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I had a longish session with my Lovely Lady Doctor this afternoon.  It made me laugh actually, because I had a list of things to speak to her about which read

Eyes
Cough
Heart
Knee
Feet

so we had a good giggle about that which made me feel loads better straight away.

I just told her for her information what happened yesterday at the eye clinic, and she was interested to hear that they thought it might not be caused by diabetes but by marginal hypertension.  She said that Dr Adams was beginning to think that the problem might be caused by a kind of increased blood pressure going the wrong way between heart and lung.  Or something like that, if that isn't completely mad!  We had a long discussion about how my blood pressure always seems to be on the high side of "just all right" and in the end she prescribed a Beta Blocker, to see if it might help. 

Later I remembered how I was always fainting when I was a young woman,  so maybe what would be normal blood pressure in other people might be, in fact, high blood pressure for me.

Strangely enough, this evening I was reading in today's Telegraph about a little lad who needs Viagra to keep him alive because he has pulmonary hypertension which causes the blood pressure in the arteries to rise, putting strain on the heart and reducing oxygen levels.  This little lad cannot walk more than a few steps without getting out of breath.  It also said that only 4000 people in the country have the condition which usually affects middle aged women and can lead to heart failure and damage to the lungs.  I was kind of hoping that this might be the answer until I read that it also said the survival rate for most patients is about five years.  So now I'm hoping it isn't that, because I've had the bloody thing for over a year already.

I was going to tell Charles and John about the newspaper article, but I'm not going to now, because I know Charles will automatically assume the worst and get upset, not to mention driving me mad by asking if I'm all right all the time.

She thinks the cough was probably an infection, since it seems a bit better now, she's prescribed more painkillers for the knee and thinks the feet will sort themselves out when I've seen Dr. Adams on the 27th. of this month and he decides what to do next.

I told her how desperate I am to get some proper exercise and she said she would discuss with Dr. Adams whether I could be included in one of the exercise programmes for people with heart disease.  There are a lot of those, but there is no help with exercise for people with atrial fibrillation, which seems mad to me.

Charles has started to wonder if he has a wheat intolerance.  He's certainly had digestive problems for a couple of years, so he's decided to give up wheat for a few weeks to see if he feels any better.  He would tell me this just after I've stocked up the fridge with bread and pizza and have bought a couple of boxes of cereal!  I've told him to go away and research it on the Internet and then come and tell me what he can eat!  How he'll manage without being able to eat the quantities of bread and cake he eats at present, I simply don't know.  My suggestions of carrot sticks and apples were not well received.

I'm just about to go to bed and have to take the first of the Beta Blockers.  She told me to take it just before I go to bed in case my blood pressure drops dramatically and I get dizzy.  Presumably I shan't notice if I'm asleep!
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Well the myocardial perfusion scan wasn't too bad.

I deliberately got there early only to find they were running 30 minutes late, of course.

First of all they weighed me to calculate how much of the unclear stuff to give me and then they took my blood pressure rather painfully, saying "Ooops!  It got a bit enthusiastic there!"  Then they inserted a cannula in my other arm and spent 4 minutes injecting me with radioactive stuff at the same time as giving me an ECG and "stressing" my heart by making me lift each leg alternately, bending the knee and touching the heel on the bed then lifting it and straightening it again.  It doesn't sound like very much, but for someone with dodgy knees, lying perfectly flat on one of those hard examination couches, it quickly produced a torturing back ache, painful knees and wobbly leg muscles;  eventually she told me to just draw my heels back and forward without actually lifting the feet from the couch, which was marginally better.  All through this I kept having my blood pressure taken every so often.

Afterwards I had to have a sit down for a few minutes, because I felt so wobbly.

Then I was told to go away for an hour, drink as much as possible, including any of the stuff that had been prohibited for the previous 24 hours, and go for a short walk.

I really enjoyed my giant mug of filtered black coffee and bottle of apple juice, but the wholemeal egg mayonnaise sarnie was pathetic and, I thought, rather expensive at £1.99 although John assures me that they cost well over £2 in motorway service area shops.

Back I went to wait a little longer and then went for the scan itself.  They reattached me to an ECG machine and explained the procedure.  When I asked why I'd still got the cannula in my arm he said that it was in case they needed to given me anything!!  I can't say that made me feel very confident, but actually it was a piece of cake, except for having to keep still with my hands above my head for about 30 minutes.  I made him give me a pillow to go beneath my knees, because I knew that if I lay flat without moving for 30 minutes, I wouldn't be able to walk when it was over.

