Ten Must Be Old For A Blog Because It Is Slow Getting Started

Did you ever have a plan that just refused to come together and get started? That is what is going on around here. Every day, I have planned to write a post here, but something in real life just jumped up and bit me in the behind. 

Fabgrandpa and Rosie The Boy Cat snoozing in the chair.

Fabgrandpa and Rosie The Boy Cat snoozing in the chair.

Right before Fabgrandpa went in the hospital to have his heart cath done, the dryer quit drying. It still came on and tumbled around, but it did not heat up. I thought it was the heating element, but it turned out to be the timer. I called the store where we bought it four years ago, and asked them to send out a repair person, and they said they would put me on the list. They said it would take about a week. So, on the following Monday when I had not heard from them, I called again. They said my ticket was “not in the basket, so that means it is on the repair guy’s clipboard. That means he has you in line soon.” So I waited until Friday. I called the store again, and was told that “my ticket was in the basket.” Hmmm. Something did not sound right. It’s like they had these standard responses to spit out when someone called. 

So, I hung up the phone and googled for an appliance repair business in a 35 mile radius. I found Bremen Appliance Repair. I called them at about 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and they said they would come out the next morning at 8:00 a.m. And they did. I still have not heard from the other place. I never will. Too bad. They will never get any more of my business. 

Then, on Sunday, I cooked dinner for my son, Seth, and his two teenagers, Michael and Sarah. They were really appreciative of a home cooked meal. I made a Boston Butt pork roast, fresh creamed corn, green beans, diced potatoes, and fried okra. I sent half of it home with them. By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted from the effort. I love cooking for them, but it just wears me out. 

On Monday, I slept all day. That happens to me when I get exhausted. Nothing new. It is just part of my new life after surgery. I feel bad about it sometimes, but it is what is. Fabgrandpa is still recuperating from his cardiac catheterization, so I am trying to do everything. It’s not all getting done, but that’s ok, too. 

Tuesday, we went to Carrollton, about 35 miles away, for Fabgrandpa’s lab appointment with the endocrinologist. Turns out his appointment is this week. Doh! I put it on the wrong day on the calendar. Silly me. Another day wasted. 

Wednesday, I had to get up at the ungodly time of 5:30 to take Morti to his neuter appointment. The animals have to be dropped off for surgery at 7:30 a.m. I was dragging by the time I got back home. Another day sleeping in the chair. Except that my neighbor called and asked me to take her somewhere. They have been really good to us, and have done so many things for us, that I hated to tell her no. So, I took her, and it wound up being about a three hour thing. I got home in time to make dinner. 

Thursday, I got up at 5:00 to go pick Morty up. Yes, they have to be picked up before the new day’s patients get there. He did good in surgery, tested negative for Feline Leukemia, had no fleas, and got a rabies shot. And a tag for his collar. He came home and almost immediately started playing with Rosie The Boy Cat. They get along really good. Most of the time, Morti instigates the roughhousing, then cries like a baby when Rosie gets too rough. Just like some children I used to know. Anyway, more sleeping in the chair. All this activity should be good for me, but it only makes me tired. 

Friday. I’m trying to remember what we did on Friday. Probably nothing. Probably more sleeping in the chair. Then on Saturday, the lady who cleans our house once a month came. We went out to lunch, then to the grocery store. When we got home, Fabgrandpa was not feeling well, so I carried them all in, and put them away. Fed the cats. That was my week. 

This week, we have that appointment at the endocrinologist on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, a follow up appointment with Dr. Rouse, the cardiologist. Right now, those are the only two things on my real life calendar. Except that sometime this week I have to go and visit my mother. My plan is to get at least two giveaways posted this week. I know y’all are waiting for them. Then, we’ll see. Life gets in the way sometimes. 

