Sunday, September 5, 2010

Project 365 - April Layouts

Project 365 - March Layouts

Finally caught up with Project 365 -2010, whew . . . it just doesn't pay to get behind.

Project 365 - August Layouts

So happy that's it's only August 5th and my August pages are complete!

Finding a routine, again . . .

or maybe it should be still? I don't know. It seems as soon as I try and get it all figured out and planned, things keep changing. For example our summer. I had it all planned out, what to do with the kids in the mornings between the time I needed to leave for work and Daryl got home from work, what to do with Meghan a few days a week so Daryl could get some sleep since he was back to working graveyards . . . had it all planned, I like a plan! Well, those plans never got implemented, the kids got out of school on June 3rd and on June 6th Daryl ended up in the ER with chest pains, it ended up that he was home all summer with the kids, well the 7 weeks that they had off anyway!

Needless to say it was a summer of doctors appointments and tests and trying to figure out what was going on with his heart, since the tests were coming back ok, it was troublesome and very unsettling going through the process. I now have a completely different picture of healthcare, and I work in the industry. But being on the other end is totally frustrating and I can see why people can get so discouraged with the process and with doctors.

We left the hospital after a 2 day stay knowing that his heart was strong and that there were no blockages and with instructions for a follow up appointment in a week with the cardiologist. Unfortunately he was still feeling terrible, had a few blacking out episodes and in general was just not his self. We went to our follow-up appointment and let the doctor know all of this and also reminded him of his family history and he said that he didn't know why he wasn't feel good, his heart was fine, he was fine, he probably had the flu, take a vacation and go back to everyday life, there was nothing wrong with him. We left that appointment a little bit discouraged.

While we were in the hospital several of the nurses commented on his unusually low heart rate and that there was something not quite right with it. The cath lab manager kept checking in with me and saying that there was an issue with his heart rhythm, he saw it when they did the angiogram, and recommended that we get a second opinion, which we did.

After connecting with another doctor, an arrhythmia specialist, they sent him a heart monitor that he wore for almost 3 weeks. The doctor discovered his average resting heart rate was 33, and that he was having 2 -3 second pauses between heart beats. Dr. E diagnosed him with having "sick sinus syndrome" while his heart muscle was fine, he had electrical problems with the sinus node and the blood was not getting sent to his brain like it should be. This is the same problem that his mom has and is not typical in people Daryl's age, which may be why it was difficult to diagnose. But I can't tell you the relief that we both felt when the doctor said he needed a pacemaker! Not that I wanted him to have one, but finally, after 2 months, knowing what the problem was and being able to fix it was music to our ears. I think Daryl was beginning to think he was just going crazy and making himself feel terrible!

He had the pacemaker implanted on August 2nd and only spent 1 night in the hospital. Overall he is feeling much better but still having some minor issues. He went back to work last week!!!! That was great, he was off for 3 months and his boss was great during the whole time he needed to be off. The best part is that now that he is back his boss doesn't want him working the graveyard shift and being in the office alone or with just one other person, so he is back to working a day job!!! Now here we go . . . trying to find our routine, again . . .

So I have adjusted my work schedule a bit to try and inconvenience my mom the least amount possible!!! Thanks mom for always being there to help me!! So 3 days a week I will be off work in time to pick up the kids and 2 days a week I'll work all day (yuck!) and mom will pick them up.

We are so thankful for the doctors (well, all but one anyway) and nurses that we saw and all of my nurse friends who were there to ease our minds and answer our questions through this journey. I'm so thankful that whatever it was that triggered the episode in June, which I truly believe was job stress, lead us down this path so that it could be corrected and we didn't find out when it was too late. All things happen for a reason so in this case job stress was a good thing. This has probably been a problem for awhile and he didn't know it. It's so easy to blame being tired or not feeling well on working graveyards and not getting the sleep you need. So now he is getting used to having the heart rate that the rest of us have!

We went for a follow-up appointment the week before last and it is amazing what they can do to that little box through the computer. Here he is all hooked up, he got on the treadmill and ran and then the doctor holds a little mouse looking thing over the pacemaker and she starts making adjustments. There were a few things that she wanted to change as she watched how the pacemaker responded while he was running. Pretty amazing!!!

So . . . for now we are feeling blessed for health and jobs and everyday life. Things like this really make you think and try and keep things in perspective.