Thursday, July 11, 2019

Managing vampire visit options

The thing about chronic health issues is that they require management. Sometimes it’s really easy, other times it’s more challenging, but whatever the case may be, some sort of attention is needed. Yesterday I added a new option for some management I’ll need to do for the next few months.

The one thing I’m expected to do frequently over the next few months (aside form not missing a dose of my prescriptions) is to have blood tests. I need to have them every six weeks to three months, because the tests are sort of an early warning system for any problems the amiodarone may cause, like organ damage. Considering how worried I am about organ damage, I’ll be going about every six weeks.

Yesterday I went for my first round of tests since leaving hospital, and because of that I’ve added another set of vampires.

I went to Pukekohe to do my normal grocery shopping, and decided I’d give the vampires there another try. I’d gone there in March 2018, but left without getting the tests done (as I mentioned briefly in a post at the time). This time I went there in early afternoon, and there was no one waiting, so I got to go straight to the procedure room. I asked what times were worst, and the phlebotomist said between 11 and 1 or 1:30, which was the timeframe I was there that one time. Now I know.

It turns out that the test order form I was given in hospital is good indefinitely, since they specified I’ll need repeated tests. They photocopied the form to send with the samples, and gave the original back to me for next time. I had no idea they do that, and it was a huge relief: I was imagining having to go the doctor every few weeks to get a new order for tests. That could get pretty expensive. The way things are done makes so much more sense, but it’s something I never knew about until now.

The last tests I had done didn’t show up on my doctor’s web portal for the better part of a week after my blood was drawn, so I don’t know when these results will be ready. I also don’t necessarily know that I’ll be able to work out whether the test results are good or bad. But that’s something for another day.

If the tests turn up problems, they’ll need to change the drug (I suppose they might make the procedure urgent; I have no idea). I’ve given some thought to this, and if they need to change the drug, I think they should go back to the atenolol I used to be on. I wasn’t as profoundly tired on that drug as I am on this one (in that regard, this drug is more like the metroprolol I used to be on). On the other hand, my mind is clearer than it was on the atenolol (and my memory is slightly better).

There’s a part of me that thinks I should ask them to look at switching me, anyway, because if I’m going to feel so tired regardless of what drug I’m on, why not be on one that doesn’t risk damaging my organs? So far, this one has kept my heart rhythm stable, but I didn’t have an afib incident the entire time I was on atenolol, either, so maybe it does the job, too. Dunno—I’m no expert, obviously, but I do know my body and how it reacts to the drugs doctors have put me on. That’s what I bring to the discussion. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll get an appointment for the ablation evaluation sooner rather than later.

I was a bit late getting this test done: It should have been six weeks after I started the new drug routine, and that would have been July 5. But I was busy with work and couldn’t spare the time, and the first couple days of this week I couldn’t quite muster the energy to go do it (that chronic tiredness in action). But, now it’s done, and I wait to see what it says.

On the whole, I’m actually doing pretty well, which is the point, of course. Yesterday I added a new option for the health management I’ll need to do for the next few months. It’s always good to have options, even when choosing the vampires to vist.

Important note: This post mentions my own personal health journey. My experiences are my own, and shouldn’t be taken as indicative for anyone else. Similarly, other people may have completely different reactions to the same medications I take—better or worse. I share my experiences because others may have the same or similar experiences, and I want them to know that they’re not alone. But, as always, discuss your situation and how you’re feeling openly, honestly, and clearly with your own doctor, and always feel free to seek a second opinion from another doctor.

1 comment:

rogerogreen said...

Vampire visits? So do you turn into a bat? Hang upside down? (Which of course is right side up since you're near the bottom of the world from a European perspective!)