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Showing posts with label Insurance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Insurance. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Looks Like It's Bye-Bye To Xarelto

Dear Diary,

Woke up feeling out of sorts today (what else is new)? Sure enough...bad news!

After my usual cup of java, I called up Wal-Mart pharmacy to check on the status of my Xarelto order only to find out that I would be responsible for a $200 co-pay for a 30 day supply!
What I had totally forgotten was that the program from Janssen Pharmaceuticals which has provided me with a year and a half of free product is no longer valid since I went on Medicare.

So...I'm sitting here, eating a bowl of soup and planning out what our next move will be if I'm to remain on anticoagulants for the rest of my life.

I've gotta call my cardio guy and see if he is ok with going back on warfarin like I was at the start of this mess. A little more trouble but dirt cheap and effective.

Back to the soup! ;)


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

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Today's Six Minute Walk

Dear Diary,

Just had my latest six-minute walk at St Joe's this morning. Despite my recent weight gain of 28 pounds, I only lost 7 meters in distance from the last time which really surprised me.
Their baseline goal is 400 meters in six minutes. So far, I have always come up short of that.
They really want me to get my BMI down to 33, minimally before they will even consider surgery.
My current calculated BMI is 40 and getting it down to 33 would require me to go from my current weight of 288 to 235 before they would seriously consider cracking my chest open.
This is not an easy task! :(
I am going to follow their advice and have a consultation with one of their bariatric docs. I'm not too optimistic that she will be able to help but I'll at least give it a shot.

Medicare kicked in exactly as expected, thank goodness and we had zero payments or co-pays for today's visit. :)

Today was officially my 65th birthday but I don't feel a day over 90, LOL! Trying to decide if I should allow myself a nice, big chunk of birthday cake!!! Updates to follow.


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

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Probably Set Up To Fail!

Dear Diary,

Alas, the ill-fated six-minute walk at St Joe's is actually tomorrow, the 7th, which also happens to be my 65th birthday. It will commence at 0830 hours and followed up with a consultation with Dr. O, the pulmonologist.

For some reason, I thought the appointment was farther out than that so, unfortunately, I have no time to lose any weight. The added 20 pounds will likely cause me to fail the test. I hope they can see that the weight is responsible for the failure and not disease progression!

This will also be the first time using Medicare so hopefully, that will go well.

*fifteen minutes pass*

Good news! I just got off the phone with the Health Insurance Marketplace and have successfully cancelled my primary insurance, effective March 20th.

Some potentially bad news. It appears Wal-Mart pharmacy is no longer honouring my prescription discount plan for Xarelto, offered by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
This is bad because I have been eligible to get the drug without cost and now it appears I will have to fork over $200+ each and every month which is not possible for us.
Not sure if this has something to do with the transition to Medicare or not.

More on that later. Gotta go schedule a lab appointment now.


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

Friday, February 09, 2018

Life's A Bitch...Then you Die

Dear Diary,
Woke up in a foul mood this morning after sleeping about 2 hours late. Wife's gone to work, no coffee made and my back hurts like hell
Pissing all over the floor trying to get a goddamn diaper on has gotten old long time ago!
I've got so fucking much work to do around this place that I'm totally overwhelmed
My weight is still out of control at 282 and I can't seem to do anything about that either.
I want to get mad and take out my frustrations by punching a wall but I can't even do that because I have no testosterone left.

I have no motivation to do a fucking thing.
To make matters worse, my wife has become so absorbed in her latest project that I rarely have a sounding board bounce things off from. Looks like I'm going to have to seriously look into a physical support group.
Maybe, with any luck we can find a good one and I can get her to at least occasionally go with me. Maybe that will help.

Now I find out that Medicare is going to cost me a lot more than I thought it was. It's going to be just a shade under what I'm paying for my current health insurance and there's no guarantee that it's not going to go up in price. So, if my wife should lose her job we're up shit creek without a paddle because I won't be insured at all.

I'm considering taking this diary offline because nobody reads this garbage anyway. I really don't know why I ever thought of starting it. I used to get a little feedback now and then but that stopped a long time ago.
I don't care, I really fucking don't give a flying shit!


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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Ramblings

Dear Diary,

So... I'm sitting here outside the grocery store on Friday night waiting for the wife to get finished working so I thought I'd use this time to catch up on a few things.