Cardiac Catheterization: Fabgrandpa’s Heart Surgery

When we were called and asked to come in to Dr. Rouse’s office just a couple of days after Fabgrandpa’s stress test, I knew it would not be good news. Doctors don’t call you that quick when it is happy or good news. So, when we went in and heard that Fabgrandpa needed to go for a Cardiac Catheterization, I was not surprised. The stress test was on Monday, August 8, the counsultation in Dr. Rouse’s office was on August 11, and his procedure was scheduled for August 18. Dr. Rouse told us that they would do the catheterization, and if they found any blockages, they would insert stents into those arteries. Fabgrandpa would be in recovery for 6-8 hours, and then we would go home. It didn’t happen exactly like that, but we are now back home after a three day, two night stay in the hospital. NOTE: Graphic photos are ahead, if you are squeamish, don’t click to read more. 

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Fabgrandpa: Scheduled For A Cardiac Catheterization

 Cardiac catheterization

Fabgrandpa

In the ongoing circle of going to doctors, trying to figure out what is wrong with the man of the house, we have now seen Dr. Howell, the primary care physician; Dr. G, the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor; Dr. Mikolides, the neurologist; Dr. Whitney, The vascular surgeon; Dr. Robinson, the pulmonologist, and now Dr. Rouse, the cardiologist. 

 Cardiac catheterization

Me and Fabgrandpa in 2011

The first time we went to see Dr. Robinson was June 22. She took a medical history, and sheduled Fabgrandpa for a lung function test. He has had lung function tests before at the VA, but those were very simple, easy tests compared to what Dr. Robinson did. This lung function test was very sophisticated, with ultra modern equipment. Fabgrandpa sat in what looked like a modern telephone booth, and the breaths he took were recorded electronically. This machine gave Dr. Robinson a ton of information about Fabgrandpa’s lung function. Quite a contrast with the plastic tube that the VA used, which only showed how far he could blow the marker up the tube. 

Next, Dr. Robinson changed the medication he was using to see if there would be any change in breathing ability. She also took blood to run a bunch of tests. We were referred to Dr. Rouse, a cardiologist, for a stress test. 

With our granddaughter, Sarah at her school play last year.

With our granddaughter, Sarah at her school play last year.

On Monday last week, Fabgrandpa went to Dr. Rouse’s office for the stress test. Because he can not walk for very long without getting out of breath, they did the chemical stress test, where they inject Fabgrandpa with the chemical, and then monitor his heart function.

On Wednesday, we went back to Dr. Robinson’s office for results of his testing. She told us that he has Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, which is an inherited condition that raises your risk for lung and liver disease. She said that even if he had never smoked a cigarette in his life, with Alpha-1, he could still get COPD. Dr. Robinson is setting up a home health nurse who will come to our house once a week and give Fabgrandpa an Alpha-1 injection. 

When we got home from the pulmonologist’s office, we got a call from Dr. Rouse’s office, asking if we could come in the next day at 8:00 a.m. We took that appointment and got up bright and early to get there on time. 

Dr. Rouse said that the stress test came back as “abnormal”, and he is scheduling a Cardiac catheterization for Thursday, August 18. Next week. All of this is happening so quickly that we are wondering why we didn’t start with the pulmonologist and cardiologist, instead of taking this round about journey to get here.  If Dr. Rouse finds a blockage, he will go ahead an insert stents while he is in there with the catheter.

I am nervous, worried, scared, but also hopeful that the things these two doctors aare doing will make my sweetheart feel better. I hope that getting stents will allow Fabgrandpa to feel good enough to go on day trips, and go out and have some fun. All we have done for about two years now is go to doctors. It gets to be depressing, and disheartening, to go from one doctor to another and still feel bad. I’ll let you all know how things go with the Cardiac catheterization on Thursday.

Fun At The Gym: The Old Folks Break The Equipment

Fabgrandpa on the treadmill

Fabgrandpa on the treadmill

We have been trying to go every other day, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. The last time we went, I overdid it, and then did some more stuff at home, and I couldn’t get up out of my chair for a couple of days. Today, we finally went back to do some walking and bicycling again. We both did fine on the tread mill, each walking about 4 minutes. Fabgrandpa went to do some of the machines that work on the muscles of the back, and I went to ride the bicycle. I made it 5 minutes, which was my goal for today.

