Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

It’s always something!

Well, my plans to make regular blog posts and videos have been slightly hampered lately. Although I am managing to keep my planned schedule, I had wanted to make sure I had several videos and several blog posts “in the can” so that I don’t have to feel pressured to produce them every week and I can concentrate more on making quality content.


Health Issues

Many of you know that my wife, Linda is not in the greatest of health. She’s diabetic, hypertensive, has cardiac issues, and has low-functioning kidneys. We recently have been working on her blood pressure.  The doctor prescribed a new blood pressure med, Clonidine, to add to the pile-o-pills she already takes.  At the time, we couldn’t afford to fill the script, so we held onto it for later.

2a88ed9ebf2226c79306ee081b242d37About a month ago, Linda tripped and fell, spraining her ankle badly.  Our neighbor brought over a walker so that she could get around.  We hoped that it would heal up on its own.  However, after a week it didn’t seem to improve so I took her to the ER to have it x-rayed. Unfortunately, we can’t go to the Little Clinic or Urgent Care since they don’t accept Medicare (really!?!??!?). So into the ER we went.

They found that there was nothing broken (thankfully) and gave her one of those space boots to immobilize her ankle so it could heal.

The Creepin’ Crud

4185674043_abe5c52402_bThe ER visit was on a Wednesday.  On Friday evening, I noticed a small scratchiness in my throat. I thought “Oh great, a sore throat.”  Boy, was I wrong.  I went to bed and woke up the next morning sicker than I’ve been in years.  I spent the next 20 of 24 hours in bed, dead to the world.  On Sunday, I spent over half the day in bed.  I had chills, fever, aches, and general awfulness. The only thing that provided any relief was a hot shower.  Sunday night, Linda felt a little scratchiness in her throat…. Yup. She got it too.

Apparently, the old adage “if you want to get sick, go to the hospital” held true here!  Holy moly were we just the “dead twins” until I started to improve on Tuesday.  However, the end game of the illness was different for each of us.

For me, the sickness descended into my lungs.  I got bronchitis and had a nasty cough.  Even almost a month later I am still dealing with it. For Linda, however, the sickness went a little farther south.  She developed a UTI.  We held off for a couple days to see if she could shake it, but it wasn’t happening.  So, we headed to the doctor’s office.  She was in a lot of pain by this point and the doctor was booked solid and could not see her until late afternoon.  We elected to go to the ER….again.

Fairbanks-ED-3The ER docs did their tests and kept her there for a while. Then wrote her a script for some antibiotics. Sadly, the incompetence in the discharge people at the hospital meant that I wound up driving to two different Wal-Mart pharmacies to find the one that they had called the script into.  Oh, did I mention that I told the hospital to call the script into Wal-Greens?  Oh, yeah…that.

Oh, My Darlin’ … Clonidine!

By this point, it was just into the beginning of April and we had some money.  So, after getting her antibiotics script filled, I decided to fill her other needed scripts, including the Clonidine.  The doctor had prescribed that she take it three times a day.

We returned home from the hospital, confident that she would kick the UTI in a couple days and glad that we could now properly follow the cardiologist’s prescription with the new Clonidine.  She forgot to take the morning dose that first day, but took her noon pill.  We then went to the neighbors for a tasty dinner.  We returned and she took her 7PM dose.

That’s when the shizzle hit the fazizzle.

About 9PM, she started complaining of not feeling well and having arrhythmia.  She often would have short episodes of it that would go away on their own if she just rested.  So we decided to go to bed to see if she could just sleep it off.  Well, that didn’t work.  She was up most of the night with arrhythmia and some chest pain!  Ugh.

The next morning (Saturday), I looked up the side effects of Clonidine.  Yup.  Arrhythmia and chest pain were among them.  I advised her to NOT take the Clonidine until we could talk with the doctor on Monday since she had only taken two doses and had a pretty significant reaction.  We hoped that the issue would calm down over the course of the day.  Nope.  So, around 5PM Saturday, we made the trip back into El Paso to go to the ER.

Emergency-Room-Nurses-StationHer heart rate was dipping as low as 35BPM!  Holy crap!  Not surprisingly, they admitted her and put her in ICU to monitor her closely.  Thankfully, as the drug wore off, her improved and returned to about 60BPM.  That’s still rather low, but fairly normal for her.

The hospital contacted her cardiologist, who agreed that it was likely the Clonidine that caused the issue.  He came in to see her on Sunday and decided that it had been a while since she’d had a full cardiac workup including an angiogram.  They scheduled it for Monday morning.

Renal Reactions

In order to do an angiogram, the doctor uses a special contrast dye to see what’s going on in the arteries under the x-ray. Unfortunately, this very necessary dye is known to be hard on the kidneys. As I mentioned before, she has kidney problems.  Well, when they did the angiogram, the doctor added two stents to improve blood flow.  They wanted to add a third but had to cut it short because they were worried about her kidneys not handling the dye.

I suppose that’s a good thing.  The nephrologist is keeping her at the hospital for further observation and tests because her kidney function has decreased significantly as a result of the use of the dye.  We are praying that they recover enough to not require dialysis. Only time will tell when or whether that is necessary.

We are hoping that they will release her today.  As of the posting of this blog (9AM) I have not yet heard what their plans are.


Well, because of these complications, my video production and blogging may lag a bit.  I will try to get something out on time, but I hope you guys will understand if there’s a delay.  I love making videos and blogging, but my wife must come first.

If you’re the praying type, please send your prayers. Please pray for Linda’s healing as well as for the financial provision that we need to make it through this time. Be that in the form of extra work or donations, that’s fine.  I actually prefer to earn money rather than receive a handout.  Maybe that’s prideful, I don’t know.  But we both appreciate all the support we get from you guys!  Thanks!

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About The Ratrace Losers

My wife and I have moved to the West Texas desert to live off-grid, to follow the Lord, and to help others by applying our skills. Check us out on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter! http:/
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