What if Kurzweil doesn't make it?
What if all the switches get stuck on destroy?
When the shuttle goes, we won't take it
When the final counter-measures are deployed
All we'll have is all this time

Sunday, July 1, 2007

This Weekend Totally Sucked, YMMV

Many family and friends read this blog, so this is a way to get everybody up to speed.

So, on Friday I took a half-day to go see an endocrinologist, my regular doctor has diagnosed me as insulin resistant, sometimes called metabolic syndrome. The good news is that my regular doctor did an extra test not normally done and we found out that I'm insulin resistant at a point where we can reverse it, or at least manage it without having it progress to full-blown diabetes. This new doctor and I talked about some issues I was facing, and as I expected (and said to my main doctor that I didn't want to see this specialists because I felt he would recommend an extreme diet and it was a waste of time) a modified Protein Rich Monitored Fast diet. Monitored because you're starving yourself. So every week or so they draw blood to make sure you're not going to die. They couch that in other terms, but that's the gist.

I then had to reiterate my five objections to this kind of diet; Price, Lifestyle/Schedule, the change in my body chemistry, I get screaming headaches without some sugars, making two separate meals for my wife and I would be a real pain. Less than 8 hours later and that last objection may no longer be an issue, and her health may force our diet to be closer to what the endocrinologist recommended.

First off, everybody is okay. Although that wasn't a given all the way through Friday night.

Halfway through dinner Bette had problems. We were eating dinner on the couch, watching TV. She had sneezed and then asked me if her face was red. I told her it was and asked what was happening with her. She said she didn't feel okay. She then made a moan. That was the last she was able to say for about fifteen minutes. It was when she put her hand in her food and didn't seem to know it that I realized something was very wrong.

If you've never experienced having someone you love unable to answer you, or even seem to recognize that you're only a few inches from their face, make sure you avoid such. I called 911. Later Bette said she could hear everything I said, but she didn't remember me doing that even though I was also right in front of her monitoring her breathing. I couldn't locate a pulse in her arms, but got a thin pulse in her neck and I could feel her heart beating. When she turned clammy I raised her legs up on the couch and lowered her head. I did have to hold her head so she could breath clearly. By the time the ambulance came, she was responding to me. I was even able to help her to the bathroom, but she wasn't fully conscious and she started having pains.

To make a very long (an emotionally stressful) story short, we were in the emergency room way too long trying to convince the doctor that this wasn't a panic attack, and that Bette didn't faint, but something pushed her to unconsciousness. At first I thought I might have been a heart attack or stroke.

Note to everybody, argue with the doctor when you think they are off base. Be polite, remind the doctor of symptoms or experiences that don't fit into their diagnosis and make them explain it. Doing so was the only way we had him run several tests (including a CT scan when he made the comment about, "Well, if you were having headaches…" Uh, maybe you missed it when she said she felt like a wire was constricting around her head?).

One of our theories had to do with sugar levels, which he completely dismissed because while Bette's glucose was high, of course this was only an hour after she had eaten and the doctor thought it would be much higher if it was a sugar event.

Two days down the road, and with experimentation (yes, Bette has her PhD and she can't help herself) we’re pretty sure it's something with the sugar. Tomorrow she will try and get into the doctors and have her blood tested to confirm what we know and find out the mechanism that is producing this result. Hopefully we can manage this.

If not, a diet of no sugars and high protein is going to be our life. On the flip side it took us five years to get a diagnosis of Graves Disease. Five years of having doctors tell us it was all in her head, and only when her thyroid grew so large that her goiter proved something was wrong.

In this case we're much farther ahead. We know what triggers it. We have proof that something is wrong.

She's back to her normal self, although she says she feels hungry a few minutes after we eat (no sugars can do that). By the time we left the emergency room she could walk by herself and go up the stairs at home. She still gets shaky every now and then (figgety energy), but unless she is trying different sugars in her food, she doesn't have pains or weakness. So I'm confident enough to go to work tomorrow and have her drive herself to the doctor's office.

So, to reiterate, avoid having your love ones being unconscious. Argue with doctors you believe are off base. And get full blood tests.


Camille Alexa said...

How horrible for you both! But also, how fortunate to have each other to get through whatever tough spots you encounter or life changes you guys might need to make.

Dan Berlyoung said...

I watched my father go into convulsions at the dinner table when I was about 9. I can't imagine what it would be like if Jen did anything of that sort.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Steve Buchheit said...

Thanks, LBB. Yeah, it's good that we can rely on each other. Bette drove me to the hospital when I broke my leg. I remember yelling, "Slow down, I want to make it there alive, ow ow ow." Which, of course, she promptly ignored. I just felt so helpless watching her, thinking," I should have recognized something was wrong and called 911 sooner" and "how can I get her to the floor to do CPR." I recommend avoiding such problems.

Dan, when Jen got pregnant with Nathan I was worried that you may have such an experience (thank the gods you didn't). And thanks for the prayers.

Like I said, she's back to normal. We just can't have sugars (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, carbs, etc) right now.

When I was 12 I saw a man (someone I didn't know, but was at a family Xmas party with us) have a massive coronary right in front of me (he ws dead before he hit the floor). I watched as my Grandfather (my surrogate Dad) was taken away from me by cancer when I was 16. Since then I've seen a lot of misery and death. Including watching alzheimers and emphecima take my grandma three years ago. And this past spring with Mom in the hospital. But I have never felt the panic mixed with helplessness like I did Friday night.

The good news is that we have decent EMT service (and a friend responded as well, I don't think he got paid for the trip) here. And that I was home at the time (unlike being at work late).

Now that I typed that, I'm going to have to cut back on the OT, and they're going to have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Hope you guys are both doing better by now... Scary stuff, but it sounds like you kept your head.

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Steve Buchheit said...

Merrie, we're better now.

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