ER Dash

With the weather change last week causing a flare up of the bronchiecstasis from which I suffer, I landed in the hospital from Saturday through Tuesday. While most of my tests and x-ray were non-remarkable, it was necessary to put me on a higher dose of steroids (solumedrol) for a few days, which can ony be administered at the hospital.

So, there I am back out of the hospital on Tuesday after being there for three days prior. I managed to check out the State of the Union Address from President Barack Obama to a joint-session of Congress. I managed to get in a text version of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I even managed Wednesday to do a video op-ed on my take of the speech from the President: SOTU - Page Turned? Not, Quite. As well, I got in another text version of Kernels for Wednesday.

Then it happened around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. Iohn had finally got home from work. We were sitting on the couch talking about the day.

I could feel it coming on. I have been dealing with this for over 20 years now. I am talking an episode with the cluster headaches which have dibilitated time and time again.

This time as the cluster struck, my heart began to race reaching and staying at a rate of over 220 beats. At the same time, my blood pressure dropped dramatically to 67 over 43.

I've been here before. It is no biggie - usually.

This time was different. It normally lasts about 5 to 10 minutes then it disappears. This time it was holding on and on with the pulse well over 200.

In light of all that has been happening these last few months, I had Iohn call for the EMTs. The techs arrived. They were scratching their heads over such a high heart rate whle my pressure was lower than low.

Soon I was in the ambulance and headed back to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute. Halfway to the emergency room, the spell finally ended about an hour and 15 minutes later.

Checked into the ER and all was normal: blood oxygen, heart rate/pulse, blood pressure, the EKG was unremarkable.

What was discovered was that my potassium is way low which would contribute to the sustained heart rate. So dosed with a couple of horse pills and prescription for 10 days of potassium, I was released.

Now on this Thursday morning I sit wondering what is next.

And how is your day going?

UPDATE: At 1:20 p.m. my heart rate/pulse once more started going ballistic. It is stroking out at 227. Called my pulmonologist office and was told to go back to ER and admitted for potassium drip intravenously. Waiting now on Iohn to get home to decide what to do.

The tachycardia did slow to near normal around 1:40 p.m. while I was talking to a follow-up call from the ER about last night's treatment and visit. A few minutes later, the rate accelerated again and is remaining high.

This is not uncommon with me over the past 20 years. Often depending on the location of a cluster headache attack, my pulse will soar. I can and do have stroke and heart attack symptoms without either occurring. Could this be what is happening now?

Good probability I will be back in the hospital once Iohn gets home.

Location: Indiana, United States

Breathing Labored

The warm front moving into the Cornfield Thursday brought more than just higher temperatures. It also brought much greater pressure on my airways. That added pressure lowered my blood oxygen level. Even with my O2 machine running and my tube off and on through the day and last night.

This morning is not much different. Breathing remains labored even with th oxygen. Complicating the problem is the coughing to discharge the mucus build-up. The size of some of the discharge is as large as quarters and some nearly the size of a half dollar.

For the past two evenings, I have had to have my oxygen on when I have recorded my nightly Kernels From the Cornfield. This evening will also require the O2 to complete the week.

Trying to keep my blood thickness at the right level has been a nightmare since having to switch to Coumadin rather than using Xarelto. I had to change blood thinners because of the Sporanox, antifungal, medication to treat the life-threatening histoplasmosis. I will once more be at the doctor's office today for another INR test which measures the viscosity of the blood.

Check out Thursday's Kernels From the Cornfield!

Catch my take on calling terrorists what they are: Call It What It Is.

And how is your Friday going?

Location: Indiana, United States

Gradual Warm-Up Begins!

The long-predicted and eagerly awaited warm-up has begun in the Cornfield. The mercury reading early this morning had dropped into the teens, but presently is a balmy 37!

My faith in weather forecasters was nearly gone. Today, I am starting to believe they may have got something right.

The weather change, however, is playing havoc with my respiratory system. I could feel it last night. I had to use my oxygen to do my latest Kernels From the Cornfield. Today the pressure on my airways has sent me back to the O2 over and over.

I can't wait for the weather to stabilize a bit.

Taking a piece from last night's Kernels, I developed a new op-ed: Call It What It Is. Check it out and give me your thoughts.

Speaking of Kernels, catch the latest edition: Kernels - Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

And how is your Thursday going?

