If you read my blog entry you know that Thursday night was a typical night around the Stickler house. Everyone went to bed happy and healthy (or so we thought!). Around 12:30 am I woke up with intense shoulder pain. I thought maybe I was laying on it funny but realized I was laying on my back so that didn’t really explain the shoulder pain. I also had some pretty intense pain in my chest and blamed it on those pesky enchiladas I made for dinner. I woke Justin up around 1 and told him I was in a decent amount of pain and asked him to get me 4 Tums from the kitchen. I’ve never really suffered from acid reflux but I also had never felt this pain before so I thought (or hoped) it was just heartburn. I realized that I also was having a hard time taking a deep breath. I could take shallow breaths without pain but couldn’t get a deep breath. I ate the 4 Tums and propped up in the bed… and waited anxiously for the pain to go away and prayed it was just heartburn. Justin got the laptop and “googled” all my symptoms. It was either acid reflux or a heart problem. If you’ve read my blog I couldn’t help but think about Tiffany and knew that it was possible to have heart problems even at the healthy age of 26.
We waited about 30 mins for those Tums to kick in… unfortunately they never brought any relief and every breath was increasingly painful. The next step was to figure out what to do. I wanted to drive myself to the hospital (I knew I probably shouldn’t but threw it out there anyway) Justin was quick to shoot it down. I told him I probably should go. I’m the opposite of a hypochondriac and avoid the doctor and hospital on all counts so I think he knew if I thought I should go I really should go. We called our dear neighbors around 1:30 and didn’t get an answer… must have been sleeping! Next we called our dear friends Mitch & Gaye. Mitch answered the phone like he was sitting awake in the bed waiting for us to call. Without any hesitation at all they said they were on their way. And sure enough they were.
The ER was packed out and I was so afraid they were going to make me wait for hours. Thankfully the triage nurse sent me right back after the EKG they did showed my heart was beating 172 times per minute while sitting down. I had a great doctor who was very concerned and paid close attention to me. I had a low grade fever (100.7) and pain in my chest… that was about all I could tell him. They gave me a few doses of Lowpresor (sp?) to slow my heart down and they did a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and when it came back clear they loaded me up with some iodine to see all my blood vessels really well and did a CT scan. Once the radiologist got the report back to my doctor they realized that after all I did have pneumonia in my left lung. Which explained all the of the intense pain on the left side and the pain my shoulder. However, it didn’t exactly explain the racing heart. So he wanted to admit me and keep me a couple days. I don’t think he was convinced that pneumonia was the only contributing factor. I’ve had a little cough for a few weeks but always attributed it to the pollen that is covering the entire city of Tallahassee. I guess that little cough turned into pneumonia.
After 15 long hours in the ER they moved me to the cardiology floor. It was so peaceful up there! I had my own room and the nurses were so nice. They kept me on the heart monitors, IVs and antibiotics and gave me an occasional shot in the abdomen of a blood thinner— I could have done without those! I had another EKG Saturday morning and they also did an Echocardiogram. My hospital doctor was a guy who was in our Monday night Bible study and it was really nice to have a doctor who I felt like genuinely cared about my health. They released me on Saturday afternoon and I was so glad to go home and get some sleep. I’m still waiting the results of the Echocardiogram but they came to the conclusion that they thought everything was okay with my heart. They attributed the racing heart with the intense pain and anxiety… who wouldn’t be anxious if they thought they were having a heart attack!?
My sweet mother-in-law came Friday as soon as she heard the news and was able to relieve Mitch and Gaye and take care of the girls while we were away. I wasn’t able to breastfeed for 48 hours due to the iodine they gave me for the CT scan. So, not only was I hooked up to IVs and heart monitors but also to a lovely breast pump. Paiger wasn’t too impressed with the formula but finally took some when I got home from the hospital. She’s back to her mommy now and happy as can be!
I’m so thankful to be home and back in my own bed. Justin will be traveling later this week so his mom is going to come back. My friend Tami will be coming from Dothan tomorrow to be with me Monday and Tuesday which is great. I thought I’d be okay on my own but I hit a wall today and my body demanded a 3 hour nap… not something that is too easy to do with 2 kids! I know having her here will be a huge blessing!
Thanks to everyone who has prayed and is praying for us! I’m loaded up on antibiotics and some pain pills too and hope to be on the road to recovery! Just so thankful to be home with my family and to JUST have pneumonia!!