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Sat. March 3 to Fri. March 9- Leadville Skijoring, Denver hospital

As many of you know, I am behind on the blog since I have been ill and was hospitalized for 10 days in St. Anthony’s in Denver. Here is the story.

Saturday- Our friends from the SMSC left at 5 this morning. At 11, Wayne and Margie picked me up and Brian and Kathy picked up Bob and the six of us headed to Leadville for the International Skijoring tournament.  Skijoring is done with a horseback rider pulling a skier behind them, on trucked in snow, down the main street of the town. The skier has to fly over three jumps, and between the jumps has to pick up 3 rings on his/her arm. There are points for the jumping and the number of rings picked up.  By the time the really good contestants raced, my foot was bothering me and I went into a coffee bar and sat down.

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There is a lot of betting that goes on. Certain riders and horses are hot betting contestants. It was a lot of fun to watch. One time a skier went over the high jump and flew in the air, landing on his butt. We could hear it and it was not a good sound! Another time, one of the riders fell off her horse. Some of the volunteers  were trying to catch the horse. The skier stayed connected until they got to the horse, but that horse turned right around and went back to check on his rider! It was very interesting to watch, as you could see that the horse was very concerned about the rider!

After the tournament was over, we wandered through some of the shops. Then we went to dinner at Quincy’s. Wayne had made 5 PM reservations, and it was a good thing. They were turning people away. Quincy only has 3 items on their menu. Sirloin, Prime Rib and a vegetarian item. They had an excellent house wine and beer. We were not driving, so that was fun! They might not be there next year, as there is fight going on with the building owner. That would be a shame, as the food was excellent.

Sunday-  Bob took my GSA day. I had PT at 11:20. On my way to the appointment I developed a terrible heartburn. I do mean terrible! The worst I ever had. So on the way home, I stopped at City Market for some Mylanta. It did not touch it. I laid down and took a short nap. Took more Mylanta, which again, did nothing. I check with the Urgent Care, and they were not open, so I figured that I should go to the BMC ( Breck Medical Center). I was having chest pain, radiating to my back at the time also. So since I could not get relief from this awful pain, I went to the BMC, When Bob called me, I asked him to meet me there. Our plan had been to go to happy hour with the Sunday GSA’s.

When I arrived, with my symptoms, they immediately assumed that I was having a heart attack. I explained to the nurse that I was pretty sure that it was heartburn, with the amount of burning pain I was having. Other than the pain radiating to my back, I had no other symptoms. So they put me in a regular room, drew blood to check my cardiac enzymes, and did an EKG. The EKG tech scared me. When the strip spit out of the machine, she grabbed it and took off, without saying anything! My thought was oh no, maybe I am having a heart attack! She came back in and said that the machine was misfiring. So she changed the leads and ran it again. It was normal.  So was the troponin, the cardiac enzyme. Since I have been taking Celebrex for the ankle, I thought I had developed an ulcer. Little did we know at the point! Anyway, they gave me a  GI cocktail, which is Lidocaine, Maalox, and Donnatal.( it tasted awful) It worked and I got immediate relief.  So we went home and ate a small dinner.

Monday- I was very tired all day, so we stayed in and rested. We went to dinner at the Senior Center for the Chicken Marsala, which was very good.

Tuesday- I woke up with a terrible sinus headache, which I got under control. But, I felt lousy all day. I went to PT, then  I slept most of the day.

Wednesday- I felt okay, so I went water aerobics. I returned home and picked up Margie to go to lunch in Frisco. We were supposed to go yesterday, but I felt so bad that we changed days. On the way to Frisco, I developed heartburn again. Not as bad this time. When I arrived home, I checked my med book, and took an extra Pepcid, as it would not be an overdose. I had been told by the BMC doctor to take Mylanta and Pepcid daily for a week. I already had an appointment with a local doctor for next week.

We went to the evening wine and cheese. I still had the heartburn, but it was manageable. I took a couple of pain pills and went to bed.

Thursday- I woke up feeling okay. I ate cereal for breakfast. Bob’s dermatology appointment was scheduled for today and our plan was to go there, then over to Silverthorne and Dillon on some errands. So much for the best laid plans!

Just as I was stepping out of the motor home, I developed severe chest pain. No heartburn! Just awful pain, like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Bob and I jumped in the car and headed to the BMC. By the time I arrived, I was dripping wet with sweat. Bob’s comment in the car was that I looked like I was passing a kidney stone again! Wrong spot, but same pain.

I walked into the BMC and told the gal at the desk my symptoms. My phone rang and I hit ignore. It rang again, so I answered. It was one of the nurses, Steve , calling to tell me my H-pyloris ( the bacteria which causes ulcers, was negative, as well as my other blood work from Sunday).  I told him I was in the waiting room with cardiac symptoms. The rushed me back to a stretcher and treated me for a heart attack, giving me NTG ( nitroglycerine tablets)x 2 and 4 baby aspirin. The doc was watching me carefully, as the pain was not relieved. They gave me 4 mg of Morphine, which helped. Again, the EKG was negative. The doc said, I don’t know what is wrong with you, but I am going to transfer you to the hospital in Frisco which has more equipment. I had Bob continue to his dermatology appointment, as he had changed it two time already, so I called him and told him what was going on. The ambulance arrived and took me to Frisco.

At the hospital in Frisco, I saw Dr. Jack. He was very nice, and actually listened to me. So in addition to continuing the cardiac work-up, he ordered an abdominal sonogram. On the sonogram, they found that my common bile duct, in the liver, was distended. Ah ha! So they sent me for a CT scan. Then they sent me for an MRI. Since I am claustrophobic, they  gave me some Ativan. I remember the tech saying to me, Denise, hold your breath, a couple of times, but with the morphine and Ativan, I was in la la land!  I had a 7 –10 mm gall stone in my liver. This is rare. I do not have a gall bladder, as it had been removed in 2005.

So, Dr. Jack said he needed me to go to St. Anthony’s in Denver, since they could not take care of me there. Fortunately, all of these facilities are with Centura, and are in our health plan. 

I don’t remember much. I don’t remember leaving the ER; I remember being at the motor home. Bob had called Brian and Kathy to take care of the dogs. When we arrived at the motor home, they were walking them. I remember Brian and Kathy coming into the motor home and me asking Brian to grab the red suitcase from the shelf in the motor home. Brian is very tall and I could not reach it. I don’t remember anything else The next thing I remember is sitting in the lobby of the hospital, waiting for a wheelchair to take me to my room. Bob said I slept the entire trip.

I was admitted to the surgical/oncology floor. St. Anthony’s is a new hospital, which opened in June of last year. It is a beautiful place, with all the latest equipment. They really built it right! Since it is a level 1 trauma center, there were helicopters arriving all the time. My private room, was right next to the helipad, and we hardly heard a thing!

Friday- We thought that they were going to try to get this stone out of me today! No, now they wanted to wait to see if it would pass. The hospitalist wanted to send me home! The GI docs would not touch it,so now it was up to Interventional Radiology(IR). I kept telling anyone who would listen that no, I was not leaving until they took out this stone! The doc’s were not communicating with each other, as we found out later, that I had to be on Rocephin ( a very strong antibiotic ) for 72 hours prior to any procedure. Wish they had told us and the hospitalist. So I sat in the hospital. Fortunately, there are futons in each of the rooms, so Bob was able to stay with me, at no extra cost.

One Response

  1. My oh my! What an ordeal you have been through. Hope your days get better and brighter. Lets go RVing….

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