Again, thank God, it wasn't a tube I had to be put in but a device looking a bit like a huge half open book that came down close to my body and moved itself every time it took a picture

It was all very tedious and, of course, I got a horrible tickle in my throat that made me want to cough, and wandering leg syndrome, which I tried to relieve by just wiggling my toes.

Afterwards he removed the electrode patches and the cannula and let me go.  I had to go and sit for a few minutes in the waiting room before I felt able to leave.

If Dr Adams wants more information, I may get called back in a few weeks' time for another test, this time "At Rest"

I've felt absolutely shattered for the rest of the day and am planning to go to bed shortly because I'm still so tired!

John is fed up as his personal TV has stopped working and refuses to turn on.  Of course, it's just out of warranty and we never buy those expensive insurances, so tomorrow we have to try to find someone to look at it.  Comet offered to do so, but I expect they have to send it away, and if it's not economic to fix it we'd like to know as soon as possible so he'll be able to buy a new one while the sales are still on.

I've offered him mine in the meantime on condition that I don't have to keep running backwards and forwards helping him use it.  He has refused!  There's nothing I want to watch anyway.

Oh Joy!!  Tomorrow I have an appointment at 9.30 with the dentist for more root canal work!
blackberry444: (Default)
I've had a copy letter today, of the letter Doctor Adams sent to my Lovely Lady Doctor.  At the bottom is a note of the tests he has scheduled for me, including a myocardial perfusion scan, which I don't think I've had yet, after which he has written "(silent ischaemia?)"

This possibility puts an entirely new complexion on things.  My mother died very suddenly in her mid 50s of ischaemic heart disease, having exhibited no symptoms that anyone ever knew about, although she did have many dizzy episodes which were put down to Meniére's disease.

I have to say that this has made me feel quite anxious, although I haven't told John or Charles.  John saw the letter but I don't think the phrase will have meant much to him.

Charles and I are both feeling unwell today anyway.  He had only three hours' sleep last night and has a terrible headache.  I was fine until I started home from Costco, when I started feeling sick.  I put it down to hunger as I'd eaten very little breakfast, much earlier than usual, but eating just changed it from nausea to a general feeling of unwellness.  Consequently our schedule is now miles behind.  I feel more or less all right now, though.

I did sit down this afternoon and wrap presents and do cards for the neighbours and a couple of people who sent me cards and who I hadn't sent one to.  I heard unexpectedly from my second cousin Pat who was my father's mother's niece.  Goodness knows how old she must be now,  I had rather imagined that she had died as I didn't hear from her last year, but she has moved again and is living in a retirement flat in Guildford.

At least I managed to get the gammon from Costco as well as the beef, although the gammon cost about double the price from the shop in the market, but I can't leave it till Monday as I need to soak it tomorrow night so that I can cook it for Christmas Eve dinner.

It doesn't look as though Charles will have time to steam clean the oven, but he needn't think that he's got away with it!  I shall make him clean it after Christmas now!

I still have to go to Aldi for something tomorrow, but I'm putting Charles and John on house-decorating and cleaning duties before I go.  I'm also making them do the final last-minute shopping for perishables at Morrison's on Monday, so that after I get back from Aldi tomorrow, I don't have to leave the house for anything until after Christmas and can concentrate on cooking and organising everyone else, which I do so well!

At least Charles' main Christmas present finally arrived this morning while John and I were out.  It's just as well I insisted that Charles got up and lay on the sofa, so that he could hear the doorbell, even if he was asleep, otherwise we might not have got it in time.  It's securely wrapped and hidden in the wardrobe now.

I can't understand why it's taken so long to come.  I understand that my Sis's Christmas present, also from Amazon, was delivered not very long after I ordered it, although they just threw it over the back gate as she was out and she didn't discover it until she went to put something in the dustbin.  Fortunately it hadn't rained before she found it.

Everything else I ordered from Amazon came about a fortnight ago, so I suppose it was just an evil fairy making sure that I remained anxious for as long as possible!

We have one of Costco's wonderful fresh giant pizzas to eat tonight.  I think that as I'm going to cook the beef tomorrow, I shall serve some of it for dinner with all the trimmings.  Normally we just have it cold in sandwiches over the Twelve Days  but if I'm going to cook it tomorrow, it makes sense to have some of it while it's still hot and wonderful.

