Monday, September 15, 2014
Good thoughts needed
Awhile back Jim saw a doctor about his persistent cough and sore throat. It's when he got an antibiotic I may have mentioned in a previous post. Jim also told the doctor everything that was 'ailing' him. Based on that and the EKG the doctor thought it was possibly angina. The doctor wanted him to go in for a stress test. At this point Jim didn't want anyone to know and seriously it wasn't much to report. Of course Anne and Scotty know all about this and have been great support. I also told Sonsearae and Chris. They've been though this and know what we're facing.
Jim failed his stress test. Five and half minutes into the twelve minute test they stopped it, gave him oxygen and a pill to bring his heart rate down. They then wanted to schedule him for a more extensive stress test and they would set it up and call us. We came home with more questions than answers. But at least now we know why he tires so easily. Something isn't right with his heart, blood flow and circulation.
The next morning we got a call saying they wanted to see him and could we come in at 1500? Seems the doctor looked at the results and wanted him on some meds and schedule a cardiac catheterization. The medicine is a beta blocker to help improve his blood flow.
The medicine has been good for him, we've both noticed an improvement in his overall well being. He still gets tired doing routine chores but he's sleeping better and the chest and back pains are less severe and less frequent.
Unfortunately it took some time to get approval for the catheterization. Waiting has been rough on both of us. For myself I've imagined everything that could go wrong. I'm sure Jim has had some thoughts like this too.
We've been told it's a simple, easy procedure and he should go home later.
On September 8th we had to be at the hospital at 0800 to register for the 0900 procedure. I was up at 0540, Jim didn't get up until later. Once he was up he showered and we were ready to leave around 0730. He couldn't eat or drink anything. My coffee was long gone along with a piece of toast. I packed magazines, my iPad and some nuts to munch on.
The truck and grass were heavy with dew and the windshield washer took care of most of it. Keep in mind that we usually don't go anywhere at this hour. The heat from the engine fogged the windows, our body heat fogged the windows, the sunlight was brilliant and blinded us through the streaks in the windshield...then we encountered fog! Jim had to pull over in some shade to wait for our windshield to get clear.
After driving slow for about ten minutes we could see where we were going. Good thing this road isn't a busy one.
We arrived at the hospital only to be told they weren't expecting us. It seems the appointment was changed to the 15th but we never got the message. The Cath lab informed the heart center about the lab being closed on the 1st. What we think happened was a failure to communicate! It was Labor Day and maybe they were closed, maybe they forgot....
So we wait
Today was a repeat of last Monday. Same early hour, same driving conditions. At least this time they did the test!
And that's when the 'fun' started. You see, they don't do bypass surgery at the Rutland hospital. We have to go to Burlington for that and Jim had to go by ambulance. But there wasn't a room for him....so we waited.
Anne was with me and we went to lunch. Jim was still groggy from the meds and said we should go. We got a quick bite to eat and came back. Jim was able to get some lunch which he scarfed right down.
We convinced Anne to go home. She came back and tended to Boo, walking and feeding him.
Jim and I headed to Burlington around 1400. When I arrived I learned he'd be going in for triple bypass surgery and he was first in rotation for tomorrow morning. One good note, everyone says his heart is in good shape it's just those clogged arteries that's causing all this.
I left around 1800 because it's a long drive and Jim wanted me home before dark....I barely made it! It's been a long time since I've driven so many miles and during his recovery I'll get to hone my driving skills
He's posted on Facebook and by now everyone knows. If you pray...I'd appreciate it.
Please keep him in your thoughts that all goes well