Kitty on the Mendby Angie

7 Apr 2009
4:04 pm

Jaquie’s lab results came back with mostly very good news:  No feline leukemia or AIDS, no thyroid problems.  Most everything was normal except for elevated liver enzymes and slight anemia.  It looks like something made her a little sick, and then not eating for so long and becoming dehydrated just compounded the problem.  I took her back in today for a 2nd round of the same injection as yesterday, and bought all new food to replace the old stuff.

Besides being irritated at having to go back to the vet, have another injection, and ride around in her carrier again – in the RAIN, no less – Jaquie is already looking more normal.  I’m so relieved!

Trip to the Vetby Angie

6 Apr 2009
4:04 pm

Jaqueline has had a very trying day.  We looked online last night and found a place called Altamont Cat Hospital.  Besides being only a two minute drive away, it had several high reviews online.  I called them first thing this morning and made an appointment for 10:40 – their earliest available.  I left a message for Jim telling him when I was heading over, then had the unenviable task of forcing Jaquie into her carrier.  She cried during the entire drive.

After filling out some forms, the nurse took me and the little patient back to an exam room.  Jaquie was weighed, her teeth examined, and her ears and eyes explored.  The nurse asked me several questions, then left us alone while she reported to the doctor.  Dr. Matthews came in next; she poked and prodded and rubbed and stretched, as she discussed her concerns and possible prognoses with me.  She looked relieved when I agreed to the tests and initial therapies she felt were necessary.

First was a blood test, requiring a small spot of skin on Jaquie’s neck to be shaved.  She actually had to be poked twice, because the first draw “hyper-coagulated” almost as soon as it was out, and was rendered unusable.  I have no idea what that might indicate, and Dr. Matthews either wasn’t forthcoming or simply didn’t know either.  Then came x-rays, which didn’t turn up anything definite.  Next was the terribly insulting thermometer, with a perfectly normal reading.

Last of all was something to help her begin to feel better right away:  because Jaquie is very dehydrated, they gave her a subcutaneous injection of fluids, with a few medications mixed in (antibiotics, and some Zofran to help pique her appetite).  It took a long time, but Jim showed up at that point and Dr. Matthews was able to explain what they were injecting and show him the x-rays and everything.  We finished up, brought Jaquie home, and gave her some of the special “anorexic diet” food that the vet sent with us, of which she is getting about a teaspoon an hour.

It was quite an ordeal but, once home, I really think it was worth it – she has been eating the new food quite willingly, and already seems more perky.  We’ll know more difinitevely when the lab results come back tomorrow or the next day, but so far it seems that she’s on the mend.

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I’m ok, really!by Angie

21 Jul 2008
11:07 am

Apparently a conversation at ward choir, coupled with some misguided comments of my own, have led people to believe that something is seriously wrong with me and I’m having another surgery.  Let me clear the matter up:

Since my laparotomy in May, my recovery has been fairly normal except that there seemed to be some swelling that never quite went away.  When I discovered a couple of weeks ago that I could feel an actual lump in my abdomen, I was afraid that there was another cyst that they had missed and made an appointment with my PCP.  In the mean-time, my cardiologist wanted to run some tests to make sure the swelling wasn’t heart-related (which would have been a very, very bad thing):  those results came back today all normal, so it’s probably not that, thank goodness.

My PCP ordered an ultrasound and I went to see her on Friday about the results.  She thinks it is likely that I may have a ventral/incisional hernia and has referred me to a doctor out in Pleasanton to see if that can be confirmed.  If that’s the problem, it might possibly require surgery at some future point, but we really have no idea yet.  It’s all very exasperating, but for the moment I am really ok.  I’m so grateful for my very attentive home teachers, bishop, and others in our ward who responded so quickly and fervently with offers of help and support.  We certainly have a lot of wonderful friends.

