March 06, 2008 12:57 AM
++ In January I had another echocardiogram, this time with an exercise stress test. I have not been exercising much over the winter, so I was out of shape and the treadmill wiped me out. The result was “normal”, which means an ejection fraction of about 55-60%. When I initially left the hospital it was 20-25%, a month later it was 40-45% – so this is very good news, meaning my heart is recovering and working well.
++ The other week I met with my neurologist. The results of my EEG were normal, which I guess means I still have something like a brain up there. I have been on an anti-spasmodic prescription because I did have a seizure during the event. Since the EEG looks good, I have no prior history of seizures, and it's been 8 months, they're starting to slowly take me off of that. As long as I'm responding well and there are no problems in April, they will take me off it completely. She did advise me to be more careful about driving distances, and if I notice any symptoms, including staring - like zoning out for a bit. These aren't very likely, but are possible, so let me know if you see me zone out. :)
-- I have shingles on the left side of my face. I had a bit of lymph node pain the middle of last week and started to notice a small blotch on my cheek on Friday, but did not think much of it until over the weekend I realized it was a rash of some sort. I should have gone to immediate care on Saturday, but oh well. I went to my doctor on Monday and they got me on some Valtrex (yeah, har har. Shingles is in the herpes virus family). Thankfully, there hasn't been a lot of pain associated with it so far and hopefully it will clear up soon. There is a bit of reaction on my eardrum. There is a risk of Bell's palsy if that were infected, but currently it's looking good, so that should not be a problem. If sharp ear pain develops, I'll see the ear doctor again and we'll go from there.
-- Most likely I got shingles because my immune system was weakened about a month ago by the flu, which hit me for about 5 days despite the vaccination (aside: I've heard this round of vaccination has a rather poor 40% rate of effectiveness).
So yeah, that's the health update. Overall, pretty good, but the last month or two, not so great with the flu and shingles. I think my body has just decided to get all the typically “older” health issues over with now, so when I'm 40+ I can be fit as a fiddle and not worry about them. :)
It is pretty crazy how many medicines I'm on at this age.