High/Low

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, which began with 8 AM Mass. I knew that daughter E would be cantoring, but found out on arrival that her spouse L was singing with her and that the handbell choir was ringing for the last time before their summer break. It was heartwarming and joyful to hear E and L sing together in public in the weeks before their first child arrives. Our friend music director Nancy said that she could feel L’s breath supporting E, although I think that even into her ninth month of pregnancy, E’s breath control is better than mine.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day was more subdued. We wound up needing to take Nana to the walk-in medical clinic and then to the emergency room for some tests. She had made some gains and started outpatient physical therapy instead of having in-home therapy, but, in the last week, she has gotten weaker and more fatigued. This morning, we have a follow-up appointment with her primary care physician.

Sometimes, it is two steps forward, one – or more – back.

Advertisements

SoCS: three dates

My mother – known as Nana here at Top of JC’s Mind – needs a diagnostic heart catheterization as follow-up to this fainting episode and likely prelude to heart valve replacement surgery.

The date of the heart cath was supposed to be June 28.

The week before, she had to have blood work done and the cardiologist didn’t like some of the numbers, so he cancelled it.

After weeks of doctor visits and tests, she was cleared to proceed.

The next date was August 17.

Unfortunately, the day she had to have the pre-procedure blood draw, she developed shortness of breath and wound up in the hospital overnight with a new diagnosis of congestive heart failure. She was discharged from the hospital and sent home to rest, waiting for the planned procedure on the 17th.

Except that the doctor’s office, looking at the pre-hospital rather than post-hospital blood work, cancelled it again.

I was very, very, very, very, very upset. After consulting with her primary care, the cardiologist promised to fit her in next week.

And then proceeded to give us the date of August 31st.

Which is not next week.

I’m still pretty upset, especially because the delay is what I feel got her into the diagnostic category of heart failure.

But, deep breath, and all that…

Fortunately, she is doing quite well now, although she has to take it very easy.

We are waiting for August 31st.

Third time’s the charm.

At least it better be.
*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “date.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2016/08/19/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-2016/

socsbadge2016-17

 

SoCS: trigger finger

Grandma has developed a trigger finger. It’s a cute name, but not a cute condition. Basically, the tendon rolls over the bones in the knuckle at the base of the finger down where the fingers meet the rest of the hand. This makes the finger bend down and catch so that it can only be straightened by taking the other hand and prying it out of the bent position.

And it hurts!

I brought her to see the orthopedic who had done a prior hand surgery for her – and who had done shoulder/arm surgeries on both my husband and me. He is the best person in our area to see for hand and arm things because he has done advanced fellowships.

He injected cortisone into the tendon sheath and, after a couple of days, the pain was gone. After a couple of more it would occasionally catch, but could be unbent without having to be pried open with the other hand.

In a few days, we have a follow-up with the doctor. I’m not sure what he will recommend. The original finger is still catching once in a while and now another finger is getting in on the act. He can do an in-office surgery, which may be necessary to have a permanent solution to the problem.

Trigger finger – not just a gangster term.
*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “finger.” Join us! Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-616/

SoCS badge 2015

 

There Will be Nothing Funny About This Whatsoever, Unfortunately

I was not aware of TTTS but want to help build awareness by sharing this post from Meg of Fisticuffs and Shenanigans.

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

This post is a clear departure from my usual nonsense, but it’s important to me for reasons that will be terribly clear.  My story ends happily.  It ends with the last 12 years of laughter and dirty, loud chaos that only boys can bring, but I came horribly close to an outcome too terrible to consider.

After finding out that I was carrying identical twins in my 18th week, it wasn’t long after, at 22 weeks, during a routine ultrasound, that a significant problem was discovered. Because, most of the time, identical twins share a placenta, a large number of problems can arise, and in the case of my sons, they were not sharing it equally, and had an “Asymetric Placental Share” or “Discordant Growth”. They were 18 days apart in size, and we were told there was nothing to do, but go home and wait two weeks for another…

View original post 799 more words

Dr. Barbara Chaffee

The link below leads to a few paragraphs and a short video clip. Even if you want to ignore the text – and the rest of this post, for that matter – watch the clip. It is part of a documentary nearing completion on the life of Dr. Barbara Chaffee, Binghamton physician, mom, and community member, by her son filmmaker Tim Chaffee. Barbara was at the forefront of treating AIDS patients in Binghamton back before HIV was well understood. She was a compassionate and caring person in whatever situation presented itself and her story should be preserved and shared with the world.

Yes, this is related to fundraising and I have made a small contribution myself, but, no, you don’t have to give money to support the film. If you like the link, please do share it via your blog, twitter, facebook, ello, email, or whatever mechanism you use to get the word out.

With thanks,
JC

http://wildgeesefilms.net/news-timeline/34-just-infrastructure

News from back home

I was awake early today, which usually happens when I know I have a morning flight. Because we were ready early, I called my mom, which, on Eastern Daylight Time, makes her six hours later than on Hawai’i Standard Time. (Given its latitude, Hawai’i has no use for shifting its daylight hours later.)

That morning, my mother had heard back on some tests that she had had done. It turns out that she has giant cell arteritis, a condition that often occurs with polymalgia rheumatica, for which she has been receiving treatment with steroids for about a year. This link has further information on both conditions.

A few days before we left for Hawai’i, I had been thinking how lucky we were that my dad, who has had a number of medical issues in the part year, was doing well. That same day, my mom had an appointment with her family practice doctor, who was concerned that her sed rate wasn’t staying down. She had had a couple of instances with difficulty chewing crunchy foods and he was concerned that she had developed giant cell arteritis. He wanted her to see a rheumatologist, have more blood work, and see a surgeon for a temporal artery biopsy. She wanted to wait to do the biopsy after we returned, but it turned out that it was arranged for more quickly, so she had it taken last Friday, with the results coming today, Wednesday. It was a bit of a shock to us when the biopsy came back positive, because the only symptom she had had was the very occasional jaw pain. No visual problems, no headaches, no sensitive temples or scalp. Given that it was caught early, there is little chance of any lasting damage.

Mom’s doctor is about to retire. We were joking that he wanted to go out with a bang, diagnosing a serious condition early on minimal symptoms. It shows the value of having a good family doctor looking out for all aspects of your health. Even though he is retiring, my mom will be in good hands, with care provided by her new rheumatologist and one of the younger doctors from the family practice who has been her back-up provider in recent months as her long-time doctor has been cutting back his hours to ease into retirement.

Now, nothing else is allowed to happen on the medical front, at least until we get home from our second week, now in Honolulu…