What Happened in the Hospital

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This is an update on what happened at the hospital.

Wednesday morning I woke up and felt pretty good, I had a few bites of breakfast and within a few minutes my chest tightened and my pulse skyrocketed. It jumped all the way up to 250 and would not come down. And my blood pressure was low. After three days of this, my heart felt like it was about to give out. And after three days of being in the hospital the cardiology department was no closer to figuring out what was wrong. I wasn’t feeling too optimistic. The cardiology department had recommended beta blockers, but they are category c and there isn’t much known on its effects on fetal development, that combined with anencephaly and I felt very uneasy about taking them. So I refused. I refuse about all medication unless absolutely necessary because there aren’t studies on how medications affect anencephalic babies. I know I was frustrating the doctors, but I was not going to do anything that might shorten time with Brielle. All medication comes with a price (just look at the side effects for each pill you take), the price was too steep for me. I also didn’t feel like it was appropriate to take medication when we had no idea what was wrong. And when my bp was already so low, it didn’t seem smart to take beta blockers, which would just make my bp even lower. I told them to find another solution.

David and I talked about it for a bit and agreed we should have my parents at least come out. There weren’t any signs that progress was being made or that the doctors were going to figure out what was wrong and my heart didn’t feel like it had much left in it. The pain just kept getting worse. We decided better safe than sorry and that if I did have a heart attack or stroke, that my parents should get a chance to see me before that happens. My parents found the earliest flights out and got there as fast as they could. David was a bit of a wreck. He kept saying, “I can’t lose both of you.”

Within a few hours my heart rate began to decline. When my Dad arrived it was still high, but under 140 (or about around that range). My chest was still in quite a bit of pain and it was difficult to breathe or talk. I talked to a very nice cardiologist and he seemed extremely confused by my situation, every single test came back healthy and normal.

As the day progressed into the evening my pulse came down below the 120’s (most of the time) and we started to notice that it would spike after I’d eat (and after stressful conversations or I’d get upset). I’d already been thinking maybe there was a vagal nerve problem. This nerve is the nerve that is damaged in my stomach and causes me my health problems. The vagus nerve originates in the brain stem and spreads throughout the entire body, including the heart. We eventually came to the conclusion that either my stomach organ (due to gastroparesis and polyhydramnios) was pushing against my heart and causing my heart to work harder, or that the vagal nerve in my heart was misfiring due to issues elsewhere in my body, such as my stomach. Either way, I needed to treat my gastroparesis instead of my heart. So I did and my pulse came down and went back to normal. I took a tylenol and my pain lightened and the stress on my body was alleviated.

By Thursday morning my pulse was within a very healthy range, my blood pressure was back to normal and I was feeling like myself again. I was talking and I had color in my face again. Dr. Bootstaylor knew I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch this weekend, so he was eager to help get me out of the hospital. He agreed that if I didn’t have a spike after breakfast or lunch then I could go home. So at around 4:00 PM on Thursday I was discharged.

I’ve felt great since. I still have moments where it will spike, but it’s generally because I did too much or have too much food in my stomach. Nothing as bad as when I was in the hospital. This really was an answered prayer. I had such a quick and sudden turn around and really there was no original cause or explanation. Thank you to everyone who was praying for me and Brielle.

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