Report from cardiology appointment at Minneapolis Heart Institute….On the move again…Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Upon arriving in Mombasa on Thanksgiving Day in 2013, we took this photo from the ferry as another ferry took off. Notice the crowds. For more photos from that day, please click here.

For the past few weeks, amid this awful continuing cough (which Tom has also), I’ve felt apprehensive about my upcoming cardiology appointment. After leaving South Africa, I had a final exam by the cardiothoracic surgeon who performed the triple bypass surgery. That very day he arranged for me to be readmitted to the hospital for the infections in both of my legs.

This third admission resulted in two more surgeries on both of my legs, days apart, from which I’ve only recovered in the past two months, especially after stopping three heart medications that impeded my ability to walk without pain.

As time has passed after stopping the three drugs, I’ve begun to feel like myself again, although I may be inclined to call it a “new normal,” as the saying goes. Then, while on this most recent transatlantic cruise, both Tom and I contracted a horrible cough, his only exacerbating in the past few weeks, mine continuing with enthusiasm even after treatment with cortisone and antibiotics.

The coughing has continued, albeit not as frequently and without the intensity of a few weeks ago. I believe I’m on the mend. But this ailment became of little importance when I met with cardiologist Dr. Ash at Minneapolis Heart Institute yesterday morning.

Instead, the conversation and exam centered entirely on the condition of my heart, arteries, and recovery from the bypass surgery on February 12th, nine and a half months ago.

An EKG (aka ECG) was done, and I was thoroughly examined by both the PA and the doctor ending up spending an hour with the doctor. I was shocked and pleased by the amount of time he spent with me in that exam room. 

He was very thorough in his assessment, reading all of the medical reports page-by-page to ensure he didn’t miss a thing. My pulse and blood pressure were slightly elevated from sheer terror for the results. Still, later everything returned to excellent readings as the appointment continued especially when I got good news.

Result: I am good to go!!! We’re thankful beyond words.

He freely expressed how impressed he was by our ongoing world travels, including the period we continued after leaving South Africa in May. Not only did my EKG look normal, but he also assured me that the very best thing I could do for my health was to continue to be happy. 

Happiness is good for the heart, along with exercise, management of diet, and good sleep. I’m right on track. 

He didn’t object to my getting off the two evil FDA Black Box drugs, Amiodarone and Bisoproplol, but as expected, he did push a little on statins which I refused to take when they caused me to feel extreme pain in my extremities. That’s not for me. 

He understood my hesitancy, but doctors can’t help themselves in pushing statins for all practical purposes. They may be beneficial for those who don’t have side effects, but the quality of life is the name of the game for me, especially with this lifestyle we lead with hopes to continue.

I promised to return for another appointment and a few more tests when we next returned to Minnesota. But, for now, he didn’t see any reason for a myriad of unnecessary tests when all looks good. 

Yes, I have severe arterial disease, which didn’t go away with the surgery, but I will no longer live my life in fear of some dreadful heart event. I have peace of mind, which is golden as we continue.

In a few hours, we’ll head to Greg’s home to say goodbye to Camille and the grandchildren, and at 2:00 pm, he’ll drive us to the airport. Our bags are packed, weighed, and paid for, and ready to be loaded into the minivan, which Greg will use to drive us to Terminal 2, only 20 minutes from his house.

So, that’s it for Minnesota folks! Thanks for “hanging in there” with us during this seeming uneventful, mundane, not-necessarily-entertaining period in our travels. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate this popular US holiday, and we’ll be back with you soon. Eat well!

Photo from one year ago today, November 28, 2018:

The five lions in the pride. All were adult females. For more photos, please click here.

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