I awoke. The scene was a darkened hospital room. In the chair in the corner I saw a figure wrapped in a blanket. It was my son. I must be dreaming because he's 500 miles away at college. They probably gave me some IV dilaudid with the steroids. That always knocks out my memory and gives me sweet dreams. I thought it was late Monday night. I must have slept all day. The next time I awoke my son was smiling right in my face teasing me, "So you decided to join us?" He was really there holding my hand. This scene was real.
It was the next morning before I realized a week had past. I had missed the climax in the plot of a medical drama that starred me. I was told I was at a different hospital ICU. I found out that I had not fainted. I stopped breathing. It was CODE BLUE! My heart stopped beating. Unable to be resuscitated I was put on life support and flown by helicopter from my home town to the nearest major medical center for emergency cardiac surgery and had been on life support until God's grace brought me out. A real tear jerking happy ending. Miracles don't just happen in the MOVIES.
In summary, my heart stopped as a result of cardiac tamponade, which is caused by a large or uncontrolled pericardial effusion, i.e. the buildup of fluid inside the pericardium. This commonly occurs as a result of chest trauma, but may have other causes. My case was due to inflammatory response of my lupus as well as complications from taking anticoagulant therapy to manage my other illness, APS. Both lupus and APS or Antiphospholipid Syndrome are invisible incurable autimmune illness that may be life threatening. Unfortunately the only drugs available to manage these diseases have toxic side effects themselves. Apparently my lupus had caused pericarditis (inflamed my heart sac) whilst my anticoagulants had lowered my blood clotting ability allowing 3.5 liters of blood [imagine 3 large 1 L pop bottles] to fill up the pericardium squeezing the heart until it stopped beating.
Update: All my tubes are gone. Chest staples removed. ECG looking great. I have made remarkable recovery considering the surgeons warned my loved ones I might not even survive the surgery. Its two months later, I am recovering at home back in front of the tube with my laptop tweeting and watching TCM ...
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