NB: Another post under the new rules.
Saturday night I went to bed, going through my usual setup routine. Easing my legs under the bedding support frame, trying hard not to bump my ulcer, then putting my home-made wedge under my right leg, in an attempt, not always successful, to keep pressure off the buggerdly thing in the night, which is no fun at all.
Second post published under new rules. See here if you missed them.
Had another bout of Pulmonary Oedema overnight (it’s now 05.40), and, unusually, I seem to have slept through the worst of it. Or was unconscious. And I’m sure I don’t need to reiterate this, but this is a heart failure symptom, not COPD.
This is my first post under the new rules,** so if reading about my medical problems is liable to upset you at all (and I know some of you will be), then stop at the line.
**Missed them? Find them here. I know I said posts under the Chronicles or Bed 3 titles would address heart failure and COPD respectively but, of necessity, this one contains both.
Fluid Retention is a huge problem.
It’s been brought to my attention that people are avoiding reading all my blog posts because they find some of them depressing. I can understand that, and sympathise – but I don’t publish this stuff lightly, because writing it is damaging for me, too, on several levels, not least emotionally.
As I reported yesterday, I was told to reduce my diuretic intake. I said this:-
“The doc also told me I should stop worrying about my fluid retention and reduce my diuretics. Er, no. I’m sorry, but even if my heart isn’t the cause, fluid retention on the scale I have it is bad news – it can’t just be ignored. Nor is it going to be.” Continue reading
But, hopefully, not too soon.
Saw the cardio doc today. His opinion, based on three echocardiograms and a blood test is that I do not have heart failure. I do have a calcified and stenotic aortic valve which, he says, is not severe enough, yet, to cause problems** but will bear watching.
**I’m not buying that. The aortic valve controls the blood flow to the entire body – any reduction in that is bad news, especially for the extremities – areas in which I currently have some problems – and brain. And this is a guy who, last time I saw him, about 12 years ago, denied I had COPD even though, by then, it had been present for 6 years, so my faith in him is less than absolute.
As you might know if you’ve been following this saga, I was prescribed the ACE inhibitor Ramipril (for hypertension), while still in hospital a few weeks ago. With my history, I shouldn’t have been, and if the prescribing doctor had bothered talking to me first, I wouldn’t have been.
Well, for a start it’s taken the hospital 18 years to admit that I have COPD, which first appeared in 1996 but which they’ve consistently denied even as late as last Winter, until three weeks ago, when I was admitted with pulmonary oedema. I am not going to put up with that level of medical incompetence ever again.
Let me be quite clear – I have no doubt whatsoever that I have heart failure. I am quite capable of reading and – more importantly – understanding, the literature on the subject and, of course, I have lived with the condition for 3 years since diagnosis (and probably much longer).
Angina is often described as a severe, crushing, chest pain. And it can be, as I know all too well. It can also radiate from the chest to the shoulder, jaw, and down the left arm – useful for eliminating severe heartburn which can be just as painful, but doesn’t radiate.
What confuses the issue for me, though, is that instead of radiating from the chest, it can present as stomach, back, or shoulder pain independently of any chest pain. As I can get such pains in the normal course of events, just how do I tell them from atypical angina?
In the light of recent events, it seems an appropriate time to resurrect this chronicle because, despite what the idiot Denial Nurse says, the condition is worsening, and dangerously.
If, like me, you live in a secure building (supported in my case, but that’s a detail), and are prone to being unexpectedly hauled off to hospital, you might find yourself locked out of your own home if – and it’s very easily done – you leave without keys. It’s happened to me twice. Once I was unconscious,** the second time a couple of weeks ago, barely able to breathe, never mind think about what I needed.
**In which case it’s very easy to wind up in hospital without so much as a book to read, or your phone – I now keep a hospital bag pre-packed and ready to go – a subject I’ll return to in detail soon.