5:30am is a lovely time to check in for an angiogram!

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DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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It meant an old coot leaving the house at 3:30 (what I call the middle of the night) to drive to Lubbock and meet my lovely daughter who had agreed to get up well before the roosters and drive me to the hospital as I was not going to be allowed to drive for 24 hours after.

It started with my cowboy knee, the one a pregnant heifer from a dozen we were loading into a trailer decades ago that got a good whack sending me to the ground in excruciating pain, then my brother dragging me. I objected, and he informed me that the heifers were all coming back at us! They weighed about a thousand pounds each. I jumped up onto the side of the fence so fast that the adrenalin surge vanished the pain - totally gone for a couple of decades anyway. It used to make me take aspirin before hitting a dance floor but got worse over the years. A visit to an Orthopedic and some Xrays showed me a lack of cushioning cartilage in the problem joint, and I started on Mobic and wearing knee sleeves, but kept limping a little, then a little more over the years.

I added cortisone injections from my PA a year or so ago, and they helped, but I wondered if it was time to get over my Amputation-Fear of a knee replacement. I also asked about another injection I'd heard about, a chemical allegedly discovered in rooster combs, and she said she'd heard of it but it was time to go see my Ortho doc again.

I got into see him again in a few months, we looked at new Xrays, I asked him to explain "Knee replacement surgery," and I asked about the new injection - knowing that it'd require five or six hour-long drives to Lubbock in as many weeks. He showed me a fancy model of a knee joint, explained what he actually does - nothing like a replacement or the amputation I feared, and I asked to be signed up for it. He also explained that they had a new chemical that is a one-shot every six months and works better than the six-week regime, and I asked for a try. I am so glad that it wasn't my money that had to pay for it as I would have to have had a money-back satisfaction guarantee: Sodium hyaluronate injection $1,500 plus the injection fee! Of course, Medicare knocked that down into the $1,000 range, then paid most of it, and my supplement paid the rest. The other good news is that it worked miracles. Some online claims state that it takes a few weeks to work and only had a 31% approval rate, but it worked for me in days and wonderfully.

As far as the surgery would go, the soonest he could work me in would be a few months later, and I'd need a complete Cardiology workup to ensure that I'm healthy enough, and when I told him about the soreness I'd been experiencing in the other leg - the one with the football knee that has never bothered me in over five decades since that ligament surgery, he explained that I had probably been compensating with that leg more, but the Cardio doc might have more to say about that. A relative later told me about leg bypasses that her sister had had, but that lady has already passed from a heart attack (the deceased and I had been the Maid of Honor and Best man for their wedding decades ago), so I couldn't get a first-hand story.

Next was the records transfer and setting up an appointment which took over a dozen calls and a few weeks to arrange, but I finally met my new Cardo lady doc for an EKG and preliminary workup - information for them mostly. She wanted a full Cardio workup but couldn't schedule me for a month. I asked if it was still okay for me to make a weeklong scuba trip as cardio events may be our biggest threat other than ourselves, and she was ok with that. I hobbled thru airports, to my Cozumel hotel down the walkway from the street, around town for dining here and there, to and from the pier each morning, and swam with my sore leg ok.

A couple of weeks after that I got in for the special Xrays, stress test, etc. Having been NPO all morning for an afternoon appointment but happy with their promise to have plenty of coffee waiting for me in the lobby when I got to that point, I went thru a number of Xrays and the dreaded stress test. I was told I could have coffee before the next one, retreated to the lobby, and emptied their dispenser of the last half cup of coffee, causing me to wonder about their medical promises to come? After the last Xray session, I quickly found a donut shop! They sold me a giant coffee and gave me a free donut after seeing a photo of my Covid Vaxxed card.

A couple of weeks later and several months into the new quest they called to explain I needed two angiograms, one for the heart and vessels and another for the leg, then a week later I was called with a date for the heart exam, then later a time. This time would be NPO from midnight, a fresh shower required before 5:30am check-in, and a driver as I mentioned earlier - I was not going to be allowed to drive for 24 hours after. My daughter stuck around for the extensive paperwork, then in the hallway as I got naked and shaved in preop, but I sent her home rather than being bored waiting for an outcome. I expected to be there half a day, maybe all day if they decided I needed stents and maybe the night. Yeah, I also feared worse possibilities, but I never talked about those.

I came to around 10am as the doc didn't find anything! All clear, all good, no stents. I could leave as soon as I sobered up enough to walk to the car and my daughter arrived. I may have tried to flirt with my nurse as she was cute in her mask, I saw her photo on her badge, and I was drunk. Fortunately, she knew I was still tranquilized and ignored that, helped me out of my gown, then to my car. I have another appointment in a couple of weeks to talk to my Cardiologist about the leg angio, or maybe we'll do it then - I don't know yet.

I may well not be ready for my late February knee surgery, but then I am so happy with the Durolane injection that I won't mind postponing it, maybe until fall? The chemical may last a year, but Medicare will pay for repeats every six months, so who knows?

