YAY!

Today, we went to the clinic to have my Mom’s leg looked at (infection is less and the doctor said it is looking good!). She had fallen when getting down from a chair that she had climbed on to close the curtains and scraped the front of her leg so badly I had to take her to the hospital…

While AT the clinic, we were on our way out when she said that she was “feeling a bit dizzy”. She was very pale, so I sat her down and went back into the office and alerted Dr. J and nurse/receptionist. We whisked her back into the examining room and got her lying down and Dr. J (who I DO like this doctor!) was able to test her BP, blood sugar, and listen to her heart WHILE she was actually having one of her turns. This is the first time in 4 years (at least) of these events that a medical professional has been able to see exactly what is happening AT the time she is having one of her “turns”.

Her blood pressure was 84/45 (up very minimally from 80/45 on Wednesday) just before her “turn” and up a few points again, after.

His opinion is what I have felt for a long time, that it is her blood pressure being way too low. Earlier in the week, her family doctor and the cardiologist removed 2 of 4 blood pressure medications. This doctor has told her to stop ALL her bp meds for the next few days.

She sees Dr. S tomorrow for her flu shot, so we may have a bit if a chat about this, at the same time.

Hopefully, THIS will give us a better idea about what is going on.

On another note, a friend informed me this evening my cousin in Iowa has a recurrence of his Protstate cancer and that it has spread to the bone in his leg (I didn’t know he had had a first bout of it). He was on the way to the clinic for a treatment when his leg simply “broke”. He now has pins in it and is walking with a cane.

However, I am thinking of my neighbour who died a few weeks ago. She had bone cancer and she fell and broke her leg, and cancer cells were released into her body.

My cousin is a lovely person and one of the few cousins of his generation left.  My cousin, Ina and her brother, Allen, died a year apart from each other, both suddenly. She died of a congenital heart defect that runs in our family and he died of complications from diabetes.

This cousin has been so wonderful about sharing our family history with me. He is handsome (I call him a “gentleman cowboy”, of sorts). He’s handsome and charming and one of the nicest people I know. He is also yet another person with cancer that I know and/or is related to me.

He and I have been emailing back and forth recently about some family history and he said nothing.

Finally (maybe)…

After a couple of years, they THINK maybe they have gotten to the bottom of Mom’s fainting spells.

In the last while, she has had various monitoring devices attached to the which have annoyed and discombobulated her but which seemed not to have shown the “experts” anything unusual. In fact, the one I had the highest hopes for did not catch the one episode she had while wearing it and 5 minutes after handing it in, she had another one.

Last week, she was put on a blood pressure monitor which she was to wear for 24 hours (which OHIP doesn’t cover and for which we had to pay $100 out-of-pocket).

We were called in to the doctor’s office yesterday and it seems that aside from the first hour when Mom’s blood pressure was elevated slightly, it showed that her blood pressure was “way too low”.  After discussing it with her cardiologist, they removed two of her blood-pressure medications.

Hopefully, this will have an effect on her and she may feel better and have a bit more energy.

Poor thing has been lolling about with no desire or energy to do anything except drag herself to the kitchen or up the stairs to the bathroom. I have been afraid to take her anywhere because every time I do, she has a “turn”.

I certainly don’t like the idea of going to the theatre or anywhere when I’m not with her. If she had one at the theatre, getting her down to the floor and getting her water would be impossible and if she were out with anyone else, they wouldn’t know what to do and would likely call an ambulance, not to mention that unless you get her on the floor with her feet on a chair, she actually goes out and throws up which is awful for her.

With the exception of the time at the restaurant where I was so worried about upsetting the other diners and ended up upsetting them, anyway, when she passed out and was sick and the paramedics came, I have always managed to get her to come round without her actually going completely out or getting sick. It is so upsetting for her to have to go to the hospital and, really, completely pointless because she is completely normal by the time she gets there and they can’t figure out what happened, anyway. And then she comes home sick and disoriented and not quite herself for several days.

If I act quickly and get her feet elevated and some water into her, she comes round and is right as rain almost immediately and never suffers from the “wobblies” for days and weeks after the way she does if she actually gets sick and passes out. If she actually goes out and is sick, I do call an ambulance.

It is just too upsetting for her and I refuse to put her through it if there is no benefit.

On another note,

I will remember this whenever my mother asks me the same question for the 100th time…This a Greek short film made in 2007

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “What is that? 2007“, posted with vodpod

Monday’s Shingle-y update…

I went to the hospital today because my vision in my right eye is blurry and I have what appear to be new spots and some swelling around my eye…

The doctor, the same one as last week,  (who, by the way, was the doctor who say me, here in Ontario, after last year’s Elk attack) said that it appears I have an abrasion on my retina cornea, either from rubbing or from the eyelid sores rubbing but I have to go to the Eye Clinic tomorrow* to make sure.