Stressful Testsby Angie

9 Jul 2008
7:07 pm

Well, folks, it’s mostly good news today.  I braved commuter traffic to reach Stanford at 9am for an echo, a stress test, and a clinic appointment with Dr. Murphy.  The echo went fine.  My function is down a little – 35% – so they’re going to keep an eye on that, but everything else looked normal.  The stress test was definitely successful in stressing me out.  One of the nurses commented afterwards that my heart rate only got up to 118, so I was feeling a little dejected – like I’d failed or something.  When I met with Dr. Murphy, though, they brought in the results for him to look over, and he commented, “Well, I’m glad to see you’re not a faker.”  I asked him how he could tell, and he said there are numbers in the results that can indicate pretty decisively whether a patient was really pushing themselves to their limit.  He said I probably went “beyond the limit, in fact.”  So I felt validated.

We talked about the results from my second CT Scan:  The swollen patches are still there, unchanged.  He intends to re-present the case to his collegues, but they’re probably just going to check them again in six months.  The clotting they noticed in my artificial conduit last time is gone.  That’s my favorite news, because it grants me a six month reprive from the Coumadin issue.  Then we talked about adoption.  He is hesitant to sign my physician form.  He said he’d like to read through the paperwork and think it over.  I presume he’ll let me know when he’s made a decision.

My New Electrophysiologistby Angie

5 May 2008
8:05 pm

Today I drove out to Stanford Hospital to meet my new Cardiac Electrophysiologist (basically, pacemaker doctor), Dr. Amin Al-Ahmad. In addition to his practice, he is an assistant professor at Stanford University. He was very friendly and positive. I also had a pacer check in the clinic. Everything looks fine: battery is good, with only a few arrhythmia episodes in the last six months. That’s the kind of news we love to hear.

CT Scanby Angie

7 Feb 2008
11:02 pm

Well, I lived. They had to poke me twice in my left ankle and then finally in my right before they could find a vein that would take their blasted 20-gauge IV catheter. It was not remotely comfortable. Also, I understand wiggly children in church better after today: It is so much harder to hold still as soon as someone tells you that you’re not allowed to move!

Anyway, the good news is that the Cardiothoracic Radiologist did an initial sweep of the scan and didn’t see any major clots. Now he has to thoroughly examine the over 2000 images of my “plumbing” (as he called it) to make sure nothing questionable has been missed.  He told me all this and more right after the CT was through, but I was pretty out of it and didn’t retain much.  I’ll see Dr. Murphy again in a couple of months and we’ll find out whether I’m safe to stay off coumadin for a while longer.

Meeting my new Cardiologist…maybeby Angie

15 Nov 2007
10:11 pm

Well, today was wild. Jim left work at noon and picked me up so we could drive out to Palo Alto for my first appointment with my new Cardiologist, Dr. Anne Dubin. They asked me to be there at 1:00, but what with registration and long lines in the clinic, we didn’t actually see anyone until about 2:00. They took me back and did an Echo. The first sonographer told me that I was considerably easier to study than the two-year-olds she was usually chasing around the room. Unfortunately, my grown-up body doesn’t image as well as a two-year-old’s, either, so the Echo took a very long time and two sonographers before they got all the images they wanted.

After another brief stint in the waiting room, we finally got to meet Dr. Dubin. She is really very nice and friendly – I was not at all surprised that she and Dr. Etheridge are friends, because they are very much alike in personality. However, we had a talk with Dr. Dubin and she told us that, while she is perfectly willing to take me on as a patient, she actually thinks I will be better served going to a fairly new Adult Congestive heart clinic over in the regular Stanford hospital.

This was a bit…well…discouraging. I’ve already spent hours on the phone talking to different people to get cleared with our insurance to see Dr. Dubin at LP Children’s Hospital. I know the Stanford hospital won’t be in our approved medical network, and the thought of starting the whole appeal process over again for new doctors in a new clinic is a little overwhelming. Well, I’ll worry about that later.

Anyway, the good news is that I am otherwise fine – ok Echo, perfect EKG, nothing too weird in the pacer check, and fairly decent lab results. My recovery is progressing as expected. The bad news, especially for those of you who are hoping to hear adoption updates, is that Dr. Dubin has designated next summer (at least a year out from my surgery) as the soonest we should consider anything as demanding as adopting children.

SO, the results from today are 1. More phone calls, and 2. More waiting.