Truthfully, there really hasn't been much to blog about over the past month or so.
As I mentioned before, I'm not really big on posting content just for content's sake.

We spent part of the day yesterday at St Joseph's getting another 6-minute walk test done. My performance was even better than the last time, much to my surprise!
I was able to walk just a shade under 400 m in 6 minutes so they were pleased.
I also had another cardiac ultrasound with bubbles like I had previously. I'm really not quite sure why. Dr. O, the pulmonologist wanted to repeat that specific test as the first one I had was negative.
They have decided to increase my diuretics based on the results of the last right heart cath recently.

Since they increase the diuretic dosages, I have been experiencing really wild weight swings, almost definitely related to water retention.
I'm also having quite a few nocturnal leg cramps which may be related to an electrolyte imbalance.
They've decided to have me get blood work done every two weeks for a while to monitor the electrolytes.
Hopefully, there isn't a problem as the diuretics are quite obviously helping the pulmonary hypertension when used in combination with the sildenafil.

I'm currently feeling alright most of the time with periodic bouts of fatigue which probably attributable to both my intermittent weight gain and loss and the side effects of Lupron therapy.

I'm still trying to stay as true as possible to the low-carb lifestyle but I admit I do find myself frequently cheating which is not in my best interest.
With this water weight issue going on, it is quite difficult to determine what my actual true weight is as it tends to fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 6 or more lbs. everyday.

It's now Saturday night and I'm sitting in the same place I was last night waiting for the wife to get off work so I decided to finish up this dictation.

I went way overboard on the diet again today but at least when I did, I kept the carbs to somewhat of a minimum.

Last but not least, I am clean and green to transition to Medicare this March!
This will remove a huge financial burden from the wife and me, especially as the continuing medical bills keep increasing down the road.


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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'm Still Here!

Dear Diary,

Well! It looks like I haven't posted anything for two months! Consider yourselves blessed.

The wife just had carpal tunnel surgery which appears to have been very successful. She is off work for up to six weeks and I'm encouraging her to take all of it. She deserves it.
When she returns, she should be able to do her job much more comfortably.

No idea what the damn cancer is doing. I'm not due for a PSA for 2 or 3 months. I've been on ADT for about three months now with no major side effects. Makes me wonder sometimes if it's working at all! The interesting thing is that the bladder bleeding stopped about a week after I began ADT and has never recurred. Weird!

I go for another right heart cath this Thursday to see how the PAH is responding to the sildenafil.
The PA pressure last time was a whopping 70. With any luck, maybe it has gone down a bit.

My weight is holding in the low 260s. I'm currently on another diet push to see if I can get to 250 this time. I went off plan for a few weeks out of boredom and gained a little weight back so now I'm back on the wagon. At least my diabetes and blood pressure are doing great and under tight control. :)

A bit of sad news.
Our beloved kitty, Pumpkin passed away peacefully of old age early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18th. He was here with us at the foot of our bed when he passed. As much as we miss him we know he is better off.
We had anticipated this as he was 20 years old. He was our fuzzy baby for 17 of those years.
R.I.P. Pumper!

Pumpkin 1997-2017
I'll update more as I think of it. Right now, I have a bout of fatigue setting in.


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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Officially In The 'Lupron Club'

Dear Diary,

Just got my first dose of Lupron yesterday, in the form of an injection in the butt. The area is a little tender but that should resolve shortly.
As mentioned previously, the goal here is to literally "starve" the cancer of testosterone in hopes that is will retard, or even stop the progression for a certain amount of time (the longer the better)!
The average effective range is 18 to 24 months, sometimes less and sometimes much more.
We will have to be content to wait and see.
There are a host of common yet unpleasant side effects associated with hormone therapy and I will be updating if and when they happen.
One of the more common ones is 'gynecomastia' or enlargement of the male breasts. I guess it's fortunate that I've always enjoyed wearing women's apparel! LOL!

I got another Doppler Echogram done on the old ticker today. We need that to keep track of the progress (or lack thereof) of the myxoma. I will know the results of that in about a week. I really hope it hasn't progressed much because I'm still not ready for surgery.

