Multiple Medical Problems

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paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/26/2005 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everybody.  I'm joining this forum on behalf of my fiancee.  She's only 36.  She has a stent (which is mostly blocked), 2 heart attacks, 7 cardio cathertizations, diabetes type 1, insulin resistance, sarcoidosis in lungs, COPD, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, a touch of diabetic retinopathy in a eye, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, GERD, esophagitis, stomach ulcer, duodenitis, and ulcerative colitis.  Not to mention lots of depression.  Who wouldn't, right? 
Anyways, she has to take antibiotics all of the time for this and that, and the antibiotics make her GI symptoms worse because they kill the good bacteria.  She takes steroids for her lung problems, and they make her blood glucose skyrocket.  She has more doctors than fingers.  She just went into the ER a few hours ago for new chest pain.  4 nitro tabs and 4 aspirin later, and the pain and pressure is still there.  Blood pressure is 187/97.  Is there anyone out there with the same problems I can talk to and decompress?  I love her so much, and over the last year she has been in the ER 6 times.  She is SO frustrated because the docs keep changing her meds, and there is no progress.  Her list of meds that she's used over the last 6 months is 3 pages long.
......help? confused confused confused

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/26/2005 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and Welcome, Paxman, to HealingWell!!  yeah
 
You've come to the right spot for sure!  My husband could commiserate right along with you.
 
Your fiance is very young to have all these problems!
 
My husband broke down into tears last summer when the Dr. told me that I was dying and there was nothing he could do to help.  It's enormously hard on the spouses that love us, and I watch my husband in such frustration, it hurts me!  He almost turned down a promotion due to my illness, but I told him to take it and go with life as each day takes us.  What if medical science and medicines help me to live another 5, 10, or even 20 years?!  I'm not a fool, but I do have hopes and a positive attitude.
 
You sound like a great guy-very loving and supportive-talk to her Dr.'s, the both of you, so that you know what's happening.  Just let her know that you care.  She'll love you and appreciate you for that.  When she's out of the hospital, please ask her to join here with you and feel free to ask all the questions you'd like and we'll see if we can't help you!!
 
Her BP is high right now and they need to get that under control and find out what's causing this chest pain.  Were her heart attacks ones that caused major damage to her heart?...have they talked about bypass?-you mentioned the artery with the stent was still blocked.  Which artery is her stent in?  I'm just nosy... tongue
 
Best wishes to the both of you, paxman!!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Post Edited (Teri16) : 5/26/2005 11:42:48 PM (GMT-6)


paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/26/2005 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Boy, that was a fast reply, Teri! Thanks! What is Barrett's? To reply to your inquiries: Her heart attacks were minor and before I met her, so I don't have first hand knowledge of them. No one has mentioned bypass yet, but I read in the forum and in yesterdays newspaper about bypass being better than stents. I couldn't tell you which artery is stented since that was before my time as well, but I'll be sure to ask her when she calls me back. She's still in the ER. The last time she was there was 2 weeks ago for pneumonia, copd, and sarcoidosis. She ws in the er for 12 hours before they gave her a room. She got prednisone which she hates because it makes her emotional. She's had lexipro, but didn't do anything. She's up to Xanax now. It's still new and will take a few weeks to see if it works well. I try to talk to the guys at work, but they don't understand all the medical terms, and don't get it right. I sometimes feel guilty because I'm healthy and can't share her discomforts.
Paxman
 


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi again! Yes, I'm usually a late night person, Paxman. :) If her MI's (heart attacks) were mild then that is a great thing! That means they're getting to her on time-Diabetics have this propensity to have heart problems, too. I'm diabetic, but type II. I have GERD with Barrett's which means that you run the risk of having cancer of the esophagus. One year ago, I was diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus and mild dysplasia which is sort of what they start looking for before the cancer starts. This year I had my endoscopy results back and the dysplasia is completely gone and they don't know why!-doesn't matter to me, it's gone, which means I've lessened my chances of cancer of the esophagus. :)
My lungs aren't so hot either, I have COPD with mild emphysema and asthma, along with some new disease that they haven't diagnosed yet. So I do know the steroid thing-yuck! I don't like it much either.

