Starting six months to a year ago BigD started to "change". By that I mean he seemed withdrawn more. He would sit for hours playing mahjong and seem disinterested in everything. Since he had been taking a very low dose anti-D for years I recommended (when I wanted to scream) that he ask the doc for a dosage increase. Having been on the lowest dose for about ten years it seems realistic that it has lost it's effectiveness. Anyhoo....I noticed other "symptoms" as well. He was lethargic (p.s.doc..check the thyroid too), sad, emotional (continually telling me how wonderful I am, while it's terrific--he would almost be tearful--and I would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be kissing my hair and whispering how much he loves me...sweet but annoying at the same time), then I started noticing the physical symptoms. The weight gain (Well, I AM a kick ass cook), the ashen color of his skin when he would exert himself, the rest breaks that became so frequent it took him twice as long to do any yard work, etc. When we were in N.Y.City this fall I was walking along the parade route while he was marching and the thought flashed through my mind that I have seen that same pallor (ashen) and sweat on patients I was with in the ER during their MI's.
Knowing that it would piss him off, but doing it anyway, I subtly asked him repeatedly over the last six months if he was okay, if he felt okay. He admitted that he had been feeling down and that he felt out of shape (he is-and never used to be. I saw him on more than one occasion in his work capacity subdue the meanest of dudes without any difficulty). BUT, he also has no self control. We have talked about it over and over. If I make cookies (yes, temptress than I am, I DO cook and bake and the rest of us eat a sensible amount) he will eat 8 instead of 2, and then try to lie about it. I have taken to hiding my junk food to keep him healthy (I'm lying. I want it when I want it and if it's gone momma gets cranky).Last week I took 18 frozen cookie dough balls out of the freezer and baked them to have for dessert that night. I ate two, then left for the store. When I got home, there were 8 left on the plate. (There were going to be 5 of us at dinner). I was stunned. He ate 8 damn cookies that were for dessert.
He has been a regular at the R.ed C.ross donating every 52 days. They turned him away last week because his blood pressure was through the roof. He wasn't going to tell me but I saw the paper they gave him and confronted him. He said yep, it has been higher every time he has it checked. So, for the next three days I checked it a couple of times a day and it was ridiculously high. Now I got pissed. He had been taking this supplement crap to help with weight loss (hey, I have an idea...HOW ABOUT NOT SUCKING DOWN 8 COOKIES BEFORE DINNER) and it contains a legal version of amphetamine called phe.ntermine. He said that if it is sold over the counter it must be okay. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that he is as smart as he is when he is so stupid. He was taking some other crap for this and that too so I told him no more. If he wanted to kill himself he needed to do it at work because we get a huge death benefit then. I was kidding. Kinda.
Long story short, I got him in to see his doctor thanks to a friend that plugged him into a cancellation spot for the next day. He goes. BP is crazy high. Weight is up 25 lbs from last time. He finally admits to the doc that he has this *feeling* in his throat, upper chest, when he exerts. Not pain mind you, just a *feeling*.
Doc orders a nu.clear stre.ss test for yesterday. I took a book thinking I would have plenty of waiting room time. Not so much. Cardiologist comes out pretty soon and tells me that BigD has significant blockage. When I press him for which vessel, he tells me "the one on the front". He doesn't know that I am schooled in heart shit so I ask him if it is the L.AD. He gives me a look and briefly smiles and says yes. This my folks is commonly called "The W.idow Ma.ker". You literally have five minutes to get help if this one closes off. Five minutes.
So on Monday BigD is scheduled for a heart c.ath (they wanted to do it yesterday but the 'good' doctor is away until Monday. BigD was ordered to go home, don't do anything, don't work, don't get stressed, nothing. Seriously I can't believe the hospital let him go. It's a huge liability if something happens to him over the weekend.
We are looking at s.tents or bypass. We will know once the cath is done. Then comes the hard part. Getting him to eat healthy food. This is a man that lives on fat, grease and sugar. This isn't going to be pretty. I make healthy stuff at home, but when he is out and about he is on his own and his resistance to the smell of ribs, greasy burgers, fries, is very low. It would even be okay if he ate that stuff in moderation, but he is a second and third helping guy and he never leaves anything on his plate. It drives him crazy to see people not eating ALL their food. You would think he grew up in the depression for gods sake. His parents were fine financially, they were never ever hungry, so I have no idea where this clean plate obsession (that has gotten progressively worse over the past few years) came from.
So fun times ahead for the OHN household.