Author Topic: Health Updates  (Read 12999 times)

Twoapenny

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2019, 11:48:02 AM »
Thanks, Tupp.

I do want (need, actually) to know what the cardiac data is. Because if I have afib, then I'll be put on strong blood thinners for the rest of my life. If I don't have it, I won't have to take them. I'll be automatically informed when the results are in.

It is taking a verrrrrrrry long time to get them but the neurologist said that info from the outside company (device manufacturer) can take a while and it's variable. So I'll just wait.

I'm feeling okay so not too anxious about it. Que sera, sera....

Hugs
Hops

Yes, I would want to know as well.  I'm not as patient as you, though, and would be getting frustrated with waiting :)  Lol, I do hope they come through sooner rather than later, even though you are very patient :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2019, 10:22:25 AM »
I may have mentioned this on the wrong thread, but the first 30-day period of cardiac monitoring was suspicious but inconclusive for afib, so I'm in the middle of a second month on the damn monitor. I lost the handpiece (cell phone that reads the data) halfway through, so there's been some stress and frantic searching. Have ordered another and apparently a week's break in the data won't interfere with results, so that's good.

The hospital has a portal where you can view and read all your test results, which is handy but bewildering. I have a lot of tachycardia. I can feel that. Now and then a big ka-WHOMP one that feels like a mild kick. One thing that's troubling me is that I've suffered many of these symptoms for decades (shortness of breath, chest pains, palpitations, tired, pale) that are directly listed for tachycardia, but was never tested thoroughly. Lots of quick EKGs that never caught it, one echo, one Holter monitor for a few days, a stress (treadmill) test years ago. Maybe now is the only time it's made sense to investigate arrhythmia this deeply, or maybe my doctor has never taken my fears about my heart seriously, attributing them to anxiety or neurosis. Or to my being a youngish female at the time. And in fairness, I did have constant anxiety.

Anyway, I'm feeling anxious again. Vulnerable. Worried about my heart and my brain. BUT. I'm getting appointments set up to follow up with an arrhythmia-specialist cardiologist. Since my stroke symptoms haven't returned, I think the neurology followup will be routine. As to heart though, I'm not sure. M had the same problem, passed out once (as I have) and his was fixed by an ablation. They snake in tools through an artery and burn off the electric cells that are causing the heart to misfire, basically. He said it was a wonder and he came out feeling much better.

I need to get a grip. Cut back on caffeine and wine (and nicotine gum--don't tell me, I know!). Sigh. I hope I have the discipline to do all I need to do.

Just rambling...

Hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2019, 07:31:51 PM »
((Hops))  I'm sorry you don't have any answers yet.  That's so hard, I know.

I'd have to give up caffeine too.  It creates too much of an edge, and it's already difficult enough when you're struggling, IME.

I'm glad M came through the ablation with good results.  His experience removes one of the unknowns, and fear I hope. 

It's going to be OK.

Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2019, 01:50:52 AM »
I'm sorry to read that you're still waiting for answers and having to use the monitor again, Hops.  I hope they get enough data this time to give you something concrete.  It's hard to cope with not knowing (or it is for me, anyway).

Yes, caffeine intake is a lot lower for me these days, more to do with hot flushes than anything else, but it's hard to cut down on.  I like the boost it gives me, the day feels sluggish without it.  Always tough to cut back on things we enjoy but hopefully if it helps you to feel a bit better it will be worth it.

Thinking of you and I hope you get some more definite information soon xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2019, 10:17:49 AM »
Hops, I understand completely. Caffeine + Nicotine is my morning kickstart. Still.

During menopause, I realized caffiene was causing problems for me so I have my 3 leisurely cups in the morning; and no more during the day. (Gave up sodas decades ago.) And I'm trying something new with the nicotine to cut back. Because it's one of my major stress coping mechanisms, it would be foolish to assume I could quit after trying every damn option under the sun already. And I'm still not entirely COMMITTED to the idea of quitting either. But I CAN manage it in such a way, that it's not a major threat to health. Maybe not a great solution, but it's something I CAN do, right?

