Lucky or unlucky?I've cheated death four times. I am 48 years old. Always active, travel alot, generally happy. In the distant pass, I fell off a roof onto cement. Cracked my head open and severly fractured my knee. I didn't die though. Or becme paralyzed, so I was lucky. Right? Now for the recent past. Five years ago I was so stressed out at work. My boss was treating me unfairly and wanted to fire me. I had always been the superstar at work, so I couldn't understand why this new boss had it out for me. Then one day at the office I fainted. Turns out I went in Vtach, but woke myself up. Paramedics were called and I was wisked off to the emergency room. My attending physician determined that I had Long QT Syndrome and transferred me to the care of another cardiophysiologist who specialized in this condition. We did the hereditary gene tests plus a ton of heart tests and a week later I was given an SICD (defib with leads that go around the heart rather than in it.) My husband and I called it our "plan B." Okay, I took some time off work, complained about my boss's behavior and learned to deal with this "pager" under my skin. In all it's five year battery life it never went off. Lucky. Cut to last year and for some weird reason (still undetermined) I had a massive allergic reaction, was going into anaphylactic shock and spent two days in the emergency room getting my life back. My husband and I had debated going to the ER, but decided to when my throat starting swelling shut. Unlucky. I did all the allergy tests for everything I had consumed that day including medicines and everything came back negative. Unlucky. So now I am armed with epipens with me wherever I go, since I don't know what to avoid. Life goes on.
Now cut to this last December. My battery had run down on my SIDC and it was time to replace my defib for a newer model. A routine operation that can easily be done in an outpatient care unit. Since my Dr. was at a hospital, he performed the surgery there. Thank God! During this 20-minute routine surgery, I crashed on the table. I was having another anaphylactic reaction and my body was rapidly shutting down. I was intubated and placed in a medically induced coma from which we had to "wait and see" if I would come back and with what body and brain functions. My husdand is still suffering from the trauma as my brain has decided to not remember the majority of my incident. I bounced back pretty quickly and within a week I was back home. And, in case you are wondering, my doctor was aware of my allergic reaction earlier in the year and I had kept him apprised of the negative lab results. But I had reacted (even stronger) to something and that something is life-threatening. Unlucky.
I would have thought this enough drama for anyone's lifetime, but I was wrong. I followed up with my doctor after the surgery and hospital stay and he noticed a heart murmer that he thought could be nothing, but since I was turning out to be more complicated, he ordered an echocardiogram to be sure. Turns out that I have mitral valve prolapse with severe regurgitation back into my left atrium. It will have to be fixed in the next 3-6 months. This time it's no routine surgery. But, first and foremost, any surgeon is going to want to know what I had an allergic reaction to on the operating table back in December. I have had my blood evaluated/tested for all the drugs I was on in the OR, but again, they all came back negative. I'm now slated to spend a day in the hospital while they "challenge" my system with the drugs directly. My luck, this could go horribly wrong or worse, I react to nothing and have to hope for some surgeon to take a chance on me so my heart valve can be fixed.
I am so overwhelmed with confusion and grief and guilt and hopelessness. I figure I have 5 lives left (if cats can have 9, why can't I?) But each time I recover is harder and harder. I want to enjoy my life that I have worked so hard for. And I want to be there for my husband and my family.
Anyone remotely in the same boat?