Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Past Week-Pull Up a Chair, You're Gonna Want to Sit Down

*If you don't have a big stretch of time to read this or don't like long ranty posts,  take my advise and just move along.  I totally understand.  8-) *

The Past Week has been crazy busy and has mostly sucked, as far as weeks go.

Let me back up to Thursday, August 29th first which was almost 2 weeks ago(because that will come into play in the following narrative eventually.). 
I had my follow-up at the Sleep Disorders Clinic.
I told the clinician that my face mask wasn't right for me.  It's the one they fitted me with from the overnight sleep study.  It covers my nose and mouth(since I open my mouth while sleeping and mouth breath at times)but the bottom of it hits me right at the base of my bottom teeth at the gum line, and my dentist discovered at my last check-up that I have developed a spot where my gums are receding on the middle 2 teeth, exposing one of those teeth below the gum line.  We don't know if it was caused by the pressure by the mask or if the mask hitting there is just making this condition worse.  At any rate, I need to try a different mask.
To make a long story a bit shorter, after a long conversation with my insurance company about my unhappiness with my durable medical goods supplier(the folks who rent me the biPAP machine and accoutrements)I am locked into using them for the time being.  I can't change companies.  The clinician faxed over a new prescription for a different mask to them on Aug. 29th so I can get a new mask after insurance approves it's cost.

Now onward to this past week....

On Tuesday and Wednesday I had doctor's appointments.  Tuesday wasn't so bad, just 1 appointment in the morning and then I was home to wait for the workman to come start Day 2 on the projects in the living/dining room. (He had started on Labor Day Monday.)

Of course the cardiologist at appointment #1 fussed at me for not losing any weight since May. 

Well I did lose weight in June but then we had to close down the pool so I got no swimming in and then between company coming and our Road Trip and some stress eating(not eating bad things mostly, just too much)I am at the same weight as I was in May, down 48 pounds.  Just 1 more Road Trip pound to re-lose.

Wednesday was a bad day.  I had 3 hours of medical tests.  First an echocardiogram at the heart hospital at 9am.  As there were no handicapped parking spots open when I arrived, I valet parked the car and went in.
They got me all nekkid and wired up like a terrorist bomber and started the echo/test.  The technician said after she performed it she had to inject me with something called "Definity" and had to redo part of the test.  She said I had had this substance injected when they did an echo in the hospital back in April when I had my health crisis, so to be consistent she had to use it again.
I didn't recall being injected with anything when I was having the echo back in April but then again, I was not myself.  Not being able to breath will do that to a person. ;-)

So the technician performed the echo and then put the Definity into the iv plug.
Let's just say I had an immediate fairly severe reaction to this stuff!
If you want to look this stuff up do so, but I'll just say that it's a liquid suspension of gas filled bubbles to enhance the contrast during echocardiograms. 
It only stays in your heart for about 30 seconds but you can have adverse reactions to it for a full 30 minutes afterwards.
Within 5 seconds of her inserting this stuff into my iv, I felt a burning sensation and severe pain run down along my spinal cord, down my legs, into my knees and then into my feet.  It felt like my back was breaking and my knees especially were on fire.
I yelled at her and tried to get up but the pain was so bad I couldn't move and just started crying.

The technician seemed surprised by my reaction and then said it was very rare to have a reaction to Definity.
I have since learned that this is bullshit!
Come to find out, Definity is known to cause severe reactions and even death, and has all kinds of warnings on the package now because of this.  The package also says you are to have resuscitating equipment on hand when using this substance and need to watch the patient injected for 30 minutes after administering it to them.

So what did this dumbshit technician do when I had my reaction?
She flushed the iv to get the Definity out of my system faster, left the room and told me to get dressed and I could leave when I was done.

How nice......

After about 5 minutes I felt well enough to stand up and dress.
I then had another test in the medical arts building, which is on the other side of the entire hospital from the heart hospital section.  Of course, I didn't know I had to walk the entire length of 2 hospitals to get to my testing area when the technician showed me which hallways to take to walk over to the Pulmonary labs.
Yes, I had to walk about 1/4 mile to get to where I was having not one, but TWO 1 hour long pulmonary function tests.

