Monday, August 31, 2015

What? -----------A YEAR!!!!! Part 3

I started telling of Mickey's heart-health journey & Aorta Heart Valve replacement, that began on July 30, 2014 with an appointment with his primary care physician with shortness of breath.  I posted Part 1 on August 1, and Part 2 on August 3 and am just now getting back to post Part 3.  Why the long delay?  A very busy, happy life got in the way!!

Part 2 ended with this paragraph --- February 17 - Our first appointment with our new Primary Care doctor, Dr. Aldridge.  He is an older gentlemen.  When we first go in I tell him our story, and that I feel we are being "dropped through the cracks."  I am sure he is probably thinking, "Oh these are some of these complaining type patients'.  BUT, after he looks through all the computer records and our history to this point and Dr. Parmley being gone he says, "You have been dropped through the cracks, but I'm putting a safety net under you today."  I could have hugged his neck.  We could feel the concern and the caring. 

February 18 - In the midst of all this, because Mickey was having trouble with his dentures, we decided to get new dentures made.  In hindsight, it was not a very good idea because it took a lot of visits back & forth and Mickey was so very sick.  

February 19 - At 6:05 p.m. I received a phone call from Leslie, the TAVR nurse, informing us the blood test Dr. Archer had taken on the 12th shown Mickey had MSRA.  I am instructed to call a group of 5 Infectious Doctors the next morning. 

 At the time this phone call was received, our kitchen sink faucet had just sprung a leak and we had water spewing everywhere.  Mickey, as ill as he is gets the water shut off, we call our church friend Tim Hembrey, who is such a help, and we rush to Lowe's to buy a new faucet.  At this point I almost come unglued!!!  Tim comes right over and replaces the faucet.

This was absolutely one of my lowest points.  I'm thinking "Dear God how much more can happen?" and then of course the never will be answered questions - "Why?".  I don't know why we ask it, because we never get an answer.  But, even in the midst of this horrible time we were so blessed by Tim in coming to our aide with just a phone call, and a "help!!!".   

February 20 - I call the Infectious Doctors at 8 a.m.  Dr. Rolands will see us but we cannot get in for several weeks.  I am not at all happy with this delay.  I ask them if there is not some way for Mickey to be seen sooner.  The lady helping me tells me that if the Primary Dr. calls and personally talks to Dr. Rolands they might be able to work him in sooner.  She also is kind enough to inform me that Dr. Rolands will be in the office Monday, the 23rd, in the afternoon and can be reached at that time.  This was a definite, direct blessing of God in moving on this stranger to offer this help to me. 

This is our granddaughter, Oksana's, 20th birthday and we have plans to meet the family for dinner at 5:30.  The restaurant is packed, we have to wait, Mickey is so weak and so sick but we would not have missed it.   

February 21 - Our dear friend Kent Rife and Cathy Kegley are getting married.  I host a small Bridal Shower for Cathy at my home.  

February 23 - I call Dr. Aldridge at 7:30 a.m. to talk to the nurse.  I am in tears, telling her about the MRSA and asking if Dr. Aldridge will intervene for us.  She assures me they will handle it.  At 4:30 that very afternoon she calls me back - Dr. Rolands will see us on Wednesday at 1:30.  PRAISE GOD - Yes, Dr. Aldridge is making sure we don't fall through the cracks and is putting a safety net under us.

Dr. Aldridge also calls in a prescription for Mickey's cough and is going to set up an appointment with Dr. Grace Kennedy, a lung Dr.   A very bad day and Mickey takes an evening pain pill before bed, the first in quite some time.  

February 24 - We have to go in for an adjustment on the dentures.  Mickey is so very sick and weak. 

February 25 - We see Dr. Mark Rolands, the Infectious Disease Dr. at 1:30.  Marc meets us at his office.  After the appointment we are sent down stairs to the lab.  Mickey is so weak, and hardly able to stand.  Marc & I decide to drive immediately to the ER at St. Francis Hospital.  It is 3:15 p.m.  Mickey faints as they are doing the X-Rays and is immediately given a large dose of medicines because his potassium level is 6:4 and must be below 5:0.  He is admitted to the Hospital. He is going into Renal failure. 

February 26-27-28- March 1 -2 - Mickey is hospitalized these 5 days.  On the 26th the potassium level is 4:6.  

