If it’s been a little quiet around here it’s because I’m not going to become THAT OLD GUY, the one who always talks about his ailments every time you see him. I’ll have to admit after last week, though, I’m beginning to understand why that’s all he talks about. When we weren’t dodging snowy roads, we were sitting in doctor’s offices waiting to see where we would be sent next.
Avoid the Emergency Room if you don’t want to spend weeks on follow-up appointments. First, the Emergency Room cardiologist referred me to a cardiologist. Although the first two appointments were cancelled because of snow-covered roads, we eventually got to see Dr. Chen on Thursday.
Meanwhile, I also got a request to see my primary care doctor. The first appointment with her was canceled, too. And the next appointment, an early one, was moved back to later in the day. We started the week at her office where she took x-rays and blood tests to compare them to the ones taken at the Emergency Room. The x-rays seemed to suggest that I might have pneumonia, so she started me on antibiotics Apparently my body hates antibiotics almost as much as it does blood thinners and blood pressure medication I had just started taking. She insisted that I also make an appointment with my pulmonologist, the third doctor I would see in a single week.
I finally got to see the cardiologist Thursday. He confirmed that I had had an aFib attack and was still experiencing an irregular heartbeat which he thought could probably be eliminated with a drug that he gave me to slow down my heart rate. If not, they may have to shock it to “reset” it (pretty sure I don’t like the sound of that). Since my father had multiple heart attacks and both my older and younger brother have had heart-related incidents, he scheduled me for two heart tests in April. I won’t know anything definitive until then, but I found it reassuring that he said I could exercise as much as my heart would allow until I saw him in April.
What I didn’t find out until I hit the gym Tuesday was that the medications make just walking challenging. My blood pressure is regularly down below 120/80, but I get dizzy when I lean over to tie my shoelaces, and I can no longer walk up a flight of stairs without resting in the middle. Hopefully these symptoms will be short-lived while my body adjusts to the three new medications. Until then, my activities, especially at the gym, will obviously be curtailed.
If I had more energy, I’d probably be reading and posting more, but when my heart rate drops below 50 bpm while I’m sitting I find myself drifting off into sleep. Everyone I’ve talked to says this is perfectly “normal” and not to worry about it, but considering that getting old and dying are also “normal” … I’m going to keep pushing back trying to get back on track as soon as I can.
Like I said, I’m not ready to be “that old guy” quite yet.