And come to find out, I could have dropped dead at any point in the 20 minutes it took me to walk across the hospitals to the Pulmonary Dept. because of this Definity stuff.
Lucky for me and the idiots running this hospital I didn't go into cardiac arrest!

So the next 2 hours was spent breathing into various gadgets and then walking the hallways and being timed and my oxygen saturation tested.
I tell ya by noon when I was finished with all this mess, I was ready to collapse.
But it gets better!!!
After all this testing/walking I got to walk back across 2 hospitals to the heart wing to go get my car out of valet parking.
Then it was home to supervise the workman and then collapse into bed once he left for the day.

As for my pulmonary function test, I have mild hypertension and the breathing folks seem to think I need oxygen support while engaged in moderate to heavy physical activity because my saturation rate dips into the 80's.  I am good for 2-3 minutes and then the wheels fly off the oxygenation bus.

So the pulmonary dr. there ordered me back on oxygen if I go out and do any strenuous activities.  And they weren't going to let me leave the hospital on Wednesday until the durable medical goods company I use(with protestation!)promised to bring me mobile oxygen tanks that day to my house. 
Not that this was vital since I have an oxygen concentrater already at home that I use at night with my biPAP machine.
Of course, the DMG company promised and never showed up, calling at 4pm to say they'd be at my house sometime on Thursday with the tanks.
Yes, they lied to a doctor but that doesn't surprise me.
This company, by the way, is Young's Medical.  They have offices in a few states around this area.

So on Thursday around 11am-ish a delivery person from Young's shows up with 10 lb. oxygen tanks(they measure about 30" long).  So I asked him how I was suppose to carry these around and he went to get a bag with a shoulder strap out of the van.
My problem is this......
These weigh 10 lbs. so if I am having to carry an additional 10lbs. of weight around, it will negate any good the added oxygen I am snorting from there is doing.
I can see if I am say in the grocery store and can put this tank in the shopping cart then I am not carrying more weight on my body, so the oxygen would do some good.....except that walking through a grocery store is NOT a moderately strenuous activity for me, so I really don't need the tank in a store.  I'd need it for a long, brisk walk or heavy cleaning or exercising, not for just strolling through the grocery store or a department store.

So the delivery guy comes back with a bag and puts the tank into it and I go to hoist it over my shoulder and the strap breaks. lolz
This is the universe saying I shouldn't be carrying this thing, ya know?

So he gets another bag with a sewn on strap and I put the strap over my shoulder.  The bag hangs down longways, not horizontally across my body with the tank, but vertically and reaches past my knees.
So every step I take the tank bangs into my leg and impedes me walking.
And not only is it uncomfortable to carry this way, that mother f-er is heavy!

It's a really bad system folks and guess what?  I am not going to use it.
If I send it back I know I will get fussed at for it, but I don't see the point of first having something that will give me no benefit and second, will cost money unnecessarily since I will not use it.

I might as well tell them to bring back the larger tanks with the little metal cart and wheel that around....which I also probably won't use.

And then I stopped holding back and let fly all the grievances I have with this medical goods supply company to this delivery person.....basically, because I told him I was not a happy customer that they didn't have something smaller that I COULD use and that this wasn't the first issue I have had with them(the not showing up when they promised to and giving me a product I couldn't use) and he said to tell him everything I was not happy with.
So he got told about the replacement mask gasket I was promised in June that arrived a month later and was the WRONG ONE for my mask.....and how I was on the phone with the lady in the office for almost an hour trying to get her to understand that, yes, you may have written down a Quattro FX gasket but they sent me a Quattro Mirage gasket and it isn't the same size.......and how over a MONTH ago she supposedly put in a new order for the correct gasket and guess what still hasn't shown up?(and this company's warehouse is only a 10 min. drive from my house).....and how they still haven't submitted any bills to my insurance company after 5 MONTHS so we still don't know how much they are charging for anything plus we can't get any insurance Explanation of Benefits because they didn't bill my insurance yet........and how the insurance gal told me that I am locked into using this company using all other equipment, as long as they are providing the biPAP rental.......and that last Thursday, Aug. 29th my sleep clinic clinician faxed over a prescription for a new mask to them and I was still waiting 6 days later on when they were going to deliver said new mask.......

