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.
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.
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 Alpha–1 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.