Yet Another Journal

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» Friday, July 12, 2019
Eighteen Days of the Doctor: The James Report
On June 24, Midsummer Day (and halfway to Christmas Eve), we made the long trek out to Kaiser's Glenlake facility so James could have a checkup with his cardiologist. This time there were no knee problems as there had been in March. The doctor seemed fairly pleased except for some concern with a little weight gain. We are keeping tabs on this, but it seems chiefly from James' change in schedule. When he has to go into work, we aren't eating until eight o'clock; then to get up at 6:15, we have to head to bed after the ten o'clock news does the weather. He is better off when he teleworks; we can eat the larger meal in the afternoon and then he has the whole afternoon to walk back and forth to the bathroom, exercise fueled by furosimide. On our three-day weekends we are also trying to eat our big meal in the midafternoon, when the situation presents.

The worst part of this trip was going down to the pharmacy. I had to renew all my prescriptions. Ouch.

This week was a whole slough of appointments for James. On Wednesday he had two in a row, first with his nephrelogist and then with the dermatologist. The nephrelogist was pleased (except with the weight) and, according to the blood test James had last week, his creatitine is holding steady at 2.3 (same as in March). His only worry was that James' Vitamin D was low; it went from 25 to 20. So now he is on the same 50,000AU a week I am, but at least he's not as bad: I was 14.

We were done at 2:30 and just had to cross the hall to see the dermatologist. She was impressed by his two scars. The scar from the skin cancer he had removed in March can scarcely be seen and the other one from May looks just like a thin line down near his left ear. (Dr. Wagner does super work.) The dermatologist froze off two little moles on his left hand and then sent us off. The hand was painful and slightly swollen that night and he had to take pain meds, but we weren't sure if it was from the treatment or the arthritis problems he's been having lately.

Today we saw the rheumatologist. This is James' usual quarterly trip to get steroid shots in his knees, but he ended up not getting them. He has been complaining a good deal about pain in the past month and I thought it was about time he discussed it with the doctor. It's keeping him from sleeping, his left hand is slightly swollen all the time which interferes with his work, and any attempt at exercise makes his back and hips scream loudly. Since he can't take ibuprofin or naproxin for pain due to the kidney damage, his next recourse may be permanent doses of pain meds, which he doesn't want. We actually keep them sequestered and he has to be in a great deal of agony to take them, but he has for the past two days.

James' rheumatologist is very nice. He heard him out, ordered x-rays, and then also ordered a short course of steroids to see if that helped at all (this is why he didn't get the knee shots; it would OD him on steroids). (This makes us wince. Steroids will not help the weight problem and will also play hob with the diabetes.) Then James will go back in August to see if the steroids have done any good, and get the knee shots. I made an appointment for the same day. I have been having annoying pain in the muscles of my right arm, especially at my shoulder joint, for about a month now. It ranges from "oh, there it is" to "damn, that hurts" and I can't properly reach up into cupboards anymore without some pain. The worst is when it wakes me in the middle of the night. No matter what position my right arm is in as I lie on my left side, it hurts—except, and this is the kicker, if I turn over on my right side and actually lie on it. You would think it would hurt worse, but instead I get a brief stab of pain and then it quits and I can sleep. Bizarre.

Anyway, so that's where James stands. Paging Dr. Kildare (although maybe in this house it should be Dr. Locke...).

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