Chapter 16: Big feet

The sushi was great. If you’re in Gwinnett, Flying Roll in Duluth is incredible! Look it up!

Another week has come and gone and my new medication FINALLY arrived today. I haven’t started it yet but I’m armed with a smorgasbord of delectable anti-nausea medications in the event I start to have a puke party with myself. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen because I hear broken ribs and vomiting don’t mix. Same with sneezing (just happened. Damn you, allergies!) and coughing (damn you, Benedict!).

Not a whole lot to report except I had a fabulous surprise on Wednesday. We were visiting one of our all-time favorite restaurants, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, when I started to feel a lot of pain and tightness/pressure in my ankles and feet. At first I just thought I was sore from all the crazy exercise light walking in the house that I’ve been doing. Then I looked down and noticed I had Michelen Man feet and Mickey Mouse hands. My wedding rings were stuck on my finger. I’d also noticed a ton of bloating throughout my chest, face, and abdomen over the prior week, and I had put on 7 pounds in 5 days. Holy water retention, Batman!

Putting on my PT hat, I reached down and noticed that when I pushed into the swollen areas, an indentation formed that stuck around for several minutes.

Oh shit.

For those not well-versed in medical jargon, that’s called pitting edema. Generally that’s not a great thing to have in your body, though sometimes it can be caused by relatively benign things. Knowing how my luck has been lately, I was cautiously guarded as we headed home after our very amazing but very salty lunch. Oh hey! I hear salt is great for swelling!

I left a message with my oncology nurse who called back with quite a sense of urgency. She asked some standard questions and her conclusion was that I needed to see a cardiologist ASAP.

That’s something warm and fuzzy that you always want to hear.

I politely agreed and got off the phone after she made sure to go through all the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Why? Pitting edema can be a sign of heart failure or kidney failure.

But I’m 31 and a month ago the 3 million cardiac tests I had in the hospital were crystal clear! This can’t be!

I completely lost it. Man, I’m crying a lot lately! This time it was an ugly, elephant tears, gasping, choking, whimpering cry. I just didn’t believe it. I was COMPLETELY OVER IT. In this whole process I’ve been very compliant and rolling with the punches. But this time, I was done. I was tired of the universe kicking me when I am already way down. I wouldn’t even call this denial. It felt more like defiance.

After much consolation from my parents and multiple friends (credit to my sister for being an awesome cheerleader and bringing me back to Earth!), I surrendered to the reality and made an appointment with a cardiologist I’d seen several years ago. But she couldn’t see me “ASAP” and I was going to have to wait through the weekend for the appointment. So, my friend Kate recommended her cardiologist, who ended up being able to get me in 1.5 days later. Cue HUGE sigh of relief.

Fast forward-the next day I woke up and all the swelling and bloatedness was GONE and I was down 7 pounds. What!?!?! It was the immaculate diuresis! Granted, I had peed every hour during the night, so it kind of made sense. I saw the cardiologist this morning and he checked all my cardiac tests from the hospital stay last month and was very attentive and a great listener. He was convinced this was mainly due to the crazy tailgating salty diet I’d had the past weekend, a big diet change over the past month (yeah ChickFilA!), some of the meds I’d been taking, and generally my body being in “metabolic crisis” as he called it. Sure enough, after a long Friday of other doctor visits, errands, and being on my feet on a hot day, my feet swelled up again. Once I got home today and put my feet up, they were much better.

He also said my heart was in “awesome” condition. So I’ve got that going for me. Honestly, it was nice to hear something was going well!

I also saw the oncologist again today who coached me through starting my crazy medication. We really have no idea how long I will be on it before I have surgery. So that’s a new adventure of “wait and see” for me. I just may become a professional couch potato and blogger.

This weekend I’m hoping to watch more football, go on a Sunday drive (literally!) with my parents and keep getting a teeny bit more “exercise” each day. Let me tell you, my new definition of exercise is quite interesting for someone who was a collegiate athlete! But now I’m just happy to MOVE.

So, we’re off on a medication adventure! Hopefully my body is agreeable with it and it’s smooth sailing from here! Be gone, Benedict! Off with your head!

I promise it gets better from here–in Chapter 17!

One thought on “Chapter 16: Big feet

  1. Whew!!! You are soooo amazing!!! Not everyone could survive the highs and LOWS that you do. There are the most amazing number of people thinking of and praying for you! (Me–a college friend of your mom’s in NC–for just one!)
    You and your family cut a wide swath of love and caring. Praying for good results and tolerance for this new medication!!! XO. Ada P. shields

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s