Thursday, July 14, 2011

News from the Medical Front

Grams and Grandad spent most of the last week in Houston. It was time for Grandad's six-month follow-up visit with his electro-physiologist and Nick was also having some medical tests. Grams was along for cooking and driving.

In the six months since his last cardiac ablation, Grandad wore a cardiac monitor which sent data about his heart rate and rhythm to the cardiologist. The doctor reported that, during that 30-day period, there was not one instance of atrial fibrillation (A-fib). There were a few times when his heart had irregular rhythm in the lower chamber, but not significant and not related to the A-fib.

That's excellent news ... but ... it does not explain Grandad's continuing issues with shortness of breath and tightness in his chest. These have been happening with increasing frequency for the past month or so. They are severe enough to limit physical activity. When they happen, he has to stop what he's doing and sit down or lay down.

After some in-depth discussion, Dr. Rahsek agreed that those may be side effects of Multaq, the medication that regulates the heart rhythm. He instructed Grandad to stop the Multaq at once and see if the symptoms go away after a week to 10 days. Then, Grandad will once again wear a 30-day heart monitor to insure that his A-fib does not return. If it doesn't, he will be released by Dr. Rahsek.

He also instructed Grandad to go back to his local cardiologist and request a new stress test. The last stress test he had was five years ago, before his initial heart surgery. The symptoms he's experiencing could be yet another different problem with his heart or it could just be side effects from the Multaq. Time will tell.

As for Nick's medical issues, he has been complaining for some time now that when he swallows he feels "something in his throat." The results of the tests he had on Friday were good. He has GIRD (gastro intestinal reflux disorder) that has caused some minor damage to his esophagus and larynx. Those problems will go away with treatment of the reflux. That part should be fine with continued treatment. During the testing to identify that problem, they discovered a growth on Nick's thyroid which will need to be biopsied. After preliminary examination by an endocrinologist, the doctor is "concerned" and has scheduled a biopsy for next week. Marie is home for the next few weeks, so I won't have to go back to Houston for these tests.

On the bright side, I'm enjoying a 5-6 day visit from Her Highness. Her family will be camping for the next few days, so we picked her up yesterday evening and will have her until Monday or Tuesday. She slept from 11 p.m. last night until after 10 a.m. and she's napping again now. It's my Grams super power ... I'm able to make babies sleep. It's a gift.

Luckily, I'm a "glass half full" kind of girl when it comes to medical issues. I choose to think everything will eventually be okay for both of the men in my life. I just can't look at it any other way.


  1. Lucky you to have that cute baby for the weekend!

    Any heart problems can be scary. I hope it's only the medication but it sounds like the doctor is doing all he can to get to the "heart" of the problem. :)
    I'm glad Nick was able to find out about the lump in his throat while swallowing. Hopefully the medication will cure that. I had a growth on my thyroid. Did a biopsy but it still looked questionable so I went in for surgery. Removed the right side of my throid to test the tumor, it was benign so the doc left the other half of my thyroid. So good. I hope all works out for both the men in your life.

  2. Medical stuff is never fun. Glad you have a great attitude!

  3. What a wonderful distraction and exactly what you need. A positive attitude will help and you certainly have that! My fingers are crossed for all of you.

  4. My husband had an ablation 8 years ago and he still has an irregular heartbeat, but he's mostly fine.

    I love the banner photo on your blog! It is so precious. I'm another grandma dropping by from SITS; hope you find time to do the same.

  5. Yay for dedicated time with Her Highness!

    And best wishes for a resolution to the issues. Crossing my fingers Maltaq is the key...and that he -- and you! -- will soon be breathing easier!