Friday, September 23, 2011

Trouble....trouble, trouble, trouble...since the day we set out...

Second trip this year we've had to cut short, turn around and return home due to health-related problems. On our last attempted trip, at end of April we returned because I'd hurt my ankle, as well as experiencing a severe bout of rhinitis/hayfever. A proposed trip to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming had to be cancelled due to the horrendously hot summer here in Oklahoma, and fear of wildfires close to our house. We decided to wait for substantial rainfall before we dared leave to maybe look around a part of Colorado we've so far missed. The rains came, we left. But within 24 hours husband's blood pressure became a problem.

Astrological news ~ If there is an astrological connection for these "disappointments" I'd pin it on transiting Uranus in early Aries. Uranus is the planet of unexpected change. Husband's natal Sun is at 1.48 Aries - transiting Uranus is now in retrograde motion and at at 2 Aries, conjoining his Sun. Back in late April/early May it was in exactly the same place! That is weird! I have natal Saturn at 12 Aries.

The good news: We set off earlyish on Wednesday, made good time on our 11 hour drive, decided to make an overnight stop around half-way, in Dalhart Texas.

The bad news: all the decent mid-price motels (Best Western etc) had strangely been built right next to the town's busy freight rail line. Why on earth would experienced hotel chains do such a thing? We drove around until we found a motel far away from the train noise (which was fierce!) Motel was a cheapo type, no internet, drab, crappy TV, but okay for one night's stay.

The indifferent news: not a good eatin' town. We ate at Pizza Hut after exploring and retired to the motel to watch the very first US X-Factor show. That ought properly to be bad news! Ye gods! It was tacky to the nth degree.

The bad news: My husband had recently been prescribed an increased dose of blood pressure medication, following some extreme fluctuations. We'd taken a BP monitor with us, first time ever - both having experienced BP problems over the summer. Husband checked his BP around 9pm it was VERY high - even for him. Waited and re-checked - getting higher - both systolic and diastolic. Relaxed and tried again - still rising. We began to feel alarmed.

Checked phone book for nearest hospital emergency room. None listed in Dalhart. Odd, we thought. There's one in Dumas, a half hour's drive away. Unfortunately, in that cheapo motel, we didn't have access to the internet to check via our laptop. BP still rising - now well above 200 systolic. Decided we'd need to drive to Dumas, but would first check at the Dalhart police station or fire station to establish that there really was no hospital in town.

Nobody home at police station, it was all closed down. Same at fire station. I suggested asking at a convenience store. We did so, and were told "Oh yes - we have a hospital, straight down that road". We found it, and after trying various locked doors discovered an emergency entrance.

The good news: Night staff were very kind and helpful. They had the husband flat on his back, hooked up to heart monitor equipment for more than 3 hours, gave him some strong medication after questioning him about meds, history, his pacemaker, etc.

BP went down some, though not as quickly, nor as far as they would have liked or expected. At times the monitor by the bed was reading 212 over 105! They advised us to not continue on our trip to Colorado, but to return home next day, see our own doctor about the meds he recommended about a week earlier. They also gave advice about how best, and when, to take the medication, the dosage of which they found puzzling.

We returned to the motel around 3.30am. Didn't get more than a couple of hours sleep. Set off Thursday morning for the 6 hour drive home. Husband's BP had "bottomed out" first thing, probably due to the strong stuff taken at the hospital. It had climbed after breakfast, but to a reasonable high, rather than an alarmingly high, level. Biggest problem driving home was ensuring that he didn't fall asleep at the wheel on the rather boring, sleep-inducing drive through rural Texas and western Oklahoma. I had him reciting limericks, and trying to compose new ones, to keep him alert! We've a doozy about Rick Perry but it's not for a family audience.

The bad news: Arrived home around 4pm Thursday, picked up med bottle to take to our pharmacy, to ensure he'd been given the right stuff in the right dosage, as prescribed. Then to doctor's office. Office closed. Notice on door declaring that the doctor will be away until Monday, "in emergency go to hospital". Nice eh? Brits can say what they like about the failings of the NHS, but I've never known a doctor to be absent without a locum (substitute doctor) being available in his/her place.

The good news: Husband taking the dosage recommended at Dalhart hospital, at the times advised, and BP seems to be settling down. It'll be monitored closely until Monday.

The hopeful expectation: That BP will settle at an acceptable level, doctor will check him over, endorse the recommendation of Dalhart hospital, maybe recommend strict monitoring for a week or so more, before we can decide to take off once again.

If all is well, we'll set off - but in a different, hopefully luckier, direction - once we're confident that all is well BP-wise.

Astrologically ~ We shall simply have to hope that Uranus has now had his fun with us, and will leave us alone. Much as I love astrology, I refuse to be restricted by it!


