14 September 2009

The Latest Addition to our Growing Collection

Most people collect books, rocks, sea glass, figurines.
Roger collects doctors.
We added 3 new ones to his plethera today...
Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Sleep Lab Specialist
I don't remember if I shared this on here but since my blog serves as my memory bank now, Roger had to have a chest CT the same day Katie went to the Bridge. This was requested after a chest x-ray showed interstitial lung disease.
The CT scan showed a lesion in his right lower lobe and interstitial lung disease, so we were referred to a pulmonologist.
We like this doctor very much. He is middle aged, knowledgeable, listens to and works with his patients, etc.
We learned a lot from him today...
Rheumatoid arthritis is a contributing factor to interstitial lung disease
So is congestive heart failure.
So is the Methotrexate he takes for his rheumatoid arthritis.
He has a tortuous aorta(A twisted or distorted aorta that results in the narrowing or constricting of the aorta, which, in turn, may cause blockage of blood flow.
This condition may further lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), aortic insufficiency, cystic medial necrosis, or premature atherosclerosis.)
Normally they would do a lung biopsy to see what kind of interstitial lung disease he has and if there is a medicine that will help relieve symptoms.
BUT Roger is a high risk surgical candidate...
He is 73.
He has congestive heart failure, COPD, lung disease.
He has already had a double bypass and a pig valve insertion.
He is on a blood thinner Coumadin and a bejillion other meds.
What did the pulmonologist suggest?
Have another chest CT in December to see if the lesion is growing.
Given that we know that his rheumatoid arthritis, Methotrexate and congestive heart failure are all contributing causes to the interstitial lung disease/COPD we don't really need to find why he has it because we know. Yes, there is a chance that the biopsy would give us an indication of what kind of interstitial lung disease but also it might not tell us anything.
If he has the lung biopsy, he is inpatient for a week. He also has a great chance of being on a ventilator for God knows how long and the list of other risks was a mile long.
Being the OCD one, I said let's do the chest CT in 3 months and give the meds(he got 2 new ones today in addition to the Spiriva he got last week) a chance to work which will take 6-8 weeks and forego the lung biopsy based on my theory that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, leave well enough alone, etc.
Roger wants the biopsy.
He wants to see if the biopsy will show anything that can enhance his treatment.
He is NOT the OCD person of the family.
What's up with this?
We have an appointment with the cardiothoracic surgeon next week. It is his choice and I fully support him.
He would have to be cleared for surgery by his cardiologist, pulmonologist and primary care physician. We see the cardiologist a week from today.
I have put it into God's hands.
What was a 30 minute office visit turned into a hospital marathon. The pulmonologist wanted an oxygen check with him walking to see if he needed to be on oxygen(he didn't-yea!) so we went to Respiratory Therapy.
Then he needed all kinds of blood work so we headed to outpatient lab.
Then we had to go to Radiology to get copies of the chest CT and xray for the cardiothoracic surgeon.
THEN we had to backtrack to the pulmonologist's office because yours truly, the otherwise on top of everything, OCD one left his bag of home meds in the exam room after hearing all the news and Roger wanting the lung biopsy.
We are now home.
Did I mention he has an appointment with his primary care physician tomorrow? He already had this and the cardiologist appointment already scheduled before we learned what we did from the pulmonologist so maybe God is putting things into place to get this biopsy done quickly?
I am going to send a copy of this to Kate, Chris and Lyn because I don't think either of us could handle 3 phone calls discussing this.
Keep us in your prayers please.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

You need the CPAP just to catch your breath! Praying for you and yours, hoping for the best with the biopsy.

Debra W said...

Oh wow, Nessie, what a mess. I am soooo sorry to hear that Roger is going through so much difficulty. I am also very sorry that you, as his loving and concerned wife, must also endure all of this stress. Like you said, if everything seems to fall into place, then the biopsy must be the correct option, You and I both know that certain "roadblocks" will be put into place if the choice should be otherwise. Maybe keeping that in mind will bring you a small amount of comfort?

I am here sending the strongest of prayers your way. You never even have to ask, dear heart.

Love and hugs,