I have tried to write about my experience in the hospital numerous times and one thing or another has led to my draft getting erased, usually be the computer restarting itself. My computer is falling apart. It has lost some screws so the hinge isn't working properly which sometimes knocks out the cord and I'm not getting a low battery warning.
Anyway, the angiogram was a horrible experience. My arm and wrist are not back to normal 4 weeks later. Driving hurts, writing with a pen hurts, using a stylus hurts, pulling out a drawer, using my phone, resting my head on my hand, carrying more than 2 pounds, typing (though not as bad as it was and okay if I use the brace), brushing and flossing my teeth, stirring food, and even flushing the toilet. For the first two and a half weeks, bathroom hygiene was agony for my wrist and it shot up to my elbow and sometimes my shoulder. And when they realized they couldn't get the catheter to my heart they took it out and burned me from wrist to 3 inches below the arm pit. I guess they were cauterizing or something.
The problem was that my arteries (and my veins), even the main one in my arm, are too little for the catheter wire to reach my heart. Or as the doctor put it, too delicate and small. What was really bad, is that my arm never went numb with the local anesthetic they used the entire time the did the precedure. I cried the whole time. I told them I was in pain the whole time. They kept giving me pain killer and muscle relaxants, which worked great for the rest of my body, but my arm never went numb during the procedure.
I almost screamed that my arm hurt. That's when the doctor said give her more lidocaine and valium. At that point they were still shoving the wire up my arm and I knew what was going on, but the valium had made it impossible for me to communicate coherently, other than to say ow. But I knew what was going on. Or thought I did. Lidocaine is closely related to novacaine. Novacaine takes 3 times longer than it should to work on me. It takes 3 times as many shots. And it wears off a lot faster than it should so requires more shots mid-procedure. We've also tried meviticaine and same thing. Lidocaine was acting exactly the same. And it didn't start working until I was in recovery when they were dosing me heavily with pain killers and my arm went numb.
After they pulled the wire out, they went in through the groin artery and made it into my heart, but even that artery was smaller than it should be. I didn't have any blockages, though. What my problem was, is that with the small arteries and veins, my heart was having to work harder than it should have causing the pressure to be very high. The enlargement was due to both the Covid virus, which any virus can effect the heart if it is bad enough and you have it for long enough like viral pnuemonia or influenza, and my heart working so hard.
I was fine up until the first time I had Covid in 2020 because I was still getting exercise by swimming and doing water aerobics, but after Covid 2020, it took me almost a year to recover. I was short of breath all the time, they shut down the pool, so when I did feel good enough to exercise there was nowhere to go, and my back was getting worse due to not exercising. Then they didn't want us going to the parks or anywhere to walk, but it was getting harder to walk anyway. I didn't feel good, so I didn't cook. We ordered takeout, so we ate more sodium, which made the blood pressure get higher. It was a vicious cycle as I caught cold after cold with no resistance after Covid 2020. I caught two mild cases of Covid, due to having the vacine make it milder. Which they say made the next mutation even worse. If I hadn't caught those two, the last one wouldn't have knocked me down so hard. But at the same time, my BIL nearly died from one of the times I had a mild case. But he was unvaccinated, so who knows?
When I got a bad version of Covid again Thanksgiving of last year, everything got way worse. No one could cook. Every meal was from a can or a frozen meal or delivery. The sodium was off the chart. Which made my heart work harder and helped cause the enlargement.
The thing is, all along I knew there was something wrong with my heart. I insisted on getting a heart monitor test a few months before I got Thanksgiving Covid, but it never seemed to pick up what I was feeling. So they were like, la la la, nothing to do here. And I knew. I knew my body. I knew.
The other thing that is wrong with me is that I have too much water in my blood, so I've been water restricted, or rather liquid restricted, to 2 liters a day. And that is really hard for me because I was drinking 3 liters of water a day on a normal day and more on a hot day. And that was just water. So now I always feel thirsty and my throat is croaky after a couple minutes of talking and then painfully dries out. I do better if I suck on ice.
I have had to reduce my sodium intake to 2000 mg. That isn't just the amount of sodium I add to food while cooking, it includes the amount naturally occuring in food. So that was pretty hard in the beginning. Especially since the stuff that sets off my insulin is the stuff with almost no sodium and the stuff that doesn't is higher in sodium.
There are a couple restaurants I can still get food from, but I am holding off on that for a while. Right now it is better to eat at home and since I have reduced my sodium, I feel like cooking. Left-handed stirring is something I am getting used to even if it is still awkward.
Today I had an ultrasound done on my arm to see if there is anything going on due to the the catheter. There's not. But there is still a large raised bump in my wrist so I am sure some kind of tendon or ligament got damaged or something got dislocated. Plus my thumb and index finger still have spots without full feeling in them. Probably nerve damage according to the ultrasound tech.
I just want to know if I go to a bone doctor or a regular doctor or physical therapy or maybe a massage therapist if it is muscular. It's been 4 weeks and I don't have a follow up with cardio for a week yet. And that is not with the doctor, but with the PA. But if I finally have someone who gets eyes on this thing, I might finally get some action.
I do feel better since reducing the fluids, reducing the sodium, and having my diuretic raised yet again, plus getting a much higher prescription strength calcium pill compared to my little on the shelf mineral supplement. I still don't feel normal, but I have started taking little walks with my walker. I can't do much yet. I also am going out to the garden more regularly. Everyone has been keeping it up for me since I can't really pick anything or pull any weeds.
I'm sorry for any typos. It took me over a couple days to type this one, saving it in drafts this time. I need to get ice on my wrist and will read through it later and fix them. I just wanted to get something up to let you know I'm not dead yet.