Oh well, time to go down and put the pizza in the oven.  I must make the brandy butter which I forgot to do yesterday.

That naughty Bramble!  When we returned from Costco I unloaded the shopping and left the croissants on the kitchen table.  In the short time I was away, Bramble had managed to open the packet and eaten half of one croissant and a piece of another.  This isn't the first time he's done this. Bad, bad baby!
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John drove me to Halifax yesterday and while I was in my meeting he went to the Museum of Industry in Bradford.

I was sad to hear that a fellow Trustee and committee member is lying in a coma in a hospital in Tenerife.  Apparently he was taken ill just as he was about to embark on a cruise.  Isn't that just typical?  It couldn't wait till after the holiday!  Poor Brian!

We had a productive but long and exhausting meeting and John enjoyed his museum.  The trouble is, on such days I spend so much time sitting in one position, both in the car on the journey back and forth, as well as the four hours for the meeting,  that I'm usually stiff the following day.  I'm actually not too bad as it happens, but I am completely zorsted!

I've done nothing at all today except sleep late, listen to the radio, make a cake, type a couple of invoices and make the soup for this evening's dinner.  It was lentil and bacon soup and this time I soaked the lentils and split peas for several hours before making it in the hope that it might reduce the megafarts it gave me last time we had it.  It was suggested to me that the soaking might help as might the addition of a little assafoetida, but I didn't have any of that, mistakenly thinking I had some which actually turned out to be tamarind.  It was absolutely delicious with freshly baked rolls!  And we followed it with a slice of the sponge cake I made sandwiched with strawberry preserve, a tiny slice for me, a medium slice for John and one large and another small slice for Charles.

There was a letter from the hospital when I got home yesterday giving me an appointment for a CT scan next Wednesday.   The letter also stated that if I was taking Metformin I was to let the hospital know as soon as possible, so I phoned them today and was told not to take it on the day of the scan or the following day.  I've absolutely no idea why.

I don't remember Dr. Adams saying I was to have a CT scan, but he's on the letter as the referring clinician, so I suppose he must have done.  Maybe he said "Computed Tomography scan" which would explain why I didn't know, but I've no idea really.

I can't say I like the idea of lying in a narrow tube for 30 minutes while the machine takes photos of slices of me, but I shall just have to be brave and not give in to claustrophobia.  At least I shall be going in feet first for a chest scan.  The worst thing will be having to lie still with my arms above my head.  I wonder if they strap you down?  I do hope it gives some clues as to what is wrong with me;  I really don't want to be like this for the rest of my life!

I don't know what's got into the cats.  They were fed at 7.00 pm as usual and after I'd watched Deep Space Nine I went back into the kitchen to find that they'd hardly eaten any of it, but had all thrown this messy jellied cat food  all over the kitchen floor.  Spoiled brats!

Morgan has been very sweet to me today.  I think he must have missed me yesterday.  He's been demanding cuddles and snuggles all day.  At present he's asleep between the keyboard and the monitor.

He has a very endearing little habit which I've never seen in a cat before.  Most cats like to nuzzle and knead when they're little, but Phoebe was past that stage when we got her. Bramble did it but used to suck my neck at the same time, which could get a bit ickyMorgan, however, likes to lie on my chest, or Charles' chest, kneading very gently with one paw while he noisily sucks the "thumb" of the other paw, purring like a turbo-diesel all the while.  Every so often he changes paws.  It's just sooo cute!  I do wish he would stay a kitten.

My hair is such a mess!  I really need a haircut, but I've been putting it off as long as possible to save money.  I shall have to give in and make an appointment for next week, though, because I'm starting to look like a Mad Old Bat again.  I just wish it wasn't so expensive.   I can't understand why John can get his hair cut and his ears and beard trimmed for £6, when it costs me over £30 to have just my hair shampooed, cut and blow-dried, even if the girl is such a superb stylist!  It can't take that much longer than his does.

I've just realised that it's only two and a half weeks till Christmas and everyone will be wanting their hair done, so I hope I'm able to get an appointment and haven't left it too late. Aaaaaargh!  Panic!

I must leave myself a note to do the labels for Christmas cards tomorrow.  I just hope some of my Amazon order arrives tomorrow so that I can start wrapping presents early;  I hate leaving it all till last minute on Christmas Eve.  In any case, one of the things I've ordered is for Charles' birthday on the 17th..  I can't believe that tomorrow is 7th. December.  Where does the time go?

