Thursday, March 10, 2016

Second Time in 10 Years

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

It's been an interesting few days here.  This past week, Bill has been complaining about feeling very tired.  Anyone that knows Bill knows he doesn't complain.  

I finally convinced him to check his blood pressure.  The blood pressure was okay but thankfully, we have a monitor that also measures heart rate.  His heart rate was 110 and usually it's about 60.  I suggested going to the doctor to see what he had to say, but Bill has a regular check up in May and thought he'd wait to discuss it then.  Does this sound like a typical man to you?  Have you heard the word "stubborn" to describe a man going to the doctor?

I worried all night about it and the next morning his heart rate had gone up to 120.  Now aware that this isn't going in the right direction, he agreed maybe he should see the doctor.  

Since we don't need an appointment to see our family physician, we headed straight for his office.  Dr. Gonda was very concerned and asked a lot of questions trying to rule out causes.  He then took a ECG which came back abnormal atrial fibrillation.  His office attempted to get Bill in to see his cardiologist but he wasn't available.  The best they could do was an appointment the next day with an associate of that office.   

Our doctor ordered some pills which needed to be taken every 6 hours.  He said if the heart rate rises, to go directly to the hospital.  

He took the pill immediately after getting the prescription filled.  We took his blood pressure and the heart rate had gone up to 123.  At this point, I was ready to drive him to the hospital.  He said he'd wait another hour and see what it was.  After that hour it dropped to 110.  We set the alarm clock so that he wouldn't miss his every 6 hour pill.  

The last time we used an alarm clock was when we took a flight for our South Africa trip and we haven't used one since we retired. 

Dr. Gonda also showed us some apps on our phone that record your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen lever, vision, hearing, lung capacity, respiratory rate, emotion, autism, and psychological level.  The free one I loaded on my phone was iCare Oxygen Monitor.  I have no idea how this works but I compared it to our blood pressure machine and it seems to be the same.  

This app records the data and has a lot more things on it.  If you aren't using one, and you happen to be a senior citizen you might want to try one of these apps.  Thankfully, it hasn't figured out how to weigh us.

The following morning we went to see the cardiologist.  It felt strange not going to our normal one, but we really liked this doctor right off.  

He ordered an ECG and said he thought it was atrial flutter. Bill's heart rate was back down to normal.  He put him on Pardaxa, a blood thinner to prevent a stroke.  

Lucky for us, he gave us a one month sample of the drug.  Walmart wants $330 for a one month supply using our Medicare Part D.  Not sure how much it would cost without the insurance.  

I checked the internet for discounts and medicare patients don't qualify.  I did find it could be ordered from Canada for $503 for a three month supply.  Have any of you ever had experience with ordering from Canada?  I also thought about checking to see if we could buy it in Mexico.  Let me know if there is any place that you know of that might be better for us.  

Bill has a follow up appointment in April.  We had been tossing around the idea of going to the Escapees Ware Rally.  I'm glad I didn't send in our reservation money.  There is something about that rally, that every time we register and plan to attend something seems to happen.  Last year it was my shattered heel, another time we were en route and something happened and we cancelled.   

We had planned to attend the Chapter 21 Escapees luncheon in Benson yesterday with Ed Allard and Jeanne, but needless to say we weren't able to attend.

The doctor ordered a blood test to make sure Bill's kidney's were okay for this drug.  As we were leaving the lab, Ed called to say they were going to stop on their way home from Benson.  

We enjoyed our visit with Ed and Jeanne.  The conversation topics went from a chapter rally, hearing aids, heart conditions and where to travel and visit.  Somehow we didn't even try and solve the world problems.  

John and Gerri Beckman stopped by today.  We always enjoy their visits.  It was nice to hear that Dick and Judy George are doing better.  

Sherry and Dave stopped by while the Beckman's were here.  After everyone left, Bill took his heart rate and it was back up at 120.  We'll monitor it closely and if it gets worse, call the doctor.  

Turtle Safely........  

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