Chronicles of the Heart, Part 16 – a diversion…

This is not the usual medically-orientated rant, but more a technophile’s guide to being ill in hospital which will probably feature in my future. More than once if I’m lucky. )For a given values of lucky, if it’s APH.)

When I was incarcerated in the Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral (APH), fiction factory earlier this year all I had was my tiny Sony Ericson Xperia Mini Pro mobe (and, luckily, the charger). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cracking little phone, with a slide-out qwerty keyboard (just had to think how to spell qwerty – mind’s going!), but the battery is tiny, lasting for just a day of fairly moderate use. Other than that I find it very hard to fault (oh – a biggie – no internal modem so can’t use it to connect my netbook to the Web, but as I got that after the phone, I can’t really criticise the mobe).

What I needed was Continue reading

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Chronicles of the Heart, part 15…

A few days ago, as you might have read, I had to discontinue my heart failure med, Candesartan, as the side effects were just too serious to ignore, and causing injury.

Now, as I said in Part 13, the idiot doctor who reviewed my echocardiogram said I have calcification of the aortic valve, not heart failure (even though the former makes the latter Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, Part 14…

Since part 13, I have been rewriting my letter to my GP, I’ve lost count of how many times – nope, still not sent, faxing it later today; it now runs to over 2,200 words – as all the research I’m doing into aortic valve calcification and stenosis (narrowing, an inevitable result of calcification), keeps piling up the bad news.

The idiot “GP with a special interest in cardiology”, which is what you get instead of a consultant cardiologist at Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, Part 13…

And here we have – yet another letter to my GP! The hospital doctor isn’t Dr. Dingbat, of course, but bloody should be! Incompetence personified.

My advice, and I say this in all seriousness, is to refuse point blank if your appointment at St. Cath’s Hospital, Wirral (or any other for that matter), turns out to be with a GP with a special interest in – whatever it might be. It really is no substitute for the in-depth knowledge and experience of a consultant. Cut-price medicine at it’s most inexcusable.

June 6 2011

Dear Dr. Xxxxxx,

I thought I’d let you know the outcome of my echo, which I had on Thursday as, apparently, there is a delay of several weeks in St. Cath’s correspondence.

First, though, I have to say that I have Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, part 12 – the echocardiogram…

First, I have to say that, as I mentioned last week, I have zero confidence in the doctor, who, to protect her identity and me from a libel writ, as she is staggeringly useless, I shall call Dr. Dingbat.** When we discussed my medication last week, I mentioned that the oedema in my legs had improved since starting the Candesartan, and that I put this down to the fact that it improved kidney function.

**Her “I’m the doctor, your opinion doesn’t matter” attitude needs to bloody change, too!

She argued that Candesartan had Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart – Part 11…

I’m losing weight. So what, you might think? Well, I’ve been eating one meal a day since about 2002, and yet I’ve been unable to get, and remain, much below 15stone.

Since my heart failure diagnosis, and steady diet of diuretics, I pretty promptly lost half a stone, taking me to 14st 7lb, and there I stuck.

Yesterday, though, seeing myself in the bathroom mirror, my face looked positively gaunt, and white as a sheet – one of those very Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart – Part 10…

Right, it’s official – I do have heart failure. Or mitral valve failure, or some bloody thing!

There must be some decent doctors in the system, somewhere but, somehow, they never seem to come my way.

They did an ECG – about 5 seconds worth of trace, which struck me as inadequate – not everything will show up in that short period.

Then I was wheeled in to see the doctor who, based Continue reading