February 2, 2012, I called the  EMS to get a ride to my local hospital.   My breathing was very hard and I had voided while coughing and trying to take my meds.  While in the ER, they put me on an Avalox IV.  It burned when they started it and I said something about it, but they said that was common with IV antibiotics.  While talking with the nurse I looked back at my arm and noticed a rash starting at my IV site and slowly moving up my arm.   I said that didn’t look right and she agreed and went and gave me an IV shot of Benadryl.   I have never been on Benadryl  that way and it made me really loopy.  It was sort of funny, because I knew they were talking to me but I couldn’t process or respond to anything  they  were saying.  Shortly after the shot my pulmonologist came in to chat and check me out, so fortunately my daughter and the nurse explained what was going on.   So they told me they wanted to keep me for observation for a bad lung infection and put they put me on the third floor, which has no telemetry.  I shared a room with a gentleman that just had surgery and I felt sorry for him because of my coughing.   They released him the next day and moved me to a private room that afternoon.  My pulmonologist came in to see me and put me on new IV meds.   Around 1 am in the morning my heart started racing, since I have an arrhythmia and have had for years, I watched it for half an hour to make sure it wasn’t going to go away.  I finally told the nurse and she acted like I didn’t know what I was talking about but she came over and checked me anyway.  After checking me she admitted that I was right and would put a call to the pulmonologist on call.  After an hour we had not heard anything so she rechecked me  and  recalled the Dr. who  finally  ordered an EKG so we could tell how high it was.  The EKG Technician came in about 15 minutes and they confirmed that I was in Afib.  My top number was  160.  They immediately got orders to put me on the heart unit with telemetry.  Once they turned off the IV I was on and moved me upstairs to the 5th floor, the afib stopped.   I have no idea of what caused it.  Spent seven days in the hospital and was released without talking a walk and against my wishes.  I knew I was not ready to go home but on 2/9/2012 I discharged  and  sent home. 

 

From the ninth of February till the 20th of February, I sat in my easy chair staring at the wall and wondering if it was time to call EMS again.  I didn’t even lock my door because if I was in trouble and needed to call, I couldn't get up to open it.  From my easy chair I could control the TV, reach my computer and all my phones.  My chest felt very heavy like I had a twenty or thirty pound weight on it so I had my daughter call EMS again.  They took me to my local hospital where they said I had a bad lung infection.  My Pulmonologist knew that I had an existing appointment at Cleveland Clinic for the 23rd and the 24th for a PFT and a heart cathorization.  He said he could admit me locally and I wouldn’t make it to Cleveland or we could see if they had a bed for me and transport me to Cleveland.  I said if they  could  take me I wanted to be   transported,  which is what they  did.  Longest ambulance ride I ever had.  

 

Things were going very well at Cleveland  until day two, when I was getting an IV of my antibiotic and it was burning, so I asked them to change it to the larger IV, since I had two of them in me.  The nurse came in and changed the site and left.  About fifteen feet from me was a HD TV about 4 feet by 3 feet in size.  I was watching it when all of a sudden everything went blurry, I couldn’t make out anything, I felt dizzy, had hot and cold flashes and thought I was going to pass out.  So I called the nurse back and said I thought I was going to pass out.  She came back and checked my heart monitor which was fine, my O2 was good and then she took my blood pressure.  My blood pressure had bottomed out and the top number was 65.  They put me on a saline IV immediately and it was over 4 hours before my blood pressure came up over 90.  It was really very scary.  I did not get to do my PFT but they did do the heart cathorization , Which turned out very well.  On  Saturday  Feb. 25 I was released and went home.

 

On March 5, I called EMS again and took the limo ride to my local hospital, where after seeing the pulmonologist, I requested that this time we error on the side of keeping me longer then they think necessary then to let me go home too early.  This trip was very uneventful compared to the other trips that I had made.  I spent 10 days this time and was released on March 14. 

 

Cleveland clinic wanted me back up to Cleveland Monday March 19 so that I could keep a valid LAS number.  Every 6 months you need to do a PFT to keep you LAS (lung allocation score) active, the PFT that I missed in February was my 6 month appointment, so not only was I coded because I was sick, I didn’t have a valid LAS either.  Anyway went to Cleveland Sunday March 18 so my daughter wouldn’t miss too much work.  We got to the hotel and I’m holding the elevator while she shoves the luggage cart on when I hear keys drop and she goes oh oh !  We rented a car for the trip and it had fancy keys which cost $250 each to replace.  For some reason they gave us two keys that were strapped together in such a way that I could not separate them.  Anyway, she dropped them down the elevator shaft.  I was not a happy camper.  Went to my room and tried to chill out and she went back downstairs and eventually came back with both keys.  They were able to retrieve them from the elevator shaft, I couldn’t believe it.  Did the PFT, XRAY, CAT SCAN AND BLOOD WORK that Cleveland Clinic wanted done .  My basic numbers held ,  but part of that may be due to the steroids I’m on.  The distance I walked was not very far but she was pleased with my results.  That afternoon, on the way home it rained so hard we missed our exit and between that wrong turn and three others that my daughter  made while I was trying to sleep, we drove over 55 miles out of our way.  The bottom line is that we got home safely and I got everything done and I am listed again.

 

Hopefully I can stay home for awhile, this time.

 

Orlan Holmes

 

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