Going where I had never gone before and never intended going to.

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April 1st 2014
Published: June 22nd 2014
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St Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, Texas
March 30 – Harmony - I have been getting progressively shorter and shorter of breath in the past few months and able to do less and less without stopping to rest and get my breath back. I basically had to find a place to sit down or stand till I got my breath back. When I was in Playa del Carmen I managed to do what I wanted to do but had to walk as little as 100 feet at a time without having to stop at a place to sit down, or stop and stand, to get my breath back, then go another 100 feet or so.

I must have looked bad because while I was exploring the ruins at Tulum and was sitting down to get my breath back a stranger walked over and looked me right in the face and asked me if I was OK. I told him I was ok, but was just getting my breath back from the climbing, which wasn’t true. I was just “tuffing it out”, but knew when I got back to Texas I would have to break with a lifelong habit and go to the doctor which I never do
Back from cat scan.Back from cat scan.Back from cat scan.

My sister Debbie and her granddaughter KK came by to visit me when I got back from my CT scan
because anytime I had been sick or whatever my strong body had thrown it off. And my opinion of doctors was that they only want to give you prescriptions for drugs and I don’t want to get locked into taking some kinds of drugs for the rest of my life.

It had really gotten bad last summer when I was touring Colorado once again when most of the time I only wanted to sleep or rest and my stomach felt “rotten”. But I toughed it out there as well and toured all over Colorado.

Actually I think that my condition had caused me to come back earlier from the New Mexico trip to the balloon fest as well. I just kept hoping that whatever was bothering me would get better eventually, but that was not the case.

Even so I had gotten back from Playa on the 5th of March and didn’t finally give in till the 30th of March when I went out from my RV to my truck just to get something out of it and had to stop and hold the side of the truck while I got my breath back. I figured I had to go to the doctor and find out what the problem was. .

April 1 – I Loaded up my truck and headed over to the my sister’s house in Bryan for a few days.

My shortness of breath with mild exertion or just walking a bit has become too acute, so I will have to get it checked out.

I talked it over with my brother Danny and Mom and Danny said the clinic by Saint Joseph was a good place to go so that is the plan for tomorrow.

April 2 – I had my brother Danny take me to the Saint Joseph Express by Saint Joseph Hospital, because of my acute shortness of breath with mild exertion. I was attended to by Dr. D. She did some blood test and had some chest X rays done. She said they found some dark spots on my lungs and would let me know the other test results when they got them.

I filled out some forms with questions replying that I had never smoked, didn’t drink, didn’t have diabetes, and didn’t take any drugs medicinal or otherwise, etc.

I also got an EKG and it came out normal.

I paid $35.50 and the rest was submitted to my insurance.

I was set up for an appointment for a CAT scan at St Joseph hospital for the next day at 12:30.

April 3 – Thursday - I was called at 08:40 by Dr D. and told that I needed to go to the emergency room at St Joseph for a blood transfusion. The test showed that I was severely anemic. My hemoglobin should be 12 but was 6. She said she had already called the hospital and they would be expecting me.

So I got my brother Danny up and got dressed and went to the hospital. The emergency room was uncrowded and I got checked right in.

They took more blood for testing and did an EKG on me again, as well as checked out my vitals etc.

They also gave me some consent forms to sign.

They checked my blood type and it was B+

After a lengthy stay in the Emergency Room where I was checked out by a resident physician while the other doctors watched and I presume advised I was moved to a room upstairs.

I was checked into a private room on the 4th floor. They checked my vitals etc. again and then they took me to have a CAT scan of my chest. They put some kind of iodine coloring via my IV port so they could get a clearer image. I was also given another chest X ray.

After I got back from my CAT scan a doctor M. came in after a bit and said he was going to perform a colonoscopy on me the next day. They seemed to believe I had a colon cancer tumor which was bleeding and so was causing me to be severely anemic. I found it hard to believe that I could have cancer but said OK and they set up the procedure for the next day.

I also had my first unit of blood transfused into me . The blood transfusion took about 3 hours. I had thought they do it into a vein in my arm but they did it into a vein in my hand where the arm meets the hand.

I got my second transfusion of blood around 9:30 PM that night.

I guess they have to allow a little time between the transfusions.

After my transfusions I settled in for the night. For the first time since I could remember my life was in other people’s hands but I must say that the professional and courteous manner of the nurses and doctors had me at ease. I pretty much knew that all I could do was wait and let them do their work and see how things played out. Still I very much wanted to just get up and get dressed and get out of there, which I knew I had every legal right to do. But I knew I had to stay and find out what the problem was.

The internal bleeding had caused me to be severely anemic and my resting heart rate was 95 which was high. This was because since the blood had low hemoglobin it was carrying less oxygen and so my heart was having to pump harder to keep the blood circulating more.

I didn’t believe it was cancer but maybe an ulcer or something. At no point had I seen any blood in my stool as they kept asking me over and over. They collected some to check when I went to the bathroom and I minutely checked it out after I did it but still didn’t find any blood.

So I settled in for the night and waited. My brother Danny stayed for a while but I told him he may as well go and I would see him tomorrow afternoon.


22nd June 2014

It's been a few months since you were in the hospital...
so I pray everything turned out well, and that you don't have cancer. Please don't leave us hanging.
23rd June 2014

William I am so sorry to hear about your health issues. I am certainly glad you didn't have any acute issues while you were out of the country. I will send you a private message.
25th June 2014

shortness of breath
Thanks. I was able a bit to downplay my shortness of breath while I was in Colorado, rationalizing it as the altitude. But Playa del Carmen was at sea level so that didn't work there. I knew I was going to have to find out what the problem was when I got back. This was the first time in my life that I had a health problem that my healthy body didn't throw off after a bit. It just wouldn't go away.

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