An Update On Current Events
An update on current events, because some people would like to know how things went last Monday.
Last Monday I had an appointment with the Heart Failure Group in the hospital. Initially, I had this appointment for the beginning of April. But because of the burial of my father, this was moved to last Monday. Maybe it also had to be like this, because of everything that had happened in the previous two weeks. Things that made me a little sad and maybe also a little bit worried.
Of course, it is always a little bit of a worry, when you have an appointment in the hospital. You never know what they maybe have discovered or what will happen next. But I was happy I would meet them in person, so we could talk and discuss what had happened in the last two weeks. And hopefully, find some sort of solution.
The Last Two Weeks
In the past two weeks, I had problems with retaining water. This was causing me that I was out of breath quickly, and had problems sleeping because sometimes I could hardly breathe. When you have heart failure, it is known that it is easy to retain water. Because with heart failure, your heart has problems pumping enough blood and oxygen through your body. Because your organs don’t get enough blood and oxygen, they also have it hard to function right, so your body could retain water. Instead of getting it out of your system.
I already know this since heart failure was discovered and so far I did not have that many problems with it. Until these last two weeks. Especially when I only was able to walk 500-600 meters before I had to give up. This shocked me and made me sad.
Why this suddenly is happening now? I am not sure.
Also, the tiredness is part of the heart failure, but after pneumonia, it looked worst than before. Everyone kept on saying that those two months in the hospital with the pneumonia, was a big attack on my body and that it would take at least several months to recover from it. But now with all that retaining water, I think there is more going on.
I think that that pneumonia also was a heavy attack on my heart failure and that made it worse.
The heart failure specialist did not say this directly to me, but I think that there is some kind of connection.
A Slight Change in Medication
She suggested making a small change in my medication. There is one medication that I am taking for heart failure. Eplerenone. This medication relaxes the heart muscle a little, this will lower the blood pressure and is also some kind of pee tablet. Normally, I take this once a day, one tablet. She suggested doubling the dosage.
Next to that, for this week I also will use the pee tablet that I have. The next week, I need to reduce the pee tablet slowly. Over the coming two-three week, I will cut down on that and see how it goes. It all depends on how I feel. The goal is to stop with the pee tablet and only take it when it is needed.
Also, after two-three weeks, I need to come back for a blood check. That Eplerenone is also doing something with potassium. I am also using potassium tablets, so they want to make sure that everything goes okay.
It Takes Time
Every time you are using a new medication or there is a change in dosage, your body needs time to adjust and get used to it. This is the reason why they want to wait two to three weeks before they want to check the blood.
I started the new dosage last Tuesday and I could already feel something. It looks like that I also need to pee a little bit more. That is okay. This means that next week I can slowly start reducing my pee tablets.
Another side effect that I noticed, is that I am less in the mood to do something. In the morning when I woke up, I was thinking about what to do that day. But during the day, I was less and less in the mood to do anything. I did not feel like doing anything. I am just hoping that this will get better. Right now I really need to force myself to do some things. I have nice new ideas that I would like to do, but I don’t feel like doing them right now.
My Heart Failure Level Was Raised
Later that day, I also got a notification from the hospital app, that there was a new letter. Every time there is some update in my file, I will get a notification. This time it was that there was a new letter.
When checking my file, I saw that there was a letter sent to my GP to update her about my current status.
In there I saw that my heart failure level was raised. In the past years, my heart failure level was 2. This means that you are able to do your daily things.
Level 3 means, that at rest, everything is okay. But you are tired quickly when putting effort into things, or doing just your daily activities. For me, this is also a small sign that my heart failure is slightly worse than before.
In total, there are 4 levels. Level 4 is the worst. That means that even at rest, you have difficulties. Luckily for me, this is not the case.
The Pacemaker Replacement
In the meeting, I also asked if she could see in my file when the pacemaker replacement could take place. And if there is a waiting list. In my last meeting with the Cardio specialist, she said that if the infection values in my blood were okay, then the planning desk would contact me to schedule the pacemaker replacement. My blood was clear, but so far, I did not hear anything further.
The heart failure specialist could not see anything in my file, so she would check it with the specialist.
Later that day she called me back. For this moment, things looked okay. The battery of the pacemaker was still good for a minimum of a year, so that is good. Also remotely, they could not see anything wrong. I was surprised by this last remark. Because they should not be able to see my pacemaker remotely. For this, you should have a small box at home, that in the evening connects to the pacemaker and sent the data to the hospital. So the next day they can check it.
But I don’t have that box, so they should not be able to check me remotely. I have had the pacemaker for several years, but I never had this box. She said that maybe there is a mistake in the system, but she would inform the Cardio specialist about this.
But in short, for now, it is not needed to change the pacemaker. At least, for now, they did not have any plans for it. But maybe if they see that they had made a mistake in the system, they want to check the pacemaker earlier.
For now, it looks like I need to learn to live with my current limitations. Accept that I am tired quickly and take things slow and easy. And hope that the change in dosage that she suggested, will have the effect they are looking for.
For me, I just hope that I can sleep “normally”. And that I will get back some energy or motivation to do what I would like to do.
The nice thing is, that if I have any questions or if I think that there is something wrong, I could contact the heart failure group. And if needed, they could contact the needed specialists and see what to do next.
At the end of June, I also have my next appointment for an X-ray of the lungs and an appointment with the Lung Specialist. And hopefully, things are going in the right direction.
And then we already had the first half of 2023. Hopefully, the next half will be better.
As always, please take care, and stay safe. God Bless