Apparently, when the eye is involved, to the extent that mine was, the “remote” likelihood of the Herpes virus infecting the eye is less “remote” and when it infects the eye, it can get into the brain…. Brain Shingles, as goofy as it sounds is pretty serious. AND, as you may know, reading up on these things often gives you more information than you want to know… Like, people who get Shingles which invade the eye are at a higher percentage than normal (as much as 30%!) in having a stroke within a short time of their attack.

Having said all that, the doctor is pretty confident that it hasn’t gotten in there but with the corneal abrasion, he wants to make extra sure, especially as my vision in the right eye has become “significantly” blurred since just last week. Then, I was able to read clearly all but the bottom line of the chart, and even some of that. This week, I could read down to line four and that would go in and out…. He thinks it is just from the abrasion.

He drew me a diagram of what the Herpes virus on your eye looks like (see below – with dye and refraction). He says mine just looks like an abrasion but that it it’s best to get it checked out.

Occular Herpes (ARGOS Consultorios de Salud)
Occular Herpes (ARGOS Consultorios de Salud)

On the whole, he says that I am “clearing up nicely”, in fact and that the spots are “post-Herpetic”. After yesterday when I was having a lot of pain and took a number of the pain meds, (rendering me “pretty loopy” today, the headaches seem much reduced, though painful. And I can’t tell if the hot-flashes are to do with Shingles or being 53…. I have taken “dr. az’s” advice and decided to give myself a break from Scramble on Facebook because I was worried about my “brain fog”.

And my blood pressure was great, or at least the bottom number, which is the one that matters (160/94).

The really GOOD thing out of this is that, last week, when I was at the pharmacy, I overheard the clerks talking about “doctors taking patients!!!!!”!!!!). There is a new clinic around the corner from the pharmacy and I toddled right in an made an appointment for a “meet and greet” with the doctor.

Hopefully, this will be the start of a beautiful friendship and I can stop waiting 3 hours for an “appointment” which isn’t an “appointment” but the Appletree Clinic version of a cattle-call. MY last doctor left the previous clinic without warning to join the Ottawa U Medical faculty and the clinic in question didn’t seem interested in finding me someone else to see. My theory about doctors is that you know what kind of service you are going to get from the receptionists and the previous clinic was, for the most part, cold and disinterested.

The welcome at the new place was friendly, considering they were confronted with a person with swollen eyes and a horrific rash. We’ll see how things progress. It has been almost 10 years since my lovely family doctor, Dr. Power, retired, leaving me high and dry (they were unable to find new doctors for a good number of the patients, including me).

I will miss Dr. M from Appletree because he is matter-of-fact and we got along but I need to feel confident in the over-all care and I just don’t feel that with Appletree.

*Tomorrow, I also have to take Mom in to The Heart Institute to get fitted with a blood-pressure monitor that she will have to wear – and have $100 to pay for it. Wednesday, she has to see her cardiologist, hopefully about the results of the “event monitor” she had on for two weeks AND I have to arrange to have the second part of her root canal done. Life is full….

BP and a brisk walk

Today… or rather… yesterday, I went for a walk. With the sidewalks being sort of “iffy” — wet and sometimes slippy, still, or almost non-existent in the suburb where I live, and the trails being still well covered with snow, I decided to do go somewhere indoors where I could walk fast and not worry about having to stop for traffic or climb a snowbank if the need arose.

I went to Bayshore Shopping Centre. I haven’t actually been there in a few years. I can’t even recall the last time I was there. It is, however, one of the few malls where the plan is basically oval and there are several floors all with more or less the same floor plan… and there aren’t huge crowds of people on a weekday.

I parked on the top level beside a door which I discovered led right to the food court. It was also in the centre of the mall. Next time, I will park next to The Bay doors which are on the end.

I walked one and a half times around the top level and went down the stairs to the second level and did a complete lap of it. Then I took the stairs to the lower level and did a complete lap of it before sitting for a minute to catch my breath and rest my back. Then I went up the stairs to the second level and did a lap of it, walked up to the top level, again and did a lap and a half of it. Six laps doesn’t seem like a lot, perhaps but I kept at a brisk pace and took the stairs both ways. I was also wearing my jacket. I worked up quite a sweat and by the time I was done, my heart was pounding. Next time, I am going to leave my jacket in the car, I think.

Each trip up the stairs winded me a bit but I didn’t stop and I found that I was able to continue quite well and shake that off.

I stopped to buy a bottle of water before I left and had to drive home with the window open in order to cool down.

