(Today, we welcome Teresa to our blogging team. You can connect with her at her profile: @teresatalk.)
I got a most welcome phone call today. For once, it wasn’t from one of my husband’s health care providers, but was from my pulmonary specialist. During my yearly exam I mentioned being tired so much and wondered if it was related to my oxygen issues. My thyroid checked out alright, so is this what old age feels like, or what? (I’m just a mere 63!)
He set me up for an echo-cardiogram two days later, and I’ve been waiting on pins and needles all weekend for the results. You see, my scoliosis is so bad, my lungs are already affected, requiring me to be on a Bi-pap with oxygen at night. I was so afraid that my deformed chest cavity might be affecting my heart function as well, as I’ve been warned might happen at some point in my senior years.
My main worry if this were the case was, of course, being able to take care of my husband. He has dementia from a traumatic brain injury involving a tractor, and although his body is strong as iron, it seems, I really have to do virtually everything that pertains to our existence.
I know how limiting heart disease can make your life, and it would be disastrous for us if I was not able to do my daily caregiving duties. My daughter, grown with two toddlers of her own now, would just have to fill in the gaps. I really think she is mature enough for that role. She already helps me out with some of the rougher housekeeping tasks–shampooing carpets, for instance. I call her my caregiver-in-training.
It was music to my ears though to hear the nurse tell me on the phone today that my heart seems to be doing just fine. They didn’t even see any hypertension. There was some stiffness in areas, but she said that was common with those over fifty. I wished she was talking to me in person so I could give her a hug. At least one load was lifted off my shoulders for the day.
My lungs may be wimpy, but it seems I still have the heart for being a caregiver. So thankful…
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