Wednesday, December 28, 2016

General Update



Dear Diary,

Blood pressure has been real high, (180s) systolic for a couple of weeks now. Talked to the cardiologist about it and we decided to stop the Metoprolol in favor of Carvedilol which is a non-selective beta blocker. We also added Valsartan. Valsartin is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (commonly called an ARB, or angiotensin receptor blocker), that is selective for the type I (AT1) angiotensin receptor.
Hopefully, these new drugs will get this under control before I have a stroke.

*sips wine*

In other news, I have decided to drop the pulmonary guys that I've been working with for the past year.
I am switching to another pulmonologist at Norton Thoracic Institute which is a part of St. Joseph's Medical Center which is where I had my lung biopsy done.
I have an appointment for the middle of next week for another echo and a vent perfusion scan before I see him the next day.
The last time I had a V/Q lung scan was a year ago when this nonsense first began. At the time, the results were unremarkable. It should be interesting to see what we get this time.
When I get the latest echo, I will ask them to check the status of the myxoma at the same time.

*sips more wine*

All these new goodies mean that the wife and I are going to take a huge financial hit on top of what we already owe. We have coasted for the past couple of months due to my deductibles all being met for 2016 and the insurance picking up 100%.
With my new insurance, I have a much higher annual out of pocket ($7,000) than I did last year so it looks like we're in for a bit of a struggle.

At least I didn't spend this Christmas in the hospital like I did last year. Thank goodness for small favors! Lol!





Cheers!

"Every day above ground is a good day". -- Scarface

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Odds And Ends

Dear Diary,

It's been a pretty good day here in Paradise. I got to talk to my son and his wife on Skype today. They are in Italy for minimally four years courtesy of the USAF.
Apparently they are having the time of their lives. Tried to have a conversation with my soft little granddaughter but she was too intent on harassing her daddy to pay too much attention to me. ;(



My Granddaughter Arabella
The bladder bleed is back and quite a nuisance. If I can get back with my last urologist after the new year, we will address this issue once again.

*sips on a glass of red wine*

Feeling a little lonesome at the moment. The wife is at work until 10:00pm and I miss her. At least I had enough energy to get the dishes done tonight!
Tomorrow is going to be somewhat hectic because I've gotta spend what will probably be a great deal of time on the phone with healthcare providers.

Did I mention that I got clearance to wean off the Prednisone? This is a good thing! I will titrate down from 10mg to nothing over the next couple of weeks. It's been a smooth ride so far but I'll be glad to be off it. It might even make it a little easier to lose some weight.

Does anyone need some humor lately? I know I do! With that in mind, here is a cool collection of Donald Trump jokes to give a chuckle in the wake of the election.
Who knows, it might even keep visitors on my page longer! Lol!