I relaxed at my daughter's home. It was great that she had the holiday off as she stays very busy running a private school with Covid staff shortages. I enjoyed visiting with her, my grandson, the great-grandkids, lunch, sleeping off the tranquilizer on their couch, visiting with my SIL when he got in from work, and supper. The problem was that I had felt great since noon, fully rested since my nap, and I didn't feel like spending the night sharing a room with my grandson nor sleeping on the couch, so I left. No, I was not allowed to drive for 24 hours after, and that's probably great advice for those who don't bounce back quickly, but I felt too good to obey. This will be kept a secret.

Anyway, that's my story and I am sticking to it. I thought I'd share it in case anyone who doesn't get too bored to finish reading it is thinking about cardiology, as cardio events may be our biggest threat other than ourselves. Bottom line: ask a Cardiologist, whatever and however long it takes to see one. This may get moved to the Whine forum or elsewhere, but I thought I'd share it here.
 

lexvil

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A pain in the neck it sounds like, the no coffee part is tough.

knee replacement, so worth it, there are less intrusive methods than the old split you open from thigh to ankle, I have a scar that may be 5” long, no muscle involvement so quicker healing, diving again 33 days later.
 

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DandyDon

DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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hip replacement (at 55 :()
You know, they could have used better names as I bet that they don't actually remove your hip and replace the whole joint. I'd bet it's a rebuild like a "knee replacement."

Better at 55 thank 85. I guess my knee surgery would be better at 74 than later, but I am so happy with this new injection. I'd really like to get my sore calf fixed soon. It'd be nice to hike more than I can now, I roam graveyards at times shooting headstone photos, and I have a Yellowstone trip in four months.
 
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DandyDon

DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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Well, that's not creepy, is it?
Nah, I don't think so. Some folks like being able to see their faraway relatives' headstone photos online since they are too far away to visit in person, so Findagrave.com volunteers organize those by cemeteries. We do that as an honor to those who have come before and gone. Check your own ancestors and look. I hope their photos have been uploaded. If you can't find them, message me and I'll research them.

I'm working on a cemetery 40 miles away now, row by row shooting photos for those listed who have not been photographed, but a half-mile of roaming per trip is about all I can handle, and I'm slow. I'll shoot photos of all in a family group, then check their names and load them if there not there yet. I've added almost 200 new memorials so far and got the percentage photographed from 86 to 91 so making progress. I even get thankyous on the site at times. Some like to shoot photos of all of the markers in a cemetery to make sure no one is missed, but I won't be up to that even in nice weather and a better leg. It has over 6K graves.

My home cemetery I work closer. I was bothered by how many unmarked graves I found comparing records to my surveys so I started making concrete makers with their names & years to deliver. I found instructions for building 2"x4" frames for 80# markers and the best place to order imprint letters and numbers, got a 80# bag of mix in Lubbock, and made one. My local stores carry only 60# bags of the mix I use tho so I made a couple of frames that fit those and made a few before quickly downsizing to two 30# frames which I use for longer names (I like to include maiden names when known) and three 20# frames so I could make them faster. I've made about 250 to 300. For recent burials, I wait a couple of years as I don't want to rush families, then if they haven't by then, I do. If they add a professional marker later, they can trash mine, but they usually keep both.

Every year or so I like to drive downstate to visit ancestors here and there, it's a nice three-day road trip, leaving fresh artificial flowers. Many of their old markers are getting weathered as well at risk under trees, so I made them additional flat markers that can survive anything. I've tested them driving over them with big pickups. Nothing happens.

An odd hobby perhaps, but not creepy.
 

Lookitthat

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I am scheduled for a consult in a few weeks for a hip replacement (at 55 :()....
Hello from another hippie! My first THR was at age 59. I was totally offended at having "done everything right" (active, yoga, super healthy diet, etc.) and still getting osteoarthritis - not fair! Everything went well, went back to diving no prob. Recently, hip #2 went south fast, surgery's set for 3/8. Fingers crossed I'll still be able to go on my club's mid July trip to the Maldives. Should find out Friday at my pre-op...

How's your hip? Feel free to complain!
 
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DandyDon

DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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I'd really like to get my sore calf fixed soon. It'd be nice to hike more than I can now, I roam graveyards at times shooting headstone photos, and I have a Yellowstone trip in four months.
Now they are talking about separate angiograms, once for each leg. I'm up for the first one a week from tomorrow. I'm sure I won't drive home that evening. This goes on month after month, but maybe the other one next month? That would give me two months to recover before Yellostone.

The weather is nice this week. Heading out for another graveyard photographing hike tomorrow. 😎
 

Lookitthat

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@rhwestfall Good on you!

BTW, some things very helpful the first time round which I'm using again:
  • pre-hab strengthening exercises
  • guided imagery for surgery prep - I like healthjourneys.com's stuff, which can be accessed and downloaded free ( if the link doesn't work, kp.org/listen goes to their podcasts, click on "conditions and diseases)
  • pre and post op THR discussion boards at bonesmart.org
(love Grommit)
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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