Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

(Continued from Coronary Artery Disease? From Where?)

After the stress echocardiogram, Erika, the PA I see at my doctor’s practice (what, see the doctor? Once in half a dozen blue moons!), sent me a message saying she wanted me to have an angiogram as soon as possible. When I called the cardiology department, they wanted me to wait about three to four weeks just for a consultation.

So I called Erika and left a message telling her this and saying, basically, “Didn’t you want this done sooner than that?” Then HER nurse called me back and we went through the whole thing again, and damned if I couldn’t hear Erika in the background – so why wasn’t she talking to me? Anyway, someone, somehow, leaned on the cardiology department and got me an appointment the following week for a consultation with Dr. Cohen’s PA.

From then on, things sped up considerably. Continue reading

Coronary Artery Disease? From Where?

Last Wednesday I had a stress echocardiogram, and the results were “abnormal.” I don’t have the technical knowledge to understand the medical gibberish in the report, but the bottom line is that my doctor suspects “severe coronary artery disease.” So on Wednesday I have an appointment to see a cardiac nurse practitioner.

Heart disease runs deep in my family history. After getting furious with his doctor, who had missed a key indicator for diabetes on a routine blood test (Daddy noticed it and pointed it out), my father went home and had a heart attack at 62. For the next 13 years he had many long periods of decent health, but also many angiograms and angioplasties, not just in his coronary arteries but in femoral and carotid arteries as well. He was up on the roof one day in 1996, happy as could be cleaning tree and leaf debris off, and died in his sleep that night.

One of my younger brothers had a quintuple bypass while still in his 40s. Mom had atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Continue reading

Total Knee Replacement

(Written Friday, June 24, 2016)

My right knee has been bad for a long time. In it I have not only severe arthritis but Paget’s disease. This is a double whammy for pain. So I’m finally going to get a knee replacement.

See, your bones are always replacing old bone tissue with new tissue. In Paget’s, “there is an abnormal breakdown of bone tissue in specific areas. This is followed by abnormal bone formation. The new area of bone is larger, but weaker. The new bone is also filled with new blood vessels… [t]his results in deformity of the affected bones.” (Medline Plus)

My right knee is grossly deformed. It and the left knee look like they belong to two different people. Continue reading