After Den was released from the hospital, we worked with Home Healthcare to get him up and around. Our goal was to get him strong enough to go to Cardiac Rehab. Elaine, the physical therapist, worked with Den twice a week and left him exercises to do every day. And it did seem to work, for a while. We saw all of the cardiology team on February 15, 2016. It would be 3 months before we would know if the stent helped Den’s heart to work more efficiently. We were hoping for an increase in his EF (Ejection Fraction) on his next echo cardiogram. We did find out that since his release he had had 4 short episodes of VTach, but no shock was given by the ICD. Also, Den’s eyesight was beginning to fail. He was not driving anymore because he was having trouble seeing clearly enough to feel safe. We knew he had developed cataracts and the cardiology team gave us the OK as long as no meds needed to be stopped for more than one day. So we started looking for a good eye doctor to do the procedures (he needed them both done).
February 17, 2016
Den had a nosebleed today from 11PM until 4AM. I made the call to take him to the ER. All his blood work came back fine so the ER doctor decided to cauterize his nose where the bleeding was occurring. So we came home and I tried to keep Den from blowing his nose for the next 3 days.
February 19, 2016
Back to the ER with another nosebleed. This time it was the other side of his nose! The ER doctor said the left side was not bleeding and looked to be healing very well from a few days ago. The right side had a very large clot, which the doctor had Den literally blow out of his nose. they put in a medium size inflatable packing to stop the bleeding. When they came back to check, it was still bleeding, so they put in the largest packing they had. They wanted us to follow up with Den’s PCP first thing Monday morning. When the doctor checked one last time to make sure the packing was working, he noticed that there was still active bleeding with the packing in place. He called an ENT doctor that worked with the hospital and told us to go straight there…he would see us as soon as we arrived!
We did as instructed and went straight to Dr. Patel’s office, just 10 minutes away. He looked Den over and saw no active bleeding at the time. He wanted to wait until Monday to remove the packing, so the area would have a chance to heal a little. Taking out the dressing now could cause bleeding that he could not stop. (Did I forget to mention that Den was on 3 different blood thinners at this time? No wonder he was having bleeding issues. At least it was where we could see it, not internal and life threatening!) He told us to keep taking the meds Den was on and gave us a prescription for an antibiotic to keep any infection from setting in.
February 22, 2016
It was a busy day!
We had a blood draw for Dr. Raj at 8:30AM.
We saw Dr. Patel at 9:30AM to remove the packing. He sent us across the street for a head CT to make sure there were no other problems that could be causing the bleeding. He gave us a nasal saline spray to help remove and debris in the nose and get the clot to move more easily, this would keep the bleeding from occurring again…hopefully. The CT confirmed that Den had a very large deviation in his nasal septum to the left. This could only be corrected with surgery and that would have to wait. All of Den’s allergy tests were negative and he was ordered to stop using his Flonaze. It was drying out his nose and would just cause more bleeding.
The we headed off to Dr. Hennecke, Den’s PCP. She did her once over and checked all the labs that Den had done that last time we were there. She took him off his diabetes medication, Metformin, except if his blood sugar went above 150. She also referred us to a local Ophthalmologist that would work with us to get Den’s eyes done! Yeah! She also approved and filled out the home healthcare papers.
February 25, 2016
John, our home healthcare nurse, came to check Den out as usual. He was concerned that Den’s blood pressure was very low. He called Dr. Raj’s office while he was at the house. Dr. Raj called back and gave us the order to hold two of Den’s meds if his blood pressure was below 100/60. So now I was needing to check Den’s BP every day. He also wanted to see us later that week.
February 29, 2016
Today we saw Dr. Raj. Den’s weight is down to 239. and his BP is still low. So they stopped one med completely and halved the other with the order to only give it if his BP was over 100/60. OK. He also scheduled Den’s repeat echo cardiogram for the end of next month.
Our saga will continue tomorrow. This week will be filled with lots of ups and downs. It is the week leading up to Easter and being the good catholic that I try to be, I will be reading at several masses. I wish you all a blessed season, whatever religion you practice or don’t. See you tomorrow.