Monday, December 6, 2010

Up coming stenting of renal artery

This is a procedure that I look forward to with no little apprehension. Its indication, on present evidence is that my right renal artery is becoming choked off, with atheroma, (or post atherosclerotic fibrosis), at its origin from the aorta. If there is no sort of intervention, then it is very likely that it will infarct my right kidney. i;e the kidney will die of lack of arterial blood supply.

The risks of doing it include a significant mortality rate of at least 2-3 percent, plus the risk of showers of little bits of atheroma breaking off and damaging the more distant blood supply of the kidney, necessitating dialysis. Research papers are all over the place on this issue. Some say categorically "There is no clear indication for stenting! (including one author from the Mayo Clinic), over aggressive medical treatment with statins and hypotensive drugs" Others say"Maybe there are some exceptions when the stenosis is greater that 75 per cent." Most papers say that their samples were not large enough to give a definitive answer as to whether there is an advantage to stenting or not.  So, I guess I will wait for the U/S studies to be repeated at Mayo's and see what they tell us, and then talk turkey with the Vascular guy and the radiologist. One paper I read today said that hypertension does not occur until the stenosis is greater than 75 percent. since I already have significant hypertension, needing two drugs to control it, then, I guess, it must be greater than 75 %. So, I will take myself up there, to a place and doctors I trust,  and make the best decision I can, and go with it.

Since I am getting a little frazzled over all this, I will see the Clinical Psychologist also this week, to see if he can help me see the wood through the trees. It would so help to have Di to talk to. But in the end, she would not be able to do anything but say. "This is a decision you will have to make yourself, and live with the consequences of the decision." And that is the way it should be. So, I leave you , tonight, in deep doubt, and not a little confusion. Peace and love to all. Geoff

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Last night at the Grief Support Group

It is over, for this year at least, although there is the offer to return next year when the sessions start again. It may be useful, although I do want to progress as quickly as possible.

The first part ended with communion of which, I think, everyone partook. It was solemn and there were tears, but heck, what would you expect? It was celebrated by a female minister. I felt right at home!

It is late now, so I will write little tonight. Now to bed, with little  Ella, my constant companion, who will have to go to the kennel again while I am at Mayo's. But she will be well looked after there, where she is liked, and had some training while I was in Australia. They go to the trouble of finding them compatible doggy companions while they are there. And this time she will be there only a week instead of seven weeks, while I was in OZ. She is a sweet little thing, and I will be pleased to see her hairy little face when I come back.  Peace and love be with you all. Geoff

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It has been a better day today. Actually achieved some things, including substantial progress in getting the bookkeeping up to date,  also filing. Also got my trip to the Mayo Clinic all set up,    airline reservations, shuttle and hotel bookings. About took me all day to do it, but it is done.

All sorts of little things bugged me today. This morning I had a nosebleed, just as I went to to take Ella for a walk. Then the zipper on my heavy jacket got stuck, so I had to deal with that also. Those things would have been fun to talk with Di about, and in a few seconds we would have been laughing together about them.. Today they were just irritants, and delayers.

It is the last day of the Grief Support Group tomorrow night, and I will miss my weekly group. I think I will see if I can get into see the psychologist before I go to Mayo's, and after over the Holiday season. But I think Thanksgiving was worse than Christmas will be, being the first major holiday without Di. Maybe I am wrong. We just have to live through it. Need to get Di's warm clothes to the Project Warmth people. There just seems to be so much to do, and I am a little overwhelmed in getting it done. As one of the EfM alumni said, (she was widowed a few years ago), "When you are alone, there is no division of labor. You get to do it all!"

Tomorrow night's group will focus  on "Getting through the Holidays", with lots of practical suggestions. We will light another candle, and will take photos, tell what we have found useful from the group. I thank them all for being there and helping by sharing the depth of the experience. If I have learned one thing it is that this isn't over yet, by a long shot. It will take longer than you or I want!

From my perspective I would have to call it  a "shattering" experience, as we all try to pick up the pieces, and try to establish the "new normal". But then so do servicemen with PTSD. I sure hope there is some similar kind of support for them. Peace and love to you all. Geoff