Oooo!  I must add postage stamps to that list.................
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I got to the hospital early, because I went by taxi. John had gone to Newark and I couldn't face trying to find a parking space after the last time I drove to the hospital, when I hit a consultant's car. I had time for an overpriced paper cup of coffee.

Because I was early, of course, the consultant was running late, so I sat in a superheated waiting space for well over an hour by which time I was reduced to a puddle of sweat. Who are all these people who have no trouble in sitting in crowded overheated hospital waiting rooms for hours in their overcoats?

When I finally saw the consultant, he spent quite a lot of time with me reviewing all the tests I'd had and finally telling me that he was baffled. All the tests showed that apart from my usual AF, my heart is perfectly OK and working rather well. He had wondered if I had any tiny emboli in my lungs, but the lung scan showed nothing. He reviewed everything I had told him and made a few more notes, then he made me do something which made me feel totally ridiculous.

He attached a clip to my finger and took some background readings and then he made me march briskly on the spot until I got out of breath. I felt really silly!

He found that there was a sudden big dip in the oxygen saturation level in my blood at the point where I started to get breathless.

I told him that I normally get more breathless than that if I go upstairs or uphill, and that sometimes I get a pain in the chest because of the difficulty I get in drawing breath. He mentioned that there was a faint chance that I had sustained some damage from chemotherapy, despite the MUGA scans I had and that although one would expect symptoms to show themselves straight away, occasionally they were delayed. That didn't make me feel very happy, and I haven't mentioned that possibility to John or Charles. He also mentioned the possibility that it could be angina, since, apparently, it doesn't always present with pain. I do hope not!

He was most apologetic about being unable to discover what was wrong, and he sent me for some more X-rays and blood tests. When he gets the results, if he thinks it will help, he will also send me for a mysterious BNP test for some hormone or other which is something they don't do very often as in most cases it doesn't tell them anything, but it just might tell them something about me. I got the impression that it was like being given a winning lottery ticket. He had to call his consultant friend up to ask if he would do it for me, although I don't know when that will be I have an appointment to go back to Dr. Adams in three months.

John was by now back from Newark so I called him to bring me home. When I finally got home at 1.30, after being at the hospital since 11.00, I started to feel rather unwell. I don't know whether it was the result of all that marching on the spot, or what, but I started to feel very shaky, in spite of immediately eating lunch. I should have taken my blood glucose measurement, but I just didn't think to do it. It might have been the effect of having had the extra Amaryl tablet, and then having nothing to eat all day except a yoghurt.

I had a short rest and then we all went shopping at Morrison's. John did the driving because I didn't feel up to it, but I said he could rest in the car and read a book after his early morning start, and Charles and I went and did the shopping.

It was absolutely vile in Morrison's. It was really crowded and suffocatingly hot. Thank God I had Charles with me, because I would probably have burst into tears, abandoned the trolley and gone home if he hadn't been there.  He's always such a Rock!

When we got home, all of us were exhausted and poor Charles had to unpack everything and put it away on his own because I felt so seedy. It's useless expecting John to help because he has only the haziest notion of where anything might be kept! I always think unpacking the shopping and putting it away is by far the worst part of a horrible chore. But, bless him, he didn't complain, and afterwards he made me a cup of tea.!

Yesterday Morgan disappeared again and we did the usual running up and down the back lane looking and calling.  Not a sight or sound of him.  Later when I went out again to call him at 6.00, I stood in the gateway to the back alley and called him several times.  Nothing!

When I turned round to go back indoors, he was standing in the yard near the door.  He was suspiciously dry and warm and had only slightly wet feet, so I think he's found someone nearby to take him in and make a fuss of him.  Adrian says it's not them, so I have no idea who it could be.

I still feel a bit seedy.  I think I've probably overdone it again this week, what with one thing and another and going to Caroline's yesterday to reconcile her books.  I shall have to have a quiet weekend, because I have to go to Halifax again next week for a Finance Committee meeting, which will make me feel like a bit of chewed string by the time I've left home at 7.30 and got back probably 12 hours later.  Fortunately I don't appear to have any other appointments next week and that's the way it will stay!  I need to recover my strength, such as it is.

I'm off to have a relatively early night, and I don't plan to get up till lunchtime tomorrow.  So there!

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