512 PABL – Off To The Hospital To Get Checked Out

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 7, 2012

in Our Blog, Pursuing A Balanced Life

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Click Here For The Latest – Update #7 – Final Update

Update #1
January 7, 2012 2:40 PM – So here I am. I am sitting in my office/studio and I am packing up my briefcase with all my tech gear for what could be a few hours, days, or potentially weeks at my local hospital.

I don’t mean to alarm anyone by my first post here, but on Thursday morning, I had experienced a twitch/spasm in my left eye. I’ve had these in the past and they were typically due to stress or going extended periods of time without having enough sleep. The thing is, however, that I have been getting plenty of sleep lately and haven’t been experiencing much stress due to the successful steps of adding so much more margin to my life.

By the end of the day, Thursday, the eye spasms continued and I assumed that perhaps I was experiencing some subconscious stress or fear about sharing a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT about the future of the content here at gspn.tv. If you haven’t yet heard about that, you can read and hear all about that by clicking here.

I wasn’t too worried. I was a bit surprised, but the feedback from the announcement has been 100% positive so far. Sure, some folks have expressed a bit of sadness that some shows were no longer going to be produced, but everyone had shared that they understood the reasons that I had shared and I’d say that well over 99% have shared that they were extremely optimistic about what this means for the content that will continue as we move forward.

I also figured that if my left eye spasms were somehow tied to that stress, that they would go away over night.

However, Friday morning, I woke up and began to work on the various items that I had laid out for myself on my to do list.

I am going to insert here that I forgot to tell you that I had an issue where I slept on my left arm the wrong way. I had a bit of pain in my shoulder when I moved my left arm around. I also figured this would go away.

Back to Friday.. I was sitting here working and I noticed that I started to feel a little bit of “numbness/tingling” from the tips of my fingers up through my arm, in through my shoulder and into the area right behind my left side of my chest cage. It was more like a “sensation.” This didn’t bother me much at all. I thought maybe I had a pinched nerve.

About 11am on Friday, January 6th, I noticed that the left side of my check and lips started to have a numbness sensation as well. Almost as though I was just at the end of having novocaine from a dental visit wearing off. Though, it was very much limited precisely to the left side of my mouth and face.

These were the only symptoms that I had experienced and I was having no problem thinking clearly. In fact, I spent most of the day working on things like my new consulting page on my business website. I didn’t have any issues with dropping facial features, no slurred speech, no headaches, no problem with balance, and no problem writing or understanding human speech.

I didn’t tell Stephanie about this until it had been going on for several hours. Though, I will share that I had experienced other symptoms of things before this and the eye spasms on Thursday. In a future update, I will share more about what I had experienced and why I never shared it with ANYONE.

I had asked Stephanie to simply keep an eye on my through the day yesterday and I promised if I thought it was getting any worse, I would immediately agree to go to the hospital. It never got worse and so I never went to the hospital.

This morning, I woke up feeling no worse that I did yesterday. In fact, I feel just fine. Though I can still tell that there is the “VERY SLIGHTEST SENSATION” on just the left side of my body. It don’t know if I would call it numbness or tingling, but just something that doesn’t feel like it should and it is exactly ONLY ON THE LEFT SIDE of my body.

This afternoon, I reached out to my friend Robert Johnson. I think I knew that I needed someone to tell me to go to the hospital to get checked out. Something that I did not want to do.

Again, in a later post, I will share why I didn’t want to go to the hospital and how those reasons fly right in the face of what I say I believe about God’s provision and the amazing insights that I had recently gained about what I believe God has prepared for me on the journey again.

So… In spite of the fears that I will tell you about in future updates, I am on my way to the hospital to get checked out. I’m praying that it is nothing serious. I will share that I do have fears right now. And I do ask that you will please keep me in your prayers.

I will be very much monitoring and responding to comments left on this post throughout this ordeal. I imagine that this one blog post will end up having well over 1,000 comments before all is said and done. Rather than create new blog posts with updates. I will add further updates below. At the top of the post, I will clearly indicate which post is the latest.

I know that as I share this, those of you in the community would want to know what is happening. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.

I’m off to the hospital now. Just got to get my MacBook Air.

I wonder if I can get Stephanie to stop at Chipotle on our way. – LOL


 
Update #2
January 7, 2012 5:09 PM – I’m here at the the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, Kentucky. I bet some of you thought I was kidding about stopping at Chipotle. Well, I wasn’t. I decided to drive, so Stephanie and I stopped at Chipotle on our way to the hospital and I had my burrito bowl with white rice, black beans, grilled chicken, tomato salsa, and cheese.

