What a Year
What a year this was. The regular readers already know how it started. And what happened after that. But I just want to summarize the year and maybe give my thoughts on it.
This new year, 2024, has just started, and this time it started better. Of course, the year has just started, and it will be a surprise to see how this will continue.
The Year Started in the Hospital
January 3, 2023, I ended up in the hospital. Already on days 1 and 2, I was not feeling well, but on this day, things were really bad. Coughing, some fever, and pain. In the evening we went to the hospital and the result was, that I had to stay. I had a serious pneumonia. In combination with my heart failure, this was not a good thing. We even heard one of the nurses saying, “I hope he will make it”
When you hear that, you really feel bad and you hope and pray that you will make it. You just don’t try to think about it and go for it.
I stayed in total 2 months in the hospital. Because they also found another bacteria in my blood again. I had 3 months of antibiotics. Now looking back, this was a big attack on my body and health. My heart failure went from Class 2 to Class 3. And also already for a year, I keep on coughing.
The lung specialist did many tests and checkups, but she could not find anything wrong. This year I will have an appointment with a specialist in internal medicine. I just hope that he can find out why I am still coughing.
In the summer of 2023, I found it brutal. Temperatures were high, sometimes above 30 degrees. Everything above 25 is already hard for me. I know people are always complaining about the weather. It’s too wet, too cold, too warm, too windy. It is never right.
Okay, I like sunny weather, but as long as the temperature doesn’t go any higher than 25 degrees. After that, my body is having problems. Because of heart failure, and temperatures above 25 degrees, your body and organs need to work harder. The harder everything is working, the harder the heart needs to work. But because it is not working right, it needs to work even harder. Pumping blood and oxygen around.
Frequent Hospital Visits.
In 2023, I think on average, I had around 2 hospital visits per month. In 2022 it was maybe 3-5 over the whole year. So many tests and checkups. I could almost find my way around the hospital blindfolded.
Luckily, the hospital is near our house, so I don’t need to travel that far.
Several blood checks, and a PET-CT-Scan. This scan, I had it in a different hospital. It is still the same hospital but in a different location. This was also nice. This way I also got to see a different hospital and a different layout. The only thing is, that this was a little bit further away. But still not a big problem.
All the tests and checkups, were mainly for the lung specialist to see why I was still coughing. Ultimately, she told me that my lungs were okay and that she could not see any damage to them. The only thing she could do was make an appointment for an internal medicine specialist.
Also from the Heart Failure group, they did some tests. Just by stopping or reducing some medication, they were hoping that the coughing would stop. But no luck.
Feeling Really Bad
At one point, I started to feel really bad. From the Heart Failure group, they advised to stop with one medication. For just one week. Just to see if the coughing then would stop.
But after just 2-3 days, I felt like I had much less energy. I was not able to do much anymore. With walking, I was lucky if I was able to walk a bit more than 100 meters. But after I stopped the medication, after 3-4 days, I had problems walking even 100 meters. Sometimes I even had to stop in the middle, to catch my breath and gain some energy to walk further. This was no fun.
At some times I even was thinking about the future and hoping that this would not be my future and that I still would be able to do something.
When I told them what happened, they told me to please start again with the medication. It did not affect my coughing. And after just 2 days, I felt that I could do everything again. I could walk up and down the stairs and walk more than 100 meters.
Right now, they told me to reduce the dosage of one medication. This is now already for more than 2 weeks, but the coughing is still there. For the rest, I did not notice any negative effect of reducing the dosage.
In December I also started with cardiac rehabilitation. This would be for 6 weeks, two times a week, for 1 hour per session. Because I had to stop with that one medication, I also was not able to do this cardiac rehabilitation. So I stopped for a short time.
When I started again with that medication, I went back again. Because I had stopped for a short time, they told me that they would extend the cardiac rehabilitation for an extra 2 weeks.
Personally, I have the feeling that the progress is very slow. I remember from all the other times I did the cardiac rehabilitation that the progress was much bigger and better. Maybe it is also because of the heart failure that is now in Class 3. We will see how things are when I am finished with all the sessions and what they say about it.
A Sudden Death
At the end of March 2023, I suddenly got the message that my father had passed away. It was only in November 2022 that we had some contact again, after 13-15 years. The problem with his death was, that he was living in Germany. With my other brothers and sisters, we decided that it would be better that the burial would take place in Germany. To transport his body back to Holland would cost a lot, and the rest of the brothers and sisters did not have any contact with him and did not want to have anything done with him.
The whole process is a little bit different in Germany and none of us had any idea. Luckily, one of my (half) brothers has a friend whose father also died in Germany, who could give us some ideas on how to do things.
There things go much slower and everything needs to be done with papers. Also, the court is involved with it, because none of us wants to have rights for the heritage. We have no idea if there are any debs or what other hidden things there are. And by stepping away from this, we will not be held responsible for anything.
It is sad, but that’s the way it is.
The year of 2023 was not a good year for me. Just thinking about my health situation.
At least the start of 2024 is okay. I am not feeling sick. I started again with the last session of my cardiac rehabilitation. I could feel that for one week I did not have this. Mid-January it will be finished.
I just hope that in this new year, they can find the reason for my coughing. It is now going on for one year and I had enough of it. There are times that I cannot talk even normally and need to cough the whole time. We hope and pray that someone can fix it.
How things will continue with my heart failure? No idea. We need to wait and see. Just to be sure, slowly on, we already started to think and look around for a different place to live. Maybe some apartment where everything is on one floor and we don’t need to walk any stairs. This is mainly because of that one week that I could not do much or anything. Just to be prepared.
Looking for another place will take time. I have heard that there is a waiting list of around 8-10 years. That is for our place, but also the places around it. Right now, we are not really in a hurry, but we are keeping our eyes and ears open, just in case.
As for now, as always, please take care and be safe. God Bless.