September 15, 2020
we saw the new cardiologist today. it kept to the usual pattern, even if it wasn't dr. w. we see the thoracic surgeon and get depressed and scared out of our minds. then we see the cardiology folks and they are all reeeeelllllaaaaxxxx. everything is good! dr. f feels the recent blood pressure spikes are just anxiety. perhaps arthritis pain, panic, bp spike. or some combo along those lines. stress, anger, fear, anything that causes an adrenaline change will bump up the pressure. he said, if the two heart events last week had truly been heart related, there is no way he could have played ball without consequences....pain, shortness of breath, something. that definitely rings true. in fact, playing ball on thursday actually made him feel better. dr f also says about a future surgery, inexplicably, what sounded contradictory totally to dr. L...that the open heart surgery c has already had was the one with far more risks involved. we were so confused by that statement that neither one of us pressed him to clarify. or maybe c was just so encouraged he didn't seek clarification. i am learning to keep my mouth shut and let c lead in these conversations. in general actually. basically i don't want to be the one causing another event unless i reach a point of self preservation. that sounds extreme i know, but it is how i feel. the level of stress and anxiety is so evident in c lately that i just don't want to add to it, at all. when it gets to the point that i feel hurt, i have to react then. it's a fine line. i tend to want answers but i can see that it is better to let any questions surface from c. he seems very reassured by the visit. so that's a good thing. maybe it will help him relax a little. maybe that will help the tensions here at home ease too.
i am not so relieved tho. i know dr f is right about the reasons for the bp spike. that it is anxiety related and not heart in origin. so that part is very reassuring. he gave us good markers for any future episodes, so i liked that. but he is basically increasing his bp meds by 4. that seems like a HUGE jump! his theory is that the dose c is on now is basically what they give to pediatric patients, so minimal that it is almost like not taking meds at all. it is certainly too low to be able to absorb any bp spikes due to pain, anxiety, anger, frustration. so he's increasing it enough now so that it remains even no matter what c is feeling psychologically. i'm troubled by memories of how hard it was to find a dose that didn't cause his bp to bottom out! i worry that we are addressing the problem from the wrong end. that what he needed more was a prescription for anxiety. enough meds to keep his anxiety levels within reason so that a bp spike doesn't happen.
but then i look at my own issues. and i can tell that even tho MY anxiety meds have doubled, i'm still experiencing bp spikes, not as extreme, but still above normal.
so i'm not a dr. i just have to have trust and faith in their experience, expertise and guidance. and keep on trekking.
it's the last part that is becoming harder. every day feels like a marathon lately. a marathon i'm running on eggshells, trying to keep from cracking. i think i'm the one breaking.
this weekend, c's sister asked him to call their mom. she is deteriorating lately due to dementia among other things. usually c copes with her stubborn side better than v. but this time he ended up screaming at her on the phone he was so frustrated. she wouldn't let him talk so eventually he just started screaming over her so loudly and at such length that she finally stopped talking. moments later tho she began again, right back to the same subject. she wants to stay in her own home but she insists that a woman who she had hired to help clean and cook stole jewelry from her. so she has talked to the police twice now to report her. she is convinced that the woman stole the jewelry which she can't find, a vase of sea shells??? and sent them to cuba because her brother still lives there. so the police will "never find the jewelry now because it is in cuba". the police keep showing up at the apt bldg for other reasons but his mom sees them out the window and she rushes out to talk to them. he and his sister are trying to convince her that she needs to let the issue go because if she doesn't, the police are going to put a restraining order of some sort on HER! which is probably what needs to happen, and will eventually. making the matter more complicated, the cleaning woman lives in the same apt bldg and is now working for his mom's next door neighbor, who used to be his mom's friends. she keeps trying to warn them that the woman is not to be trusted. but they are not unhappy with her at all, are so tired of the issue they keep asking his mom to stay away from them! his mom is now convinced which is what she tried to tell the cops last week, that the reason the woman was able to steal from her is because she must have drugged her by putting some kind of drug in her food or drinks. she is certain this happened! meanwhile, i told c to just stop arguing and hang up, thinking he would make a polite excuse for ending the conversation. instead he just said, sorry, i cant talk to you any more, i don't want to do this but goodbye.
she is a rather difficult dementia issue, much more complicated than his dad. she is very sure she is mentally right on track, very healthy, she just needs a little help with cleaning. she is much more social than his dad and has a big window to watch every thing that happens in the apt. i used to think this was a good thing, helping to keep her more social and entertained. but now, i wish we could just fill in the window and help her stay out of confrontations. thank goodness the car was already solved after an accident about a year ago. they are trying to get her set up for a new maid and meals a few times a week, but again, she has MANY opinions about the meals. groceries are via online order and delivery, at least that is what we are trying now. it will all fall apart eventually of course and she will need to move into full time care. she'd be safer there now, but you know the song.