Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keeping Busy

I began going to a therapist a few weeks ago. She thinks that I have been thinking too much. She suggested I get out more and see people and do things that otherwise occupy my mind.

I came home and thought how much my aunt and cousin have enjoying researching for the family tree on and I set up an account. I have spent countless hours on it and find it a great distraction and at times it's exciting. Other times it can be frustrating but such is life.

I also realized that I need to let go of the feeling of missing work so much. I didn't choose not to ever work again. It's the hand I was dealt and I must deal with it. Acceptance and finding the silver lining in the cloud has been my goal the past two weeks. My mother has been much better and when my sister visited my sister took us out for lunch.

Autumn, my VERY favorite season is here. I already have a bowl of freshly harvested apples on my table. My Halloween decorations are about and there is quite a chill in the air today. I really want a carmel covered apple. I was thinking of the fun of Halloween as a kid. It was the best! Not so much the candy but the dressing up and the parties had by friends. I miss the friends that I once had. It's hard to maintain friendships when people live far away and when your illness takes so much of your time and energy.

Well, my oxygen was just delivered and I must get over and walk my mother's Boston terrier. My mother fell and twisted her knee which is now in a brace. Her yard slopes and she can't manage going up and down it. Her little dog is very strong and it's hard for me. I really wish she would get rid of her big house and go to something with no stairs in an adult community. In fact, that is looking good to me already.
Enjoy the Autumn.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Lovely Day

Today I had a wonderful day. I needed one...badly.
The past few days have consisted of me dealing with the cardiologist in New Jersey who has  been in touch with my doctors in Philly. He returned on Monday and he called me Monday night at 10:30. He said that the report said I had a heart attack and he actually wanted to find out that it was wrong. He reviewed everything from my stress test and concluded that I had, in fact, had one. There is damage and since it is in the right side near where I had the bypass he felt that the bypass had closed off. The doctor in Philly who did the actual cardiac catherization on me told him that had that happened it would have been a very bad heart attack. I asked him how bad it was and he said that overall the stress test was bad but not horrible. I was relieved that the glass was half full. Now they will be rethinking about letting me go off of the blood thinner and when I do I may need to be hospitalized for about ten days getting IV heparin instead of being allowed to give myself the belly shots. You cannot have heparin at home because they draw blood like every six hours. Not sure how this will work out in the future as I have to go off it to have my lungs tapped and for other procedures.

Now for today. Today I got to meet my brother and sister-in-law's new puppy, Olivia. She is part terrier and a real cutie. I love puppies. I took her a great little toy that squeaks and realized it's about her size right now! My mother then took both of us out to a lovely Italian restaurant for lunch. I had penne vodka and a wonderful salad. The weather was great, we enjoyed our meal and playing with Olivia. I had forgotten just how sharp puppy teeth are! My sister-in-law, Leslie, is such a wonderful person. Every time we spend time together I come home feeling so happy. She was in a bad car accident a few years ago which required her to have a knee replacement. She had numerous problems with it and walks with a cane. Being on her leg for any amount of time causes her pain. This year she had to take an early retirement. She no longer drives as a result of all this. She is still always cheerful and thoughtful of others. She has helped me to understand a lot of my feelings.

Well, it's late. I just got done doing laundry. Rob is already fast asleep as are the pets.
It's been a long but wonderful day.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Nuclear Stress Test

On Thursday I went and had my nuclear stress test. To be honest, it wasn't as bad as expected (with the exception of needing an IV.) What takes up to four hours was over in two because my NJ cardiology office is run like so well. They had it so cold in there that I was freezing and they even accommodated me with blankets while having something like a CT scan done and for the actual test. I wasn't allowed to actually walk on the tread mill but they used a chemical which in six minutes did the same thing. My doctor has a nurse practitioner in his office, Christine, who walked me through it and was very calming. When you've had as many medical tests as I have it's very easy to read people. Christine did a good job of looking calm, cool and collected but I glanced at the machine and saw some things which I thought were troublesome. At the end she wanted me to rest and recover a few minutes, then I was told to eat something, repeat of the scan pictures and then another EKG. I knew that was not normal, the last EKG. I noticed my doctor was not present in the office that day and was told that he was at a symposium. I would hear the results when he had a chance to review the test and call me.

This morning I got up and went for my second visit to my therapist. I really like her and find her to have great insights. We had a great session and then I had to go to two banks, pick up a baby gift at Macy's and then came home. Macy's had a phenomenal sale by the way. I got home and shortly afterwards my primary care physician called. "Nelle, I saw the results of your stress test. You've had a heart attack and there is a lot of ischemia. What is the cardiologist saying?" I told her that I had not spoken to him. I have gone to this primary care physician for about four years now. With all that has transpired, this is the first time I felt she was upset. She then explained that she felt the news should be given to me by the cardiologist who could explain what this means in detail. Obviously, the ischemia shows there was damage to the heart because that basically means there is little or no blood flow to an area.

I am sure I know when this happened. August 5 when all the drama was going on with my mother I had an abrupt and intense chest pain that lasted about five minutes. It was over quickly and I knew I was seeing the cardiologist the next day. I talked to him about it and he said that the EKG showed changes, lack of blood flow to a certain part of my heart so he wanted the nuclear stress test to see what had happened, if anything.
Lesson learned: Do not allow others to upset you.

I am trying to remain calm, not get upset. I fear that this is a sign that my heart is weakening overall. I fear having a heart attack while home alone. I fear surviving a massive heart attack. I woke up at 3:30 A.M. this morning. Couldn't go back to sleep so just got up. I keep telling myself not to panic. I will feel so much better once I hear from my cardiologist. I also had my primary fax the report to my Philly PH specialist, who is also a cardiologist. I want his take on it. I see him next month.

As the British say: keep calm and carry on. Easier said than done.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Taking in a Stray

Last week one day a bag appeared with this little fella and a post it note attached: "I am looking to be adopted. Will you please take me in and give me a good home?" Well how could I say no? I wanted to name him Corny since he has candy corn buttons and similar body. His name tag just says "CAT" but Rob wanted him to be Otis so he is Otis D. Cat. Isn't he charming? I love folk art primitives and so does my sister-in-law who sent him my way. She has one just like him and a smaller one too. I had admired hers so much last year that we she went back to Lancaster she got me my own.

We have a lot of Halloween decorations but first I want to bring out the Fall items. It's raining here today so it would be a good day for it. We have taken a really laid back weekend here. Went out to dinner for our anniversary. I wasn't feeling great that day but we had a nice dinner and Rob surprised me with a bouquet of gerbera daisies and I gave him a pen handmade by my cousin's husband. It's really beautiful in dark blue and turquoise. He makes hand tooled pipes and pens. The pipes look like Native American peace pipes to me.

Well, Rob is finally awake. I let him sleep in this morning as he has gotten up early every other morning. It's been a nice 3 1/2 day weekend for him. We have caught up on reading. I have finished the last book of The Hunger Games series. I started a new Jodi Piccoult book.

This Thursday I have my nuclear stress test scheduled. I am not looking forward to it at all. The Philly PH doctor agreed that it should be done. Perhaps they will find out something new and helpful.
Happy Labor Day.