I eat relatively little sugar; having no sweet tooth per se. Salty things are my downfall. LOL. But that could be because I drink quite a bit of water. All of my heart testing has come back clear. Which is a miracle, given my mom's side of the family has extensive trouble there.

Remember the discussions about sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system we've had in the past? The reason tai chi - yoga - meditation are so useful for many symptoms is because they flip the switch on the relaxation chemicals and reflexes and neural pathways. IF it's practiced on a regular basis. This would definitely help with your anxiety, because the practice requires you to center in your body, pay attention to how it feels, and helps you feel in control of it, naturally.  ;)

I haven't stayed in a Holiday Inn for a long, long time. So take that advice under advisement. LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2019, 05:56:44 PM »
I'm managing with the monitor though it itches like fire and I generally hate its reminder of unknowns about my heart. That said, one more week and I get to toss it. And then jump on a plane to California, which makes me happy for lots of reasons.

The health reason is that my SAD suddenly kicked in. For several weeks I've been struggling with my messed-up sleep patterns, circadian sleep disorder probably...and not doing what I have to do to fix it. THAT is, simple for normal people, Get the F* Up and go outside in the sunlight in the mornings. Embarrassing to admit but it's an enormous battle and I usually let the warmth and tea and pleasantness of reading in bed eat the morning these days.  Pooch can run in the yard any time so even doggie-guilt doesn't do it.

And why I'm happy I'm going to CA...more light! And being there with M also means I won't be able to hibernate the whole day away. And...his GRANDBABY. I think chances are we'll be happy and relaxed and crusing around wine country. So if we don't burn up in a wildfire, it should be good for me.

Hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2019, 03:52:24 PM »
Forgot about this Health thread! So I'm answering health-related stuff here that I was talking about on Relationship thread. Sheesh.

CB, I did take the elderberry syrup, for two days. I may get some to keep on hand as preventative. And while it didn't eliminate the cold, I think it shortened it by a day or so. And it didn't get as bad as colds usually do for me (turning into bronchitis, etc.). I'm well on the mend after about 4-5 days, which for me is actually great. Colds often turn into weeks and weeks of coughing, but it's just a little clear-the lungs of secretions hacking now. Hope that's not TMI!

OTHER good health news. Had my neurologist post-stroke followup just now, and I don't have afibrillation! Or not enough to worry about. What that means is I avoid mega-blood thinners (Plavix/clopidogrel) which I'm very happy about. Good wine (just a bit) and baby aspirin will do. I will still see an arrhythmia specialist, mostly for more education about tachycardia which I do have, but they really seemed pretty confident I'll do okay. Future stroke risk is still more than average but if I tackle exercise and diet I can likely hold it off a long time. I feel optimistic again.

My ultimate diagnosis was that I had a little clot in a central artery of the brain. So...to avoid clotting, the aspirin, more exercise, and low fat diet is the thing. (Plus the fact I didn't know, which is that statins also reduce clotting, not just cholesterol.) I personally think that stress was part of it, preparing for the first Euro trip since '75...and with the ADD I always find getting ready for big trips stressful. Really, really so. But I can work on that too.

Relieved sigh and big hugs to alla-y'all for caring,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2019, 11:27:09 AM »
Oh Hops that is good news!  What a relief.  It's so nice when healthcare can be improved with a few changes and some precautionary steps rather than having big medical dramas to deal with.  Really pleased that it's such good and positive news xx

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2020, 11:13:56 PM »
Well, whew, realized it's been a while since I updated this thread.

The gist is: I saw the arrhythmia guru who said I had a stroke of undetermined origin (it was a wee embolism in a central artery in the brain...very wee, no evident lasting damage beyond the one small spot of destroyed tissue, but not a TIA.) And since the previous monitors, 30 days two different times, still didn't clarify what the deal is...some tachycardia but short bouts of it, and indeterminate afib....

....He proposed an implanted cardiac monitor, which tracks my heartbeat 24/7 for up to three years before the battery dies. It's the size of a skinny thumb drive. The other choice would be daily beta blockers which, given that my BP already runs low, I know would likely zombify me. I asked him what he'd tell his sister, and he said, get the monitor implanted.

