Today, my husband finally had his appointment in at the heart clinic in the city. It was in the afternoon, but they say to come in 45 minutes early. We figured out when we would have to leave to make it with plenty of time, then left a half hour earlier than that, for time to pick up gas along the way.
It was a very good thing we did!
Not long after we left the town we fueled up in, we drove right into a downpour.
The visibility quickly dropped significantly, and we joined about a dozen other vehicles that pulled over on the side of the highway, to wait out the worst of it. My phone’s camera enhances the picture quite a bit. In reality, we could barely see the vehicle pulled over in front of us!
Plenty of vehicles didn’t bother to pull over at all.
There was just the one major rainfall to slow us down.
Once in the city, construction slowed us down.
Then downtown traffic.
When we got there, I dropped my husband off at a set of doors I could get to easily, rather than by the emergency doors, which where closer to where he needed to go, then tried to find someplace to park. This is the same hospital he was sent to twice, during the time he was admitted in the local hospital. Thankfully, it was quieter, and it didn’t take me long to find a parking spot. It was still street parking a couple of blocks away, but at least I had 2 hour parking.
As I was leaving the vehicle, it was only 5 minutes away from the time they said for him to be there, and I already got a text letting me know they had him in and hooked up for an ECG!
That first 45 minutes was with a nurse. Since it’s his first visit, she had a lot of questions and took a lot of information, as well as giving us a lot of information in regards to available resources. Most of which we won’t be able to take advantage of, since they are in the city.
After she was done, we waited for the doctor to come in for the actual appointment. The way they work it is that there are 5 doctors in this clinic, and they all work with the same patients, so we could have any one of them in future appointments, and they will all be working together, as well as keeping his local doctor fully informed and in the loop, as well.
Unfortunately, by the time the doctor came in, my husband was already reaching his limits due to pain, but he managed to hold it together for all of the appointment.
Long story short, he’ll be getting an angiogram to rule out blockages (which he has no symptoms or signs of, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t any), and since we live so far away, they will try and combine that with his next appointment in this clinic. He’s also got two new prescriptions – it would have been three, but he’s already on one of them – to help get his ejection fraction from 20-25% to 35%. He’ll be monitored over the next 6 months. If he’s not above 35% by then, they will discuss having a defibrillator implanted into his heart, much like a pacemaker.
The challenge, as always, is to find a way to get him doing what he needs to do – especially in regards to exercise – while working around his back injury and mobility issues. He has, at least, gotten the okay to do weights, with very specific instructions about what to watch out for so as not to cause more damage.
As for the damage, based on the test results he’s got so far, it’s “structural” damage. The heart muscle itself is weakened. Narrowing down the cause of this is also a goal, since there is absolutely no history of heart disease in his family.
So he’s going to be getting a lot of blood work to monitor what the new drugs are doing, and follow up appointments in the city, over the next 6 months.
Now, if only he can get into the pain clinic, too! It’s almost 18 months on the waiting list right now, and still nothing. 😦
When the doctor left to write up the new prescriptions, I headed out to bring the van around. By this time, I could really tell I was walking on that broken toe a lot more than I should have. Even with driving, you’d think it would be okay, since it’s my left foot, but there’s no good position I can put my foot in that doesn’t put pressure on that toe. Well, that’s not completely true. There was one position, but it involved twisting my ankle, so I couldn’t maintain it for long.
Now that we’re home, I’m going to have to put my foot up and let the girls take over things. My husband was wiped right out and in massive pain, so he went straight to bed to try and recover (from the sounds of things, that didn’t last long). I’d do the same, but my bed is occupied.
Occupied by a furry little bean. 😀
It’s amazing how much space such a tiny creature can take up. 😀