Deja Vu All Over Again- 11/17/2009

Hi All,

Well, rats. I'm in the hospital again. ICU actually. It all started one dark and stormy night (last night).

So yesterday afternoon at about noon or so, I started feeling pretty tired. I had actually had a bit of a cold for a few days (sneezing, coughing), so I thought I was just recovering from that. I wasn't doing much, but I just wasn't feeling up to snuff. By about 5:30, I also started getting very lightheaded and woozy, and I was getting short of breat and my heart would start beating really fast. So I called the doc on call, and he asked me to come to the ER so he could check it out.

We made it through the rain, wind, and traffic to the hospital and checked into the ER. They put me on the monitors and the cardiologist came down to see me. I've got to say one thing about this freaky situation...since this thing is so unique, I get first class, priorty treatment all the way. They admitted me and I had a bed within 30 minutes. Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal. : )

After I was admitted, I started feeling worse and worse, really fast. I was getting very lightheaded and dizzy. Then I felt like my shoulders and head were incredibly heavy and I was getting so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. My abdomen started to hurt, and the doctors started to get really concerned. One of my doctors actually came in on his night off (he wansn't on call) to see what was going on. They did a ultrasound of my heart to see if there was fluid around my heart, and luckily, there wasn't.

But since I was going downhill quick, they decided to do a right heart catheter (like the one they did when I was here last time) to get a better idea of what's going on, and to see how much fluid I was retaining. They also gave me a medicine that makes my heart pump more strongly. They wheeled me down to the Cath Lab, and on the way, I just started getting more and more weak- by the end, I couldn't hold up my head and I almost passed out. It was pretty scary, because not only did I feel rotten, but the cardiologist and the cath crew (who had been called in to do this as an emergency) were all working really fast and saying to each other "go, go, go, hurry, let's go". Yeah, that was disconcerting. I almost fell over moving onto the surgery table, and then I started shaking really badly. I think I was just cold and scared.

They had told me before I went to the cath lab that if my numbers looked bad, they were going to go ahead and put in a balloon pump in. This is long skinny balloon that goes in an artery in my upper leg, and snakes it's way up right outside my heart. It would then pump and give my heart a little bit of break because it would do some of the heart's work. I would have to lay flat the entire time I had the pump, and it sounded really uncomfortable.

When they started the procedure, the novacaine for the cut on my neck hurt like crazy. Plus I was pretty scared about the balloon pump and I was on edge, so I lost it for a little bit and started crying. The doctors and nurses were super sweet and understanding, and I got it together soon.

When they got in there with the heart cath, the numbers looked pretty good, much better that they were expecting. And I didn't have a bunch of fluid, I was actually dehydrated. So I didn't have to get the balloon pump!!! They did keep the cath in, so I have a fountain of wires connected to my neck, which is pretty uncomfortable. They actually call this thing a swan, which sounds far more elegant than it is. I doubt I will be gliding anywhere for awhile.

After the cath, I started feeling much much better. It seems the medicine they gave me worked wonderfully for me. I was able to sleep throught the night just fine, and they docs said I looked much better this morning and they were very pleased.

The challenge is that this drug I'm on isn't a long term solution. There isn't a pill form, so if I needed to stay on it, I'd have to take an IV home (blech). Also, this drug (though it makes me feel good) is too much for the heart to handle long term. It actually kind of beats the heart up, and the heart can't take that for too long. So they will try to get the same effect with other drugs. If the drugs don't get us where we need to be, they we may have more conversations about devices that would help my heart and possibly be a bridge to transplant. But we're not there yet!!

Oh, do you remember when I mentioned that people with this are divided into thirds (top third gets better, no more meds required. Middle third needs meds all thier life, but it can be managed. Bottom third doesn't respond to meds and transplant is needed). Well last night the doc told me I'm probably not in the top third. Crap. But I could still be in the middle third, so let's start rooting for that one! Goooo Middle Third!!!

