May 29, 2019 (by Angela)
Part of my plan for this past Friday, May 24th, was to keep my promise to my dear hubby of getting another post up before the end of the week. I am going to blame Jim for that promise not being kept. Why, do you ask? Well, here’s the story, mostly in a nutshell.
Jim arrived home from the frozen tundra Thursday night. He looked exhausted. I noticed that that he looked swollen, in particular, I noticed it in his legs, but the guy had been flying for hours. He had a cough to go along with his lethargy. The cough worsened over night; Jim hardly slept, which meant neither did I.
Friday morning, Jim could not stop coughing and had no energy and no appetite. Finally, he went back to bed, but he couldn’t rest. Coughing, drainage, whatever it was, Jim became nauseated. Early afternoon, I asked if he wanted to go to the doctor for what we thought was a very bad and quickly progressing chest cold. An hour after arriving at the walk-in clinic, I was called back to have the doctor tell me that I needed to get Jim to an emergency room (ER). He’d made an x-ray and found fluid on his lungs. Of course, we were both in panic mode.
We went to the ER at University of North Carolina (UNC) Hillsborough hospital. We’d been told they might want to keep him over night, so we were not prepared for what became a four-night stay. The concern was that Jim might be having congestive heart failure.
He was admitted about 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. Friday night, and I can honestly say that this was one of the better experiences I have had with a hospital. The staff was attentive and communicated with us very well and the food was good. The point of his time there was to removed excess fluid from his body, monitor and improve his oxygen levels, and to rid him of his shortness of breath. All goals were met (he lost 16 pounds of fluid) by Monday. I think he could have been discharged then, but the doctors wanted him to have an echocardiagram before leaving. Because of the holiday weekend, that couldn’t happen until Tuesday. I don’t know why we couldn’t have been discharged Monday evening and come back Tuesday afternoon for the test though.
Most of Tuesday was spent sitting around waiting for the 2:00 p.m. test, so Jim, who was much better, worked as he had done the day before also. As soon as the doctor got a look at the echocardiagram, he told the nurses to discharge Jim. Though nothing terrible showed up in the test, Jim is being referred to a cardiologist to be on the safe side, especially since he did have a heart attack, resulting in the insertion of two stints, in 2005. Probably the biggest change for Jim – for us – after this experience is that Jim is now on a low sodium diet, so we have a lot to learn.
There it is folks – my newest reason not to get the blog posts I want (and need) to write written. This time, it was not my procrastination. This time, it was a not so funny thing that happened. It’s Jim’s fault. That’s my story ,and I’m sticking to it.
Honestly, it was a scary experience for both of us, and I am so thankful for the care he received and the fact that I still have my husband, best friend, and traveling buddy with me.