Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Failure Isn’t Final And The Pain is Gone!

It’s been over 2 months since I published a post to this blog, so I’m sorry not to be more communicative. All during that time, I kept hoping to be able to deliver better news about Don’s health and to say his pain had decreased or at least was being managed better. During that time period, here’s a quick rundown of the significant events in his medical condition. (Note: If you’re not interested in this blow-by-blow review, just skip to the bottom.)

June 13, 2016 Dr. Patel, anesthesiologist and pain specialist, consultation

June 16, 2016 Radiology Ltd – screen for L-8/10 spinal problems to clear for anesthesiology

June 23, 2016 Dr. Patel, anesthesiology procedure (nerve block) #1

July 1, 2016 Dr. Patel, anesthesiology procedure (nerve block) #2

July 22, 2016 Dr. Patel follow-up, referral to Dr. Olson for umbilical hernia

August 1, 2016 Dr. Olson, consult re umbilical hernia, referral to Dr. Robertson (PCP) and Dr. Gonzales, cardiologist, re warfarin use

August 3, 2016 ER Benson Hospital, legs swollen and belly pain, transported to St. Mary's Hospital for evaluation, diagnosis congestive heart failure, IV of Lasix to reduce swelling

August 4, 2016 Echocardiogram, St. Mary's Hospital, discharged

August 7, 2016 ER Benson Hospital, chest pain, kept overnight for observation

August 16, 2016 PET scan, Dr. Gonzales office, Sierra Vista

August 17, 2016 Umbilical hernia surgery, Dr. Olson, NW Hospital, Tucson

Finally, one week after surgery, Don is feeling none of the type of belly pain he has suffered from for over a year! It could take another week or so to completely recover from the surgery, but we are so thrilled to reach this point.

I’ve lost count of how many doctors noticed his hernia, even poked it to see if it hurt, and failed to pursue doing anything about it. The pain was so severe and covered such a large part of Don’s belly, he couldn’t tell that the source was the hernia, even when it was being poked and prodded.

As for the congestive heart failure, according to Medline Plus, “Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should.”

The condition is treatable, with close monitoring and the right kind of meds, diet and exercise. I was surprised to read that 6 million Americans are living with heart failure, especially since the cause of my late husband Bill McKay’s death was congestive heart failure. So the good news is that failure isn’t final – maybe there should be different terminology for the condition.

For the past 16 months, our lives have certainly been different than what we prefer. We have only been out of Arizona briefly during that time, and have missed so much the RV traveling lifestyle that we love. We look forward to getting back on the road for at least some short trips as soon as the follow-up doctor visits are complete.

Meanwhile, Don has started to do more small projects around our motorhome and RV lot. We’re both getting more exercise by walking our sweet dog Gigi, and he’s maintaining his 80+ pounds weight loss. (Now I need to work on my own weight!)

IMG_6585

Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers and support from our friends and family during this time. We have become closer to each other and all who commiserated with us, and we are excited to put all the doctor visits, pain meds and hospital stays behind us and begin some new adventures!

17 comments:

  1. Hurray! Progress! So happy for both of you! Will be excited to see when you are able to get back on the road again on your way to new adventures!

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  2. So glad that Don is on the way to finally getting better.Thinking of both of you.

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  3. Praise God the pain has been found and fixed. Now it's time to roll your wheels. Hugs to both of you.

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  4. Praise God the pain has been found and fixed. Now it's time to roll your wheels. Hugs to both of you.

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  5. Thank you, thank you for the detailed update. At our ages we understand the frustrations of looking for answers to our always changing health issues. So glad your many appointments found the source of Don's ongoing pain and that the surgery worked. The photo of him doing RV projects is exciting. You both know moderation is the prescription for now. Hope to see you on the road this fall or winter. (((HUGS)))

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  6. Thank you, thank you for the detailed update. At our ages we understand the frustrations of looking for answers to our always changing health issues. So glad your many appointments found the source of Don's ongoing pain and that the surgery worked. The photo of him doing RV projects is exciting. You both know moderation is the prescription for now. Hope to see you on the road this fall or winter. (((HUGS)))

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  7. So happy the oain is gone and life is looking up for both if you.

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  8. So happy the oain is gone and life is looking up for both if you.

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  9. This is such great news! I can't wait to see both of you and give you a great big HUG!

    -- jc

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  10. I just knew this was going to work. Great news!

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  11. Wonderful news. Pain gone and dialysis gone. Now, back to living.

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  12. Great News, sounds like they may have finally found and solved the problem. I always say doctors "practice" medicine. See Ya Down the Road.

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  13. Thank Heavens!! Finally a correct pain solution. So happy for you and Don. BTW, My parents both had Heart 'failure' for years. Both lived to be 94.

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  14. Oh, my! What a medical roller coaster you have been riding! Truly hope this is the start of a much more fun ride in your RV. Larry and I hope to see you on the road again.

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  15. How wonderful to hear news from you! Will trust with you that each day is better
    and better. Fall is a great time to travel some. 😊

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  16. Glad to hear that Don is doing better. Sorry to hear that he had to go through so much to get there. Hopefully there are better and brighter days ahead.

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