The delivery person wrote everything down and said as soon as he got back to the office when his delivery runs were over for the day, he'd personally speak with his boss, and someone would get back to me about all this.
And he appeared to be very earnest and sympathetic.


That was September 5th and it is now September 10th and guess what company I haven't heard a peep out of?
I have just HAD IT with this company!!!
I'd like to give every one of the nimrods at Young's Medical Supply a Definity cocktail about now!

But let me change the subject before I start to foam at the mouth here......
I am done with doctors, medical appointment and all until middle of October, thank goodness!

So Thursday Gary the handyman shows up as scheduled and works away on redoing spackled sections that didn't "take" and sanding other sections.  While he's here the guys come to fix the brand new a/c system that no longer throws out cool air.  It seems some wing nut came unscrewed from the vibrations of the compressor motor which in turn meant the Freon(or whatever they call what they use now instead of that)leaked out of the units slowly while we were away and not using the system.   The a/c guy retightened the screw and refilled the Freon stuff and said it shouldn't jiggle lose anymore.
And coolness returned to Chez Sluggy and there was much rejoicing in the land. 8-)
Let's hope things stay this way since we are due for a 2 day heat spell later today and tomorrow.

Then on Friday it began. 
The weekend from hell.

I spent my weekend priming and painting the living and dining rooms and the ceilings.  The spackled sections were dry so priming all the newly repaired areas of the walls and ceilings was done on Friday by yours truly.

Then on Saturday the Hubs joined me as I painted the ceilings and then we started on the walls.  My hands started seizing up from holding the paint roller non-stop for 7 hours at about 3pm on Saturday.  So Hubs, who had finished the taping and cut-in work took over and did the last 2 and 1/2 walls with the roller and I collapsed on the sofa in the den.

Hubs doesn't "get" the point of painting.  He thinks you are suppose to use as little paint as possible.
So when he finished and he was still on the FIRST CAN of paint I knew we'd have to redo a good chunk of the walls if not go over all of them again.

By 5pm we were done for the day.  The light was getting bad and with my terrible eyesight it was worthless to try to see where we had to redo the walls until morning.

Bright and early Sunday morning we were back at it, paint rollers in hand.  There were some spots I had painted that needed touching up plus everything Hubs had done needing redoing, even all the cut in work.  He had used a brush and it looked just awful, so we dug out the tiny roller and tray we have and used that to redo all the cut-in work.  The tiny roller was better on my cramping up hands so I did all the cut-in work(except the high spots I couldn't reach).  Then I used that roller to do parts like whole wall sections around windows and the wall by the stairwell, etc.  I gave Hubs a lesson in painting(better late than never!)so he realized the point was to use up the paint. lol  We ended up going through 2 gallons this pass through the rooms and Monday morning the walls were well covered and we were ready for the floor guys to show up and start that project.

Ever since they injected that Definity stuff into me on Wednesday, my knees have been aching.  I have a bum knee anyway so I didn't think anything of it at first.  But all that painting movement over the course of 3 days just made the pain worse and worse.  As a bonus, I painted most of Saturday in my bare feet, which turns out was NOT a good thing to do.  All that time on my feet with no arch support and when you paint, you are using your feet(up on the balls, back on the heels, etc.)and the stress on the muscles/bones in there that you don't realize the work-out you give them until the next day or so.
By yesterday, Monday, I could barely stand up or walk.  It was agony to take a step.  Plus my knees were still aching which didn't help matters.
I had to be downstairs to take care of the dogs and supervise the guys who showed up to install the flooring in the living/dining rooms on Monday.  By the time they left for the day at 2:30pm, I hobbled upstairs and took a pain pill and went to bed.  I had fed the dogs and put them out and had spent the morning making more Broccoli/Cheddar Soup with the last of the garden broccoli so Hubs had food to eat when he got home.