My husband told me the very same exact thing! He felt guilty. What?-you want to have a heart attack so you can feel the same?? Be healthy and enjoy it! I love healthy people!! I bet she does, too! :)

Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not saying that I want a cardiac episode, but If she's going to have a 10 pound hammer drop on her foot, I want there to be two 5 pound hammers. One for each of us. I'd like to do the Vulcan Mind Meld, and turn off her discomfort, but that is not to be. Sometimes all I can do is just BE THERE for her. I know she appreciates it so much, but for me it seems inadequate. She takes SO much insulin. She was on the pump taking pure Novalog at a rate of 3.4 units per hour, plus 3 per 100 and a 6:1 carb ratio. Now the pumps canula is causing infections so now she takes 24 units of Humilin in the morning and 36 units at night, plus 6 units of Novalog 4 times a day PLUS 3.5 per 100 when checked, PLUS the 6:1 carb ratio. Is this normal? She's taking enough insulin to put a horse into shock.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I am by far no diabetic insulin expert, paxman, as I mentioned I'm diabetic II-no insulin and at this point I'm controlled by exercise and diet alone. Yes, she's on a lot it would seem and that goes along with having heart disease. Does she smoke? Does she watch her diet carefully? Teri
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Check out this site, paxman!

http://www.diabetes.org/heart-disease-stroke.jsp
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:36 PM (GMT -7)   
She's an ex-smoker. Her diet is watched very carefully with the occasional cheat. 90% turkey and fish. Low fat, low carb, lots of protein, and the once a week Burger King chicken sandwich. Some candy when her sugar is low, but that's rare.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, of course, being an ex-smoker myself, I've heard all the lectures, but sometimes smoking doesn't help, but didn't actually bring on the problems either. Her diet is great!!-we all cheat some. :) So let's hope that this is going to be a temporary stay for her and that with med. changes she'll be home tomorrow!! :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/26/2005 11:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, great site with lots of imformative stuff. Thanks. I hope she's home tomorrow too, but I'd rather they DO something instead of giving her another blood thinner and nitro tabs that give killer headaches. On the other hand, I don't want them to crack her open either. I'm the healthy timebomb. I smoke unfiltered smokes, drink a tiny bit, 80 pounds overweight (carry it well), and do the couch potato thing on my day off from school and work. My blood pressure is usually 95/62. Go figure.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/27/2005 12:09 AM (GMT -7)   
You have a good BP-excellent! Now, we'll need to give you some support! :) The smoking and weight thing?? Nah, you know all that already, right?! Let's just get our positive thoughts going for your gal now and hope they can find something that they can help her with!!

I had a bypass last Aug. and I've been thankful (after healing) that I had it done!! I have angina back again, from small blood vessels, and wear a patch for that, but the extra blood flow going through to my heart has given me more energy and oxygen!! So while it's not something that I'd recommend for anyone, unless they definitely need it-it can also be very helpful as well!

paxman, you take care for tonight and please let me know tomorrow what happens? Take good care of yourself, she'll need all the support you can offer!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2005 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
sad  Hey all, hey Teri,  Well Tammy was admitted to the cardiac floor early this morning.  She's going to have cardiac cathertization #8 today to tell her that she's all clogged.  Blood pressure is still high, and blood sugar is down to 360.  Pain/pressure is down to 5.  I hope they DO something this time, but since she has Medicaid, docs are hesitant to to the real expensive stuff. mad    I miss her and worry.  I'm glad her boss is EXTREMELY understanding and is OK with all of her hospitalizations.
 
Jim

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/27/2005 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Well, good morning, Jim! tongue

I'm glad to hear that they are taking this serious.  That blood sugar is still too high, as you know, but the steroids and stress can throw that off so easily.  I'm still hoping that the BP comes down with treatment of what is causing her problem.  Why didn't they fix the blocked stent the last time they saw that?  Perhaps they'll do something now!!

Pain/pressure of 5 can still mean problems, but I'm glad for her sake that she's feeling better pain wise this morning!

I truly hope that medicaid isn't the reason that they are leaving blockages, that doesn't even sound right.  I'm going to guess there are other factors.  Is that what they told her?!

You take care today and are you going to be there when she comes out of the cath procedure, in case they have to do more??

Keep me posted and do some deep breathing today!  We'll keep you both in our thoughts and prayers!

I'll be offline for the afternoon...but will check back later on.  Best Wishes!!

