60 – Paul’s Heart Problems

Just recently I have been feeling rather tired and generally under par, so Paul nagged me to go and see our GP and good friend Pasquale, who duly took my blood pressure – which was just a tad high at 175/90 !!!  I was soon started on medication to bring it down, which seems to be working well.  I am trying hard to lose a bit of weight, but finding it a bit frustrating as progress is slow despite getting some exercise labouring in the garden.

Paul having nagged me, I felt it was high time for me to do some nagging myself.  I had noted that Paul had also been feeling more tired than usual.  Before leaving the UK, Paul had experienced heart problems.

So, Dr Pasquale organised for us both to visit a Cardiologist for  ECG’s.  My results turned out to be fine, but Paul’s results revealed that his heart has gone back out of sinus rhythm, thus he was suffering once again from Atrial Fibrillation.  The Cardiologist advised us that he could attempt to rectify this by the technique known as Cardioversion.  Paul had successfully undergone this procedure 5 years previously.  Thus Paul has had to once again start taking a course of Warfarin, or Coumadin, to make his blood more fluid in preparation for this to happen.  He is now up to over 5mg Warfain a day, and although the INR value is still only 1.09 its seems to be following a very similar pattern to when he was taking it previously back in the UK.  Thus progress seems slow – Patience is a Virtue !!!  The last time he had to take almost 10mg a day to get the clotting to the required levels for the procedure.

Back in the UK the doctors had also picked up the Paul’s aorta was slightly larger than average, and said that this needed to be monitored to see if it was increasing over the years.  One doctor thought he was suffering from Marfan’s syndrome.  So, Paul was supposed to have an annual check-up, but had failed do so for the last 4 years. Therefore this was somewhat overdue !!!

Incredibly, due to a cancellation Paul was able to get an appointment that very same day for an EchoCardiogram at the local hospital, a place we had come to know well during my elderly parents’ illnesses.  This revealed that the size of the Aorta had not in fact changed – Good news. However that some of the valve flaps were not working as efficiently as they should.  However a series of measurementsof how the blood is being pumped around the various heart chambers showed up as being within “normal” range.  Our GP thinks that in general Paul’s heart seems to be functioning reasonably efficiently.  We now await our next consultation with the Cardiologist in August to get his expert opinion.

Meanwhile Paul is alright in himself, but gets very tired easily, so can’t do much heavy physical work for now.  He tries to do a bit, than has to sit and rest, and often feels the need to sleep in the afternoon.  He finds the whole thing very frustrating, as there are always so many things to do.

Hey Ho !!! 



One thought on “60 – Paul’s Heart Problems

  1. As you know my Valentino has suffered many of the same problems with the notable difference that he had a valve replacement in 1995 at a young age. He has done very well for himself until recently – our trip was marred by many similar symptoms – when we came home he was hospitalized and they found he also suffered A0Fib – because I work in a hospital reading EKGs, I hate knowing just enough to get upset – but obviously not as much as the cardiologist. But I do know good cardiologists and fortunately we have the best!
    That said, monitor carefully Paul’s salt intake so he dies not fill with fluid – that will tax his strength more! And also be sure to check his INR frequently!
    We will keep you both in our prayers!

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