Fun with Hallucinations (Cardiac Stress Test)

I had a Cardiac Stress Test today. The ants came along with me. It’s ever so much fun trying to ignore hallucinations in a medical setting. More on that in a bit.

Besides being a fat girl, the COVID I had late December fucked with my heart and lungs. I had heart palpitations from early January until I went to the ER mid-April. (“They’re going to go away! Dr. Google said they are transient.” They were not.)

While in the hospital, a full work-up also found swollen lymph nodes in one lung. They weren’t too worried about that and said to go for another CT in six months. Easy peasy.

The heart, though. Well, let’s just say when I talked to the Electrocardiologist from my hospital bed at the end of April, he gave me an ultimatum.

These Are Choices?

He said:

“You can either completely change your life or you live in a nursing home.”

See, when people said I was going to die, that was pretty much saying, “You get out just like we all get out.” So what? I could not have cared less.

However, a nursing home?

I had pictures of myself at 400 pounds with some nurse’s aid wiping my ass. I could smell my life of urine and shit. I saw the rows of wheelchairs and my super-sized one in the corner waiting for me to go to a dinner of mush and slop.

(This might not be your view of nursing homes, but it was what my mind flashed to.)

Nursing Home

Life Changing

Well, the idea of a nursing home was less than appealing, so I decided the other option of changing my life wins that argument.

Breeze

  • I quit eating from Uber Eats.
  • I threw out the salt. Mind you, I put salt on salt, so not having salt was the most challenging change.
  • I only buy low-sodium/no sodium foods. (No lowER, sodium, I shoot for less than 1000 mgs salt daily.
  • I now drink Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
  • I upped my vegan game, but the cardiologist said, “You might want to eat salmon for your heart and kidneys.” I eat a small bit of salmon three times a week and take Omega-3 supplements daily.
  • I take Metoprolol Tartrate for my heart palpitations (PVCs).
  • I take Lasix to keep the water from flowing up and squishing my heart.

What’s Changed So Far

  • The heart palpitations/PVCs are gone.
  • The Lasix has stopped my retaining fluid. Good LORD, salt sure had me retaining fluid. I had so much in my body it was actually squishing my heart! That is a fuck ton of fluid.
  • I’ve lost 60 pounds since the beginning of May.
  • I just got permission to start walking again. Woo hoo!

Today’s Cardiac Stress Treat

The stress test was a chemical one instead of the treadmill.

It took wayyyyyy longer than expected because I am a hard stick for IVs and they had to bring in the PICC team woman to ultrasound my arm. She found it quick and easy after 4 pokes from the nurses. “I am a hard stick. You might want to get someone with a sono to do it.” <ignore Barb/>

Ants on a Log

Ants on a Log

Yeah, I brought the ants with me to the hospital. I closed my eyes and meditated to my Queen mix, deciphering the different vocal and instrumental parts to keep my mind working and not seeing or slapping the ants. I could still feel them, but worked to not feel them as much.

“Oh, listen to Deacy’s bass. That goes well with Roger’s kick drum.”

“Listen to Brian, Freddie, and Roger’s harmony. That’s Roger up there. I hear Brian better on this section. Freddie sure has range!”

I laughed thinking what they would think if I demonstrated my hallucination dance. I might be put on another floor of the hospital. At least I recognize my hallucinations. I know I am lucky that way.

Sniffing… Well, Sometimes Glue (I think)

At the hospital, I realized my olfactory hallucinations (phantosmia) are back, too. They have been for awhile, but it didn’t hit me until I began smelling the scent of a rotten animal at the hospital, too. It has been an on-again-off-again smell in my room. I have torn it apart looking for a dead animal, not finding anything. My room is sealed! There is no way for anything to get in. Why that didn’t hit me sooner is beyond me.

My olfactory hallucinations have been the most frequent hallucinations I’ve had over the last 30 years. Even when I am fine and balanced, I still have them. I have not had them for over a year; no idea why not. But here they are again.

Usually, when I am depressed, I smell gross things like vomit, something burning, shit or… dead animals?

When I am doing well, I smell great things like the plumeria in Kaua’i, strawberries, and (this is hilarious) the scent of the paper fresh off the ditto machine.

Ditto Scent
Smelling the ditto sheets. Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Am I Sliding Into Mania?

Yet, here I am, not depressed but having hallucinations.

I’ve sat for awhile and thought about the last couple of weeks. I also scoured Dr. Google.

I have:

  • Written a LOT of posts
  • Written things I regret writing (blessedly not on the blog that I can see… yet, anyway… but sadly to someone who I love very much)
  • Am sleeping way less
  • Am talking louder than I need to be
  • Saying things that are out of character

Fuck. Maybe I am sliding into mania again.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I have an appointment with my Psychiatrist in one week. I will let you know how it goes.

Crapola.

Mania

Afterthought: I started off this post all happy and almost silly. Now that I am in this place with new light, I am not so giddy.

2 thoughts on “Fun with Hallucinations (Cardiac Stress Test)

  1. I love your writing and have for years. What if this is just a renewed enthusiasm for something that hasn’t been present in your life for a period of time and not a manic episode? I’m no expert at all in this but as an outsider I see someone who suddenly has found passion for her writing and what is inspiring her to write and is so excited that she has to share it with others. So I say be giddy be excited and try not to overthink it until the trained professionals say its a problem.

    Like

    1. Well, I just love that idea a LOT, Elana! Thank you so much! I can breathe for a moment. Thank you!

      I have to say, I *am* having some serious fun writing here. It’s been a LONG time since I felt such energy while writing. I am glad someone/YOU are listening! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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