January 3, 2017
Today Den is scheduled to get the trigger point injections in his neck and shoulders. We talked to the LVAD Team and are also having his blood draw at the U of C while we are here.
We checked into the Pain Clinic and as usual, we didn’t have a very long wait. The nurse took all of Den’s vitals and Dr. Bradley came in to do the injections. I was asked to wait in the lobby area until they were done. So off I went….again. I always seem to be leaving rooms so people can poke and prod my Den. I had just gotten comfortable when they called me to go back to his room. (Was 4 minutes really worthwhile?) The doctor told me that Den had received 5 injections in near his neck in his shoulders. Den said that he felt some immediate relief and had a better range of motion. The doctor said that the pain reduction and range of motion should get even better over the next few days.
We went down to lab services and had Den’s blood draw done. Then we were on our way home. The team let me know later in the day that Den’s INR was 2.5 and not changes in his meds were needed this week.
January 4, 2017
Today Den is starting Cardiac Rehab. I went with him to make sure I took notes for him when he needs to come alone. Jackie went over how to apply the monitor leads…what color goes where…..and where Den would need to check in when he arrives. She told us that Den is a special case with them. They haven’t had too many LVAD patients come to their location, so there may be some hiccups while he is coming to work out.
Den did his baseline 6 minute walk for the rehab team. He did pretty good. 400′ with only three stops. He was told that the next time he came in he would have a work out plan in place and he would be given a card with the exercises that they wanted him to do.
January 5, 2017
Den called me at work today. He is a little depressed about his general health and feels bad about the “burden” that he feels he has been the last year. I told him he was getting better and to concentrate on getting back into shape and improving his endurance.
When I called him later in the day, he seemed to be in better spirits. He feels that our home is his sanctuary. He feels that he can be himself in our home.
***A note on depression***
Den has been dealing with depression for more years than I care to remember. He has some personal issues from before we became a couple that still haunt him today. We work very closely with his GP and the LVAD Team to keep him on an even keel. He has great days, good days, bad days and REALLY bad days, but we all try to keep those bad days to a minimum. Den has been on a prescription for his depression ever since I have known him. It has been changed, changed back, and increased over the years.
If you are in any way dealing with depression, please seek medical attention. Don’t wait for the monsters to take control of your life. BE in control of the monsters! Fight them back with everything that you can. The most beneficial thing that I have found for Den is to have a good emotional support system. Den has several people that he can call at a moments notice…just to talk. When his is feeling down, I get him to talk through whatever it is that is causing it and find a solution…if there is one. If there is no solution, then we find a way of letting it go, since there is nothing we can physically do to stop whatever it is that is causing the problem.