It’s been almost a year and I don’t know where to start. My family and I have been through another rough patch to say the least. Getting older is not easy on anyone let alone people who are dwarfs. My husband and I are encountering some health issues due to age and our stature. None of it is fun.
Last spring, Rich came home from a business trip. It was late at night when he arrived and he was as white as a ghost. He told me that he thought he was going to die while he was in Las Vegas. He couldn’t breathe or walk. It scared the crap out of him and me. He called his doctor while in Vegas and had an appointment for the next morning.
To back up a little, Rich hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in 3 years. He has been sleeping sitting up in a chair and he can only sleep for about 2 hours straight. Sleeping in a bed is a luxury to him. His hips have deteriorated so bad that it hurts him to sleep not to mention he has severe sinus issues due to the cartilage in his forehead.
The next day Rich had blood drawn and his physician prescribed Ambien to help him sleep in bed. We were hesitant to try it but also desperate for Rich to get some much needed rest. Taking the Ambien was the worse decision we ever made in our married life! Rich had the worse hallucinations all night from the medicine. Sleep never came that night. He was trying to ‘run’ which is not good for a man who walks with crutches. I stayed up with him all night because I was terrified of him hurting himself.
In the morning the doctor called and wanted Rich to be taken to the ER asap. His blood work showed that there was a problem with his heart. Rich was out of it by the time the doctor called and I couldn’t move him thus I had to call an ambulance to take him.
To make a long story short, Rich was admitted to the ICU Cardiac Care unit. His heart rate was all over the place and his lungs were filled with fluid. I thought I was going to loose him. Poor Ashley was in a daze. She couldn’t see her daddy because he was in the ICU. God Bless our wonderful friends who helped me with Ashley until family could arrive.
At first they thought he had congenital heart failure but the tests came back negative. They were puzzled as to what was going on.While in the hospital, Rich had a constant flow of oxygen, which led to him sleeping comfortable in a bed. Eventually the fluid left his lungs and after a week he was let home.
Now being home required him living on oxygen all the time. Machines and canisters were brought into our home. This scared the crap out of me. I thought this is the end, this is how it will be. I cried every night by myself with the doors closed and the lights out. I didn’t know how I would go on without him and most importantly how Ashley would do without her dad. She is such a daddy’s girl and this would devastate her for the rest of her life.
The Pulmonary physician ordered a sleep study for him. Again nothing is ever easy. Sleep study equipment is not really made for dwarfs. After 5 attempts at sleep studies, they discovered Rich had severe Sleep Apnea. He actually stops breathing not once but several times during the night. This loss of oxygen is what caused the fluid build up and the sinus issues. It was the reason why he hasn’t been sleeping in bed for the past three years.
I went out and bought a bed that can be adjusted so he sleeps slightly propped up at night and he has a C-pap machine. After 4 months, he went off of oxygen during the day. He still needs it if he is going to walk far. His oxygen levels finally went back up to 95. When he first went into the hospital his oxygen levels were 77. Normal levels are 95! He is sleeping through the night in bed and his heart rate is back to normal. His shoes are big because he no longer has water retention.
Last week, we finally had a much need family vacation at Disney. Rich did wonderful around the park! His hips never bothered him and his oxygen levels were fabulous without oxygen.It was the first time in almost three years that it seemed life was finally getting back to normal.
Moral of this story, if you are a dwarf and feeling blah, go get a sleep study ASAP! If you are an average size person and feeling crappy, go get a sleep study ASAP!!!!
I will try to post more and keep you updated but I don’t know what curve balls life will throw at us again. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Take care and be safe.