Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day I: Wednesday 12/10 In The Hospital

Tuesday evening, December 9 I was in the basement in our home on Aspen Street in Philadelphia working on my model trains. I was not exerting myself. At around 5 pm an episode of chest and throat tightness and palpitations came on me. I began to feel poorly. I stopped what I was doing and decided to try a short walk outdoors with our dog to see if the air and walking might help me feel better until the episode passed. However, I still felt bad after returning from the walk. In addition to the chest and throat pressure and malaise, I noticed some problem with the peripheral vision in my right eye. I sat on our sofa and alerted Dan that I was in distress and that I felt it advisable to go to an ER that specializes in stroke. We discussed the options in terms of hospitals. We opted to take a taxi cab to HUP, the hospital of the university of the University of Penn Pennsylvania, since we are familiar with it. Upon arriving at the ER I explained my condition and I received immediate attention. I was in significant discomfort but a nurse provided me with two Nitro-Glycerin pills. These made me feel much better. A blood sample was drawn and I was placed in an observation room for the night. Wednesday morning, December 10 at 4 AM I was admitted to the hospital and given a room 1169 in the CICU (Cardiac Intermediate Care Unit) on the 11th floor of HUP. I was put on a variety of anti-coagulants including an IV Heparin drip, and Plavix and Aspirin orally. Blood tests had revealed a level of Troponin, an indicator of heart muscle damage or stress. Weary from the episode and lack of sleep, I tried to get naps whenever I could. I was scheduled for tests including an echocardiogram, which I got Wednesday morning, and a heart catheterization. Being out of my room for most of the day, I missed the visit of the care team and so I was lacking information about my condition. Later my nurse told me that my troponin levels were trending up. In the afternoon I was taken to the cath lab and prepped for the procedure. However, when my attending Cardiologist, Dr. Witlack, learned from me about my vision abnormality that I reported as happening at the same time as my cardiac episode, he decided to have the vision issue evaluated prior to the heart cath for safety in case there could be loose embolisms floating somewhere. So the next test I had was a CT scan of my brain. That ended the tests for the day so I was finally able to eat a small meal, my first solid food since Tuesday mid day.

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