Things are looking much better with the lungs. I was prescribed sildenafil at my last visit to my pulmonologist but haven't been able to get it filled yet due to an unexpected pre-auth.
Apparently, the stuff is really expensive!
Sildenafil is a potent vasodilator and we hope it will be able to relax and open up my pulmonary arteries resulting in at least a modest reduction in pulmonary arterial pressures.

I think I'm gonna go lie down for a little while 'cause I'm getting fatigued

More dirt later!


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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Joining The 'ADT Club'

Dear Diary,

A brief update to my last post.
Saw the Uro today and am now officially in 'Club ADT'.
Took my first dose of Casodex 50mg and have a follow-up appointment in 30 days.
At that time, we will start Lupron as well. I hope this will 'reign in the horses' for at least a good while.

As far as the bone scan, he agreed that there was nothing there that was obvious at the present time.
We talked about the merits of additional scans and his opinion was that yes, we could do that, and we would have additional information, however, the
treatment would be the same regardless of the results. Opinions?

Lupron will be about $1500 per injection twice a year. Insurance shouldn't have a problem covering that...I hope.
If they do, we will have to resort to bilateral orchiectomy to hopefully achieve the same goals.

It's not confirmed yet but it's apparent that I have graduated to stage 4 and there is no stage 5 so you figure it out.

* sips bourbon*

All I can really hope for now is that something else takes me out before the cancer does.

It's been a trying week as I am also suffering from excruciating lower back pain unrelated to the cancer. Got some Tramadol from the Uro so maybe that will help. The pain is wearing me out!

*sips more bourbon (no Tramadol involved)*

On the good side, my weight is closing in on 260lbs which is wonderful. I look and feel so much better. Even the wife notices! LOL!

Nothing more to say until I get depressed again.


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

Friday, June 09, 2017

Update On Bone Scan

Dear Diary,

A quick update.
Just got the full body bone scan today and the tech said there was no sign of metastatic disease.
Uro still has to see the results but hopefully, he will agree.

The next step, hopefully, is a PET scan to see where the activity is located and find out if treatment options
other than HT are available.

The really good news is that the bone scan fulfilled my entire annual out of pocket so for the rest of the
year, I'm covered at 100% Yay!

Won't know much more till we get the PET scan so I continue to be nervous.


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

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Urologist Appointment Update

Dear Diary,

Just got done with the appointment with Dr.F. He spent a lot of time with us and was encouraging but he agreed it is time to act.

He wants to start with a full body bone scan which I will have on the 8th.

Based on those results, we will then look into more sophisticated imaging.

He is a little frustrated because, as always, he has to go "toe to toe" with the insurance to get this stuff authorized.

If the bone scan is positive, we will initiate ADT. Casodex followed by Lupron.

If it is negative, we will have to make the decision of whether to start ADT anyway or to watch the PSA a little longer.

I imagine this is where the MO (Medical Oncologist) comes in. I flat out forgot to ask him if he felt it was time to bring one in!

The options regarding more sophisticated types of scans/imaging are all on the table as far as he is concerned. It's just a matter of getting them paid for.

If there is no visible spread and the disease appears to be still localized, I am interested in taking this to the next level to try to locate and isolate the active area(s) and possibly looking into HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to try to clean up whatever is left.

I don't know if that will be an option for me in the future but right now I want to concentrate on proving what exactly is going on in there and treating it accordingly.


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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday News

Dear Diary,

Today, I start the new drug, spironolactone, for the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It will probably take a few days to a couple of weeks before it becomes clinically active.
The docs, especially Dr. O, seem to feel that I'm nor fully "dried out" yet so this is another diuretic to be taken daily in conjunction with Lasix™. We'll see what happens.

I have an appointment set up for a routine PSA blood draw on 5/15 and one on 5/16 to see my new optometrist. It's been forever since I last had my eyes checked and I can't see worth a shit so I guess it's about time.

Tomorrow, I'm going to call my health insurance company and see if they can tell me if my annual deductible has been met. I find it hard to believe that it has but certain providers have not been charging the usual $50 co-pay that applies to specialists. One even said that it had been met.
If it has been paid, this would be a financial windfall for us this early in the year. I have a lot of large medical expenses coming up and that would greatly offset the financial hit.

General overall health is not remarkable so far. No disasters. (knock on wood!)

I'm sort of dreading this coming month. Our '72 S-10 is due for emissions testing and this year, it has a leak somewhere in the system. If they pick that up on inspection, the truck won't pass and the repair costs will most likely tap our coffers big time! We are trying very hard to save a little bit here and there for just such emergencies but it's very difficult on an income of SS + 1 part time job.

Oh well, I guess that's what growing old in America is all about nowadays!


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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cardiologist Visit

Dear Diary,

Today's cardio visit was extremely unremarkable. We are still in 'hurry up and wait' mode.
Nobody is communicating with anyone else. Doc wants to know why the pulmonologist hasn't suggested treating the PH medically.
The heart surgeon is supposed to call me this Monday regarding his assessment of my TEE. He apparently tried to call me last week but I missed the call.

There is an outside chance that with all the medical bills I've racked up lately, I may have met at least part of my annual health insurance deductible. We're not sure but when I saw Dr. M this morning, the $50 copay was waived. I'll take that!

*sips bourbon*

I'm thinking of starting 'Dave's Online Death Pool' so my friends and enemas can place wagers on which is gonna kill me first, the cancer or the myxoma.

Fuck it! Enough for tonight.


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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recent News

Dear Diary,

A few short updates.

First off, over the past couple of months, I've intentionally lost 18 pounds. (yes, Atkins works)
Losing even this little bit has significantly improved my ability to breathe. In other words, I'm now getting more 'bang for the buck' from every liter of o2.

I now have a portable o2 system consisting of 'M' tanks and a backpack for them. This arrangement now allows me to drive again. YAY!
The system uses an o2 conserver which delivers o2 in pulses, on demand rather than continuous flow.
Depending on my level of activity, it looks like I'll get about 1.5 hours @ 3 lpm on average. More than enough to do errands on.

I am also no longer taking valsartan for BP control as it was lowering my diastolic BP into the 40s and making it difficult to even move around. Also, so far, most of the back pain is gone. This is one of the side effects of valsartan.

Right now, I am probably the healthiest I've been in over a year! Let's hope the trend continues.

Seeing my cardiologist this Friday to get his take on all of this.


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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

O2 Concentrator vs Tanks

Dear Diary,

I got some interesting news from my oxygen supplier today. Turns out they don't even carry backpack size electrical concentrators any longer. Apparently, they were a nightmare as far as maintenance and upkeep.
My next option is smaller tanks which I could carry in a case over my shoulder.
There are a number of sizes available and this option would allow me to drive without worrying about battery life.
Turns out I can just add this equipment to my regular order without any prescription change or an increase of monthly cost.
Very small concentrators are available from a few other companies but that would require more hassles with the insurance which, quite frankly, neither the wife nor I are up to right now.

Tired with a lot of muscle aches and poor O2 efficiency today. Don't know what the hell is going on. diastolic BP still in the high 40s despite being off valsartan for two days.
Will communicate this to the cardio guy in the morning.



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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Visit With Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dear Diary,

We met with Dr. B, the new chest cracker this morning. Really nice guy and very informative.
We were lacking some data that he expected we would have but here's the general gist of the encounter.

He wants me to have another TEE (TransEsophageal Echocardiogram) to assess the current size and status of the myxoma. He feels that, unless the tumor is mobile enough to partially occlude the mitral valve, it couldn't be causing my respiratory symptoms.
He explained (quite graphically) that he is against going in and removing the tumor unless he knows that is what is causing the problem.
He feels that if he removes the tumor and doing so fails to resolve the problem, there is a very good chance I would be on a respirator, fed through a stomach tube for weeks or even months. There is also the very real possibility that I could have a stroke or even die, possibly on the OR table.
So, as long as I have this lung issue, I am an extremely high risk surgical candidate.
Until I have another TEE, not much is gonna usual.

Also, it appears that I may be over-medicated for my hypertension. My BP at the doctor's office was around 160/70, that was before I had taken any meds for the day. When we got home I took all my meds as usual and 3 or 4 hours later the BP is around 95/40 and I can barely drag myself around the house!
One of the new meds I'm on, valsartan, may be the culprit. I'm going to speak to my cardio guy tomorrow morning to see about modifying the dosage.

So, to say the least, both the wife and I are are a little depressed.

Ending on a good note, it looks like I may be approved for a portable O2 concentrator. That would allow me to drive again which would be nice, especially since I haven't been behind the wheel in over a year.


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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Nice Rainy Saturday

Dear Diary,

Quite rainy here in paradise this weekend. It's a nice change from the usual.

The wife is at work and I'm putzing around the house doing as much as I feel I can get away with.
My back and neck are giving me problems, as usual, and the rain isn't helping much either plus my weight in up to 298 as of this morning.
The furosemide I'm taking for water weight doesn't seem to be as effective as it used to be. Not sure why.

I've got an appointment with Dr. F, my urologist this Tuesday to possibly have a quick cystoscopy done to see what the current bladder status is and also to bring him up to speed on the prostate cancer/PSA issue. We hopefully will be putting together a plan of action for when it is needed.

I also have pulmonary testing including a 6-minute walk test and spirometry scheduled for early March. This is in preparation for seeing Dr. O, the pulmonologist on the 21st.
The 6-minute walk test is not a 'pass or fail' type thing. It is merely a practical measure of what I can currently do. I will be allowed to do it on oxygen, fortunately!
This is all being done to hopefully qualify me for heart surgery in the very near future.

The wife is just getting over a head cold which is something neither one of us needs. Hopefully, I won't get it! The seasonal flu is also going around, big time. Both of us have made sure we are properly vaccinated but the thought of getting even a light case is scary. At our age, the flu can be fatal and this year's vaccine is supposedly only 50% effective.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was now on Xarelto® as a blood thinner. My cardiologist managed to get it approved by my insurance but it turns out that my co-pay will be over $200 for a thirty day supply! We cannot possibly afford that so I may wind up back on good old warfarin.
I am currently researching discount plans and manufacturers programs to see if there is anything I can use. Unfortunately, most of the really good programs require that I be uninsured, which, of course, is not an option.
The good news is that Xarelto® appears to be the only one of all the drugs I have to take that it going to be unrealistically far.

At my last cardiology appointment, both the wife and I were amazed at the results of the angiogram and other tests that I have undergone. Dr. M says that, other than the myxoma in the left atrium, I have the heart of an 18-year-old! Given my previous lifestyle, that's remarkable. I feel sorry for the 18-year old with my 64-year-old heart! ;)

Money's a little tight right and we were forced to replace the battery in the S-10 just last week. My little granddaughter, Arabella over in Italy had to go without a birthday gift from Papa and Karen again this year. We both really miss them. I'm beginning to think that I may not be around to walk her down the aisle when she decides to get married. She is such a beautiful little girl!
I don't blame the kids at all for thinking we're ignoring them but our lives are in limbo for the foreseeable future and there's not a lot we can do about it.
If I can ever regain even a major fraction of my health, it might be possible to fly over there for maybe a month. We would love to be able to do that. My granddaughter only knows me and her grandmother from Skype,

My kids!

Well, the old lady should be getting home any time now and I hope she is careful in the rain as our windshield wipers are somewhat compromised. Gotta get new ones soon!

I think it's gonna be a really good night for sleeping and dreaming of a better life for both of us.

Good night all!


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

Friday, February 03, 2017

Odds & Ends Going In To Super Bowl Weekend

Dear Diary,

What a way to start the weekend! It might as well be 'Super Bowel Weekend. Been laid up all day with a bad case of the shits. Good thing that I don't tend to be graphic, huh? With any luck, I'll be feeling better by Sunday so I can watch the game.
Neither team is on my 'favorites' list but I'm gonna go for Atlanta over New England because I'm still pissed at the Patriots!

The wife had the day off and that was nice. It was good not to have to go anywhere or do anything.

We've decided to change pharmacies due to our last one, OSCO, discontinuing their prescription discount program that we've been utilizing for years. Looks like the only one that comes close to what we had is Wal-Mart. Most of my stuff is tier 1 which should only cost us $10 or less for a 90 day supply. I only have 2 or 3 tier 3 drugs which will have to go through my insurance.

Just had my blood draw for my latest PSA a couple of days ago. No results available yet. I really hope it hasn't doubled again. Probably going to make an appointment with Dr. F, the urologist, and get him on board. I like him. It will be good to have him back, at least for this year.

Well, I'm gonna go get dinner started, it's chicken tonight!


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

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!


"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.


"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! :)    

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