photo p1_zpsc8a7232f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p2_zpse73671a0.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p3_zps456abd62.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p5_zps95486d0f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p4_zps481d5f13.png

Monday, March 2, 2020

Not the boring weekend I had planned.

Saturday started out like any other normal Saturday.  Dan decided not to run because his knee which had been giving him problems was finally starting to feel better and he didn't want to hurt it again before it was fully healed.

We had breakfast, read the newspaper and got the kids up.  Dan and Peter headed to the Moravian church up the road to help my brother, who handles the yard work there, plant grass seed and do some other chores he needed extra help with.

I started vacuuming and threw a load of laundry in the machine and then Peter came in and said he brought Dan home because he wasn't feeling well.

I came downstairs to find Dan in the bathroom.  When he came out I asked what was wrong.  He had a strange look on his face and replied, "I don't know.  I don't feel right.  I'm confused."

I asked him if he was nauseous or if his stomach hurt and he said no to both.  He just kept saying he was confused and didn't know what was going on.

I told the kids I was taking Dad to the urgent care - our doctor who is minutes away has Saturday hours from 8:00 to 12:30 so we raced over there.  The whole way Dan kept saying he was confused.

I was trying to hold it together and the whole way to the doctor's office I was praying the Memorare.  (I have recently been praying Mother Theresa's Flying Novena and was very thankful that I had this prayer memorized! )  

We checked in and were seen pretty quickly once I told them what was going on with Dan.  His blood pressure was 186/120.  The normal is 120/80.

The PA did all the checks for a stroke and other than confusion, he showed no other signs for that.

She asked him a series of questions like what day is it, what's your name, what month is it, etc.  He answered them all correctly but all very slowly.  However, when she asked him who the president was and he paused and considered it for a bit and finally said, "Clinton?" and my heart dropped into my stomach.

She called 911 and an ambulance came and took him to the hospital.  The PA also called ahead to the emergency room and gave them all the information she had taken, his vitals, etc so that they would be expecting him.  I had questioned whether or not to take him straight to the hospital or not but I'm glad we stopped there first because we didn't have to deal with triage at the hospital.  (In hindsight, I probably should have just called 911 myself. I think if he had shown other signs of stroke-like paralysis or slurred speech I would have but since his only symptom was confusion I didn't know what to do.)

When I got to the hospital I had to wait about 10 minutes until I could see him.  They let me back once he had a room.  His blood pressure was 207/124.  This is not an exaggeration.  I wrote down every BP that I saw and this was what was on the monitor at 1:15.

At 1:45 his BP was 203/116 and they administered hydralazine which slowly started to bring it down.  They said there can be major issues if you bring it down too quickly so basically I just spent the rest of the day watching the monitor and taking notes on what his BP was.

He was taken back for a CT scan and an MRI.  Both, praise the Lord, came back normal.  They were checking for bleeding, tumors, etc.

We were waiting for the neurologist to come in to give us some answers and in the meantime talked to a nurse practitioner.  When she found out Dan had been in Germany from Feb 9th to Feb 13th and came home with a cough and cold, she freaked out.  She had his swabbed so he could be tested for coronavirus and next thing you know, they slapped a mask on Dan and everyone that came into the room from that point on was wearing a mask.  We continued to wait and finally, an MD came in and explained that they were worried that Dan had coronavirus.

He continued to explain that they didn't have a test for the COVID-19 which is the current strain that everyone is freaked out about.  They were going to have to send Dan's swab off to Raleigh to be tested and were going to admit him (they were going to do that anyway) and put him in a special room that is sealed in such a way that when the doors are opened and closed no germs can come in or out.  He also implied that Dan might be quarantined at the hospital until the tests came back.

I was getting a little pissed off at this point. I told this doctor that I was certain it wasn't COVID-19 because I had the exact same type of cold (congestion followed by a lingering cough) right before Dan left for Germany but I was concerned about the cause of his high blood pressure.  He assured me that they were working on that as well but had to take all precautions to protect the hospital in case he was infected with COVID-19.

