Wednesday was not a good day. As I briefly stated yesterday my husband ended up in the ER for a good portion of Wednesday.
He works as an attendant in the OR recovery area. Sometime around 2 pm that day he began to feel a bit weak and dizzy. As a nurse I’m used to patients not being very descriptive and working towards getting them to describe what pain or symptoms they’ve had in a meaningful way that I can understand but for the life of me, I’ve never been able to get a good feel for what Chris’ symptoms really are. He’s very vague.
He knew something was up. Two years ago he had these same feelings and ended up passing out a few times. That bought him a weeks stay in two hospitals while they tested him for a rare heart arrhythmia called Brugada syndrome that would have required that he be fitted with a defibrillating pacemaker. In the end all they new was that he’d had changes to his ECG but none of the many tests that he had showed any structural or electrical problems with his heart.
It took almost a year but he eventually got better. In the meantime I was sick as well and of course still am. We make a great couple don’t we?
He was feeling bad enough that he walked over to the pulse oximeter and slipped it on his finger to see how fast or slow his heart was beating and what his oxygen levels were. As far as I know they were fine.
The nurses he works with noticed he was acting funny and that he didn’t look so well and he told them what was going on. One of them walked him down to the ER where he stayed until 11:30 pm Wednesday night.
I went to the hospital to be with him for a while and he was doing fine. Still feeling a bit off but no where near as bad as how he felt two years ago when this first started happening to him. As usual, with anyone with complaints that sound like they could be related to the heart he had a couple of ECG’s (I think in the US you called them EKGs) and had his heart enzymes – mainly Tropin – checked twice to make sure that he wasn’t in the process of having a heart attack.
He didn’t really get any answers. Not that they didn’t try. There’s just nothing obvious wrong with him. They know something happened two years ago because he has permanent changes to his ECG, but other than that they do not know why he gets these symptoms every now and then. He feels weak and dizzy when it happens and he says his legs feel buzzy. Back to him not describing what’s going on well. He’s occasionally had pain in his chest and his arm as well.
I didn’t stay with him the whole time at the hospital (it’s two blocks away) because he sent me back home. I’ve been very sick this week and he could see that I wasn’t fairing that well. If he’d really been ill he wouldn’t have felt comfortable with me leaving. When he was hospitalized for a week two years ago he never wanted me to leave at all.
He was feeling much better on Thursday. He stayed home from work – his department advised him to stay home and he only experienced his odd symptoms once at about 6 pm for a few minutes.
It’s kind of scary not knowing what’s wrong with him. The fact that they can’t find anything specific is both good and bad. Good that there’s nothing obvious, but sometimes having a diagnosis, even if it’s bad, can make you feel a little better because at least you know what you are dealing with and with luck there’s some type of treatment for it.
I guess I’ll be spending the next few days watching him like a hawk.
I did think of something that I want to bring up with our family doctor. I’m going to write it here so I can remember to discuss it with her. If my memory serves me right I think Chris was sick with the flu or something a little while before his symptoms started two years ago. Well … Chris just had the flu last week – including some extremely high fevers! I wonder if there’s a connection somehow? Hmmm