Monday, January 30, 2017

Update On Cardiac Cath Procedure

Dear Diary,

Here's the update on the coronary angiogram I had done this morning. The procedure itself was less traumatic than having a tooth filled. It took about 45 minutes during which, I was contentedly enjoying the rapport of the cath lab team from a soft, mildly sedated level of consciousness courtesy of Versed and Fentanyl.
They did both a left and right heart study and got direct readings of my pulmonary pressures. They used only my right arm instead of the groin to access the radial artery and vein. Other than two IVs, there are only two tiny punctures. We  were out of the hospital by 2:30pm and home by 3:30pm.
We were there about seven hours...a long day since we had to get at 5:00am.

Good news and bad news. First the bad news. I do have significant pulmonary hypertension, the cause of which we still aren't sure about. The Myxoma may be contributing to it oor not. For now, We will probably try to control it medically.

The good news is that I don't appear to have any significant plaque deposits or any occluded coronary vessels. Yipee! :) This was somewhat of a surprise to me considering the lifestyle I've led!

The next step is to meet with Dr. B, the heart surgeon. At that meeting, we will discuss our options and when the surgery will be scheduled.
I am a bit apprehensive yet at the same time, relieved that we are finally going to get this mess taken care of.

Now it's time for supper!


Cheers!


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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Just Talking To Myself ;)

Dear Diary,

I'm bored today. The wife is at work and I'm here just putzing around on the Internet. The cat is asleep as usual so I'm all by myself.

I got a real nice, encouraging e-mail from one of my long time followers. I was beginning to think that nobody reads this diary anymore. I do admit it's gotten a bit repetitive of late. That's what happens when you get old and start losing it! Lol!

The rain has stopped for a while and it's real nice outside. I want to get out and walk around the neighborhood but I'm worried that I might get mugged, what with being on the oxygen and all.
The 'hood' has been going downhill crime wise for at least 2 or 3 years now.
The wife and I had a bit of a scare recently. We were out walking around the block shortly after dark when a car with a 'Papa John's logo pulled up right beside us. The driver got out and came over and started talking to us. Had me worried that he might want to take advantage of an elderly couple, especially with the man disabled.
Turns out he wanted to pray with us! Christian fanatics...gotta love 'em! I should have tried to extort him by saying that I'd report his behavior to his boss if he didn't give us free pizza!

The wife gets home around 7:00 pm and she's picking up a nice Merlot that we can enjoy this evening. I decided to knock off the bourbon for a while till the time comes when I really need it.
My Doc frowns on my constant requests for Fentanyl /IVpush. I have no idea why!   ;)

I've started using the new scented O2 based on aromatherapy. I find I'm pretty much hooked on 'Pumpkin Spice'!

On another note, I'm hoping that my health will have improved enough by September that I might be able to actually get out and go dove hunting. This is assuming I can even afford a license, what with the ongoing medical expenses we have to deal with.
I really miss being able to get out there in the desert, in the quiet, away from the city. The wife and I used to spend hours out there enjoying nature and then come home with a limit of delicious doves.
Hell, I'd love to be out there even if I wasn't hunting!

*gets up and turns on 'Lava Lamp'™*

Well, it's almost 8:00 now and the wife is still at the store. I put out a steak for dinner and it's calling to me. As I type this, she just sent me a text saying she's on the way home so it will be about ten minutes. Now I'm happy!

Our cat is now on my desk enthusiastically licking my file folders. He is the equivalent of  95+ in human years. I hope I don't start doing that when I'm that old! I'll stick to licking the windows on the 'short bus'.   ;)

I don't usually talk politics on here but I sure am concerned about what's going on with the new administration, especially health care/insurance. I'm eligible For Medicare benefits and the way things seem to be going, I'm not even sure it's going to be there for me!
I just hope the Republicans can get their act together, at least enough to replace the ACA with an equivalent or better plan. People like me are counting on it.
Personally, I think the new administration is moving way too fast on addressing critical issues, but, time will tell.

*pours another glass of wine*

The next update will be when I get home from the hospital on Monday...(and the crowd goes "ahhhhhhh". Yeah...I'm nuts, I know.

I guess I've rambled on enough for one evening so I'll sign off here.


Cheers!


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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Latest News

Dear Diary,

Okaaay, so the latest in this continuing health saga is that I will be undergoing a full right heart cath at St Joe's on Mon, Jan 30th in preparation for meeting with the surgeon who, hopefully will remove the myxoma and correct any other issues that may be present.

The surgery is finally becoming a reality!

