Thursday, June 11, 2020

Updates and News

As some may have noticed, and I know some did, I've been a bit slower than usual these past few weeks in my output of posts for the Mystagogy Resource Center. This has been mainly for four reasons.

1. There has been a lot of crazy stuff in the news over the past few weeks - not just with the riots and the virus and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Godzilla and all that, but also within the Church. And when there is crazy stuff in the news, people give in to the craziness and become a little crazy themselves. I try to read the atmosphere in which I decide to put things out into the world, and it seems like the last thing people wanted was what I have to offer. It is always my goal to never be bothered by anything that goes on the world, at least not too much, which is why every time I wrote something I realized that people would have absolutely no interest in this right now, so I'm just gonna wait.

2. I opened up five new websites for subscribers only, but they have been giving me a lot more trouble than I anticipated. Because of this I've been looking into other platforms to host these sites, but nothing is working out. This has all taken a lot more time than I expected, though I think now I've figured out what I am going to do, and I will make that announcement probably tomorrow to those who are subscribers.

3. The nice weather has come and I decided to take a few road trips and went on some explorations throughout New England. Maybe in the future I'll start sharing my experiences.

4. Just as I was settling down and things were gonna get back to normal, on Sunday I came down with some really bad lower back pain and upper abdominal bloating. This has been slowly creeping up on me for a few weeks. Sunday afternoon however, as I was doing my laundry and getting ready to see a movie at my local drive-in theater, I came to a point where it became difficult to move because my heartbeat was quickly increasing with every movement. My resting heartbeat for about 4 or 5 hours was at 100 beats per minute, and if I went to the kitchen to grab some water or to the bathroom to get dressed, my heartbeat would shoot up to about 120 to 125 beats per minute, leaving me winded. I called my doctor and the doctor on duty told me to go to the emergency room, just in case it's something serious. So I went.

I arrived around 7:30pm Sunday evening, hoping I wasn't going to be exposed to a bunch of patients with the coronavirus, but surprisingly I was only one of two emergency patients there, despite the big outbreak we have had in Massachusetts, and even more surprisingly I was in one of the top five hospitals in Boston. I was told they only had a few coronavirus patients there, but they were in a separate section. In fact, the doctors wished they had more patients, because they know a lot of people with dangerous health symptoms are staying home out of fear of catching the coronavirus. When I told the doctor everything that was going on, he told me that they were going to do everything they can to figure out what was happening, so I better get ready to be put through some rigorous tests and prepare to stay at least the night.

First they had to draw blood, which takes about an hour for me. Every doctor that has ever taken my blood has told me that I am by far the most difficult patient they have ever had to draw blood from. Locating my veins and penetrating them is quite difficult, to the point that it takes multiple stabs until they get it. My record is about 22 stabs. This time they used an ultrasound machine to locate my veins, so it still took about an hour and around 8 or 9 stabs, but the time they left the needles in me was several minutes. It was a bloody mess, and it is always a bit unnerving when you gush warm blood over your arm, though I have gotten used to the whole thing and have come to a point of even guiding the doctors as they are stabbing me because they are always left dumbfounded.

After this I got my chest shaved for an EKG, got some chest x-rays, had an ultrasound done mainly to check out my liver and gall bladder, and waited. Then the nurse came in to administer the Covid-19 test, which was very uncomfortable but quick. I only slept about an hour total the first night. I think a coronavirus patient came in, because there was a crazy amount of vomiting going down a few rooms from me that was getting me a bit nauseous. The next morning I was told that my Covid-19 test was negative.

In the morning I was taken to get a stress test. This wasn't an ordinary stress test, but a top of the line stress test where everything is checked as they administer something into my heart to make it work as if I was strenuously exercising. It was pretty weird lying down and feeling like you are out of breath and exercising, but I was surprised how much it made my legs and neck feel pain.

That evening I had to have an MRI done. Because I needed to have the contrast dye injected into my heart for the MRI, I needed to take precautions since I'm allergic to the contrast dye and almost had a heart attack from it about five years ago. To prevent this reaction, I was given a steroid shot and Benadryl. The problem is, I am very sensitive to Benadryl so I got very drowsy from it, though I think the steroid shot helped alleviate my back pain. When the MRI was done and the contrast was shot through my heart, my heart only beat a little bit extra, so it went well and I returned to my room. After I ate dinner, I was told I needed to get another MRI because the first one didn't get good enough images. So I went through it again.

When all these things were done, I was told to stay the night again in case they needed another stress test or something else. I was transferred to another section of the hospital because a few new coronavirus patients were admitted next to my room. However, as I was sleeping my blood oxygen levels were getting dangerously low so my nurse had to have me breathe in oxygen as long as I was lying down to sleep. This got me a bit nervous. I hardly slept again, but at one point when I did I woke up panicked to the sound of a lady screaming "water!" over and over again at the top of her lungs. I'm not sure why, but I heard she was in a big car accident.

One thing they had also found was that I possibly had a clot in my lung. This was why I had the MRI done. By the time the morning came I was told my heart looked good, my arteries looked good, my lungs looked good, my blood looked good, except for a slight elevation of white blood cells and a bit of fatty liver. So when I asked what was wrong, they said it was probably just acid reflux and a slight virus in my lungs.

I was finally out of the hospital Tuesday morning and I was feeling great for some reason. I had a bunch of energy and started getting things done. At one point though, since I only got about three hours total sleep in over 48 hours, I decided to take a nap, but now I was nervous I was going to die in my sleep because when I slept my blood oxygen levels were going dangerously down. I slept with some caution and nervousness.

This morning I finally talked to my doctor via Zoom to discuss the results, and he is convinced I had the coronavirus, despite the negative test result. When I finally got to talking about my blood oxygen levels, which have slightly improved, he had to attend another meeting and made another appointment with me tomorrow. I feel good now in every way, except my blood oxygen levels when I sleep are impossible for me to monitor and it makes me nervous. It is what it is I guess. Hopefully it will resolve soon.

Starting tomorrow, God willing, things should start getting back to normal for me and my regular post output.