I went to see the electrophysiology cardiologist about my atrial fibrillation and received excellent news! I had been treated by this doctor in 2004 for the same condition. He performed an ablation on me then and that cured the problem. On this visit, the first qustion he asked was how I was doing. I told him that I had recently retired and that my two dream trips had always been to visit the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. I then told him I had recently returned from the Galapagos Islands and I had had to walk everywhere, as motor vehicles were not allowed in the pristine nature preserves. I said, “I came back in better shape than when I left. My shortness of breath had actually improved from all the walking!” I then told him that I am continuing to walk on my treadmill and am still building up endurance. Then I added, “I hope you are not going to tell me NOT to exercise because it really helps me physically. I have more stamina and when I do get short of breath, I recover more quickly.”To which he replied with a smile, “Mrs. Cherry, you can exercise all you want.” I said, “Good! And does that mean I’m cleared medically by you to go to Antarctica? Because we have that trip scheduled in November!” “Yes, definitely,” he said.Then he asked if I wanted to take him along as my personal physician. He wanted to know details of the trip – how will we get there and what will we see and how much does it cost. Since I returned from the Galapagos, he is the fourth doctor who expressed a real interest in our trips and asked for such details.
He gave me a copy of his report about my atrial fibrillation, which read “the patient is relatively asymptomatic” and “her heart rate is well-controlled.” He did not order any new treatments or medicines. Yea, God! He advised me to learn to deal with the shortness of breath and continue to take the baby aspirin. I have already learned to manage the breathing with pursed-lip breathing, a technique I used to teach my patients when I worked as a physical therapist and a speech-language pathologist. Now that I know I won’t hurt my lungs or my heart, I am not giving in to the shortness of breath; I continue to work through it with my special breathing. There is more good news to report. A year ago I struggled to get 800 cc when using my incentive spirometer, which measures my air intake on inhalation. Now I get 1250 cc easily! Yea, God!
Happy Mother’s Day! Pictures show my Wendy’s Wish fuchsia salvia in full bloom, next to my peace lily; the first new blooms on my orange lilies; and a cluster of 6 Mexican petunia blooms.