- Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Surprising diagnosis from ER visit
Normally there would be a motorcycle trip or ride report posted here but this time it is a medical news item. It is somewhat relevant as it can affect my upcoming trip to Colorado with 4 other riders in just two days from today. On Saturday May 26 after dealing with some pain or discomfort I decided to go to emergency as it seemed the best option in order to get tested for whatever might be indicated and get it over with before the trip. I was certainly apprehensive about going as I doubted it was cardiac related but had no idea what it could be. After checking in they decided to keep me overnight and I had no major problem with that. Next morning they wheeled me to nuclear imaging for a non-treadmill cardiac stress test. A Very unusual and somewhat new procedure but it went well and no blockage or cardiac condition was uncovered at all. Back in the room I awaited my release from the hospital only to be told there was a problem, not with the cardiac testing but some sort of enzyme that was quite elevated and I could not leave until this revelation was resolved. What, I can’t leave, this is nonsense but I had no choice really. So one more night in this hell hole loomed ahead.
The chair rotates with me on it, radioactive substance is injected and then a special medication to mimic being on a treadmill is injected and you get a second set of pictures. I looked at the images and could not figure out what the heck it was supposed to be.
Just before I was injected with the special medication to simulate the treadmill portion. A Cardiologist, cardiac nurse, EKG tech and image technician are all in attendance to monitor the injection. Am I wired or what?
Sleeping in a hospital is near impossible I came to find out. First the bed moved more or less constantly due to a system built in to prevent bed sores for immobile patients that virtually cannot be turned off; then there are the blood pressure checks, and the blood samples that need to be taken at all hours during the night. Waking you up to give you a sleeping pill is almost no joke at all. When I first got there they wanted a blood sample but when the phlebotomist asked to take draw blood I told her I did not bring any with me. As the afternoon of day 2 stretched ahead I got dressed a bit, put my shoes on and walked the corridors of the hospital floor pushing the metal IV holder on wheels to keep my mind off of just sitting there and get some exercise. The first night was bad; this 2nd night was nightmarish to the max with an IV pumping heavy flow of fluids (water basically) into my system to flush the enzyme. At 5:30 AM on Monday I called the nurse in and said they had to do whatever it took to get me out of there, basically I was getting stir crazy. It did not help my case any when earlier I was at my door banging a urine bottle on the floor yelling Attica, Attica and yelling about green mile or something.
I was not overly impressed with St. Jude’s room care although the people were more than helpful and understanding. Finally Monday morning after all this time, they came in with towels and other amenities that should have been made available when I first went to the room on Saturday and here it arrives Monday.
She has been to Sturgis and South Dakota on a Harley as passenger and knows a thing or two about motorcycles. Looking at my card.
Turns out however that going to ER was a very good decision on my part as the diagnosis which at first seemed crazy, likely is the cause of the pain and everything that brought me there in the first place. The treatment was to flush my system with massive amounts of IV fluid (mostly water) to drain away the enzyme and then stop taking my cholesterol medication. It is called rhabdomyolysis- It may not cause any symptoms at all. Muscle aches and pain (myalgia), stiffness, and muscle weakness can occur with rhabdomyolysis, and is especially common with severe muscle damage. Rhabdomyolysis may cause a darkening of the urine color. Myoglobin is released from the muscles when they break down and is excreted into the urine. There is a lot more info about it on the web.
Once the release was given, you would be amazed and impressed at how fast they got me out of there. So it looks like the trip is still on and I should have no further problems with this at all.