Saturday, November 23, 2013
DAYS 549-638 RECOVERY
After my heart was monitored for thirty days last month, the cardiologist determined that I now have intermittent atrial fibrillation. This is not the news I wanted to hear. It came as a shock. I was convinced the escalating irregular beats that my blood pressure reader detected were due to a malfunction of the machine which also reads heart rate and rhythm. Yes, the blood pressure machine was in error, but the reality is that some of the episodes were real. It alarmed the doctor that I could no longer feel that I was in AFib.
Just when I expected to hear it was safe to discontinue the heart medication, I was told I need to increase the dose. I also need to replace the daily full-strength aspirin with a prescription med that better prevents blood clotting. While these meds may save my heart, they put my other organs at risk. I tend to feel that many physicians are pimps for the pharmaceutical companies. However, when you think about it, after lifestyle changes are recommended and natural therapies are tried, and only a few doctors consider those, what can they do other than prescribe meds or cut?
I was in quite a dilemma. I had to choose how I might die. Not taking the meds puts my heart at risk. Taking them can damage my liver, kidneys, thyroid or lungs. Many other side effects are possible. A few are hair loss, depression, vision damage, sun sensitivity, swelling, and uncontrollable bleeding. I bought the meds but couldn't bring myself to take them. Several weeks passed before my cardiologist contacted me early this week. He explained the seriousness of my situation. All the while I'm thinking,Yeah, you’re a heart doc, of course you want to protect my heart.Surely a pulmonologist would vote in favor of saving my lungs, an internist my kidneys, and so on. He emphasized my risks due to family history, previous heart attack and value problems, age, high blood pressure and two blood-clotting disorders. He stated that he doesn't prescribe medication lightly. Then he got me when he told me there are ways to fix lungs, kidneys, etc, but there are no ways to fix my highest risk, a stroke. He asked me how I felt about spending my life in a nursing home. I started the meds that night.
Meds: Amiodarone, Cardizem, Vayacog, Paxil, Pradaxa, Vitamin D, I-Caps, Flax seed oil, Multivitamin, B-12, , Glucosoamine, Calcium, Garlic,Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Black Cohosh