You see, the last time I came to the Emergency room, I was admitted to the hospital and was forced to stay for nine days. This was when I had my gallbladder and appendix removed. During that stay, they didn’t allow me to eat food for six or seven days straight.

After we had Chipotle, I asked Stephanie if she wanted to stop any place else. There is no doubt that I wanted to do anything and everything to avoid the inevitable, ending up here at the ER. I was able talk her into stopping at Starbucks to get her a Chai Tea Latte with Sugar Free Vanilla with Non Fat Milk and no water.

Unfortunately, that only delayed us another ten to fifteen minutes.

Oh wait… I forgot to mention. Before we pulled into Chipotle, I noticed that the van had ticking noise. The oil level was obviously a bit too low. It has a known issue where it spits oil out on one of the spark plugs. So after Chipotle, and before Starbucks, I did stop at a gas station and purchased two quarts of oil, which I then put into the engine.

So, back to my story… After Starbucks, I drove us here to the Emergency Room. I signed myself in, told them my symptoms and they gave me a wristband.

So far, I’ve been taken back to have an EKG ran and now I am sitting here, in the waiting room, for them to have me come back and see a doctor.

That’s it for now.

Depending on where I end up later tonight, I will share with you the reasons why I’ve taken so long to get checked out. Though I’ll quickly share with you the other symptoms that I’d been experiencing since late October, 2011. I don’t know for sure, but I believe they are unrelated to the numbness on one side of my face symptoms that started yesterday morning.

Some of you know, from listening to my various podcasters, that I had another upper respiratory/sinus infection back in October, just before my trip to the West Coast.

Ever since that time, i had been experiencing a pain in my chest area. It was especially bad if I had been working all day, leaning forward, and then stood up. The feeling was as though the bones in my chest area were bruised badly. I thought it was a part of the infection and that it would go away after the antibiotics did their thing.

However, even a few weeks after all my sinus symptoms and such went away, I still had this “bruised chest” feeling. When I started working out at the gym again, on a daily basis, that pain went away. That is unless I had experienced any issue with either gas or heartburn. If I had either of those two things, that bruise feeling in my chest was back.

I had heard so many stories of friends who had gone to the ER with chest pain and were sent home after being told that it was little more than gas. I figured that my bruised chest feeling must be something like that since I had no other symptoms.

The fact is, I’ve needed to get an overall checkup for EVERYTHING for quite some time. But I’ve simply been putting it off for way too long.

Why? Why have I waited for so long? That, I will share in a future update, later this evening.


 
Update #3
January 8, 2012 12:38 AM – I can not begin to tell you all how thankful I am for all the prayers that you have spoken on my behalf.

In the ER, They ran an EKG, took a chest x-ray, did some blood work, and performed a CAT Scan. The great news is that it is confirmed that I did not have a stroke and all my results from all my tests came back normal.

The doctor made the decision to keep me over night to monitor my heart and to run two more sets of blood work six hours apart from each other.

I can tell you right now that your prayers are working. In the ER, I had one nurse draw my blood and got it on the first stick of the needle. Another nurse had to put an IV needle in my hand and got that in on the first stick of the needle. And the nurse who just left, after taking my blood again, also got it on the first stick of the needle.

I believe I only have to have my blood drawn one more time in the morning around 6am. Please pray that the nurse in the morning with also be able to get what she needs with a single stick of the needle and that I’ll do as well then as I have this evening. Also, please join me in praying that all the results turn out well and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my heart at all.

I promised you all that I would share with you the details of why I didn’t come to the hospital earlier than I did. Well, I am happy to tell you that I took some time, here in my hospital room, to record episode 512 of Pursuing A Balanced Life. You can listen to this episode by clicking the PLAY BUTTON at the top of this post. It has all the details.

Thank you all so much!


 
Update #4
January 8, 2012 12:31 PM – Well, I want to first say that the nurse that took my blood this morning also got it on the first stick. Heck, if this streak continues, I may one day be over to get over my fear of needles. Seriously folks, I really appreciate your prayers in this area. I am sooooo feeling all these prayers.

So all my results from my blood work and second EKG came in and I have a clean bill of health on my heart. It is 100% confirmed that I did not have a stroke, no heart attack, and my heart is in really good condition.

