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Thursday, September 20, 2007

No News Is Good News (I Guess)

Today I had a routine check-up with my cardiologist. Not unexpectedly, the doctor was pleased with how I'm doing. But somehow, that never makes me feel a whole lot better. The problem is that with Duchenne's, there seems to be no way to predict when things will take a turn for the worse. I want to be able to recognize the signs so we can at least try to do something before it's too late.

I communicated these thoughts to my doctor. While he can't give me the kind of answer I want -- such answers simply don't exist -- he offered some useful perspective. The two threats I face from a cardiac standpoint are fatal arrhythmias and heart failure. My pacemaker/defibrillator offers protection from the former and he has me on the right medications for the latter, which reduce workload on the heart, thus slowing down the rate at which heart muscle breaks down. We can look at things like energy level whether I wake up feeling short of breath as a signs of my condition. So far, so good. As the doctor reminded me, "You're not even supposed to be here."

And he's right -- things didn't look so good five years ago this month, when I first arrived at his office. But I'm still here. So, maybe the best answer is to get out there and live my life. It's what I've always tried to do. Why change that now? After all, I might be sticking around for a while. I'll certainly need to if I want to ever see a sports championship in Philadelphia!

Next appointment, I will have my annual echocardiogram, which will tell if there has been any change in my heart function. The date of that appointment? February 14th -- Valentine's Day. How appropriate!


Anonymous said...

You just crack me up...only you would have a cardiology appointment on 2/14! amy

Josh Winheld said...

Hi Amy,
I tend to have that effect on people. However, it was actually the receptionist who insisted that I make my appointment on Feb. 14!