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e_moon60

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A Little More Excitement than Desired [May. 15th, 2011|01:24 pm]
e_moon60
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About two weeks ago, my husband started feeling weaker than usual.  He has myasthenia gravis, and had been pushing himself, so at first he thought it was a reaction to the work he'd done.   The weakness got worse.  By the following Wednesday, he was having severe weak spells and finally--while moving a board from sawhorses to the ground--he passed out.    He had trouble staying "awake" while driving the lawn tractor back to the house (something over a quarter mile.)   As it was quite warm,  he thought he was dehydrated, and drank a lot of liquids and ate some salty foods.  I convinced him to make an appointment with his doctor, but he did not reveal any of his symptoms over the phone, just saying he needed his annual physical and to talk.   (He also didn't tell me about a key symptom.)   He got an appointment for the following Tuesday. Over the next few days, he experienced typical cardiac chest pain when trying to do (fairly heavy) work he usually does, such as carrying a muck tub of manure to the top of the pile, but it disappeared within seconds at rest.  He refused repeated suggestions that we see the doctor now, go to the hospital now.  He continued to not tell me (or anyone) about the symptom that would have explained a lot.  

Tuesday the doctor found an abnormality in the EKG and thought he looked pale (he did--he had looked pale for over a week at that point) and sent him to the hospital.   At the hospital they found out he was severely anemic--he had recently lost about half his red cells.   To internal bleeding, as it turned out.   The following days included the worst storms (and first rain) we've had in months, as well as our son's final exams for the semester in college.  Just to make sure I had plenty to think about.   Various tests made it clear that the only thing wrong with his heart was not getting enough oxygen because there were few red cells to carry it.    He turned out to have various pathologies in the GI tract, ulcers among them, and we are now awaiting the biopsy results.  He was also transfused, since--although the bleeding appeared to have stopped for a bit--another bleed would drop his hemoglobin into "very, VERY dangerous" range, especially for someone his age.

His account of the run-up to the hospital visit had several doctors amazed, somewhat appalled, somewhat amused, and (the male docs) slightly admiring...a guy who has lost half his blood and then keeps going is (for someone his age) unusual.   (I said, a day or so later, "Most people your age who bleed out half their blood are not up arguing they're fine."  "Wimps," he said.)

Surgery is in his future.    However, they let him come home on Friday, and we took a slow wander around the place, at his request.   That was Friday evening.   Yesterday, he said he thought he'd go back to the construction site and paint a few boards.  After an hour or so, I walked out to make sure he was OK.   This is what I found:


There is no doubt who has the Y chromosome in this family.


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kk1raven
2011-05-15 06:32 pm (UTC)
I hope your husband makes a good recovery from his current health problems. It sure doesn't sound like he's going he's going to willingly take it easy.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:39 pm (UTC)
No, taking it easy is not his thing if it means not doing something he wants to do.

Thanks for your good wishes.
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2011-05-15 06:44 pm (UTC)
His gender, occupation, and personality practically guaranteed he'd be up there. Grr.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:39 pm (UTC)
I did think it might take a few days during which I could relax surveillance, though. How wrong I was!
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[User Picture]From: wldrose
2011-05-15 06:55 pm (UTC)
OH my that is horrid, and I know I was hospitalized this winter for Anemia and related problems (went in with hg5.4 and had 7 units of blood in 4 days) the thing about it is that it creeps up on you and you dont realize how problematic things are.

I am so glad he got it taken care of in time. I might suggest Floradix its a German (sold in the us) iron tonic that dosent make you want to puke the way iron tablets can. (doc recommended it and in two months my HG went from 8.8-11.3 up about about twice what normal iron would do)

I found that as the anemia healed my digestion problems backed off and things are better I hope he has the same good results now that they know whats wrong.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your good wishes!
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[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2011-05-15 07:35 pm (UTC)
Oh poor you - how worrying. My father did that - nearly bled out from an ulcer - but nothing much got done until the ulcer actually burst and he had to have a fairly major - and urgent - operation (and while our NHS is very far from perfect, it's really, really good in such emergencies. He's fine now, although at 87 he is slowing down just a bit....
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:41 pm (UTC)
R- didn't know he had an ulcer; he hadn't felt any pain from it. But now he knows...no more aspirin and ibuprofen, at least until things heal up again. Glad to know your father's fine now.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:42 pm (UTC)
Getting him off ladders isn't possible, clearly. He's already planning to climb up and clean out the intakes of the rainwater collection tanks, finish the rain-barn under construction (where he was yesterday) and such.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-16 04:21 am (UTC)
Nah. Tomorrow a guy friend is coming out to help him with the construction.
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[User Picture]From: crustycurmudgeo
2011-05-15 08:00 pm (UTC)
Wow. But if the bleeds have stopped maybe he'll be up to mild activity like this.
I'll say a prayer for his upcoming surgery. That's always scary.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your prayers on the surgery. You're right; it's always scary.
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[User Picture]From: greatsword
2011-05-15 08:25 pm (UTC)
Fingers crossed for a full and easy recovery.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: controuble
2011-05-15 09:25 pm (UTC)
Paint a few boards, huh? If this is what he's like after all that, I hate to think what his normal activity level is like. And wish I had some of it...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:46 pm (UTC)
He's slowed down some since the myasthenia gravis--before that, he was incredibly strong and had great endurance. Not, however, a lark. I was the one who woke up and got started early...and then, typically, faded in the early afternoon when he was getting going...and going...and still going...

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[User Picture]From: dragonmyst
2011-05-15 10:03 pm (UTC)
oh my

{{{hugs}}

I hope all goes well and he improves soon. Honestly he reminds me of both my father and my husband who have said they are fine when they are clearly NOT fine.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your good wishes and the hugs.
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[User Picture]From: tuftears
2011-05-15 10:04 pm (UTC)
Goodness gracious! Hope you can get him to rest, it won't do anyone any good if he kills himself trying to 'be useful'. :O
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:47 pm (UTC)
He says he's sleeping much better at home than in the hospital. For one thing, I'm not waking him up every few hours for vital signs and a blood sample.
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[User Picture]From: harvey_rrit
2011-05-15 10:13 pm (UTC)
*sigh*

And of course smacking him on the head is contraindicated.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:49 pm (UTC)
Pretty much, yeah. And concerns about elder abuse mean I can't tie him to a tree, or lock him in a room. (And anyway, then I couldn't enjoy him...) So he's outside now, unloading sacks of bark mulch and feeling good that he's stronger than he was a week ago.
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[User Picture]From: forestcats
2011-05-15 10:34 pm (UTC)
Whenever my other half does some silly Y stuff that scares me I ask about calling the insurance man to increase the life insurance policy as I'm NOT going to let him out without a large buy down!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:51 pm (UTC)
That's a strategy. Wonder how it will fly (looking at your lovely red-tailed hawk icon.) He's always opposed life insurance, though.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-15 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-16 04:14 am (UTC)
That's assuming I had intact sanity to start with...but yes. Hoping very hard for improvement.
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