Monday, January 3, 2011

Medical Matters

First thing to report is, my echocardiogram came back showing my heart in excellent shape, other than a little, slight thickening in one area due to high blood pressure, now being treated.

Over Christmas, I began seeing light flashes, like lightning, in my peripherial vision whenever I was in a dark room with my eyes open. At first I thought it was light glancing off the rims of my glasses, but it persisted when I took them off. Now I have two new floaters in that eye, my left (stronger) eye.

"You should go to an ophthalmologist," Demetrios told me, and said nothing more.

"How do I find a good one?" I asked him.

"You ask around. Well, actually, I know of one who is supposed to be good..."

But it was the holidays. Who goes for an eye exam during holidays, if it can be avoided? (That's how I got into trouble with atrial fibrillation; it was Thanksgiving Day and I refused to go to the ER until Monday.)

Then a couple of nights ago, I was chatting with an optometrist who happens to be my goddaughter, and I mentioned it to her and she said, "Go see an ophthalmologist tomorrow. It probably isn't anything, but it could be your retina coming detached. You don't want to mess around with your sight."

So today I made an appointment. Won't be tomorrow, but Monday.

"What made you finally do it?" asked Demetrios. "I told you over a week ago."

"Now I've gotten properly scared into it."

"Well, I didn't want to frighten you."

I know. That's his policy as a physician, and it frightens me more than anything! He always wants to console, comfort, and give hope, and he won't lay it out on the line for you.

"And it occurs to me," I continued, "that I promised you I'd finally have my hands x-rayed after the holidays. So I'll call Dr. M. right now."

"Good. You've been promising me forever."

Yes, and he has been nagging me forever.

"Both hands," he said.

"I know. But Dr. M. is going to tell me the same thing Dr. G. said; that it's classic osteoarthritis."

"I'm pretty sure it isn't." The annoying thing is, Demetrios is a very, very good doctor and is nearly always right.

"So what else do you think it might be?"

"I don't know without an x-ray; that's what we want to see."

So I pick up the telephone and Demetrios says, "Ask him for a chest x-ray, too."


"For what?" knowing I wasn't going to get a straight answer.

"To see that your lungs are in good shape."

I didn't even bother to ask why he should think my lungs might not be in good shape.  Instead, I googled "diseases joints lung" and found out - much to his chagrin - what he has in mind, namely, rheumatoid arthritis, a rather more serious malady, and one that can affect the lungs.

"I took a screening quiz," I told Demetrios, "and of my 18 answers, only 3 were consistent with rheumatoid arthritis."

"Dr. Internet," he said in his most sardonic tone.

So I haven't told him I know the other possibility is lupus. That's too remote to be worth incurring any more of his displeasure.

Will you please pray with me that my dear husband is wrong for once?  No, on second thought, let's just pray, "Thy will be done."


GretchenJoanna said...

Yes, I will pray!

elizabeth said...

Lord have mercy. Glad you are making the phone calls; keep at it. Take care of your self and keep us posted. my small prayers.

margaret said...

Very glad about the echocardiogram. Please don't worry about things that might not be, I have an autoimmune disorder that was originally diagnosed as lupus and I nearly went round the bend. If I'd waited for the specialist's opinion instead of my GP's I'd have had a far easier time of it.

David Garner said...

Prayers will ascend Anastasia. Lord have mercy.

melxiopp said...

If there's one thing I have learned from watching 'House, MD' it's that "it's never lupus".

Sts Cosmas, Damian and Panteleimon pray to God for you!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Thanks, everybody.

I'm really not thinking about it very much, I promise. Starting Spring housecleaning early, to distract myself.

Lupus is an extremely remote possibility. I'd have felt sick.

Odd thing is, the arthritis, supposing that's what it is, isn't acting up at all lately. I feel great!

s-p said...

My wife had the flashing lights/floaters too. So far no major issues, but definitely something to watch out for. I hope everything else turns out to be normal aging. :)