This still does not explain the numbness on the left side of my body that I had experienced. By the way, that numbing sensation has gone away and I no longer feel any side effects. It is as if it had never happened. However, the doctor here does want me to stay here and have a consult with a neurologist. There is a good chance that this could happen later this afternoon or early evening. If they decide to order an MRI, I may have to stay her an another night. I’m just hoping if that is the case, they will not need to take any more blood.

I did get my blood work results and I learned that my LDL Cholesterol levels are a bit high. They should be under 100 and mine are currently at 140. I’m going to see if I can’t do some good research and take this into consideration with some dietary changes and see if I change my diet and keep my daily workouts up, if I can’t get that level brought down without medications.

I guess I will be going to Egg White Omelets from now on. I’ll miss my yokes. Here’s the deal. I am at the point where I am willing to do whatever it takes to be healthy. I’m just so thankful that so far, things have all check out fine.

I did ask if I could possibly get checked out and do the neurologist stuff as an outpatient. However, they said that if I stay here, I will get to see one today and if they order an MRI, I’ll get it tomorrow. If I were to do it as outpatient, it would be a few weeks before I get the consult.

So I am just sitting here. Waiting. Thanking God that so far nothing serious has been uncovered. Feeling good that my heart is in good shape.

I’ll post more as I know more. Thank you all again for all your prayers!


 
Update #5
January 8, 2012 4:53 PM – Time for another quick update. I had my visit with the neurologist and he did suggest that I have an MRI done tomorrow just to be on the safe side. I’ve confirmed that I should not have to have any more blood drawn (I am so thankful for that).

I still have the IV access thing that they put in while I was in the ER. He mentioned that they will use this to put some sort of dye into my blood for the MRI. As long as this IV doesn’t need to be pulled out and redone, I should be able to handle that pretty well.

If the results of my MRI tomorrow are okay I should be free to go home and would need no further followups. I’m praying for clear results from that MRI and that nothing is wrong.

One thing is for sure, I’ve exceeded my $3,000 deductible. Because of my family history and due the fact that I’m 38 years old, I may go ahead and have everything else all checked out through this year. Things like colon and all that fun stuff. However, I think I’ve had as much fun as I want to have here with the medical folks this weekend.

I am simply praying that I can get clean bill of health tomorrow and that I can go home tomorrow and that I don’t have to cancel any of my consulting clients on Tuesday.

I want to send out a special thank you to my friend Mark Mason, from MasonWorld.com, for sending me flowers with the Get Well balloon (Shown in the image above). That was a cool surprise.

My mom, dad, and my brother stopped by to see me this afternoon. It was cool to see them.

I’m excited that Stephanie and the kids are going to come and see me this evening. I’m also excited that they will be bringing some Chipotle. The food here at the Hospital is simply not that great!

I appreciate all your prayers. Please keep them coming for the results of tomorrows MRI.

Thank you so much!


 
Update #6
January 9, 2012 8:56 AM – So I just returned from having my MRI. That went much smoother than I had expected. I was so thankful to get in as early as I did. I was also thankful that the dye that they had to flush through my blood stream didn’t sting at all. It was simply a cool sensation.

The MRI took about 30 minutes in total and was actually quite relaxing. They had given me the option of the type of music I wanted to listen to and I chose classical. As the machine was making all it’s noises, I simply spent the 30 minutes in prayer, talking with God. In my conversation, I thought of my totally awesome wife, Stephanie and just how thankful I am to have her in my life. Sharing life with her is one my greatest joys. I then spent some time thinking about Meagan, Matthew, and McKenna and just how blessed I am to have these three amazing children.

Oh, by the way, I wanted to share that Stephanie and the kids came by and had dinner with me last night here in my room. It was the highlight of my day. A day or two spent in the hospital can really help you gain a good deal of perspective on life and offer a reminder of just how blessed we are.

Before my MRI had ended, while I was still talking with God, my thoughts went toward my good friend, Barry Morgan, who is currently being treated for a very advanced case of pancreatic cancer. I am trying to keep up with Barry’s journey through his God Is Bigger Than Cancer Facebook Page. I know that that many of you are joining me in praying that my MRI results come back 100% perfect and that I’ll be able to head home with a clean bill of health. Thank you for that.

Regardless of the outcome of my results, I hope that many of you will consider sending some prayers for Barry and his lovely wife, Lynne as they are going through something fear scarier that what I have been going through.

