As most of you know, Hubby is NOT well. I have been plenty frightened and, I think, so has he. The pain from the knee and back problems is not abating -- and everything he does to try and fix those problems (like build up strength and muscle in the problem areas) leave him totally exhausted. In fact, any activity, leaves him stretched out on the bed, pale, out of breath, and in need of sleep. Sometimes after just driving the car, he must sit and rest for 10 minutes before he can exit.
We've been in this predicament since the start of May (or maybe longer, I've lost track of time here). Our first attempt to fix the problems started with appointments with our GP -- a man I really like and trust, but will be leaving us for new ventures in the next four weeks. He has helped with the knee and back pains, the arthritis and diabetes problems (pain caused Hubby to go back to eating ice cream daily and we had to combat that -- without totally eliminating the ice cream which the doctor understood). He has also met with Hubby's new doctor and explained that Hubby "can be a difficult patient, especially if he doesn't like or trust you." Hubby came away laughing at that -- but it is SO true. In fact the GP explained that he had met with the whole clinic staff about Hubby and his "difficult" disposition. I guess they are glad when I show up for appointments -- I know they talk primarily to me when I'm there.
But Hubby IS trying to manage our current problems. On his own he made an appointment with his cardiologist. I tentatively asked this morning if I could drag along -- sometimes my presence just makes Hubby more cantankerous. I got a resounding "YES" which said to me that Hubby actually wanted me to run interference -- and speak up about our current problems.
I had met the cardiologist, Dr. Dwyer, during the bout with congestive heart failure in the hospital -- but I do not remember ever going to his office -- if I did it was over a year ago. I know we requested him to be our physician because he was thorough, willing to discuss problems at length, and would talk to both of us - not just me.
Our appointment was for 9:45 and we got to the office early. We were in an exam room by 9:45 and Dr. Dwyer was in the room with us immediately following the EKG. He asked Hubby how he was and Hubby did the normal "Fine" routine. So I spoke up and said, "No, we are not fine. Hubby is in terrible pain. He has no energy. He hates how he feels and he's depressed and angry."
Dr. Dwyer's response was heaven sent. "Yes, I can see that. I can also see from his EKG that his heart rate is WAY TOO FAST. We know the heart is not damaged yet but we do have the irregular beat. And now, since you've explained about the pain, the adrenaline caused by the pain is sending his heart rate sky high. His meds are way too low to fix the problem. We will fix it now."
Then we got a long explanation about how the heart pumps and what is happening. We did not change meds because the ones we have are good -- we are to just doubled and tripled doses.
"Do we get new prescriptions?" I queried while taking notes. "Nope. Use what you have (90 day supply) and I'll see you in a month. You will be tired for the next couple of days until the pills take effect. Then you will begin to get your old energy back. You will exercise again."
Both of us were immediately and immensely relieved. We had been told his heart was pumping well. It's only the output that is showing damage from the a-fib. His lungs are clear -- no sign of congestive heart failure. His blood pressure is well within the normal range. We CAN fix all the problems we are currently experiencing -- with time and meds -- but we're going to fix things.
The icing on the cake -- we were at the Research Medical Center in the heart of the center city, surrounded by the neighborhood deemed most dangerous of all of KCMO. Most of the clientele is minority. But the doctor's building we were in actually provides FREE valet parking -- an older gent gets you out of your car, arranges for wheel chair transport if you need it -- or a walker, and parks your car for you while you saunter into the beautifully maintained center. Now this is Kansas City -- not Chicago, Houston, New York. And we got FREE valet parking in the hood. Cool!