Thursday, December 5, 2013

Post-Procedure

I should have known better than to say my next post would be about quilt-y stuff.

Because of your thoughtful and sweet comments about the heart catheterization, this is a follow-up about that experience.

After a four hour delay (yes, the cath lab was running that far behind!) the Doc checked out my heart - thankfully, an "all clear" there. But while looking into each leg, in the thighs he found larger-than-expected blockages: 90 percent in my left; 70 percent in my right.

In a nutshell... I have PAD (peripheral artery disease). Updated December 21: Technically, it's: "severe peripheral vascular disease."

Why didn't I sense this? Because the arterial plaque build-up has been occurring over years, like the proverbial frog in a pan of hot water. I don't remember what normal legs feel like. All I really felt - that triggered all the testing - was a burning pain in my left calf every time I line danced!

So, the cath was to determine the extent of the problem. Stents come next, inserted one leg at a time - during two separate procedures - one yet this month, and the other in January. The nurse said I would immediately feel the difference in each leg, after each procedure. She said my feet wouldn't be so cold! Yay for that!

Turns out the culprit in all this is "the bad boy," LDL cholesterol. The tendency to have too much can be genetic. Doc wants LDL to be less than 70. Looking back through 12 years of records, my numbers have been between 118-156, hovering on "borderline high." I've never been on cholesterol meds because my total cholesterol number has been fine... but maybe I should have been. I'll be on Plavix now. Knowing what I do, I would have preferred taking cholesterol meds than go through this

What frustrates me to no end though is reading stuff like this, knowing I've done everything right!
Often, you can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.
"Often?" Balderdash!

Oh. And I specifically inquired about recuperating, sitting at my sewing machine. I was told "no" because I'm not to use my foot to press the control pedal. Posh and bother! Thank goodness for hand work.

On a positive note... I've suspected I have a sinus infection (is it possible to visit a grandchild and not come home with a head cold?) and the doc was nice enough to write a script for an antibiotic. Saves me another doctor visit!

Thank you for all the lovely comments that continue to come in. I especially appreciate your prayers. It makes a world of difference, knowing I have praying friends. Bless every one of you. Linda

26 comments:

  1. So glad you know now what it going on and have a pan of attack. But no sewing machine????oh my!

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  2. I'm just catching up and so happy you had a great visit with the grands. They are adorable! I'm sorry to hear of your health news and I pray you have a swift recovery. Yeah for hand work!

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  3. Oh, my goodness, Linda, I've been clueless! (bloglovin is not a good way to follow, I've been finding I miss a lot!)
    Anyway, I know God has you in the palm of His hand. What a tough year it's been for you. I pray 2014 (!) will be healthy and joyous! xo

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  4. Prayers for flawless procedures and quick recoveries Linda. Thankful that the blockages were discovered before they became even more serious.

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  5. You sweet thing! Thank you for the update. I have been so concerned. Let us know when the first procedure is scheduled so we can keep you in our hearts!

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  6. My prayers are with you. Glad to hear that they found the problem and it's addressable. How is it having warm feet again? Always nice when you can find some positives in a negative situation.

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  7. While the news is somewhat alarming, there is relief and remedy in sight! I have two friends who are thin, fit and healthy who take cholesterol medication because it is hereditary! Prayers from down under. Xxx

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  8. I am glad your on the mend, perhaps it's time I went for a checkup. I never need to go to doctors thankfully. Best wishes always.

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  9. What a bother. I'm glad tho that they found the problem : )
    Yes, thank goodness for handwork

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  10. Wow Linda what's next on the health scene for you.!
    You never know what's around the corner so make hay while the sun shines I say.

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  11. Was worried since you had not blogged in awhile - Glad to hear you were able to spend some time with your children and grchildren but sorry to hear of some new health hiccups. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Pretend you are back in Iowa and snowed in - fix some hot chocolate, prop up your feet, grab some handwork and enjoy.
    Hope to see you soon.

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  12. It's good you found out about the blockages. I've been taking cholesterol meds for a few years now. Family history of high cholesterol.

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  13. Reading your post, I have to think of the saying; it never rains but it pours. But it's good that they get to the bottom of things and get it fixed, once and for all. 2013 wan't your year, was it??? Here's to a better 2014!

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  14. Glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery. You have had more than your fair share of health problems. Thank goodness for your beautiful family. Take care.

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  15. Oh Linda, you are due for a break from the medical visits! Glad you have an answer and treatment plan though. You'll be back to your sewing machine in no time and until then you can enjoy your handwork. Hugs!

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  16. Oh, gosh, Linda!! I know your frustration - I've got the same problem going, only I can't get stent treatment yet for my PAD (the base hospital can only do that for active duty folks right now, and no civilian specialists will accept new military-family patients). My LDL can't be treated with meds because those mess with Lupus issues. And something for you to watch for - make sure those meds don't start giving you peripheral neuropathy. It's pretty rare, but they can trigger death in nerves in feet and fingers. Mostly feet, so if you notice that you're not feeling your toes anymore, or don't know that you got a sliver unless it's like an inch long, get those meds readdressed. It's such a hassle!!

    And yep - exercise/diet work for most folks, but there are a LOT of us who eat well and exercise a lot every day to no avail regarding that LDL number. :/

    So glad your heart is OK! :D

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  17. I guess I was a tad behind in knowing what you were going through - what a bummer! Trusting the procedures & meds help things considerably! Bless you during this frustrating time...

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  18. gee Linda - hope you get through this ok - sounds positive that you'll feel better afterwards - so frustrating to have to go through it though - but as you say, thank goodness for hand sewing :)

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  19. Linda...you and your situation will be in my prayers to our Almighty God, the Great Physician. I pray these procedures will go smoothly.

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  20. Hi Linda, hope all goes well. Prayers and get-well thoughts coming across the ocean to you.

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  21. Thinking about you and sending prayers your way. xo

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  22. Blessings on you, also!! hugs and prayers, :-}pokey

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  23. You have been in my thoughts and prayers all week.

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  24. Hope you're taking it easy my prayers are with you it's been a tough year for you. Praying for a better 2014.

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  25. My brother had stents put in his legs a couple of months ago. He would agree with that nurse - he immediately felt the difference! blessings, marlene

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  26. I'm writing this post-procedure, so I know you have come through it okay, but still am sending hugs and prayers your way for a continued recovery from your PAD procedures, too. I hate it when the body doesn't cooperate, yet your unflagging cheerfulness is such an example for the rest of us who suffer from less serious health issues. Thanks for being you, and glad you are able to blog again.

    Take care--
    Elizabeth

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