Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Dr visit and lung tap

August 14, 2008

Mom arrived at 10:00 a.m. Tess and Nan were outside and when mom pulled up they ran to her car. Tess put her paws on mom’s car door and barked and whined. She just goes crazy when mom shows up. Rigby then climbed on top of her car for his share of attention. Mom has her fan club of Tess, Nan and Rigby. She isn’t much of a dog person but she loves Tess and Nan. And of course, Rigby.

By the time my mom opened her car door; Tess had gotten her jolly-ball and was ready for her when she got out. So mom tossed the ball for Tess and Nan. I could hear them barking and mom praising them. They all had fun and soon they all came into the house. Tess and Nan were winded and went to the office. She fed Rigby his morning cat food and Rigby ate every bit up. He loves mom also.

Nelson showed up when mom was tossing the ball. Nan loves Nelson as she is number ONE in his eyes. He walks on water in her eyes!!

Today I went to Dr Austin for a follow up. My mom and brother, Nelson took me to the hospital. I knew that I had fluid in my lungs since I had talked to Dr Condon the day before. He set an appointment up with a pulmonary (?) Doctor to do a lung tap. We also talked about my progress and I am not gaining the weight that I should have. So even though I have been eating lots, the food that I have been eating is not high enough in calories. So I have to eat food that has more calories. My fruit plates are not cutting it, I also need to make sure when I do my walks that I do not stop during the walk to take a break.

I talked to Dr Austin about the leaking in my heart. When they did the heart operation they did an echo and there was no leakage. Since then, a leak has occurred. That was unexpected as they it should have not leaked. The leak is rated at 1.7. What is probably going to happen is in the fall, after I heal, is another operation. That operation is the one they run a tube up from my groin area and put a *clam clamp* over the hole. I am not to sure what the technical name is but it covers the hole like a clamp. That is not a major operation like the one I just had. He wants me to wait until I am completely healed. So needless to say, today was a bummer day at the hospital. I have to have another operation and I have fluid in my lungs. On the bright side, the water is out of my lung and I just need to heal and then have another operation. Dr. Austin does not do this type of operation but Swedish Hospital does. It’s a long journey for me but it’s a journey that I must travel.

So Dr Austin made an appt with the Dr. Freudenberger, otherwise known as Todd. I made a feeble attempt at trying to pronounce his last name and he must have felt sorry for me so told me that I could call him Todd. He is very nice and made me feel at ease. He is the partner of Dr. Watts who did the first lung tap. I really enjoyed Dr Watts as he was funny and made me feel at ease. Those pulmonary Doctor must have to pass a test which requires them to have a good sense of humor and be funny as well as being nice guys.

I remember how much the first tap hurt so I was not looking forward to a second. It needed to be done as I was short of breath and had a hard time doing the Air Puffer. It’s right up there with pulling the wisdom teeth.

Anyways to help me keep my mind off the procedures, Todd and I chatted about life, family and work. He numbed my back area with a local and he then was able to do the tap. He talked me through the procedure and drew out 800 ml of bloody fluid. It only hurt towards the end when my lung started to expand again. My right lung was full of fluid so that was not good. He got done quickly and it didn’t hurt as much as the first tap. He did a great job and I felt much better. Then he did a chest x-ray for a baseline. I go back in 2 week to both Dr Austin and Todd.

After he was done, my mom, Nelson and I needed to fill my prescription of prednisone. That is a steroid that should help from fluid building up in my lungs again. I hope it will work as I do not look forward to another tap.

We left around 11:00 a.m. in the morning and got home close to 4:00 p.m. In that time we had two Dr appointment, a lung tap and x-rays. On the way home, we stopped for burgers and I managed to eat a whole cheeseburger. At the end, I started to fade so Nelson talked me into finishing the last few bites.

We got home and I was tired so I lay down for a bit. I tried to take a nap but couldn’t fall asleep. However just laying down for a couple hours helped me. What I did notice that was different is that this time, I was not exhausted or weak. The last few visits I would just collapse and sleep. This time I was tired but not exhausted and got up in a couple of hours. The other times, I slept through the rest of the day. So by comparing this visit to the other visits, I am doing much better.

We did a quick walk through the barn when we got home and the hay that I had sold was picked up. That’s good as it was blocking a stall. Nelson gave fresh water to the sheep and alfalfa to the cow and horse. Mr. McGoo is healing quite well. He is not lame and is eager for food. He feels safe in the duck coop and stays on it during the day.

Mom and Nelson left after making sure I was ok. Apparently they hit bad traffic going home and it took them longer than normal. I appreciate them coming over and taking care of me.

Did I mention that Tess shared the couch with me when I was lying on the couch? By now, you should know that!! She even put her head on a pillow.

Mom made some homemade spaghetti for Jeff and I for dinner. Jeff had to make the noodles and cook a sausage to add to the sauce. Normally, I would be able to pick at my dinner and finally after a bit, eat it. However in this case, I wolfed it down Tess was not happy that I polished off my bowl and had no leftovers for her. I will give her a biscuit instead. So far, today I had two normal sized meals. This is very key. If I keep eating these type of meals and my milkshake and a can of ensure a day, I should be able to put on weight. I am tired of looking like a scarecrow. Tess doesn’t look like a scarecrow but a roly poly bear. Well, not too roly poly, but well fed.

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