Disorganization Station – Ritalin Donations Welcome

I’m baack….

Posted in Uncategorized by Hams on 2009/08/17

…in congestive heart failure.

Might as well just come out and say it plainly.  After two years and three months, I began having these symptoms.  Extreme fatigue, nausea, cough, shortness of breath, lightheaded….  Surely it couldn’t be my heart.  On May 7th, I had been to Dr. Aklog’s office and had like the best news ever; I had been discharged to yearly visits. No way was there a cardiac culprit to this mess.

My regular doc was on vacation, of course. So the PA looks at me and says “You know, you seem sort of stressed out. Stress and depression can cause neurotransmitter imbalances which can cause physical symptoms”.

[She meant depression and her intentions were good. I mean, you don’t work in organ recovery without some level of stress which is why there’s this thing called ‘therapy’. But I like the shady backdoor description that healthcare professionals are using these days. It sure wraps it up in a nice little package.]

When I returned a week later, insisting that something was wrong, the physician reiterated the PA’s nice little speech re: depression. One would surmise anti-depressants are frequently prescribed there. I’m all in support of this…when the patient actually has depression.

So the MD performs the physical assessment with labs. Viral. No.  Gastrointestinal. No. Renal. No. Anemia. No. Labs all within normal limits.


Hey doc, could this be cardiac? My blood pressure’s running  a bit borderline and I’m a bit tachycardic. I realize that I’m at 85 now, but my usual resting heart rate is 55 and I’m on two blood pressure meds and I’m running 138/85.  Surgery wants my systolic no greater than 110.

Nah, you’re fine, she says.

Famous last words.

When my blood pressure stayed its course and I started getting short of breath making my bed and suddenly gained about 7 pounds in a week, I called the surgeon’s office.

The visit went something like this:

Nurse: How you been?

Me: (describing symptoms)

Nurse: Any swelling in your feet?

Me: let me check (reaching down and grabbing left ankle), um, I don’t think so….

Nurse: I still see your thumbprint in your ankle

Me: crap

Nurse: Can you be back at 12:30 for an echo?

So I had the echo and my velocities are back up and with my symptoms, I’m in class II CHF. They’ve added Lasix, Potassium, and Norvasc in addition to Lisinopril and Propranolol to keep my systolic blood pressure between 100 & 110. The thought is that if it stays low, then maybe the gradient will remain steady at what it is for awhile.  If not, then I’m back in for an aortic valve replacement this time.

I’m back to blogging to share my experience with others who may be going through it also at a young age.  I hope to capture the experiences of juggling the medical management of CHF along with maintaining a social life and activism and a career.  It is possible to do it all….I think 😉

Good night for now!


One Response to 'I’m baack….'

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  1. hoyden said,

    It *is* possible to do it all! And I know that you can!

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