Surgery

I am going to have a left adrenalectomy on Feb. 1.

It should improve the BP, resolve the potassium deficiency, reduce cardiovascular risk and extend my quality lifespan.

There is a motel across a small side street from the medical center. Kathy will get a room there for a couple of nights since she stopped driving quite a few years ago.

Gotta get there at 5:30 am. Hope my surgeons are morning people

Test Results

Got the results of the test. Here is what the endocrinologist wrote to me:

“Your adrenal vein sampling’s aldosterone results are back and I have carefully reviewed and analyzed them.

These data suggest that you have a LEFT aldosterone producing adenoma. CT in December 2012 had shown: “nodularity of the lateral limb of the left adrenal gland inferiorly measuring 2.3 x 1.0 cm.”

I offer you consultation with a surgeon to consider adrenal surgery in the hopes that it will help your blood pressure and low potassium (with successful surgery, blood pressure is rarely cured, but often improved, that is requiring fewer blood pressure medications and potassium supplements)

Alternative to surgery is very successful and effective medication therapy (with Spironolactone or in those intolerant to Spironolactone, Eplerenone).”

Don’t you just love doctor language 🙂

I requested the consultation with a surgeon. I think these are usually done laparoscopically. More hurry up and wait.

2013 – The Year of the Move

Hi everyone,

It has been some time since I have posted.  There has been quite a bit going on, much of it medical.  Kathy has had cataract surgery and that has improved the very narrow field of vision she has remaining.  This is a very good thing.

I have been diagnosed with primary hyperaldosteronism.  This is not all bad – it may be partly responsible for my high blood pressure and totally responsible for my chronic potassium deficiency.  It has, however, been a long arduous road from suspicion to diagnosis involving referral to a endocrinologist and multiple tests, including two that required me to do a 24 hour urine collection and take that to the lab.

On Friday I spent 5 hours at the hospital while I was prepped for, taken into a cardiac catheter lab, had catheters inserted through my femoral vein.  These were used to take blood samples from my left and right adrenal gland veins, along with “reference” samples from nearby veins.   This was not great fun, but the people were nice and they gave me a pretty frock to wear (see below).

Here I am before the procedure

Here I am before the procedure

There was the little thing about atrial fibrillation that happened during the procedure, but I felt pretty good throughout it.  It also took them a bit longer than they expected, so they shot a little anti-coagulant into the vein to prevent problems from clotting. These happenings extended my stay in the recovery room to make sure the EKG technician had all the time he needed with me, and to make sure that I did not bleed from the anti-coagulant.

So, that meant (having been on an IV for hours), that I really needed to pee.  By really needed, I mean I was in pain from needing to pee.

Real. Pain.

While the nurse thought that I should be able use a urinal laying down (DO NOT raise your head up, that could make you bleed), the flow not happening in that position, not even after she gave me an injection of some sort relaxant.  I did feel more relaxed and less agitated, but……  So, she called in this nice young man who inserted a tube into my urethra to drain my bladder.  This was all quite an experience.  Fortunately the next time I felt the urge I was given permission to urinate the usual way.  Like I said, they were nice folks taking good care of me.

This may not sound too bad to many of you, but remember that I am a man and that men are wussies.  Don’t believe me?  Ask Kathy, she will tell you :). Anyway I will get the results this week and those should, hopefully, point us to either surgical or pharmacologic treatment.

In any event, around April or May we’ll head to the Mexican consulate to apply for an immigration status to move to Mexico.  Assuming approval, we’ll have six months to move to Merida, and then 30 days to check in with the local immigration office.  Lots to do here still, but we are looking forward to this being our last winter in Portlandia.

Hope all of you are doing well.  Now that we are moving towards clarity on medical stuff maybe I’ll go off radio silence more often.