Ugh. So I did. Outpatient surgery with quite a team (two techs, one cardiologist, one cardiology fellow, one guy from the device company, and a nurse). Uncomfortable but not awful. All that's left now is a 1/2 inch incision, healed up, soon will fade from red to pink then white. They do SHOVE it in (it goes in the upper chest aimed down so it lands beneath the breast tissue)...like RAM it there, so it creates its own channel. Aaaggghhh. But now I can barely feel it.

I have a monitor base beside my bed that it talks to every night, silently, without me doing anything. I have a fat pendant I carry around since I don't want to wear it. Haven't found a better solution so far than looping it on a cord around my cell phone. In the way, but I don't use the cell much. Once in a while I "call in" the data which is very simple, just push a button on the base and hold the thingie over my chest and the thingie talks wirelessly to the implant and I set it back in its base and it sends the data in. Whoopee. And I'll have periodic appointments for updates, if there are any.

It was a bit traumatic to go through and mentally adapt to, but on balance, I find it comforting. I know that the most detailed record is being created. If I still don't have afib I'll be very glad, but if I do, I'll find it easier to accept mega blood thinners for life. And I'm glad there's this interim diagnostic step that should make me more clear about what the deal is.

Glad I decided not to do more big trips this year. Just too much stress until I'd processed all this physical stuff, both heart and brain and back pain...all added up.

Feeling fine now. Fatter and wobbly from not exercising, but global warming has brought an early spring and I'm starting to take walks more often again, and that is the end point I want. Just to get moving and take care of myself again.

Thanks for caring and it's good to write it all down!

hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 11:18:12 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2020, 01:50:44 AM »
Ooh, Hops, it doesn't sound nice but I'm glad it's there and I hope not causing you too much discomfort?  Does it alert you to a change or is it more to send them data so they can notice any patterns or problems that come up?  Either way, I'm glad it's doing something and yes, I think fewer big trips sounds like a good plan, especially if the weather's getting better now and you can get out and about a bit more :)  I'm hoping things with M are going well as there hasn't been much posted about him lately? :) xx

lighter

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2020, 08:06:42 AM »
You've been on a roller coaster with your heath, Hops.  I'm glad you have things closely monitored, as they seem to require it, and won't be traveling so much.  Glad about the former anyway with this C flu going around.

I've missed you on the board.  Hope to read a relationship update soon: )

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2020, 09:27:45 AM »
Thanks, (((((botha youse)))))!
I'll update soon about M on my Relationship thread. Not sure it'll be today but soon!

Tupp, the implant doesn't talk to me, just sends info to its base. But if I feel something worrying happening, I punch the pendant. What that does is record a "highlight" or marker into all that data. So when the periodic data reports are read by the specialist, his attention is drawn to that section for analysis. The monitor's not about alerting them about emergency events (I'd have to call 911) but for evidence of patterns over time that could help them clarify a diagnosis.

It's a "loop" recorder. After I've hit the pendant button four times (could be weeks or months), then I should call the center and let them know I'll be calling in a data report. I do that, and then they magically re-set the recorder from their end, and on we go. I've done one cycle so far, reports are okay. I think I was over-sensitive to it the first few weeks and reporting fairly normal skipped beats, not real tachycardia. Crying wolf, iow. They said that was normal too! Anyway, if I feel unexpectedly faint I should push it, or feel a drumroll of tachycardia of any length, or if I ever pass out of course. It doesn't have to catch the whole event in the moment it happens, but as near as possible. Pretty remarkable invention, actually. Years back, if you didn't have a doc with a stethoscope in your presence, it'd be more of a guessing game, I think.

And for me, long-term monitoring is much nicer than an automatic prescription for potent blood thinners. I really didn't like being on those right after the stroke though they were necessary for 21 days. Statistically they reduce stroke recurrence during that period, but after that, not much benefit. (Daily baby aspirin and some wine!). I bruised like an eggplant on those meds and they increase internal bleeding risks.

However, plenty of people my age are on them and doing fine, so I would too if necessary. I just really like the idea of as precise a diagnosis as will be possible, as do they. It's nice having a fine teaching hospital near, as you tend to get the latest and best options in care. I feel lucky to have the thing, really.

