Friday, November 21, 2014

Maybe It's The Timing

I had another bradycardia event about 4 or 5 days ago. My pulse dropped to about 42 for a couple of hours, normally it runs around 65. That's three times this has happened in less than a month. Scary for sure. I had an appointment with my kidney doctor the following day and discussed it with him. He had several recommendations which he wrote down for me to share with my local cardiologist the next day.

The local cardiologist spent more time with me than Dr. Whoosh (see my previous post) but it was a similarly disappointing visit. He totally ignored the note from the kidney doctor and just told me to check my blood pressure and pulse before I took my medications and not take one if either reading was low. That sounds sensible, but I check my vitals every morning before I take my medications and the readings have been in the normal range (at least normal for me) before each of the I had no foreknowledge of what was about to happen.  He did go over my list of medications and pointed out each one of the five medications that affected my heart and whether it was blood pressure, pulse, or both. I will admit that was somewhat helpful.

After the visit, I started thinking about these heart events I've been having.  All of them happened at about the same time, between 9 and 10 a.m., three hours after I normally take my morning pills. Included in that morning dose are all of the five medications that affect my heart. It occurred to me that perhaps I was unintentionally overdosing on heart medications. At the suggestion of the kidney doctor, I've discontinued one of the medications plus I am now taking one of the others in the evening instead of morning with the hope that this change will resolve the problem.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Doctor Whoosh!

So...I had an appointment with my oncologist yesterday morning. It was a 9 a.m. appointment, so I had to leave home at 7 a.m. since it's a two hour drive. A bit earlier than I prefer to get out and about. I made it barely on time and was promptly ushered back to an examination room. This was unusual since they normally run about 45 minutes behind on their appointments. After several nurses took my vitals, checked my medication list, and reviewed my current state of health, I expected to consult with the doctor about something. Maybe his evaluation of my progress or what is coming up...I don't know...something medical in nature. What I got was:

The doctor opens the door and steps into the room.
"Hello, any questions?" Shakes my hand.
"Uh...I guess not." I give him a slightly puzzled look.
"The hospital is changing the color scheme on their website to red and black, we'd be interested in your opinion on how it looks. Have a Happy Thanksgiving."
Whoosh! He's gone.

That's it. Okay, maybe a slightly condensed version, but essentially that was it. Maybe a minute, 90 seconds max. I drove for two hours and made a $25 co-pay for something I could have done by phone?

Anyway, I was advised by one of the nurses that I get another CT scan in mid-December to check on my progress. Praying for good news. Also an appointment with the kidney specialist next week.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some Good News

I received some good news this week for a change. I applied for disability benefits from Social Security a couple of months ago. They told me it would be four to six months for a decision to be made, but apparently the wheels of bureaucracy are turning a little faster at the moment. I've been approved for benefits plus I'm also qualified for medicare A & B.  I contacted my health insurance provider and found that my premiums will be dropping a significant amount as well.

The kitten we rescued from the wall I mentioned in my last post may be re-christened. It roams all over the house, so we are often wondering where it is. I'm of the opinion we need to rename it Waldo, as in "Where's Waldo?" The wife is leaning towards calling it Wall-ette, since it's a female.

We are in the middle of a minor upgrade in our kitchen, getting ready for Thanksgiving. The ceiling has been repainted and we're in the middle of hanging new wallpaper. Once that's done the floor gets a new coat of paint. The wife can't stand the house being in a the stress level has been a bit high for the last few days. I'll be glad when it's finished. The entire family will be in for the holiday, we're expecting around 14 to 15 people around the table.

Not a whole lot of anything else going on at the moment. I have an appointment with the out-of-town oncologist on Thursday, just a checkup but I'm expecting him to schedule a new CT scan or MRI to check on my progress. Fingers crossed and prayers being said for good results.

Monday, November 03, 2014

If I Were a Carpenter...

Whether or not I'm a carpenter, I guess I get to play one today.

We have a variable number of feral cats that hang around, mainly due to the fact that my brother-in-law feeds them. He goes through about 90 pounds of dry cat food a month. He's also feeding a number of raccoons and possums as well, but that's beside the point. One of the cats found it's way into the ceiling over our bathroom and dropped a litter of kittens a few weeks ago. We heard something moving around but were not able to identify what it might be until last night. One of the kittens has apparently fallen down into the wall and can't get out. Now there's a continuous pitiful "meow-meow-meow-meow" coming from somewhere in the wall.

I've got the battery from my cordless drill charging and a saber saw standing by to tear into the wall later this morning and try to attempt a rescue. I'll update later to let you know how things went.

On the medical front, I had another bout of bradycardia last week. That's slow heart rate for those of you that don't speak doctor. I was sitting at my computer reading my email when the room started spinning and my vision sort of went haywire for a couple of seconds. I snapped out of it, but grabbed my blood pressure monitor to check myself. My BP was way down from normal and my pulse was about half of what it normally is. I continued to check myself every few minutes for about half an hour and the readings continued downward slightly. When the BP got to 103/40 I decided it was time to go to urgent care. I called my son, who was thankfully off work that day, and had him drive me down.

After about an hour at urgent care, my vital signs were starting to get back to normal, but they wanted me to go to the emergency room at the local hospital anyway. So we drove there and eventually they decided to put me in the hospital overnight for observation. It was a typical stay in the hospital except they didn't make me put on a butt-revealing gown. Everything went well and my vitals remained normal through the night. I was discharged around 11 AM the next day. My cardiologist made another adjustment to my medications and I've been keeping in touch with with my out-of-town doctors about the situation.

I'm not sure how the cancer treatments are progressing, I feel okay and apart from the usual aches and pains, I still haven't experienced any severe side effects. I've been visiting a chiropractor for my back and groin pain and have achieved some relief, although it still hurts to walk and move around much. I see the oncologist and the kidney specialist again in two weeks plus there's an upcoming CT scan in a month or so. Hopefully the scan will bring some good news.

That's about it for now, gotta go pick up my granddaughter and take her to school.

UPDATE - 2 hours later

Minimal damage to the wall.

Meet the latest addition to the family, appropriately named "Wally."