My face was pretty red but for some reason that is something that has always happened, even when I was very fit and cycled across town to work, before I had my accident. People were always concerned that I was overexerted but, in fact, that just seems to be how my body reacts to exercise. My face would be nearly purple but my breathing and heart rate was always completely normal. I think it is just how my body regulates temperature.

There is a “walking club” at the mall which meets between 7 and 9 am daily. I’m not sure if I am up to doing my walking that early in the day but it might be worth looking in to. Someone I know is a member of a walking club at a mall. I’ll have to find out which one…. and avoid it like the plague. The club lists their benefits on the mall website. I like the last one… just in case someone croaks while walking, I guess.

  • Safe and friendly environmentally-controlled atmosphere
  • Meet great people and make new friends
  • Walk early in the morning to avoid the crowds
  • Free coat check at Guest Services
  • Free quarterly breakfast
  • Special guest speakers
  • Track your kilometres at Guest Services
  • Medically trained security officer on site

The GOOD news is that my blood pressure was quite a bit better when I took it in the morning. 148/100 with a heart rate of 57. That is a LOT better than 190/114. Hopefully, it will continue to drop.

I see the doctor on Thursday, so, hopefully, the test results will be back before that.

I am ALSO hoping that the package with my new wheel bearing for my car, plus the copy of Adobe Premiere that my nephew has sent me finally arrives. He sent it via Canada Post last week…. regular mail… I MIGHT get it sometime next century.

On another note, I finished a scarf I was knitting this evening and started one for my Mom. It may seem just a bit pointless knitting scarves in March when Spring is almost here, but it has been keeping me busy and I find knitting very relaxing. Hopefully, we can find them come next winter…

I will try and get a photo of the new scarf tomorrow. Maybe it will actually be cold enough to wear it.

Went for a walk.

I have to start getting more exercise to lower my blood pressure. So, today, I decided to go for a walk on one of the many, many trails, nearby. I decided on the Pinhey Forest Trail (the one off Slack Road), here in Nepean, which is fairly close to home. I was hoping to see some Chickadees so brought along some seed.

I brought Mom along because she is going stir-crazy, now that she has had her license suspended.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife out and about. We saw a squirrel and a fair number of squirrel tracks. What we DID see was what you see in the photo below. Probably the work of a a Pileated Woodpecker.

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Unfortunately, as well, Mom’s hip began to hurt towards the end of our walk. It was just too long for her and she had to rest a number of times, including sitting in the snow in the middle of the trail. She enjoyed it but it was just too long for her. It is so sad for her because not too many years ago, she used to cross country ski along the same trails.

My friend Krys suggested the trails behind the Nepean Sportsplex. They are part of the same trails but north-west of the Slack Road trails. There are lots of Chickadees there, she says.

More about the Pinhey Forest: This forest is named after Mr. Pinhey, who donated the land in 1948 so that it could be used to demonstrate conservation practices.

Pinhey Trails

Pinhey Trails

In regards my blood pressure. I went and had my tests done today.

One thing I have noticed is that I am having hot flashes almost constantly. I can feel the blood rushing up from my chest and to my face and I get a panicked feeling… sort of the kind when you would get when you realize you did something really awful and are going to be in real trouble…. Think of sending a really important document off and realizing that you sent the wrong draft with all the wrong information on it… Multiply that by 3 or 4 hundred times a day. And then I start to sweat.

Wake-up Call

hypertension

For quite some time know, I have been aware that my blood pressure has been significantly higher than it should be.

This morning at 3 am, I woke up sweating and agitated. My heart was racing a mile-a-minute. Having been under a bit of stress at work (a more and more frequent occurrence with cut-backs and the public scrutiny of the Public Service, especially where the use of contractors — like me — is concerned). I pulled out the blood pressure monitor and took my BP — an activity, itself, guaranteed to raise my pressure — and was horrified to see that it was 190/114 with a heart rate of 91.

I went in first thing to the clinic to see my doctor (Dr. Mullan) who pronounced my blood pressure “dangerously high” and gave me an anti-hypertensive called Micardis until the results of the tests he has also ordered are in. He has also given me a week off work.

For someone who is overweight and leads a fairly sedentary lifestyle and with a history of hypertension and/or heart disease on both sides of the family (my birth-father’s entire family suffered from one sort or another and most died at an early age; and my mother’s father died at age 53 from a coronary thrombosis — barely a year older than me…) you would think I would have been more and not LESS conscientious about taking care of this before.

A case of “if I ignore it, it won’t happen”….

I am going to have to make some changes…

Hypertension and panic attacks… This is an interesting article on the association between hypertension and panic attacks. To my mind it is a valid theory and sort of self-perpetuating. Those with hypertension tend to have a heightened response to the stimuli involved in panic attacks. A panic attack raises your blood pressure and feeds the panic. I find myself unable to stop spiraling into panic-mode when my BP is up.

BP

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