Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Improvements in my condition started showing on Monday

I was hooked up to an EKG 27/7 so the nurses could monitor my heart. No problem there. They scanned the arteries in my legs but found no clots. The clots found at the ER were in my veins. They did an ultrascan of my heart and it looked fine. My breathing (lungs and chest), blood pressure, and temperature were checked many times during each day and were fine. I was on oxygen for a day but was taken off because my oxygen rate without my breathing from a tank was 98-100 and I didn't need extra oxygen. My main symptoms were swelling in my feet and not being able to walk very far or even to stand very long.

On Sunday my pulse rate while sitting quietly was in the low 70s. On Monday the rate dropped to the low 60s, a sign that my body was beginning to not need a lot of extra oxygen via a faster heart beat rate. On Tuesday the rate was still in the low 60s, and this morning before I left the hospital the rate dropped slightly. However, as of the time I left the hospital the swelling in my feet hadn't gone down.

The doctor told me to walk as much as I could. I did a lot of walking in my room due to frequently going to the bathroom because of the water I was drinking. On Sunday afternoon I took a short walk in the hallway and went about 100 feet before I had to sit down and rest. On Monday I increased my walk to, maybe, 250 feet before I had to sit down, and on Tuesday I went about 400 feet and repeated it twice, once in the afternoon and once in the Evening. During these walks, it only took about 5 minutes for the soreness in my legs to go away, and the groin-pain that I had over the week end after walking was gone.

I haven't walked much since getting home today about noon, so I don't know if I've regressed or not in my walking ability. It does look, though, like the swelling in my feet has gone down a bit tonight.

My toes have a better color to them, too. More like the natural color of my skin. Earlier in the week my toes were a light reddish/purple color, and they were starting to get a darker tone to them. Some of that color was due to my wearing compression socks that the doctor prescribed for me to reduce the swelling. Instead of doing that, the socks reduced the blood circulation in my feet. After two days of wearing the socks I took them off without asking the doctor about it.

As soon as I finish this post and get some water in a pitcher, I'll go upstairs to my bed. I'm curious to see how I do with the stairs. On Friday evening I was huffing and puffing and sweating after going up the stairs.

I'm glad to be alive. The doctor told me that if I hadn't come in as soon as I did, the clots could have gone into my lungs and presented a serious problem to my staying alive (by the time I left the hospital, the doctors had decided I didn't have any clots in my lungs). I actually should have come in a couple of days sooner than I did.

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