On the 27th Dr. Kennedy comes to see him for the first time.  Also on the 27th Dr. Trahand, from the TAVR group, comes and they run a test to see if they need to do an interim balloon procedure first, as we want for the Valve Replacement.  
On the 28th - Dr. Kennedy comes again and Dr. Trahand decides NO balloon valve.  We are relieved.  This would have been yet another procedure and had great risks of stroke.  

March 2 - Dr.Kennedy performs a Lung Scope and Mickey is discharged at 2 p.m.  Mickey is so glad to be home again after 5 days hospitalization. 

March 3 - I ask my dear friend Glenda to host the WOW Woman Bible Study and she so gracious does.  

March 6 - Appointment with Dr. Kennedy.  Excellent report - no cancer - no MRSA.  PRAISING GOD once again. 

March 10 - Appointment with Dr. Ensley - He is given 2 inhalers and CR Scan & blood work is done.

March 11 - Follow-up appointment with Dr. Aldridge.

March 12 - Heart Hospital at 9:30 for Heart Cath & heart measurements.  Appointment with Dr. Archer, the TAVR Surgeon, at 1:45.

March 13 - Back for further adjustment on the dentures.

March 15 - My dear, forever friend, Joan, who is a nurse from New Mexico, offers to come and stay with us to help but I decline.  

March 16 - Appointment with Dr. Rowlands.  He is ready to give the go ahead for the TAVR as soon as he gets final results from Dr. Kennedy.

March 19 - Dr. Kennedy determines the infection to have been Micro Bacteria A typical and gives her OK for TAVR.


March 26 - Follow-up with Dr. Aldridge.  We are monitoring blood pressure and watching about weight and swelling in his feet and legs.  

March 27 - Appointment for a 2nd opinion about the TAVR from another surgeon, Dr. Carabello.  Because of Dr. Parmley's departure and the severity of Mickey's case they are being very cautious about giving the final approval for the TAVR.  We are getting very impatient with the delays.  

March 30 - Yet another Denture appointment thrown in to this mix. 

March 31 - We go to The King's Kitchen to meet with Dee from Meals on Wheels in Tulsa.  She has been wanting to come and meet us and see our operation.   Although Mickey & I have been absent from King's Kitchen the crew, under the leadership of Jimmy Arnold is keeping up well with everything.  Mickey is so very blessed with this knowledge. 

April 4 - We attend a Celebration for our dear friend Ron, who passed away from cancer.  It was sad and joyous at the same time.  A very strong reminder of how suddenly life can end. 

April 6 - Appointment with Dr. Aldridge.

April 7 - The TAVR Committee meets.  We are told they are delaying their decision until May as they are bringing in a Proctor from out of state to be present.  We are very discouraged with this news.  We feel we are on this tread mill going no where fast and Mickey is so weak.  

April 9 - Feet badly swollen. 

April 10 - We attend the wedding of a dear couple in our church, Jeremy & Jenny.  

April 12 - My dear blog friend from Phoenix, Kathy Wright and her daughter Bethany, come and spend a wonderful day with us.  

As you can tell we are trying to keep doing the things we can and enjoy life.  

April 14 - Dentures again. 

April 15 - Dr. Aldridge .

April 16-30 - We are just getting by day by day, one day at a time.

Although we are tired, and we are discouraged about the TAVR being delayed through no fault of our own, we are still confident in the outcome.  We feel the presence of our LORD & SAVIOR on a daily basis. We stand in the knowledge and assurance that God is walking this out with us one day at a time.   I am still co-leading the Real Christianity Small Group and Mickey is still keeping informed on the Deacon issues.  Many from our Church family are such a blessing to us in so very many ways during this time.  We manage to attend church each Sunday & Wednesday.

Looks like I'm going to have to stop here again. YES, it is a very l-o-n-g year. 

To be continued -----

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Mari said...

It was such a long year, but your testimony of God's faithfulness has been amazing!

Brenda said...

Wow, Susan, yes a tough year. What would we do without Christ to walk us through. Many people would've given up. Looking forward to the rest of the story!

Leilani Lee said...

I edit manuscripts for medical journals, one of which is a thoracic surgery journal, so I have read numerous (lots and lots and lots) manuscripts dealing surgical techniques for repairing heart valves and case reports etc, but all of them from the viewpoint of the surgeons who treat the patients. It is certainly eyeopening to read about your journey through this process.

retha said...

Only saw the 'follow-up' now.
Is it not a wonderful thing that we can stand, look back and know all we can say is "praise GOD for HIS goodness"