Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sometimes, you just feel it...

When your body is telling you that something is just not quite right.

I've had that "feeling" so I took myself to my cardiologist for my annual exam (and to get my medication refilled). I knew he'd tell me I was overdue for a thallium stress test and echo. I knew it. I was right. He said I was overdue and why didn't he have any results for the last one he scheduled???

Because, I had canceled it (I told him that Ron had been sick). The same day his receptionist made it (I didn't tell him that part). I don't like them. I don't mind the treadmill part and I don't mind the echo. I HATE the thallium "picture taking" part. Since I broke the head of my left humerus off when I was 14 (that's your big "upper arm" bone and the head is what rotates around in your shoulder socket; I broke it at the "surgical neck"), I have some limited range of motion. At the time, it was thought that I'd not be able to lift my left arm (straight out in front of me) higher than a casual wave (sort of like John McCain's mobility issues with his shoulders). I am able to comfortably get it nearly straight up in the air - but it takes a couple of tries. When I lie down on my back on the floor, I cannot touch the floor with the fingertips of my left hand when I put my hands over my head, but I can with my right. I have some extreme issues with external rotation of my shoulder (see Figures 2 and 3 on that page; I cannot do the "left" action in Figure 2).

That being said, part of the thallium test involves lying on a table with your LEFT arm over your head for two 20-minute sessions. The machine is also very close to your face. I have anxiety attacks. See where I'm going with this???

The technician is really very nice but there is only so many times I can hear, "Mrs. Williams, if you don't quit moving your left arm, these pictures won't be any good." Never mind that I tell her each time, I'm not moving my arm - it won't go where you want it, and when it gets put there, it won't stay. I have no control over it...  She doesn't appear to believe me.

But, I've been feeling enough "off" that I decided I'd take 1/2 of a dose of Xanax so I could handle the machine being right next to my face and maybe I'd be able to get my arm to go farther and stay longer where she wanted it to stay. I have to say the test went well and I didn't freak out over the machine or the arm issue.

The treadmill and I also seemed to get along better this year, so I was thinking that maybe everything was all in my head, or a figment of my imagination.

Not so... I had an abnormal EKG and it remained abnormal throughout the treadmill session. Oh Joy! Also, my mitral valve prolapse has not gotten any worse (that is good), but I've developed a mild tricuspid regurgitation. Since it's mild, it's probably an OK thing. For now... If it gets worse, or the mitral valve gets worse, I'd be looking at valve replacement surgery.

Right now, I'm looking at a heart cath to make sure there's no serious reason for my abnormal EKG. I had a baseline EKG two years ago (June 2008) so he'll have something to compare to.

My biggest thing - you have to have a driver (I WILL be sedated) and Ron is definitely out. Amy and Keith are so low down on PTO that I wouldn't even ask them to ask for the time off. I think that Keith could take me (would have to be there early one morning) and then maybe Amy could come get me and take me home.

I'm sure it will all work out in the end, but I sure don't know when I have a convenient time to take off for a heart cath. Ron's learning to use his leg (haven't practiced this week at all), we have BIG deadlines at work next week (and the week after), and the rest of the year until mid-December is going to be very, very busy.

The heart tests do show that I'm not at risk for stroke, so that is a good thing.


jojo said...

when it rains it pours...sending you good thoughts and healing prayers...

p.s. I understand completely about the Thallium...ick! hate it but I do it because I hate the cath even more..;p

SkippyMom said...

FLMA should allow Keith or Amy to take the day off without repercussions. They may miss a day of pay, but I think you are infinitely more important.

Please take care of this. Please?

SkippyMom said...

*FMLA [Family Medical Leave Act] oopsie.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I agree with Skippy, you need to take care of this. Like most women you are too busy taking care of everyone else!

Michaela said...

Hi there. Im sorry to hear about your heart test results. That sounds like it was a nasty arm break to begin with. I feel for you, having to struggle through the tests. Hope you can arrange some help for the next one... xxxooo

Pat said...

Please take care of this as soon as you can. Do you have a friend who can help you out? I'll say a prayer for you. Take care.