Kaleymorris said...

Glad you finally went, sorry you had to come back so soon. Glad to hear you plan to try again. I'll try not to worry too much.

anyjazz said...

Tempest in a teapot.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~~ It's a worry but not a majorly major one, if you know what I mean. It needs looking into, for sure. Will let you know outcome of visit to doc.

Anonymous said...

GP: Cognac's tail (my horse), gave me a hint that not all was well with T's vacation trip.

So I chequed your blog. Hope that your husband's BP (and yours) returned to normal by now. All the best in any case!

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~

Ah! Then cognac deserves a big hug and kiss on the nose from me!
Do you know his Sun sign?

Husband's BP much improved thanks - am nagging him to monitor it and checking he takes meds at right times. Nag....nag....nag....

Mine is improved, thanks - better than it has been (as recorded by doc's offices) for a long time, due to a small additional dose of med. I had ultra sound check on heart pump and carotids and was declared "perfect" in both respect - LOL! At least my carotids are perfect - so one box is ticked. ;-)

I've never, ever checked my BP myself until the last few weeks. Don't want to become paranoid about it, though, or become one of those senior types who talks about nothing by their operations and their health worries. Politics and astrology are so much more engaging. ;-)

Anonymous said...

GP: Cognac is a Libra, born 16. Oct. 2008. Exact hour unknown, probably between midnight and 7-8 a.m. But around here we are not like some Irish breeders, using astrology to sell their promising yearlings at a better price to some Arab racing fanatic...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~~ I deleted the duplicate comment - Blogger acting up at present.

So Cognac and I share an Airy Element Sun - maybe we're on the same wavelength ;-)
Any photo of him?

(Blogger not working well on comments at present. Takes 5 mins to type a sentence!)

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh how very worrisome for you and Himself, T, it sounds like everything is under control again now. Shee-yte as my people say.
I gather you don't drive? Maybe you should re-consider if not. Middle of the night emergencies et al.
I agree on spouting med hist at slightest provocation, so bloody boring. It is like the cancer patients who talk nothing else, like personality leaves. Sorry if I sound harsh. But we are all so much more than the diseases that overtake us.
And special hugs to you and Himself.

JD said...

that is an alrming tale Twilight not just for hubby's problem but also a seemingly disjointed healthcare system.
As you say, the NHS has its problems but it is super efficient when there are emergencies or even mini-emergencies such as yours.
Hope himself is well, tell him not to worry; when I first had my BP checked (about 8 years ago) it was 220/110 but tablets keep it down and we have discovered that I have naturally high BP and as The Highwaymen once sang "but I am living still" (I think)

Twilight said...

JD ~~~ Hi! Healthcare quality here is patchy, at best, even when reasonably well-covered by insurance or, for seniors, Medicare+insurance.

Our family doctor can be elusive - quite frequently away without notice (apart from a notice stuck on the door to his office!) Our hospital, in the hometown, is excellent though - lots of $$$$$$ have been poured into it recently.

Husband's BP much improved, thanks.
Before having a pacemaker inserted he had perfect BP. I was envious, 'cos like you I have naturally high BP. After pacemaker, a year ago, (due to decresing heart rate) his BP at times has been all over the place. Definitely needs looking into.
I think it's mainly a question of getting meds right: correct dose and times taken. Seeing doc today or tomorrow, I hope.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Thanks, WWW. All much better now, with change of dose and times taken. Seeing doc as soon as possible.

Re driving - I had the intention of learning. I didn't drive in the UK - had no need to do so and an early near-accident when learning put me off for life. When I saw how different things are here - driving on other side, steering wheel on other side, and the heavy traffic in some areas, I chickened out. Himself not keen on me driving for reasons above.

In emergency I'd rely on taxis, or his son and daughter who live nearby. I'd be too wound up even if I COULD drive! In any case they would wish to be involved in any serious event, whatever time it happened.
And there's always 911. :-)
Fingers crossed that such things will never be necessary.

R J Adams said...

I'm glad to hear you're both 'on the mend'. It's not surprising you have high blood pressure, given the summer you've endured in Oklahoma. Hope you're both fit and well for your next trip. Tell AnyJazz a tempest in a teapot is infinitely worse than a storm in a teacup, so he should take good care of himself.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Hi there RJ -
Thank you kindly!
Yes, things seem much improved now BP-wise, though his is not perfect by any means. Saw doc on Monday. He seemed unconcerned about the "episode" Himself experienced, said it'd take time for extra dose of med to fully work. Seeing him again on 10 Oct for monitoring.
He did prescribe some of the "rescue" medication husband was given at the emergency room in Dalhart, so we have it in case of a repeat performance.

Will take off again maybe 2nd half of October all being well. Not counting on anything though.