I really didn't think painting those rooms would do me in quite so badly.  I haven't painted walls in a few years so I didn't realize how much worse off physically I have become.  Combine that with how much Hubs hates painting and it's definite that anymore painting that needs doing in this house is NOT getting done by us!  We'll be parting with money to pay someone else to do this job from now on.
Lesson learned the hard way.....

My left foot is still killing me today but it's getting better.  And the knees aren't quite as bad either, so I think I will survive.

Here's a look at the walls we painted.....

The color is called "Promotion" and it's a boring old tan/light brown but with lots of red in it so it's a warm neutral color.  Light enough to be bright but dark enough that white crown molding will show up against it.

Note the nasty off white WW carpeting on the floor. bleh.
Why anyone in their right mind would put white carpeting in the public areas of a 4 bedroom house is beyond me!
A 4 bedroom house just screams that the people who live here will have children, lots of children, right?  I can see maybe putting white carpeting in a 2 bedroom house but a 4 bedroom?
No way.

By tomorrow I might have more pictures of the floor since the flooring guys are here as I type this banging away and making me more deaf.
Time to go put another coat of paint on the crown molding out back and pray that it doesn't rain....




  1. Oh Sluggy I am sorry for your woes. By the way my mom reacted to the same drug the same way twice! I was about to kill the last technician that tried this test on her. Also you do not get to paint any more. Hubby hates it, it is killing you. Hire it done. I always want to do the work myself because I want to save money, but in the end I just can't do it any more.

  2. Oh Sluggy, would it be wrong to say that reading about your problems made me feel better about my own? (Because it actually did).
    Seriously, what happened to you with that drug is absolutely terrifying and borders on some kind of malpractice. Maybe you should call Lanahan and Dempsey.

  3. It is rude to say but I laughed really, really hard. Not at you but at the pure stupidity of the entire medical community!!!! Why again do we need them? Seems they are making things worse! Why would they feel the need to give someone that is having a hard time breathing something heavy to carry with them? Brilliant! Shoot someone up with drugs that could kill them and leaving-HIGH IQs all around! Walking off while someone is having a reaction seems the intelligent thing to do! Flipping genius!


  4. Dear Lord you would not have been allowed to walk between two tests at our hospital no matter what the reason. And Def is extremely dangerous!!!!!!! Please if they tell you again demand to know why and do not let them do it unless they stay in room.

  5. Note to self---->Do not have the Definity for a test.

    Now, I just get a wheelchair for the trip from the car and to tests and all around the hospital and back to the car. Works for me. They say, "Can't you just walk to (wherever)?" I just refuse to, saying, "No!" Really, I could walk in great pain, but then I have to recover, and my back and knee hurt!

    I think you need to write a letter to your doctor, to the hospital, and anyone else you can think of, complaining of this treatment. And, write to someone, maybe the television station, about the other company. Maybe a reporter will come out and televise the problem, getting you some help.

    No matter how you get it, you do need the oxygen. You are killing yourself by refusing. Ready for that? However, the delivery system must be different so you don't have to carry that heavy tank. I see people with little, tiny tanks about a foot long, slung over their shoulder and then stuck into the grocery cart. Your tank and its fit sound horrendous.

    Really, not filling the roller or paint brush with lots of paint is right. However, there does need to be a happy medium with the way my ex painted. He over filled the roller and rolled as fast and hard as he could. He ruined the floors and stars that were still beautiful even though they were 75 years old and had never been refinished. I just wanted to kill him.

    Plus, it should not be any difference in the cutting in and rolled surface if it is done right. I used a brush to cut and husband used the roller on a long extension stick/poll/handle. Daddy was a painter in his youth and a contractor later, so I sort of learned by listening before I actually had a home to paint all on my own.

    Now might be the time to teach the children to paint. I am serious. They need life skills for the time they will have their own homes to paint.

    I am sorry you hurt so bad. I can relate to the pain of over-doing something. That was certainly a horror story. Get oxygen!


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