Thursday, July 11, 2013

Health Concerns and the Unknown

In the last week and a half Rob has had six medical appointments. I generally attend his appointments with him because one of the key parts of his medical visits is relaying his history accurately and verifying his medications and their dosages.  

We have visited his general practitioner, internal medicine, optometry, cardiology, urology, and rheumatology doctors.  He's been to the lab three times and had an EKG.  

Some of his results have been just as expected and some have been a bit alarming.  

Rob has a long family history of heart disease and very high cholesterol.  Many of the last generation of men on his father's side died in their 40s from heart disease.  Rob had his heart bypass surgery when he was 44.  His cholesterol is always very high and he cannot take the medications (statins) used to lower it because he is one of the rare patients who suffers severe muscle damage from them.  His triglycerides are also very high.  His cardiologist suggested using fish or krill oil but those have not lowered the numbers.  As a last resort he suggested trying Lovaza, a prescription strength fish oil, and a mere $212 for a 30 day supply at Costco.  Ouch!   If it helps, it's worth it.

The most alarming numbers were his kidney function tests.  The numbers were so bad the "D" word was used.  D is for Dialysis.  

Rob has been in stage 3 kidney failure for years and an educated guess combined with his history gave us hope that it would be several more years before we had to think about dialysis.  We are hoping this is a fluke and the numbers will improve but we have scheduled an appointment with his kidney specialist in early August.  

So what are we going to do while we wait to see if the pricey fish oil kicks in and the kidney numbers improve?  We're getting the heck out of town.  My daughter is moving to Portland as I write this so we are going that way for a visit and to help them get settled.  After that, we have no idea where we are going but I'm sure we'll have some interesting stories to tell.


  1. Yuck! Sorry to hear all that. I hope the Lovaza helps. I just got nailed for high cholesterol this week. Family history of heart disease so the doctor put me on statins right away. Hoping for no side effects and that my numbers improve for my next labs in 2 months. We'll keep you, and especially your kidneys in our prayers. Glad you continue to make life an adventure!

    1. Ha Sandy!
      I laughed when I read that. You make high cholesterol sound like getting a speeding ticket. We're going to proceed as though the D word was not mentioned until we have more test results.

  2. Sorry to hear about Rob's problem. I knew a fellow who was on dialysis and he had a room full of supplies. Hope you have a room in the RV for all of it. Better yet, hope he doesn't need it. Best wishes.

    1. Dizzy,
      Maybe we should add on to the Little RV. I don't know if we have room for a "room full" of supplies.

  3. Karen Guilliams RobertsJuly 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I finally caught up on all the Little RV's adventures, but am sorry to hear that Bob isn't doing as well as he should be! My family has a history of heart disease as well and I get blasted by my doctor every visit for my cholesterol numbers - can't help it, I'm a junk food junkie from way back!! I'm dealing with diabetes as well now, so maybe the numbers will come down. I sure hope you and Bob don't need the extra space for the "room full of supplies" -- these are supposed to be our GOLDEN years ... right??? Take care and enjoy the continued ride!

    1. I think someone made that "golden years" thing up as a cruel hoax years ago. We're going to make them golden if it kills us!