Big Hugs, Teri tongue


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Patoolla
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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 5/27/2005 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Paxman!  Just wanted to say welcome to the board!  Tammy is very lucky to have someone as caring as you and your being there for her is worth more than anything else that anyone can do!  Hope they do something to help her this time!  God Bless, Pat

paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2005 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Im back. They kicked her out of the hospital this evening. The determination is that the artery is too small to bypass and too small to stent, and since it's 98% blocked, she's just going to have to live with the angina until it's 100% blocked. Then the tiny part of her heart muscle will die and she'll feel lots better. Um, does this sound right? Should we look for a second opinion from a more agressive cardiologist?
 


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/27/2005 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Jim! 

Are they telling her/you that the blockage is in a small vessel?, or that her vessels are too small?

I've had 3 major left coronary arteries bypassed, but I still have several small arteries that are plain and simple, too small to get a stent in and the thought process is that they will grow their own natural bypasses.  I don't think I've ever had a Dr. tell me to wait til a part of my heart dies to feel better, though I suppose in reality that could happen, if the tiny blood vessels don't make their own bypasses.

One of the ways that they do this, is to give you statins to take. Then, Tammy watches her diet and keeps it low in cholesterol and fat, but she also needs to get up and move and exercise!!  When you force that blood to move around and back up through those small blood vessels, that's when they actually try to start making their own bypasses!!

So basically, her main coronary arteries are open??  If that's the case and she has small vessel disease, that could be what's causing her all this pain!  I have that as well.  I wear a .4 mg. nitro patch for the angina pain, and knock on wood, it seems to be helping.  But there is nothing that they can do.  She may be a candidate for a therapy called EECP "Enhanced External Counterpulsation".  It's where they put cuffs on your legs and (like blood pressure cuffs) as one cuff blows up and pushes on the leg to help the blood flow, the other goes down and so on...Take a look at the site below and it'll give you more details. 

Best wishes and tell her hello!!  Hugs, Teri tongue

http://www.clevelandclinic.org/heartcenter/pub/guide/disease/cad/eecp.htm?index=10476


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2005 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
They are saying that this particular blockage is in a small vessel. She can't take statins because it makes her liver functions go wild. Sigh. Her diet is healthy, and it seems that it's going to be so healthy she'll never like it. No fat, no salt, (heart). No starch, no sugar, (diabetes). Low fiber (colonitis). Looks like ostrich meat and plain yogurt. Gulp.
I've heard of EECP but didn't know that much about it. Her main arteries are partially blocked but not bad.
 


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/27/2005 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I would think an appt. should be set up with a nutritionist. That doesn't sound very nutritious, Jim!? Did she already have a consultation while in the hospital??

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2005 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
One doc says one thing, and another doc says another thing, and the nutritionist is in the middle. Just no fast food, and eat healthy at home. Life goes on.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/27/2005 11:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Jim,

The positive of this cath is that she doesn't have any large main vessel blockage, which means the majority of her heart is receiving a good blood supply!! So please, though I know it's not an easy thing by far, try to get some good positive vibes flowing here with this situation-believe me neither of you need to invest in more stress! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please tell Tammy to come on board any time she'd like to, I'd love to meet her!! And you come and visit anytime!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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paxman9270
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2005 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I will tell her, and when she's here, I'll put her on. Thank you SO MUCH for all of the links and compassion. Good night for now.
Jim
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/28/2005 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jim! I hope Tammy is doing okay??-and you, too?!

Thinking of you...

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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LilacGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 5/29/2005 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jim,
 
I can't add much to what Teri's said.  I just wanted to you and Tammy know that I'm thinking about you and keeping y'all in my prayers.  I hope both of your are doing well today.
 
smurf  Lil smurf
Afterwards, the universe will explode for your pleasure. - Douglas Adams


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/31/2005 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Jim, how is Tammy doing now that she's back at home?! Drop us a line and keep in touch!-give her our best!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Kathlyn1950
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 5/31/2005 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Paxman. I'm a bit late in reading your post, but see you've received excelent advice and support from LilacGal, Teri, and Pat already. What a great guy you are to support your fiance in the way you do. I'm sure you are lucky to have her, as well. This certainly is a great place to find support and information. Hugs, Kathy
Happy Grandmommy to Amanda, Alayna, Wyatt and Ezekiel

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