Friday, March 25, 2011

Long Time Coming

When I look at the date of my last post, I'm shocked to see it is from the beginning of February. Nearly 2 months! It isn't that there haven't been things, both good and bad, that have been going on. There has been plenty of material about which to write, but for some unknown reason, I haven't been able to put anything down. I'll use the Reader's Digest format to update life events to the present.

Bathroom Renovation: Done!

New vanity and linen tower. Oh, the storage!

Toilet nook.

Millie enjoying the radiator heat. Shower to the left, toilet behind the door.

The bathroom is completed, exactly 5 weeks after starting the project. I'm thrilled with the results; we have so much more useable storage, a more spacious floor plan, larger shower and far prettier room with more light. Morning and evening rituals are now a pleasure to be enjoyed rather than necessities to be rushed through as quickly as possible. Hopefully this will be the last home renovation we need to do for quite some time.


After limping through most of the fall and winter not feeling 100%, I was finally unwell enough to realize I needed a hospitalization. Well, actually, it took my docs to point that out to me, as usual. Even after being admitted, I told Joe: "I really don't think I need to be here".

Surprise! I did. It was actually a good thing. Lots of diagnostics, specialists and time to rest sorted a few things out. The IV antibiotics did their job and my lungs are now in better shape than they were prior to going in. The new medication, Revatio, the pulmonary hypertension specialist started me on back in January seems to have kicked in; I'm less short of breath with activity. A cardiologist ordered an echo and 24 hour heart monitor (both results still pending) but was able to explain the seemingly unexplainable test I had last August. Short version: it seems that I have some new abnormality with my vasculature in which the vessels don't dilate as they should when I exercise, causing my blood pressure to skyrocket. This, in turn, puts pressure on my heart, which is pumping against abnormally high resistance and causes the left ventricular dysfunction (cardiomyopathy). In addition, the vessels between the heart and lungs have a much higher than normal pressure when I exercise, also known as exercise induced pulmonary hypertension - EIPH for short. Now it all makes sense and I feel that there is a good team of docs in place who are able to treat these interrelated issues. Unfortunately, no one specialist covers all 3 things so there is a pulmonologist to treat the lung disease, one to treat the pulmonary hypertension and then a cardiologist to treat the systemic hypertension and cardiomyopathy. Bring them on, the more the merrier, I say.

The good news is that 2 weeks after discharge, I'm able to exercise closer to my previous baseline than I had been in the past 6 months. There has been an enormous amount of deconditioning which will take months to recover, but at least I have the energy and ability to do it now. Weights 4 days a week, yoga once a week and treadmill/walk at least 5 times a week- without fail. Time to get in touch with my inner drill sargent!


While I was in MGH all the snow melted, something I wouldn't have believed could happen in a 2 week period. Miracles never cease to amaze me. We were treated to several 50-70 degree days in which I was able to clean up about 1/2 the yard's leaves that had been buried all winter. The temps have turned colder this week and we've had flurries several days so no yard work this week; fortunately these things will keep.

I had planted a tray of seeds prior to being admitted and Joe dutifully watered them while I was away; I have broccoli, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and lettuce to look forward to planting out in a few weeks! He also treated me to a tumbling composter as a welcome home gift- which is now loaded up with the leaves and kitchen scraps from the past 2 weeks. More black gold for the garden, there's never too much of a good thing.

The crocus are very late in blooming this year due to the late departure of all the snow. We actually have snowdrops out now- at least a month later than usual- but no less welcome. I'll take any sign of spring no matter how delayed at this point. Next week is supposed to be a tad warmer (40s) so I'll be sure to get out and photograph what is going on in the gardens. It's good to be back.


CL said...

So glad you are back. (((hugs)))

environmental fiend said...

Glad to have you back, too. I miss reading your blog when you're not updating!

I, too, have been in a blogging slump. I was just talking to someone last night about whether or not it was time to pick it back up again. Maybe soon!

environmental fiend said...

Oh, and p.s. - your bathroom looks great!! I'd actually like to talk to you sometime in more detail about how the process went.