Friday, June 27, 2008

A Life-Changing Event

Here is another life-changing event, but on a more serious note:

On Wednesday, June 25, 2008, My day started off normal like other days. I had a good breakfast and a good sugar reading. Went to work at 6:30 am and then started working on projects. At 12 noon I started my lunch period, first going over to Sweet Peppers to get half of my lunch. As I was finishing my lunch around 1:20 pm, I noticed a burning sensation in my left wrist. Over the next few minutes this sensation moved from the wrist up to my elbow. When it started going to the shoulder I got concerned. I got up and left the office, telling the secretary that I was not feeling well, or something like that. As I got outside and started walking to my car, I felt bouts of light-headedness and slight nauscua. About 5 minutes later I made it to my car. I unlocked the car door and opened it, letting hot air get out. While that was happening I leaned against the car, trying to catch my breath. Then I sat in the car and tried to match my breath. I then drove to Cullman Family Practice and immediately upon entering, told the receptionist what happened and then explaining it again to another nurse.

A few minutes later, the nurse called me back. The Doctor that would see me is Dr. Coccis. He asks me what my symptoms were. I give him all the details and he then does a few basic tests, like listening to the heart and lungs. He then orders an EKG. A few minutes after the EKG is done, Dr. Coccis comes back and gives me the results. He says the EKG was not good and not bad. In other words, abnormal. He then recommends me to stay overnight at Cullman Regional Medical Center (CRMC) to have more tests done and keep me under observation. So now I get my boss to drive me over there, once I drive back to the office.

Once at CRMC, after I am checked in and in my room, the nurses and assistants immediately prep my right arm for an IV for later and then go about getting me ready for my first, of many, blood draws. Once I get settled in on the bed, the nurses and assistants hook me up to en EKG. They then tell me that an EKG will be done every 3 to 3 1/2 hours, with the last one around 11 or 11:30 pm. My boss stays until about 4:30 pm, and a little while later my mom arrives. She stayed until nightfall and then went home. That evening, they also do a cat scan of my head, to make sure I did not have a mini stroke.

Needless to say, I watched a little TV for the evening, until Jock came back and brought me a magazine. Every hour I either had a blood sample done, or my sugar was checked, or my blood pressure was checked. But I was kept in excellent care constantly. The last test completed by midnight, I read another 2 hours before falling asleep for some deep sleep, until 4:30 am. At that time, another blood draw was done. I was told it was the last one.

I continued to nap afterwards until about 7 am, when my sugar was tested and an update done. Breakfast was at 8 am, which tasted better than dinner the night before. I only ate half the meal. Around 8:30 to 9 am another nurse came in and prepped me for the echo-cardiogram of the heart and the ultrasound of the carotid arteries in the neck. This procedure lasted about 45 minutes.

Afterwards the assistant to Dr. Varquez arrived and sat down to talk with me. She asked me how I was feeling and then started to ask me what my symptoms were. After explaining to her what started Wednesday after lunch, she then explained to me that it was called an "angina"
She then stated to me that Dr. Varquez has, based on my family history and the symptoms that I already have, requested an angiogram be done to make sure that none of the blood vessels surrounding the heart are blocked.

So around 1 pm I was taken to a lower room to have the procedure done. At the end of the procedure, I was told by Dr. Varquez that all the arteries were clear. I was relieved.

I was sent back to my room to stay flat on my back for 3-4 hours and waited on the Dr. Schendle to come in and start the discharge process. Around 8:45 pm, I was discharged.

Now, in addition to the blood pressure medicine and sugar medicine I am taking, I have to take a baby asperin each day, a blood thinner and also some medication to lower my cholesterol.

This coming week, I will be meeting with my Dietician to work out an 1800 calorie diet given with the items I cannot eat due to my diabetes. I need the dietician's help for this, as I cannot work out a menu myself.

In 1-2 weeks I go to my doctor, Dr. Bostick, for a follow-up visit. Also, in 4-6 weeks I go to see Dr. Varquez for a follow-up visit. By that time, she will explain to me the results from the echocardiogram and the ultra-sounds of the carotid arteries.

Yes, this is a life-changing event. Was I scared? Yes. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I worried? Yes.

But now, knowing some of the results, a sense of calm is falling over me now. I know now what I have to do for the rest of my life to change. Heart disease can be reversed. It is up to me to change.

There is not enough thanks I can give you for listening, caring, praying about me during these past few days. I am indebted to you always and am for ever grateful.

I ask you to leave comments and well wishes on this blog post. If you want to send me a card, my mailing address is:

Dirk Baeuerle
835 County Road 684
Holly Pond, AL 35083

Thanks for caring and listening to my story. A life-changing event.

Now stay with me for the changes to come.

Until then ..............

God Bless,


Lynndy said...

Hi Dirk,
It's amazing how small our world actually is! Don't know if you remember me, but I met you on Thursday (Lynndy)? I was looking up info on diabetic meds, came across David Mendosa's articles and there was one about you. Your name is very unique, which judging by my own, I think is a good thing. So I followed the link to your blog. Being in Cullman county it is so refreshing to see someone take Diabetes seriously. You have helped to inspire me. I wish you continued success on your journey.

Dirk Baeuerle said...

Thanks for the comment. My mom thinks I should post this, but if I do not do that, then my actions are of no value to me at all. By doing this, by posting everything that happens with diabetes, I hold myself accountable. It is so easy to fall off the rocker. I did it for 2-3 months, not being strict on my diet and I think that by doing that I caused this issue to develop. I am thankful it was not worse. I am also eternally grateful to the excellent medical staff we have here. Money is no issue. Without an excellent staff to treat you, whether you have insurance or not, you won't be around to talk about it. If more people would understand that, then I think the world, when it comes to health care, would be a better place.
God Bless You,