I went over to the machine that Fabgrandpa was sitting on, trying to figure out how to adjust the seat part so it would go back far enough for him to get his feet on the plates where he would then push with is feet to work his legs.  He finally figured out that you have to pull the pin out, then back up some, and put the pin back in a different hole. So, he did that, and started the exercise. The first time he pushed back with his feet, the steel bar that holds the seat in position fell off onto the floor, with a loud clang.

It just so happened that this was the first time there were a lot of other people at the gym the same time we were there. Because, once Fabgrandpa took his feet off the footplates, the seat would slide all the way down to the end of the platform. He would have been stuck there forever, because I wouldn’t have been able to get him off of that thing.

One of the young men, who had just bench pressed 315 pounds, came over and pulled the seat, with Fabgrandpa sitting on it, all the way up to the other end of the platform, so I could put the steel bar back in place. We were all laughing so much, it took a minute to get the bar back in the right place.  I know this won’t happen again, since we both learned how to adjust that particular machine.

Could Your Prescription Medication Be Making You Sick: Follow Up

I told you about how Fabgrandpa was feeling off balance for over a year last week. The day I showed him the website I found with all the side effects of the prescription drug he was taking, he quit taking it. We made a little video six days later to show how he was feeling. See for yourself:

We both think that everyone should know about this. Question your doctor, question your pharmacist, find your own evidence, but above all, trust your own instincts. LISTEN to your body when you have unusual symptoms. It is trying to tell you something. LISTEN to what it is trying to say.

Could Your Prescription Medication Be Making You Sick?

Can your meds  be making you sick?

Can your meds be making you sick?

Back in February of 2010, Fabgrandpa was going to the VA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, getting all of his health checkups and tests done. One of those tests was a colonoscopy, done by a private doctor outside of the VA. They did not have a doctor who does colonoscopies at the Tuscaloosa location.

The doctor who did the colonoscopy also did an endoscopy, looking down from Fabgrandpa’s throat into his esophagus and stomach. Dr. Brown diagnosed him with Barret’s Esophagus, and prescribed Prilosec, or omeprazole, for acid reflux to prevent the Barret’s Esophagus getting worse.

Fabgrandpa and me at our grandson's graduation in May 2015

Fabgrandpa and me at our grandson’s graduation in May 2015

As you all know, unless you are a brand new reader, Fabgrandpa started feeling off balance last year, and finally started going to a series of what seems like never ending doctors appointments, trying to find out what has been causing him to be off balance, walking like a drunk man, looking like he may fall any minute. His other symptoms include muscle cramps all over his body; ear pain without ear infection; sore throat; trouble swallowing; tingling in his feet, hands, face; headaches; anxiety; depression; just to name a few.

We saw the primary care doctor; and ear, nose, and throat doctor; a neurologist; and a vascular surgeon, who operated for an ulcerated carotid artery that was found while looking for the cause of the off balance feeling.

After all of those doctor visits, and tons of money out of pocket for the doctor visits and tests that were done, there has been no cause found for the off balance feeling, or any of the other symptoms.

Every now and then, when I can’t sleep, I search for causes by googling Fabgrandpa’s symptoms. Now, in all this time, I have only googled one symptom at a time. And with my google searches, I have ONLY focused on diseases that may be associated with the symptoms that Fabgrandpa has been having. There are many many different diseases that COULD have one or two or three of the symptoms, but I have not found any that could have them all. Things like Parkinson’s Disease; Multiple Sclerosis; to Ear Infection, to Toxic Shock Syndrome. But, he does not have any of these things.

google screenshot

google screenshot

Last night, I was googling yet again trying to find out what is wrong with my husband. I decided to type in this search: “off balance, muscle cramps, tingling, numbness, ear pain, anxiety“. The 4th search result was for this:

PRILOSEC: Side effects, ratings, and patient comments. After nine months of doctor visits, tests, and googling symptoms looking for a DISEASE, I found evidence of the problem being a reaction to a common prescribed medication that my husband takes. I’ll let you be the judge. Read the pages and pages of patient symptoms and notes from taking this drug. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think.