I am hoping that my next update will be full of great news, and possibly even be posted from home. We’ll see.


 
Update #7 – FINAL UPDATE
January 9, 2012 12:22 PM – Well my friends. It’s been quite a journey. I am happy to tell you that the neurologist reported that my MRI showed that my brain was 100% perfectly normal.

Honestly, with as much prayer that has been offered on my behalf the past two days, I had got to the point where I had expected nothing less. I am so delighted and enthusiastic that I could dance. I wont! But I could! :)

There was “one thing,” however, that the doctor pointed out. She said that they had noticed that I had a “nasal polyp” on my left side, and that there “may have been” one on my other side. She asked me if I had an issue with frequent sinus infections.

OH MY GOODNESS!!! For the past ten or more years of my life (could even be 20), I’ve had between two and five sinus infections each and every single year.

The doctor told me that it sounds like allergies could cause that polyp to flare up which could easily lead to those sinus infections. This could explain how the cigarette smoke at the Podcamp Cincinnati pre-party set off my allergies, which may have caused this polyp to flare up, which may have led to that sinus infection, which led to an upper respiratory infection back in late October.

She asked me if I’ve ever seen an ENT about this. I told her that I never knew that I had it. She said that if these sinus infections have been so bad, they could go in and remove this polyp and it might greatly reduce the number of sinus infections that I have in the future.

If this is true, and this visit to the hospital does nothing more than uncover this, and I get it treated, this would have been worth all the time and trouble spent here this weekend.

The thing is that I also talked with the other neurologist the other day and he explained that I may be able to recover from the “Ulnar Neuropahty” that I had been experiencing in my pinky finger and the left side of my ring finger on my left hand. Turns out that this might simply be from the fact that I have a habit of sleeping on my side or leaning too much onto my elbow while I work throughout the day. I do both every day.

I’ve also uncovered that eating my two egg omelet every day of the week could be leading to this reported high level of LDL Cholesterol. Regardless, I am going to do something about my Cholesterol, without medication.

I feel as though I have a new lease on life. I was already back to my daily routine of physical activity by going to the gym four days a week. This only energizes my efforts in that area and to reaffirm my commitment to healthy eating.

I can’t tell you all how much I am thankful for your prayers.

For all I know, I may have had a heart attack and major stroke and have been completely healed. Though I am more inclined to believe that I had slept on my side with my arm behind my head in such a way that I had a very severe pinched nerve. I believe that the “fears of the unknown” and a great deal of anxiety added to the symptoms that I had experienced.

As I shared in this 512th episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life, I am so thankful that God has broken me free from those fears! I am so thankful that I got all this stuff check out. I am ready to move forward on the journey that is set before me and I am eager to see what all will transpire in 2012!

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @LourdesWelhaven We’re crazy like that I guess. :)

  • karinhoegh

    @Cliff Ravenscraft@karinhoegh Well, here in Denmark we have completely free healthcare – hint hint ;-)

  • remblem

    Only just heard via Fr Roderick’s podcast that you have been in hospital – so glad it all turned out well.

    Richard Emblem

  • ukrenewables

    Cliff, I have been travelling in bonnie Scotland but following your progress – great news you are home with your family safe and sound with no damage to report! When these things happen to us or our friends it really does remind us how lucky we are. Great to have you back ready to Podcast! Best Wishes John Lightfoot

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @karinhoegh I’ll keep that in mind for future reference. ;)

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @remblem Thanks Richard. I feel better now than I did before I went. It’s amazing how good it feels to KNOW YOU ARE WELL than to worry that something “might be wrong.”

  • EdithSolveigNeuBaker

    Wow, Cliff, what were you trying to do, scare the daylights out of your family as I did scare mine 3 years ago? Dude, I’m glad you are better. Take good care of yourself. We, and I include your family as the # 1 top priority people in that group, need you.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @ukrenewables Thank you so much John. I am glad to be back and given a clean bill of health. Look 2012. HERE I AM. LOL

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @EdithSolveigNeuBaker Absolutely Edith. I am so happy that I am experiencing the balance that I have today. It’s been quite a journey and I still have a ways to go. So happy to have this clean bill of health. :)

  • http://www.insuranceadviceblog.com/ Sonya76

    I’m so glad that it turned out ok. I think it’s always best seeing a doctor early, either for an early diagnosis or simply for the peace of mind that everything is ok. All the best.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    @Sonya76 Thank you Sonya!

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