Fancy news! 6/23/11

Hi All,

It's so rude of me to write a blog while I'm still in the hospital and then not follow it up. How rude.

So I was released the next day, and have mostly been fine since. They are now thinking that the attacks were caused by spasming veins. Ever since I've been sick, the docs have commented that my veins seize up when they try to thread any wires through them. It's like a charley horse, but in a tiny vein. Well, it looks like some of my veins are doing that when I exert myself (both attacks came after I walked a little faster and further than I should have).

The good news is that nitroglycerine should help, and as I get in better shape from cardiac rehab (which I've been back at for about 2 weeks), my heart should be able to work more without spasming.

I did have a full body scan and 2 cat scans last week, trying to figure out the elusive sarcoidosis. I'm about ready to tell them that if it's this hard to find, do we really need to keep looking? I'll see the sarc specialist sometime this next month and see what he says, but if it looks like a wild goose chase, I'm out.

I am happy to report that I've been feeling really good lately. I definately still have some crummy days, but I've had some excellent ones too. And a few of those excellent days have coincided with gorgeous sunny days in Seattle. Driving down near the lake and the bay with the windows down, sunglasses on, and jamming to Justin Bieber? Yes please! (Oh you know when JB comes on the radio, you dig it. Don't lie.)

I've saved the fancy news for last...some of you already know due to the wonders of Facebook- I got accepted into the University of Washington's business school! I'm going to start working on my MBA (part time) this fall. I'm so excited! I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a unique job when I can go back to work (flexible hours, maybe contract work) and I think having an MBA will let me get the best job for my needs. Or maybe even work for myself, starting a consulting business. I'm so excited to get started with the next step in my life. One of the worst parts of this illness has been that I've felt stuck and without any control. No more!

I've spent a LOT of time thinking about the pros and cons of going back to school. What if I get sick and have to spend 2 weeks in the hospital? What if school makes me really tired? What if I take a turn for the worse and need a transplant? All valid points, but I'm willing to take the risk. I'll handle any setbacks that I come across and reasses as needed. My docs are very encouraging about school and think that having something big to work towards tends to help patients more than hurt them.

So come September, you can find me at UW cheering for the Huskies, getting my business on!

Lots of love,

She's a celebrity! 6/11/2011

Hi All,

Heart attack count: 2. Pain and duration of this attack: 1/3 as bad as the last one. Severity of this one compared to the last one: only about 1/10. So in comparison, this little "event" was a picnic!

Let me set the stage. Yesterday afternoon I had been asked to do an interview with our local news station- I was talking about a neighborhood initiative I'm part of. So I was out at the park across the street, doing my best Diane Sawyer impression, when the ol' ticker starting hurting. Ugh. Such a bummer. I waited a bit, hoping it would go away, but the pain was in the exact same spots as it was for the last heart attack. So Nick and I decided a trip to the ER was in order. On a Friday night. Whoo hoo.

By the way, let me explain the symptoms of this event. Women and men's heart attack symptoms can vary a lot, so don't just rely on what you see in the movies! My chest hurt right down the middle of the breastbone. You could easily confuse it for heartburn if you didn't know better. My left shoulder blade felt like it was pokingg me in the heart. My neck ached on both sides, below my ears. My jaw and ears ached. And my left arm felt like I'd whacked my funny bone. You can also feel nauseated, sweaty, and disoriented. If you ever have a spell like this, get thee to an ER!! Ok, that conculdes our public service announcement of the day.

So they decided to admit me for observation. Evidentally, the perk of chest pains at the ER is that you get seen in a New York minute (bypassing the sprained ankles and strep throats. Be prepared for lots of dirty looks as you are whisked away and doted on). The downside is there is no way you are getting out of the hospital for at least a day or two.

Right now the docs are hoping I can go home tomorrow. I will continue to have more blood work done today and through the night, checking to see if I have a big spike in the enzyme the heart releases when it's been damaged. I had a bit of a jump earlier today, but nothing to get upset about.

They don't know why I am having these events. I don't have any blockages in my arteries at all, but they are wondering if I have a bit of narrowing in some of my miniscule veins. They are too small to see, but they can cause problems like this. Some of the meds I'm on can cause this narrowing, so it's a pretty good guess. The plan is to take nitroglycerine if this happens again and see if that helps the pain. Nitro opens the blood vessles to let the blood flow freely, getting rid of the pain almost instantly.

I've asked if these events are causing any permanent damage and it looks like they aren't. I'm certainly hoping they aren't going to happen more frequently, but since they're not dangerous, I'm not going to get too wooled up over it. The doc said that if the nitro doesn't handle the pain within 15 minutes, I need to come to the hospital, but if it does, I don't have to mess with that.

So, all in all, this has been a pretty uneventful hospital trip. I've passed the time by showing each and every nurse my news story video. :)This was the LEAD STORY last night. Why yes, it was a very slow news night! Here is the video for you to show your friends and nurses. : ),0,6969625.story

I'll talk to you soon!