for me, then we headed to the car. After we loaded in my luggage, she started to get in the driver’s seat. I said, “I thought I was supposed to be driving home?” and she responded with “You were, but you’re not exactly in any condition to drive, are you?” Apparently my limping was bad enough that she didn’t think I could manage to drive home.

I had thought that the bulk of my knee pain was from the temperature change (and likely a large portion was), and figured my knees would get better within a few days of getting home. They didn’t. The way my knees were hurting felt different too, not my normal type of arthritic pain. In addition to hurting when I walked, my knees (especially the left one) were hurting when I was sitting still, and even when I was laying down in bed at night. I have a very difficult time getting to sleep at night. Skipping forwards a few days — by Thursday I was beyond miserable with the pain. I finally decided I really needed to call my orthopedist for an appointment.

I went to see him on Friday morning. At first, he didn’t seem to be that concerned about my knees. But once I was on the exam table and had to straighten my left leg so he could measure range of motion, he was instantly concerned. I have always been able to straighten both legs completely. In fact, I thought it was straight during the exam on Friday, only to find out the knee/leg wasn’t fully extended at all. There was also swelling along the back of the knee that concerned him as well. After the knee exam, we started talking about options. He said that he didn’t think a steroid shot would help this time, and I had to agree with him. He also thought there was a possibility that I have torn the meniscus in my left knee. So — I go in tomorrow to have an MRI on both knees, to find out exactly what’s going on. I have a follow up appointment on the 12th to get my diagnosis, and to discuss options.

Now, to back track a few days, to the beginning of last week. I had my yearly physical with my doc on the 30th. During the exam, she noticed a few irregular beats when she was listening to my heart. She listened a while longer to see if maybe she’d just timed it to when I had a “normal” irregular beat, or to see if it was something more. She didn’t like what she heard as she kept listening, and was also concerned that I wasn’t aware of these beats. So, after the rest of my physical was done, she sent me to the main hospital to get a holter monitor. I had to wear the monitor for the next 24 hours, to record my heart beats. Let me tell you — those damn electrical pads itched like crazy!!! I turned it in to them in the evening on Halloween, then it was time to wait for the results.

After I got back from the knee doc on Friday, my regular doc called me with the results from the holter monitor. During the 24 hours I was monitored, I had 14,601 irregular heart beats. That is way too many. Based on the results, she diagnosed me with something called PVC — Premature Ventricular Contractions. Basically, my heart contracts too soon, and then skips a beat, then beats even harder. If I have too many of these irregular beats in a row, I could pass out, or worse. She referred me to a cardiologist, so I can get an EKG, heart ultrasound, and possibly stress test, to figure out how bad this is and what we can do to get it under control. She also gave me a prescription for a beta blocker to take.

So, tomorrow is going to be one very busy day for me. Work in the morning, then I go to the cardiologist at 2pm, and then to the MRI center at 5:15. If the MRI on my knees does determine a meniscal tear in my left knee, and if surgery is necessary, I have to wait. I cannot have any kind of surgery until we get my heart under control, since the anesthesia could be dangerous for me. Hopefully all of this is nothing serious and it can be fixed pretty easily, though.

I think post #3 is going to have to wait until tomorrow. I’m too sleepy to write more now. heh.

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