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Old 06-20-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Medical Emergencies - A good outcome.

This is really just a story to help folks considering going FT understand that things happen and be smart and prepared.

We hit the FT road Nov 2013 so now we have a solid 6 months of it. 3 1/2 were spent in the TX RGV so, to be honest, on the road time is closer to 3 months. As I am typing I am in a Glasgow, KY hospital after a rough few days. Ah...but don't worry about that, I should be OUTA HERE before the end of day.

The short version is that on Tuesday at about 3 a.m. I had a 105* temp and passed out in the bathroom. Dumb me talked my wife out of the ambulance trip but we did get to the emergency room later that morning. I was treated with antibiotics, given fluids, blood samples taken and the temp got close to normal. Late that evening I went home to our MH @ Cave County RV Park in Cave City, KY.

Wednesday was up and down. I didn't feel bad but temps were a little up and down and morning sweats were fearsome.

We had plans to be in Elkhart, IN by Friday to go to Bradd & Hall to have a sofa removed and recliner installed. Then by Monday we would be in Charlotte, MI at the Spartan factory for our annual service. Trying to be smart we moved B&H to Monday and Spartan to Tuesday. With that I made plans to go back to the hospital and have my back looked at. I was in terrible pain during the nights and I suspected the fall "twisted" something. I also thought the extra time was good for recuperation and maybe we could sneak in a tour of Mammoth Cave.

Thursday we went back to the Urgent Care side of the hospital and really were expecting something different than we found. The Doctor listened to my heart, ordered an EKG and sent me directly to the Emergency room. My heart was in AFib

We drive about 1/2 mile to the ER where someone was waiting with a wheel chair and I was whisked directly to Trauma Room 1 and the fun began. More blood, EKGs, Chest X-rays, 3 IV lines, a heart echo sonogram and I'm now laying there waiting for what ever news we get. The ER doctor was concerned I had an infection around the heart. After a couple hours she comes back and with a grin says good news...you have pneumonia. Based on every test so far the AFib might have been directly caused by the pneumonia and nothing more sinister like enlarged heart and stuff like that.

So...back to the fact I'm still in the hospital but expect to be released today.

What do we think we have learned through this?

1. Always have an emergency medical plan package. The package should include basic health information, insurance information, living wills and power of attorney documents. If you can have more detailed medical records on a memory stick, all the better. It should be easy to grab and go. A big red envelope could be the way to go.

2. Slow down and recuperate. In our case it was fortunate that we moved some appointments around and did the follow up check on my back. Certainly it was pure luck that looking at my back revealed the coronary issue but deciding to be smart vs in a hurry really paid off.

3. When you are in a place to take care of stuff that might not seem so bad at the time, consider getting it done anyway. While my back was killing me, I really thought it was just an aggregation of a known condition. Taking the added time to recuperate and using that to revisit the back thing was smart.

This could have gotten real ugly if I was in a traveling status, gutting it out and getting really sick. This was especially true since I was not having any of the symptoms I expected to be associated with pneumonia. I was basically NOT having any symptoms.

Be especially cautious if you are in areas with limited health care facilities. There can be lots of space between them in states like WY, ND & SD.

Finally, be glad if you are in a good place where you don't need to go. Cave Country RV Park did and OUTSTANDING job! As soon as I went to the hospital on Tuesday and told them I didn't know about our Wednesday planned departure they locked up our site from the reservation system until we told them we were mended and ready to leave. They even were prepared to convert any additional days to weekly/monthly rates if things got more serious.

I'm betting some others might toss out some ideas for me and others to consider.

BE HEALTHY!
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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That's a story and a half. Glad you're on the mend. Great advice .
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time and sharing.
Take care.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:13 AM   #4
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So glad you got the help you needed quickly and are on the mend!

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure you've saved someone heartache in the future.

Get well soon.

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Old 06-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #5
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Glad to hear you're on the mend.

We, too, have had a few emergencies during our travels and everything turned out easy to do.

One involved shoulder injury requiring the wife to drive the RV back to our wintering spot. This was in late Oct. and we were in the northern mountains where we didn't want to spend our winter. It's very important that the wife know how to drive the RV and do the hookups.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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Glad all is well
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:59 AM   #7
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Glad it turned out OK ,don't have a MH yet but looking ,this should go to the top of the fulltimers section ,as something WE all should remember
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:33 PM   #8
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Glad your on the mend! We purchased a medical package from good sam that will get you home and also get someone to return your mh as well. I forget the name of the package but it was only about $80.00 a year. I highly recommend it to all travelers.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #9
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Well. part of your story sounds like my last Sept/Oct. Glad we both survived..

Now: Medic-alert ... They can store a complete medical history on their servers including religious preference if you wish.. And they send you a set of Dog Tags.. Doctor calls number on tag, and his fax spits out more info than you can imagine.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #10
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Don....
Just a thought....

I think soneone told me thst you had gastric bypass a few years ago.... I did as well, 8 years ago, About 3 years ago i began having afib.... Mine would be usually at night... After EKG, chem stress test,and several months of watching, etc... My doctor finally decided to check my ferritin level... It was 7, they want it to be 100. I am iron deficiency anemic, and now when it gets low, i get a series of iron infusions, kinda like chemo... It is amazing... It is not something that is regularly checked..... For me, oral iron is worthless..... But i had gotten to where it was an effort to ealk from the bed to the couch....

Anyway... Just a thought......


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Old 06-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #11
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Diane,

Have you tried ferrous gluconate? Get away from the sulfate and see if that improves your absorption.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Diane,

Have you tried ferrous gluconate? Get away from the sulfate and see if that improves your absorption.

Barb

Thanks, but tried every oral iron there was.... I have had 5 sets of iron infusion series. But there is a new one that is a one day infusion that will get next time.... Apparently this happens in about 20% of gastric bypass


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Old 06-20-2014, 08:58 PM   #13
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Happy all turned out well for you. Many more years of FT in your future.

Thanks for sharing and the insights. Well worth the read.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diwizi View Post
Don....
Just a thought.......
I had a vertical sleeve about 2.5 years ago. Just finished all the annual blood work and no problem there for me.

I was released today and the cardiologist feels that pneumonia was the direct cause of this bout of AFib. However, he did mention that he felt he had seen some kind of relationship between weight loss surgery and increased incidence of Afib.

Him...in perspective, the WLS improved my health soooo much after loosing 150# that my risk factors for not having lost that compared to a slight increase of having Afib is still much higher. Even with that said, AFib itself is not critical unless it is uncontrollable. Everyone has occasional bouts of AFib especially as they get older. Knowing about it allows you to take the precautions needed to avoid blood clots such as taking low dose aspirin or any of the other alternative drugs as indicated.
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