Sherley Anne Williams, Growing up Negro in San Diego, black Muslims, where people of color settled in San Diego, black memory market, acting black
8:30 a.m., Jan. 20
"Living through this...HELL! Can't Someone Break the Spell?"
-- Judas Priest, from "Fever" on SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE
Four weeks ago, I started noticing that I was having severe shortness of breath...especially when I tried to sleep. I would often wake up at two in the morning, needing a shot from my Albuterol inhaler (it never leaves my side, btw). Then I could NOT get back to sleep until about 07:00hrs (if that).
Two weeks ago, I decided that enough was too much...and caught the bus to Tri City Medical Center's Emergency Department. I arrived at 23:12hrs (I prefer to go in late, when it's not as busy. Plus, if I'm not dealing with chest pains or damaged limbs/joints, why sock the taxpayers for an ambulance ride, when I can take the bus there w/o a sweat?), and was checked into Triage.
I was taken back to a treatment cubicle, told to change into a gown (everything off underneath), and awaited the nurse who would be attending me that evening. A lab tech came by to get about seven tubes of blood for a workup. Then the CNA on duty covered me with a blanket (ahh, warmth at last!), gave me a cup of water, and now it was time to wait for the doctor.
The doctor came in twenty minutes later. Friendly sort, explained what tests were going to be run this session (ultrasound to check my thigh lymph nodes and my femoral artery for clots, a chest x-ray, the bloodwork (the blood was already at the lab), plus an IV shunt in my left arm for needed medications (YEOWTCH!), and a nitro patch on my chest wall.
They ran the tests, then gave me a dose of Lasix through the shunt.
--SOMETHING'S ROTTEN HERE!--
At about 01:25, the doctor came in with the results. It wasn't my lungs that were the main culprit here...it was my heart.
As in CHF: Congestive Heart Failure.
The bloodwork was the proof in this rotten pudding. Although I had not suffered a heart attack, the bloodwork did show that I was dealing with a mild (yeah, right) case of CHF. They prescribed Lasix and potassium and told me to get in touch with Vista Community Clinic ASAP.
Last Thursday, I saw my assigned doctor. He told me to cut back drastically my fluid intake, avoid "pre-made" foods (high in sodium), work on my portion control, and put my feet up when I'm at my apartment.
Sensible -- considering the alternative.
All was going oaky...untill this morning at 02:00. That was when I started hacking up major yellow flim, sneezing my fool head off, and thinking to myself, Man, are you getting it done dirty, or what?
I still cannot walk very far without stopping for a ten second "windcatcher" break. If this is what I have to look forward to, my employability quotient just took a power nosedive. And, my brothers and sisters of the Reader, yes...I AM SCARED BEYOND SILLY!
My daily trip through the living hell called my life has just had some asphalt added...and I must tread this length as well. I ask of you kind folks to keep me in your prayers and cool thoughts. The rest is up to God and myself.