Another hour or more passes and they finally come back in and say that the infectious control team at the hospital had a conference call with the state board of infectious disease (or something like that) and have finally determined that Dan is low risk since he is just (by one day) outside the 14-day quarantine window and Germany isn't on the list of countries to avoid.

After all of that craziness was passed us, it was determined that Dan's spike in blood pressure wasn't steeming from any neurological problem but was due to the fact that his  BP had been slowly increasing over the last few weeks.  (Dan was on meds for high BP a couple of years ago but then lost about 30 pounds.  After his weight loss, he continued taking the meds and started to get light-headed and almost fainted a couple of times while doing yard work so the doctor took him off the meds last spring.  Dan continued to check his BP at home and had noticed that over the last few of weeks it was getting high again. Which I think is due to two factors -he's gained about 8 or 9 pounds back and he is extremely stressed about work)

So his BP has been steadily rising over the last month or so.  He started taking a prescription NSAID for his knee pain.  This particular one can increase your blood pressure.  He woke up at 4:00 am on Saturday with a headache but went back to bed. At 8:00 when he got up he took FOUR Advil because he still had a headache.  Advil is also an NSAID that can react with the medication he is taking for his knee. And NSAIDs, in general, can cause an increase in blood pressure. Immediately after taking the 4 Advil he took the knee medication and that my friends is how he ended up in the hospital with a blood pressure of 207/124.

Moral of the story - if you have high blood pressure, don't take NSAIDs. And especially don't take them in high doses.

Dan spent the entire day very confused.  Even as his blood pressure was slowly coming down, he continued to question me. What are we doing here?  How did I get here?  I'm very confused.  You need to explain things to me.

He kept repeating these things over and over.  It was honestly breaking my heart.  I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life.  I had my family praying, Dan's family praying, Jennifer praying and my whole Care Group praying.  (And I had Mary and my sweet little Rebecca  praying!)

I'm not sure what I would have done without all that prayer.   I was terrified at the prospect of going through the rest of my life without Dan.

I left at 10:00 PM when we realized it was going to be after midnight until they could get him a room.
He finally got into his room around 1:45 AM.  He didn't get much sleep and neither did I.

I head back to the hospital early on Sunday and he was fine.  His blood pressure was normal in fact it seemed a little low to me but his confusion was gone.  He has very little memory of the events that occurred on Saturday.  He doesn't remember Peter bringing him home, he doesn't remember me taking him to urgent care, he doesn't remember the ride in the ambulance.

They were able to quickly discharge him and we were out of the hospital by Noon.  He was fine yesterday but very tired and a little sluggish.  He is taking a sick day today and is still asleep now. 

As I look back over our bizarre weekend, I am thankful for many things:

prayers of family and friends
caring and convenient medical professionals
Dan was home when this happened and not traveling or at work
it was the weekend and we were all at home
there were no underlying conditions or issues causing this other than our own ignorance about what medications can be taken together
Dan is alive and okay

I am praying that he has no long term effects from this and would appreciate any and all prayers from those who have made it this far in this too long post.


Madeline said...

Oh my goodness! Dan and your family will definitely be in my prayers!

Laura M said...

I can only imagine how scary it must have been, thankfully everything turned out ok

Billie Jo said...

Oh Beth!!!!
I will be praying for you both!
Bless your heart. Hugs and love.

Ernie said...

Wow is this scary. Glad Dan is OK. The Memorare is my favorite prayer. Sending prayers for no more issues.

Gigi said...

Oh Beth! How terrifying for you! I'm so glad that Dan is okay. Sending hugs.

Mari said...

So scary! We had something similar with our daughter a few years back, but they never did figure out the cause. When you are in the middle of it, it's an awful feeling. SO thankful for friends and family who pray!

Michelle said...

Yikes! That’s SO scary! I’m glad he’s ok! Prayers for all of you...that’s a traumatic moment for you to have to work through.:(

Busy Bee Suz said...

OMG. I can't believe that happened to Dan. SO very scary for all of you. And really, a lesson learned to everyone who read this too. Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry this happened. Praying for continued healing. XOXO