Just some information on where I stand health wise as of today:
I had a repeat echocardiogram on September 2. In my very limited understanding of the pictures and sounds I thought things had improved some. Renee was with me and she thought my heart sounded better. Of course, the person doing the test will not tell you a thing.
When the letter came from the doctor in a couple of days - GOOD NEWS! The mitral valve leakage was less and the pressure in my pulmonary arteries had gone from 80 down to 55 - remember 25 is where it's supposed to be. But, all in all a very good report.
Means the meds are working and getting the weight off, especially the extra fluid, is a must do all the time for me.
I saw the cardiologist on September 8. I was really scared about this one - I guess I expected that he would be like the orthopaedic doctor and scream and yell and me about my weight and tell me there was no hope. He was not like that at all - he was very nice and explained a great deal to me.
My heart walls have thickened and the chambers on the right side have enlarged. Part of this is due to the fact that I've been overweight for years and my heart has worked harder, but that in itself is not the deal breaker. He says hearts adjust somewhat to weight. BUT, the biggest deal is that I've been anemic for close to 5 years (as can be documented by Vanderbilt's records). That very fact has made my heart work even harder and he says is mostly responsible for the shape I am in now.
Bottom line - his words - "the uterus has got to go". In 1999 my hematocrit was 39 - that was great. For the 5 years he can review - I've never been above a 30 and mostly never above a 28. Blood work done on the 8th showed me down to a 25 - and at that point I was 9 days into what became a 12 day cycle. Remember now, that I take 200 mg. of progesterone a day so I don't have a cycle. My uterus is making a fool out of all of us and killing me slowly!!
So, he added one more medicine to my regiment - a vaso-dilator to help my pulmonary artery pressure. I seem to tolerate it well, in fact, I think it is helping tremendously because I use the inhaler much less. Which means I used it sometimes because of chest pressure, not asthma related shortness of breath. A little scary!
So, I see the cardiologist again in a month. In the meantime, I will probably have a transfusion. Talked to my regular doctor's office this week who had set up a transfusion for last week, but then couldn't fine my phone number???
And - I've put back on 26 lbs - all fluid - I can see it in my legs. Some difference of opinion about fluid pills - but according to the cardiologist - I will take one every day FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!! Not to fail - even if I'm traveling.
All in all, not too bad. The birthday bash for next June 1 - my 1/2 centary mark - is turning into a hell of party. God knows if I make it to June 1, we all need to be there and celebrate!!