Location: Indiana, United States

Snow Flurries, Freezing Temps

My faith in the believability of the weatherman is fading this morning. The mercury dropped to 7 over night. It is currently 17 degrees with spitting snow in the Cornfield. The forecasters are still saying we will see a high of 50 on Sunday. I don't know. This cold seems to be unending.

Iohn has decided, for now, to keep the Beasley name. So, instead of becoming Iohn Ivy, he will keep his birth name. That doesn't mean, however, we are any less legally bound together in our partnership.

When the sun falls each day, the pressure on my airways and chest grows much greater than during the day. The coughs increase. The breathing becomes much more labored. I sleep each night with the oxygen on to keep the blood oxygen level from dropping into dangerous territory.

During the day, I am rather stable. I get a little fatigued when doing some basic chores such as doing the dishes, but function fairly well. It is at night when I become a near invalid.

While most of the time I talk about the respiratory concerns, Horton's Syndrome and the major depression are still very much an issue. I stay in pain from the headaches. I battle the night which would snuff out any light.

Catch the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield.

And how is your Wednesday going?

Location: Indiana, United States

Another Day Below Freezing

The temperature remains well below freezing as snow spits here and there in the Cornfield. Forecasters are still calling for a gradual warm-up beginning Thursday when the mercury is expected to rise to 34 degrees. By Sunday the high should be around 50. That is still no comfort on this very cold and windy day.

Iohn is off work today, finally. The Chevy dealership is still wanting to try and put us in the 2014 Chevy Cruze. Iohn told the salesman last night we would wait and that financing was only an option at our financial institution, Crane Federal Credit Union. The salesman is deaf to what Iohn had to say.

Traveling down to Sullivan today to update our driver's licenses. In Iohn's case it will be changing his last name to Ivy. For me, I have to update our physical address on my license. Then it is off to do the same at the Social Security office in Terre Haute as well as Iohn's last name on our account at Crane.

Doing taxes should be interesting this year. Not only are we filing jointly, even though my Social Security is non-taxable, but there is navigating what the Affordable Care Act may do to tax liability. I estimated that Iohn would make about $14,000 last year. He made around $1,400 more. Not sure how that will impact the tax liability since Iohn also was eligible for a subsidy on his health insurance through the federal Marketplace Exchange.

This year, Iohn has health insurance through Ryan's. Not only is he shift supervisor, but he is and has been working 35 to 40 hours per week. The amount of hours make him eligible for company provided health insurance.

Catch the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield.

And how is your Tuesday?

Location: Indiana, United States

Warm-up On the Way?

Now that the weekend ice storm did not materialize in our part of the Cornfield, is a warm-up which has been forecast become reality? The high by Sunday is expected to be 50.

Good news, not so good news today greeted the morning and afternoon for Iohn and I. While we were approved for a loan to purchase a new car which would lessen our concerns with my health the way it is, that approval comes with a catch. We would have to have $2,000 to $2,500 to put down to finalize such a buy. So much for dreaming...LOL.

Speaking of my health, it continues to improve. My air machine went out Saturday night and I slept without oxygen. Of course I have a standing tank to use when this happens or if the electricity should go dark. I decided I would try it without air. It was fine, but I did get winded and tired walking from kitchen to living room.

Lincare came out on Sunday and switched out the machine within an hour of calling to report the defective machine. I did sleep with oxygen last night. Today has been much better.

My YouTube account was subjected to a spam comment and images posted saying, "I Am Not Charlie" in response to my article and video, "Today, I Am Charlie". The comment and images were removed quickly by YouTube before even I could view them.

The latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield should be out shortly.

And how is your Monday going?

Location: Indiana, United States

Bitter Cold Weekend

The bitter cold continues this Saturday morning. The mercury is setting at a frigid 9 degrees. The real feel is at -2.

The pressure that intensified Thursday night into Friday causing heavy pressure on my chest and airways has yet to let up. While my blood oxygen levels remain decent and over 95, there are those moments, especially after walking from the bedroom to the living room, when catching my breath is not easy.

Once more God came through. Iohn and I can take care of the cost for the repairs on the car without having to take from Paul to pay Peter.

Trying to stablize the consistency of my blood has not been so smooth since I had to switch from Xarelto to Coumadin to thin my blood. It has either been too thick or too thin. Yesterday, however, my consistence was perfect at 2.5. Another test is scheduled for next Friday. Hoping that the consistency remains stable.

Catch the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield. Another edition will come out on Monday.

Check my latest opinion article at From the Cornfield: Guilty of Being a Christian.

And how is your Saturday going?

Location: Indiana, United States