*********************************************************************************
Donald Trump has announced that now he’s been elected President he’s going to ban the sale of pre-shredded cheese.
He wants to make America grate again.
Now that Donald Trump has been elected President, there’ll be hell toupĂ©e.
Donald Trump getting elected President has already had a positive effect on the economy.
Sales of alcohol have never been higher.
Now that Donald Trump’s becoming president, I’m going to Mexico.
Not by choice though…
What is Donald Trump’s favorite nation?
Discrimination.
Donald Trump labelled Hillary Clinton “disgusting” for taking a bathroom break during the recent Democrat debate.
Trump himself never has to go to the bathroom, as the crap just comes straight out of his mouth.
My friend said to me, “I hear the FBI have foiled a terrorist plot to kill Donald trump.”
“What, a suicide bomber? ” I asked.
“No, a surface to hair missile.”
Donald Trump has announced that he’s going to ban wind farms now he’s been elected.
He really needs to keep his hair on.
I’d make a political joke…
But it would just end up being elected President.
Donald Trump is going to be the next president, but the real winner is Melania Trump.
Now she can call herself the First Lady instead of the Third Wife.
Why did Donald Trump secretly not want to win the election?
Because now he’ll have to move into a smaller house in a black neighborhood.
What does Melania see in Donald Trump?
10 billion dollars and high cholesterol.
What do Donald Trump and the iPhone 7 have in common?
They both think de-porting is the answer when there’s no more Jobs.
How much is Donald Trump’s life insurance?
Just one Pence.
“You’re telling me I’m losing my job because Trump won the election? Why, because I’m black?!?”
“Mister President, we’ve been over this…”
Donald Trump is visiting an elementary school one day.
In one of the classes, they’re in the middle of a discussion about words and their meanings.
The teacher asks Trump if he’d like to lead the discussion of the word “tragedy.”
He agrees to do so and asks the class for an example of a tragedy.
One little boy stands up and says, “If my best friend who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy.”
“No,” says Trump, “That would be an accident.”
Next a little girl raises her hand and says, “If a school bus carrying forty children went off a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”
“No, I’m afraid not,” says Trump. “That’s what we would call a great loss.”
The room goes silent for a while as no other children volunteer.
Trump looks around the room and says a little testily, “Isn’t there anyone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”
At last, a little boy at the back of the class raises his hand and says, “If a private jet carrying you, Mr Trump, was struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”
“Fantastic!” shouts Mr Trump, “That’s exactly right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”
“Well,” says the boy, “Because it sure as hell wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
Now Donald Trump has been elected as President, he’ll be the first man to use fake tan inside the Oval Office.
Clearly, orange is the new black.
What happens when you take a joke too far?
The 45th President of the United States of America.
A swastika has been spray painted over Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Police says it’s impossible to tell if it was done by Trump’s opponents or his supporters.
How many Donald Trump supporters does it take to change a light bulb?
Look, we can change the light bulb. That I will tell you. We’re changing it, ok? And I understand what you’re saying, I hear it all the time. People call me and say “Is the light bulb really dead?”. That’s what they are asking me, its unbelievable. The light bulb is in big trouble, that I can tell you. But we are going to change it.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy:
If you mess with the USA, there’ll be hell toupee.
How does Donald Trump plan on deporting illegal immigrants?
Juan by Juan.
Donald Trump has done more than anyone to promote equality…
He’s equally hated by blacks and Hispanics.
In a recent survey, 70% of Americans responded that Donald Trump being elected has made them nervous.
The other 30% said it will make them Canadians.
Donald Trump has announced that now he’s been elected, he’s going to put a wig on the Presidential plane and call it Hair Force One.
If Donald Trump becomes President, it won’t be the first time he’s kicked a black family out of their home.
I just found out Donald Trump is running for President as a Republican.
I thought he was running as a joke.
Do you want to hear a racist joke?
Donald Trump.
 Courtesy: LaffGaff


Cheers!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, December 16, 2016

Interesting News (at least to me)

Dear Diary,

It appears that I actually don't have interstitial lung disease after all. Met with the pulmonologist on Thursday and while we were talking, he mentioned that the lung biopsy had ruled that out. Apparently, he thinks the symptoms may be due to pulmonary hypertension along with the tiny blood clots in some of the arterioles of the lungs coupled with possible right heart failure due to the myxoma.
Anyway, it is not an ILD and that's good news.

The plan is to treat the pulmonary hypertension medically which we want to begin ASAP. Problem is, Norton Thoracic appears not to have any record of the right heart cath that was done during the biopsy! That is absurd! The pulmonologist cannot proceed with therapy until he has the data from that test.
What this means is I will need to undergo another right heart cath if the hospital can't find the required information very soon.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the procedure was done as I was awake and alert when they removed the catheter from my neck in post-op.
If the procedure has to be repeated, I'm actually considering asking them to do it without charge, either to me or my insurance. I have no idea if they would consider that but, to me, it's worth a try.

In other news, I've had a recurrence of the bladder bleed, complete with small clots over the past few days. As of today, Friday the 16th, it seems to have resolved, at least for the time being.
It resulted in my not being able to pass urine for a while but a trip to the ED was averted because I was able to self-cath.
We are not sure if this has anything to do with my being on Xarelto® as an anticoagulant. I guess time will tell.

Not much more to comment on till after we get the heart data.


Cheers!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, December 04, 2016

New Insurance!

Dear Diary,

It looks like we have finally found new health coverage for 2017. We went with a silver plan through HealthNet which seems to be about the same as my current plan except that the total out of pocket is significantly higher, $7000 vs $4900 on my current plan.
All my providers are on it and I may be able to get my last urologist back again.
It's going to be very interesting to see what will happen over the next few months when Trump takes the reigns.

In other news, my weight has now increased to 288 lbs and is significantly affecting my ability to breathe. I am now using 4 liters of O2 as opposed to 3. The perceived need for this increase coincided with my weight increase. Not good, not good at all!  :(

Some good news for a change. It appears that we will be able to get a lot more financial assistance than we originally thought. So far, our medical/surgical debt load has been decreased from nearly $80,000 to around $13,000, a much more realistic target. We are extremely grateful!

The surgical wounds are healing well and the pain level has dropped off a lot. I am off the oxycodone now and not taking anything for pain relief. I guess I've been given a good example of what to expect when I have the heart surgery.

I certainly never expected the so-called 'Golden Years' to be like this.


  Cheers!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface