Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Right between the Eyes

Hubby had an appointment with his new neurologist yesterday. We’ve never seen such an array of high priced, super educated, well-titled specialists before and we’ve been mightily impressed. In fact, we’ve met so many new doctors that we now keep a bound calendar with attached address book just so we can note appointments, places, addresses, specialties and try to keep them all straight.

First up, Hubby has a cardiologist. He monitors blood pressure and sends Hubby for extensive cardio testing. He also wears three piece designer suits, blue shirts with French cuffs, and very tasteful ties. Of all the doctors, he is the most handsome and stereotypically dressed.

To date, Hubby has spent 12 hours in cardio testing, stretched over a three day span. The cardiologist is unhappy that Hubby’s blood pressure stubbornly resists going below 140 / 90 (or thereabouts, fluctuating mostly up) so medications are routinely changed. Hubby doesn’t like the medications and if they make him feel lousy he stubbornly resists taking them. The prescriptions from the cardiologist made Hubby very dizzy so he happily resorted to the prescriptions his primary care physician sent home with him from the hospital. To counteract Hubby’s independent streak, the cardiologist has now set Hubby up with his own nurse practitioner that he is to call day or night if he has any bad reactions to the prescriptions.

Hubby also has a neurosurgeon, the one who operated on the aneurism on April 27. The neurosurgeon doesn’t demand the face time with hubby that the cardiologist wants. One post-op appointment and Hubby was released for six months, at which time, a "procedure" will be scheduled to check on the state of Hubby’s head. I took an instant dislike to the neurosurgeon, who was professional to the point of being chilly. He was extremely competent however and it was he who realized after four days of extensive testing and no clear diagnosis just what had happened in Hubby’s head the day after Easter.

Hubby’s favorite doctor is his primary care physician, Dr. Duran. He is young, cute, upbeat, caring, and funny. Hubby, who always believed that health was simply mind over matter, did not have a doctor. Briefly, when he found himself unable to overcome the symptoms of adult on-set diabetes, he saw a specialist and a nutritionist. His blood sugar was over 300 when he was first diagnosed. Simply by weight reduction and the elimination of sugar from his diet, Hubby brought his sugar into the normal range – 80 to 130 usually. He will remind you that clearly he had been correct all along – controlling his health was merely his mind controlling the "bad."

Dr. Duran was on call the night Hubby was admitted to our neighborhood hospital, at 3 a.m., after we had spent seven hours in Emergency waiting for ambulance transport. From the moment he and Hubby met, Hubby wanted him for his own doctor. Luckily, Dr. Duran was part of Hubby’s insurance program and wanted Hubby for a patient. We have an R.N. friend who claims everyone would have wanted Hubby for a patient because clearly he is a text book case, beating the odds in such an incredible way, and the medical community wants to know just how he did it. Several medical papers may soon be in the offing.

Dr. Duran is the most relaxed of the doctors, possibly because he's the youngest. He dresses in jeans and t-shirts under his white coat. He greets you exuberantly in the parking lot on his way into / out of his office. He calls after one of the procedures he's scheduled has been performed just to make sure you are doing okay. He talks with you before he takes your blood pressure. He is happy to include me in Hubby's appointments. We both like him exceedingly.

Dr. Duran has set Hubby up with several new specialists. The gastroenterologist performed a colonoscopy two weeks ago. The results were gratifyingly clear and Hubby doesn’t need to go back for 10 years. Hubby’s knees have caused him great pain for at least seven years, and Dr. Duran believes he is perfect for arthroplasty, the resurfacing or relining the ends of bones when cartilage has worn away and bone has been destroyed.

We had to wait the longest for the post-op appointment with the neurologist and I assumed that this would merely be a check-up and release. The neurologist, though, wasn’t about to let such a "test case" escape without a more thorough study. Consequently, Hubby has been scheduled for some type of procedure and the hospital has called to set it up for tomorrow. Hubby is not sure exactly what they are gong to do, but we know that no "pre-surgical" activities are required.

Hubby was far more interested in the diagram the neurologist drew for him. We had always thought that the aneurism was just off to the side and behind Hubby’s right ear. Nope. He was struck "right between the eyes" where two arteries meet and branch off. We had been warned repeatedly in April that the surgeries on Hubby could leave him blind or mentally impaired but we never pictured something so close to his eyes and the front of his head.

Tomorrow we’ll learn how well the repair on the aneurism is holding. Keep your fingers crossed for us.


M said...

I do believe there is a certain aspect of mind over matter in the healing process!

I hope it all goes well.. (-:

Bev Sykes said...

crossing fingers, as requested!