Kellie: Still Not Dead (Somehow)
For the previous instalment of "Limited-Days-Of-Her-Life" feel free to read the mini-update in the middle of this post here, or additionally you can see more of her nastiness going on in this post too.
After dragging myself from the bed and into the shower, out again, getting dried and dressed, we trundled out into Deepest Darkest Basildonia. Full of Basildonians it was, too. But we got to the hospital forty minutes early. A nurse called her in and did some preliminary bits, and then they wanted her to have an ECG... For which the nurse made her get completely topless.
Not that I am one to complain, of course.
That done, we went and sat back in the waiting room for ten minutes, and the doctor called her in. At least, *a* doctor called her in. Not the man we were expecting to see, but an SHO - which, of course, was unsurprising. Seeing your actual consultant when it comes to medical things is a rarity at the best of times - as Kellie was walking, breathing and talking (and talking and talking...) she probably didn't hit the flags for seeing the man named on her letter.
The doc we saw (and his two students) was nice enough, and very thorough... However, little dingly-dangly bells were sounding when, despite us being there for Cardiac Arrhythmia, Cardiac Palpitations, and being in the Cardiac Department, the first thing he wanted to know about was...
So - as is the normal for anything long-term-medical in this country - we had to explain what was going on, the last 2-3 years of medical history, things that have happened, doctors and procedures she's been through... BUT, as we pointed out several times, we were here for her cardiac stuff, not her Triglycerides.
Now, I will digress from this point, and go out on a limb and suggest that her Cardiac stuff, and stupidly-high-triglycerides are somehow related. I don't know how, and I am not entirely sure I am certain, but they have been two problems together from around the same sort of time - it was her cardiac stuff originally that prompted a blood test, and that blood test is the one that came back with the numbers through the roof: Her blood test showed her Triglycerides to be 21.6, which, in US terms is (apparently!) over 1900. A "Very High" rating over here is anything over 6.5.
Hence the blood test lab calling the GP directly.
Back to today:
So we tell the doctor about all the Cardiac stuff, and he actually does appear to listen and understand what we're saying, our worries and concerns and everything else. He flicks through the (worryingly) small pile of notes, none of which appears to show the fact a Paramedic attending one of her worst cardiac events, nor did it show that another of these events prompted me to drag her to A&E where the doctor there was more worried she was having a heart attack.
He goes over her ECG - which is, as usual, normal, because as we've told them over and over - her problems are intermittent, not constant - and he agrees with us, and proceeds to order a seven-day cardiac monitor to try and catch it.
At one point he did try to, shall we say, press her into going back onto Statins. Now, I may have mentioned it elsewhere, but not long after Kellie started on these statins, she changed. It's hard to explain how, but she lost interest in things, in family, in friends, in hobbies... Now, despite there being no official link between statins affecting a persons character, a quick search of Google will show countless reports of people suffering the same side-effect. They start the drug, their personality changes, they come off the drug, they slowly come back to normal. We managed to get her off the statins a while ago, and onto Ezetimibe (like a statin, but NOT a statin, and just as good apparently), plus high doses of Niacin which is also very good for combating lipids/triglycerides/cholesterol, and high-doses of Omega-3.
Like I said, he tried to get her back on statins, but she refused - we're not willing to go through that again. So instead, he's stopped the Ezetimibe and Omega-3, and started her on Fenofibrate... And while we're not officially dieting any more, we're going to be back to "more mindful" of what we eat. However, since being back on Slimming World, I do tend to cook most things from scratch anyway - just going to increase the amount of vegetables and oily fish in her diet.
All in all, it did go quite well, though I think Kellie was hoping more for "This is what is wrong, this is how we're going to fix it" even though I did sort of pre-warn her this morning to not get her hopes up and that they may not have answers after an Xray, ECG and Echo.. BUT hopefully now we have a doctor that is A) Understand, and B) Paying attention, coupled with C) our GP who is very good anyway, I am pretty sure that we are getting somewhere... YES, it is taking a while, but if this medication reduces her levels better than the Statin or the Ezetimibe, that's one thing... If the reduced triglycerides seem to have a positive affect on her in a cardiac sense, then that shows the two are hand-in-hand. Lastly, the seven-day monitoring she will have (aside from being HILARIOUS for me, and I am sure, for the blokes at work) I am hoping will show the events that she suffers with - the arrhythmia, the palpitations, and what it is - if anything - that is triggering them, then even better.
I'm hopeful that, finally, she's on the right track, and that the meds and monitor and the doctor will make a difference. As a sign that they're not worried about her (like, worried-worried) her next appointment isn't for six months. At least, it SHOULD be six months - however, the clinic doesn't have any appointments till...
Guess who's going to be calling up every few weeks to pester for an earlier appointment!
Big thanks to everyone that messaged in some form or another to wish her well and all the best, and for those of you that have kept me entertained - it's that or have a nervous breakdown!