Sunday, October 2, 2011

The song that doesn't end...

Home 5 weeks

I don't get it. I just don't. Crazy scary things just keep popping up in our lives and I'm not sure how much more I can take.

It started last Sunday morning. It was the last day before Brian had to go back to work after being off since Kaia came home. I was understandably a little nervous about having to fly solo. It was a HUGE help having Brian at home, especially with Kaia's (ongoing) feeding issues and multiple doctor's appointments (11 appointments for her since she's been home: 2 with the lactation consultant, 2 weight checks back at the hospital, 3 with the pediatrician, 1 ROP eye exam, 1 orthopedic hip exam which greatly upset us, 2 ultrasounds, one on her head and one on her hip, and she has another orthopedic appointment down at the children's hospital on Tuesday).

Anyway, Sunday morning I get up and walk Kaia down to her room to change her. As I zip open her sleep sac, I notice that her legs look funny. Although she is still strapped into her harness her legs are no longer in the 'froggy' position that the orthopedic surgeon put her in after (PAINFULLY) popping her hip back into position. Nope...her legs are now in the same position that they had been in for 7 weeks. In short...her hip was once again dislocated.


I was understandably upset, and started to think about Kaia having to go through having her hip reduced (PAINFULLY) AGAIN...and....

my heart started to feel funny....

really funny...

like it was fluttering and not beating like it should.

I tried taking my pulse in my carotid artery in my neck, and it didn't feel strong. It felt kind of slow and weak. I started to feel dizzy and had to sit down. Then my legs and arms started to feel kind of numb. I told Brian I had to go lie down. He went to get me a glass of juice and I started to feel like it was hard to breathe. Brian asked if I thought I needed an ambulance and I said yes. So we called one. The dispatcher on the phone asked him if he could find my pulse and later Brian told me he thought my pulse seemed kind of slow (my normal heart rate is > 90 resting due to my heart condition). He must have sounded upset on the phone because not one but two ambulance crews arrived within minutes.

While Brian was on the phone with the dispatcher I started to feel a little better and by the time the ambulance crew showed up, I felt I could breathe a little easier and my heart seemed to have returned to a more normal rhythm. They checked me out and although my blood pressure was pretty low (77/56) initially, it improved within a minute or two and I felt okay enough to send them away without going to hospital.

But, as you can imagine, the whole episode freaked me RIGHT THE FUCK OUT. Because although it COULD have been a panic attack (which I have had before and I know from experience can be very scary), it didn't entirely FEEL like a panic attack. The heart rate thing was different. Usually during panic attacks it feels as though your heart is pounding, like you ran up a flight of stairs...this felt like my heart was fluttering...beating quickly, but shallowly, if that makes any sense.

Fortunately I just so happened to have had a cardiac appointment scheduled on Thursday. For anyone who knows me in real life who is reading this, please don't panic. All my tests came back absolutely normal (well not normal of course, they will never be normal...but normal for me). And my cardiologist didn't seem TOO concerned. To 'do something' she decided to get a holter monitor on me (which is like an heart rate monitor that you wear for 24 hours and it monitors your heart rate and rhythm). The results will be available this week. So while it could have been a irregular heart rhythm, which can happen with my particular heart defect, it would also seem very coincidental timing for a person who has never had an irregular rhythm to suddenly have one at that particular time when I was (admittedly) very upset.

After hearing my heart was okay from my cardiologist I started to take stock of my physical body and realized how tense I am. My shoulders are in knots. My lower back is constantly sore. I have an eye twitch. I find it hard to sit still. I find it hard to concentrate. I'm tired. I have come to the conclusion that I need to RELAX. I have been so stressed out for SO long that I am coming to the end of my ability to deal with things. If you've been following along you understand that they last two years have been STRESSFUL. And while coming home with Kaia was wonderful and fulfilling, it has had it's own challenges and pitfalls.

So after realizing this, I resolve that this weekend is going to be relaxing and fun. We have visits scheduled with friends and family. We are just going to chill and enjoy. Brian will be around to help with the night feedings, so I can get a bit more sleep. Sounds good right?

But then our cat gets sick.

Like puking all over the place, not eating or drinking, sick.

So after hoping she would improve today (she didn't) tonight at 6pm Brian takes her to the emergency vet as our regular one isn't open on Sunday. They give her IV hydration and some pain meds, but also tell Brian that she might have an intestinal blockage and if we want it investigated it would be $170 for an x-ray. Then if they found something on the x-ray and surgery was needed that could be in the $2000-3000 range.


We haven't even begun paying off my $2000 hospital stay...we can't afford to pay that much or more for our cat.

Of course, then we feel like awful people. We love our cat. She was our first 'baby'...even before Aidan. She's only 4 years old and deserves to have a healthy long life. She's never even had any issues up until today!

So tonight was the second time in less than 2 weeks that both Brian and I were crying due to fear and sadness and stress of having to cope with one of our 'babies' in pain.

In the end we decided to do the x-ray, which showed no blockages. Our kitty is now resting at home, hydrated from the IV and hopefully feeling no pain after the meds. Our instructions were not to feed her overnight, and if she has no more vomiting to give her some of this special cat food they had us purchase which is more easily digestible. If she's still sick overnight, we're to take her to our regular vet tomorrow. But I really hope she's better...and so does my wallet.

And now I have to go and pump breast milk for the 7th time today, then bottle feed Kaia, then try to sleep and hope that the morning makes everything seem a little bit brighter.


  1. Oh, Emily, what a load to deal with! Hoping it all eases up for you three (four with kitty).

  2. Wow, that is a lot of crap being piled on you... continually. It's not fair for you guys to have this many shitty things going on all the time.

    Poor little Kaia - I really hope her harness issues can be sorted out. Glad that your heart episode wasn't too severe. Not sure what else to say other than that I hope all of you will be feeling a bit better soon.

  3. Holy cow poo, Batman.

    How are Kaia's hips?

  4. I'm sorry you have to deal with so much at one time - it sounds absolutely exhausting. I hope things get easier and calmer very soon.

  5. My goodness that's a lot. I too hope things settle down soon.

  6. It sounds like a vasovagal attack, probably brought on by the upset of thinking of Kaia's hip having to be reduced again and her pain. I had it happen to me many times. As in, fainting spell. But, of course, your cardiologist needs to investigate you since you have the heart condition. However, I would put my money on a vasovagal attack. I am sorry that the hip is out of place again. Ask for an anesthetic if he needs to reduce it again, for God's sake! and also, re: the cat, do the best you can, it does not mean that you are bad people if you cannot afford to treat her, you simply do your best with what you have. Glad to hear that she is better though. Your luck needs to change SOON, really!!!

  7. Oh, my gosh, Emily!! You poor family. I hope it gets better and FAST!