Other health updates are only that I yielded to a SMALL corona-panic-buy moment, and ordered two gallons of overpriced hand sanitizer base gel, so I can make my own. (If need be, just carrying cotton balls and a small jar of it.) All the stores are completely out. And I got a couple bottles of elderberry syrup (one for me, one for M) to take daily to boost immunity. He just emailed that there were only a handful of people on his flight to California yesterday. People really are weirded out. I'm not, too much. Really the only thing one can do is avoid crowds, washing hands all the time, and wait it out. I think the real problem will be the economic panic, as most everyone may be exposed at some point, and a lot of mild cases will be missed as they'll feel like colds. Humanity will survive though the cracks in the health care systems will be exposed. (Would be nice if we could get a president who believes in science more than talk radio, this time!)

Hugs and stay healthy!
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2020, 11:16:17 AM »
Dunno if this is always Health Updates or if it's Aging Updates!

Today I'm posting about the latter though it's definitely connected to the former.

I'm fine. But I took a huge pratfall in my LR, walking blindly in thought across it to put the handset in its cradle. I forgot I had a full case of beer on a towel where I let it sit for several days after the bleach spray to disinfect.

Walked right into it, flew over it and landed hard on the hardwood floor, hitting head, and mostly one knee. Felt stunned. Called out to Pooch because I wanted comfort and figured she'd come give me a comforting sniff. Next thing I heard was her paws clicking away as fast as she could toward the bedroom, where she could hide from the scary noises I was making. Hah. Evidently she is not a nurse dog.

Bottom line is I wrenched the knee and am still limping and frustrated (oh the garden!), but will be fine in due time.

What I've found myself thinking about was those flashing thoughts that raced through my head right after impact, as they've changed:
--Oh no. If I've broken something I'd have to go to an ER, and the hospital isn't safe!
--This is what happens when you'll be seventy in a few days.
--Falls are the beginning of a bad cascade for older folks. Is this the start of mine?
--I live alone.

All that said I'm clearly okay, just limited and limping and beyond annoyed with myself for being disorganized and letting something sit in a dangerous space and not dealing with my clutter. But I will be OKAY.

Kind of a wake-up call though. So I'm hoping I take it seriously.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2020, 11:48:29 AM »
Ouch, Hops, that sounds painful!  I hope it isn't too bad a sprain and that it settles quickly with some rest and TLC (although clearly not from Pooch as she has shown herself not to be relied on in an emergency!).

Those sorts of incidents are always wake up calls, I think, they sort of remind us we're not infallible and highlight the scary bits like living alone and not being safe in hospital - I think the latter is particularly scary at the minute.  It's also an unusual situation in the sense that you wouldn't ordinarily have crates sitting around after bleach spraying because you wouldn't usually need to spray things - so I'm wondering if that played some part in you forgetting that they were down there.  I'd hazard a guess it was more to do with the unusual situation (things sitting where they wouldn't usually, being lost in thought after phone calls) than the start of elder falling activity.  I'd hazard a guess that with all the healthy eating, dog walks and increased social connections at the minute you're probably fitter and healthier than you might be at other times (at least that's what I'm hoping!).

I hope the leg is better soon and that Pooch thinks about her behaviour! xx

Hopalong

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Re: Health Updates
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2020, 01:36:52 PM »
Thanks, guys.
I'm just a wuss.

And alas, Tupp, though I AM eating better I've been reverting to my sedentary ways and not walking regularly. I am truly, actually, deconditioned and unfit. Wake-up call Part One.

I think you're right, it's not the beginning of elder-falling-cascade, and was to do with two things: 1) new boxes in odd places, and 2) ADD and spacing out. I think #2 is more of a danger than it used to be.

CB, "I'll move that later" is like a precise summary of my hugest psychological/ADD issue. I've said that to myself every day in multiple ways about a million procrastinated things. Or I'll start something that needs getting done and wander off like a bee to a new blossom. It's cumulative and it's torture.

I am grateful for the sympathy, it really helps!

Moanily,
Hops
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 11:51:42 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."