I’m a blogger, I like to talk things through, I like to discuss, share, talk, read, grumble, scream and giggle. I’m not good at keeping things to myself but I have been doing for a week now, but that’s not me, I need to put this out there for my own sanity, for your knowledgeable feedback…
For those of you that read my blog, you’ll know that I ended up with a nasty double pneumonia around New Year and was hospitalized in the USA (was on holiday). I’ve never been ill like that before..
To skip forward, with some great treatment in hospital things turned around quite quickly but after weeks of taking steroids, within days of stopping them my lungs began to get crackly again and I couldn’t lie down in bed. Doctor put me on a steroid inhaler and a regular inhaler with thoughts I am probably now asthmatic. She sent me back for a chest x-ray to make sure the pneumonia wasn’t returning. I felt fine apart from feeling exhausted..
With the x-ray done a few days later I began to get calls from the surgery, eventually we hooked up. My doctor had asked to see me on Monday (it was Friday) to discuss my x-ray.
Of course when you get a phone call like that your mind goes crazy.
Having a weekend to conjure up every possibility of WHY the doctor would want to see me so quickly (thanks Google, I love you and I hate you) I was kind of flat-lining (no emotions) by the time Monday came around. The best I could come up with was that maybe there was some scarring in my lungs…
DOC: “Your chest is clear, there is no pneumonia….”
ME: “Great!! I didn’t think it had returned but am relieved to hear that!”
DOC: “But… your HEART IS ENLARGED. I thought it would be nicer to talk to you face to face about it”
ME: “Oh….” (flat-line)
DOC: “Do you feel OK…?”
ME: “Yes fine… just tired”
DOC: “So we need to do another ECG on you when you have your spirometry (for Asthma) and we need to get you in to do an Echocardiogram to see what’s going on. Has anyone told you that you have an enlarged heart before…?”
ME: “No” (flat-line)
And that’s pretty much it. I should have asked tons of questions (when she asked me if I had any) but at that moment I smiled weirdly at her, looked happy like we were talking about vast quantities of chocolate truffles and flat-lined out of the surgery thinking…. WTF is an enlarged heart?
Later, after I’d woken up a bit, Google reassured me and frightened the sh*t out of me all on one page…
That’s the problem with not asking questions when the doctor asks you if you have any….you turn to Google and Google is rather clinical, practical, to-the-point and perhaps doesn’t consider the variables, the other possibilities…
So I’ve put things into perspective…
a) I feel OK, tired, a little breathless on exertion, sometimes exhausted at the end of the day but that could still be the knock on effect from the pneumonia. They say it can take months to feel 100%
b) No enlarged heart was seen on the x-ray in the hospital in America when I was admitted with pneumonia. This could mean that IF my heart is actually enlarged it most likely happened recently and probably due to the pneumonia, which is good because it’s been caught early and may well revert back!
I’ve been talking to people who’ve had pneumonia and developed an enlarged heart. Some made big lifestyle changes and reversed the enlargement, some people went further into heart failure.
MAYBE the x-ray was wrong? Maybe I was stood at an odd angle and things appeared not as they are?
MAYBE if I lose a bunch of weight over the next month while waiting for the echocardiogram and eat super healthy and sleep 10 hours every night everything will be back to normal by the time the test comes around?
MAYBE if it doesn’t I’ll be one of those people who lives to 95 with an enlarged heart, no probs! (and yes there are people who do that!)
I’m not feeling sorry for myself, if anything I am just a bit confused and determined to focus on doing everything I possibly can to reverse the situation. Just want the ECHO over and done with so I know what’s happening.(IF anything is happening that is!)
AND if everything is hunky-dory and the enlargement was temporary due to the pneumonia then actually let this be known as the universe sending me another HUGE WAKE-UP CALL and for that I will be enormously grateful.