To me one of the best gifts one can get is having a health problem fixed. Many times we know that something is wrong but we are not quite sure what it is. If you don’t know what’s wrong how can you fix it?
While we were in Australia Kathy had a difficult time walking because her legs would cramp on her. This happened most often when we were walking uphill or on uneven pavements.
This didn’t happen too much before we left so we didn’t give it too much thought as to it being a problem while we were traveling. Some people on the trip suggested she try drinking tonic water. The said the quinine would help. It did, somewhat. One person complained that we knew before the trip that we should be able to walk distances. We honestly thought she could.
Anyway, when we got home and Kathy had her next doctor’s appointment she told him about the problem. He decided to run some tests and discovered that she had blockages in the arteries in both legs. She was scheduled for an angioplasty last Wednesday.
We got to the hospital for 7:30 A.M. so that she could be prepped and ready for her scheduled 9:00 procedure. We met with the doctor who would perform the angio and she spent about 20 minutes explaining the pros and cons of the procedure.
He didn’t know exactly where the blockage was, if a stent could be inserted, if a balloon could be used to open up the artery, or if nothing would work and she would need bypass surgery. He also wasn’t sure if opening the artery would solve the cramping problem or if the cramping was being caused by something else. He wanted to make sure we understood all of the ramifications before Kathy signed off on the procedure. We did and she did.
I left for the waiting room and the doctor did his thing. About an hour later he came out and got me. He told me all went well and he thought he solved the problem. He showed me before and after pictures of Kathy’s legs. It was amazing. Both legs had blockages in the exact same spot behind the knee. Because the left leg caused her more pain than the right one that is the one he decided to fix first. He put in a balloon, inflated it, and blood flow was free flowing.
Because they went in through the femoral artery she couldn’t leave until the bleeding stopped. Years ago they would put a sandbag on the site for pressure. Now they use a plug. The plug didn’t work for Kathy. The site kept oozing and they kept changing the dressing. After the third change they brought the doctor back up. He suggested a heavy gauze pad tightly taped in place. This was done and we were sent home. It was now 4:30 P.M.
To see if he fixed the problem and before he did the right leg the doctor wanted Kathy to go for a walk the next day and take note of any discomfort. We did. Her left leg was fine. The right leg cramped. She was able to talk with me as we walked which she couldn’t do before. Seems like problem solved. In two or three weeks he will do the other leg and Kathy should be cramp free.
Couldn’t ask for a better Christmas present.