To say that I'm not at least a little apprehensive would be a boldface lie, but at least I have some of the best team players in Phoenix.

For the catheterization, I should not be in the hospital more than the better part of one day and will just have to rest for a couple of days after (I'm good at that) ;).

As far as the actual surgery goes, barring any serious complications, the hospital stay shouldn't be more than three or four days at most.

More information to come after the catheterization.


Cheers!


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

Friday, January 06, 2017

Big News (we hope)

Dear Diary,

So, today is Friday the 5th. Yesterday, we went for my appointment with my new
pulmonologist at St Joe's.

After meeting with his nurse practitioner for about half an hour to coordinate my medical history we got to meet Dr. O. Dr.O is the Associate Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Program at Norton Thoracic Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
After reviewing all my history and tests over the past year, he feels extremely confident that my symptoms are not due to a lung disease at all. It is my heart.

Apparently, the left atrial myxoma is causing a back pressure phenomenon which is causing pulmonary edema and pulmonary hypertension resulting in exertional hypoxia. He believes as soon as we get the myxoma removed my symptoms should resolve.

He is going to present my case to one of their top thoracic surgeons and to my cardiologist, Dr.M, to develop a plan for surgery. He feels there has been too little communication between the active players over the past year.

I will see him again in a month to go over the plan and any risks involved.
We are also going to meet the surgeon who will do the procedure. It is possible that this can be done endoscopically without having to split the sternum. Less likely, but still possible is their ability to accomplish this without stopping my heart.
Complications are expected however the main concern is if, and how long I will remain intubated post-surgery.

Around that time, I will have another LFT (lung function test), this one at St. Joe's, which will help them decide whether I am a viable candidate for surgery.

Before yesterday, both my cardiologist and I were starting to think that I would have to live out the rest of my life with the myxoma.
Let's hope these people know what they're doing!

Additional good news. With my new health insurance, I can now re-establish my relationship with my last urologist, Dr. F. This could not happen at a more opportune time.
He can now re-address the bladder issue as needed but also take over most of my cancer care.

Life is good! :)    
                       
Cheers!


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

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Relevant Ramblings

Dear Diary,

It's been a rough week here in Paradise for yours truly. The weather has been cold and rainy for the most part and my aches and pains are killing me! :( It's mostly my lumbar area and my middle and upper back.
I feel like all my muscles are stiff and heavy (no surprise there!) It's the worst just before I get up in the morning so it's costing me some sleep time.
I'm trying to avoid taking any OTC meds for it because I'm on so many other drugs.
I guess I'll just turn up the heat a bit and wait till the weather changes.

*sips wine and feels sorry for himself*

The bladder bleed is making the rounds again for some obscure reason. That's another thing that's making me depressed. I just feel like a walking disaster area!
I just go day to day, room to room followed by a 50 foot O2 line. I can no longer do any of the things I enjoyed before I became ill and that hurts... a lot.
I'm starting to lose faith that the "miracles of modern medicine" are going to get me through this.
Even if my lungs do get better, I still have that goddamned ticking timebomb that is the myxoma sitting there in my heart. How the hell did I ever get that?

*more wine*

I can't believe Karen is hanging in with me through all this. She came from an entirely different lifestyle and yet she has been my rock for 25 years now. Imagine living 24/7 with a totally disabled,dysfunctional individual.
Sometimes, I think I have driven her crazy. My wife is a saint and I will love her forever.

*pours second glass of wine, (yes, it's cheap)*

Lately, I'm finding myself more and more preoccupied with my own mortality, especially at night when I ought to be asleep. I meditate on what to expect when my final moments arrive.
I want to die well, as the saying goes yet I'm not quite sure how to do that.
It's really not the state of non-existence that concerns me but the way I get there does. Am I doomed to suffocate to death? What is that like? I want a peaceful death, in the hospital where they can control the process somewhat.
I keep thinking that I might rather have the cancer take me rather than the lung disease. For some weird reason, dying by cancer seems preferable to slow suffocation.

I want my mommy! ;)

Do I seem creepy? I hope not but if I do, I can redily understand why. I don't fit into society like other people do. I never have. I've never really wanted to.
Ever since I started school I have been considered weird to people that don't know me well. They seem to see me as someone to avoid. Over the years, I have learned to accept this but it still bothers me when I see in someone's eyes that I scare them. Ok, enough of that!

I really miss my son and daughter-in-law. I am often afraid that I won't ever see them in person again.
I don't think they really believe that I love them both. I fear that I won't see my little grand-daughter again. Time passes so quickly!

Oh well, the wine is taking it's toll and it's time to go.



Cheers!


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