Hospitalization - hypokalemia
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Last week I had a clean bill of health and thought WooHooo all is well in my world!
Er. Not so fast.
Thursday at work I felt so sick. I had some nausea and some chills, I thought maybe I was coming down with a virus. Around 3pm I told my coworker I had chest pain. It was dull but very noticable and nothing like I had ever felt before. A bit later I noticed I was dizzy when I would walk, but thought maybe it was a virus and tried to remember how much water I had drunk.
I was off work at 5, went with my kids to the store to get Valentines Day candy and the chest pain increased, the dizziness and the clammy hot feeling continued to get worse. I doubled over in pain just inside the store and thought "I need to get home, now". I told the kids to go and was headed for the door when I collapsed. 911 was called, I don't remember much of it but the pain in my chest. I was started on nitro, aspirin and oxygen within minutes (yay for ambulance being across the street!)
After three days in the cardiac unit I know a whole lot and a very little. It would appear that I am hypokalemic which is ultimately low potassium. When this gets very low it creates cardiac symptoms. I eat a ton of potassium rich food but not a much magnesium which is apparnetly needed to make potassium work (Nurses educated me there, I didn't have a clue). What I do know is that after the initial blood pressure crisis dropped (was 220/140) it remained low normal (110/78ish), blood sugars were normal, ekg was initially erratic (something left ventricle) but again, once potassium was given, the ekg was fine.... all heart tests were fine. My cholesterol was fine.... so though I may have been headed into a heart attack, it was averted and no damage to the heart muscle was done HOORAY! I do apparently have members of my family who have hypokalemia, including my grandmother who gets potassium via IV often (which is relatively rare).
I still have a few more tests to do. I live rural so they had to order in the tests from Portland so until them I am on zero exercise. I will have to work back up slowly instead of jump in where I was (not sure why just yet, haven't had follow up with cardiologist). I am feeling fine, other then being a bit tired.
This has been a crazy year.... a year in which I really have had several moments of realizing how short life is. How blessed we all are to be here. I don't know exactly what my future holds with this or how it will affect me but I do know I am grateful that I was close to an ambulance and I am home with my family to contemplate it.
And.... as soon as I can I will be back exercising! Until then I am drinking lots of bone broth (high minerals) and sorta taking it easy. Life is good folks.... life is good.