I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hospital visit...

Well guys, I have had a rough couple of days. Just a note to let you know that I have been in the hospital for a couple of days. I am home now & doing alright, but it has been a rough couple of days. Long story short, after many test in the emergency room they found that I have what is called a "Schatzki Ring". This is described as smooth, benign, circumferential, and narrow ring of tissue in the lower end of the esophagus (the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach). These rings are located just above the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. These rings are common, occurring in more than 6% of the population. The cause of these rings is not clearly understood. The majority of these rings cause no symptoms, and most patients are unaware of their presence. When the opening of the esophagus becomes smaller as the diameter of these rings shrink, solid, poorly chewed food (such as steak, turkey, frankfurter) can get caught at the level of the ring. The patient then experiences chest pain, or sticking sensation in the chest with swallowing (referred to as dysphagia; difficulty swallowing). If the food bolus passes into the stomach, these symptoms subside quickly and the patient can resume eating. If the food bolus dose not pass into the stomach, some patients have to regurgitate the obstructed bolus of food before they can resume eating. Rarely, the bolus becomes impacted (the food bolus cannot pass nor can it be regurgitated:this is what happened to me). These patients experience continued chest pain and difficulty handling saliva and secretions. A flexible endoscope has to be inserted through the mouth into the esophagus to extract the impacted food to relieve obstruction (this is what I had done).

Anyway, I became very acutely ill & couldn't breathe. I had an EGD at about 3:00 in the morning the other night & subsequently from all of the stress on my body my heart went into a very fast irregular heart beat known as Atrial Fibrillation. The biggest danger from this a stroke as your heart does not pump out blood to your brain & organs properly so they have to get it stopped & your heart back into a regular rhythm as quickly as possible. After about five hours of drips & medications my heart converted back into a normal sinus rhythm. I was in the hospital only a couple of days. Next week I will have an outpatient Echocardiogram on my heart (a type of an ultrasound) just to make sure that the Atrial Fib was just from the stress of being so sick & that there is nothing more serious going on with my heart that we need to be concerned about. Then, following that I will have a follow up appointment with my doctor to do some follow up labs & to go over the results of my Echocardiogram.

It has not been a fun couple of days. I hate to be sick & I hate to go to the doctor, much less the hospital. However, when I couldn't breathe (my oxygen level had gotten down to 84%-no wonder, (suppose to be about 96-100) I knew that it was time to go to the ER. Today, I am at home resting. I am feeling better, just tired, have a sort throat & weak.

Just wanted to let you all know what was going on. Will keep you posted.