Anyway, today is just a day of monitoring and tests. They've pulled in the Infectous Disease team to start running the weird tests like Dengue Fever. These are all long shots, but they want to check it out. They also are trying to see if the little cold I had could have triggered the problems this time. It is possible that I was just weakend, and something as minor as a little cold could have tipped me over the edge. Oh, and they gave me the swine flu test to see if they can find it in my system. FYI that test is awful. They stick a cotton swab about 5 inches up your nose. It tickles, hurts, and makes you want to sneeze/barf. It's no good. Oh well, it's over.

Ok guys, I think that's the story. I'm in a bit of a quarrantine for now (until they make sure I don't have Swine Flu), so no visitors (sniff). Even Nick had to come in wearing a gown, gloves, and mask (see cute pics below). But if I get moved to a regular room, I'll let you know. I'm not sure how long I'll be here, but my guess is for a few more days at least.

I love you all!

Me with the "Swan"

Paging Dr. Morrelli, paging Dr. Morrelli

A little hospital action

Hannah Sales Well at least you look sexy with your swan and your hospital gown... so sorry you're back to feelin rotten! Us Sales's are all rootin hard for you. Gooo-oo Jana!!!

Errin Kramer-Wilt Hey Jana, there is nothing wrong with being int he middle of the pack! It is a safe place to be. :) Thanks for updating all of out here in the world wide web (of Jana). And be sure to let us know either through facebook, text or telepathy when you can have visitors again. In the mean time I guess you will just have to settle for Nick ;)
p.s. That thing make you look like you are part machine, which I personally think is much cooler than a swan. Just sayin' the Borg were evil, but cool (Star Trek the Next generation reference. I am nerd, Sorry)

Kelley Dees Atkinson I hope you feel better soon! You look super cute in the pic though and you had cute toenails for the experience since you had your pedicure last week! Way to plan ahead and be prepared! : )

Brian Busic I hope all this stuff goes away real soon. At least you got out of busy season.

Sandy Farrill sure glad you are under the doctors' watchful eyes. your pics are cute. Love you, mom

Nicki Gregory You are so brave Jana!! And Brian's right, at least you got out of busy season. We miss you.

Allison Shoopman Hollis You ARE brave! And the updates are great! You keep on truckin'!

Meghann Chapman I have had Dengue fever before, not fun at all. I sure hope you get to feeling better, we are praying for you.

Kitty Muller lots of love and hugs and prayers.. hospital can be a scary place but sounds like they are treating you royally. =) good cause they don't want to see the brewer clan up all in their faces.

Allison McNabb Hyland What a frustrating setback...I am so sorry!! Hang in there and stay strong. Sending a lot of love your way!!

Mandy Morrelli Young Oh Jana!! Paul and I send you lots of positive vibes, warm hugs and prayers. I'm glad you didn't have to get that balloon pump... that must have been SO scary! That's IT... we are calling Dr. House, but he can't be mean to you because you are too nice. We are rooting for you and love you mucho!

Megan Miller Our thoughts and prayers are with you! You are so strong!

Katie Kwast Stoneman dang it! Where's the 'dislike' button already!?

Luis Cheng-Guajardo Jana, the following point is serious: You are much better looking in a hospital gown than Nick is! (But I love you both!)

Jennifer Nicoles Porter Take care! Hugs to you and Nick!

Stacey Thomas Arg! Did I send you into relapse mode with the D word? I'm sorry you and Nick have to go through all this. I love you.

Athena Sears Crapicola! How frustrating and scary. I hope they can figure this out soon and get you on the right meds. I also hope there is a new and exciting pile of trashy magazines in your future. XOXO

Jenny Lavik Jana- it was great talking to you last night! Don't forget, you and I should both stay away from the question "What are the freaking odds???!!!" LOL! Miss you and can't wait to see you next week!

Tammy Chriss {{spirit hug}} <--it doesn't require a gown and a mask *smiles* I am so glad you are a big deal there, so you get the royal you are in great hands of comfort with determination to make you comfortable and to find solutions. Goooo Middle Third!!! I love that FB allows you to keep us posted and for us to send you our support, hugs and love. Hang in there, Sunshine. November 18 at 8:32am · Rhetta Farrill *sigh I'm sorry sista. Although I laughed when mom told me Nick was in a gown.... hehehehe

Melannie Avila Jana - sending you positive thoughts from Brazil! Get better soon!

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