I was finally discharged! I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. But now comes the hard part, living and not having answers.
I still wasn’t feeling very good. My blood pressure was super low, and I would get very dizzy when standing. I would have to steady myself before I could get moving. I could still feel my heart playing jump rope in my chest….not the most comfortable of feelings. I tried researching like crazy, but coming up with nothing to explain what had been happening. No real family history that I was aware of at this time, other than a lot of “heart” problems on my dad’s side. But all of that was due to atherosclerosis, and my vessels were totally clean. No, it wasn’t that. The only other history I knew of, was my maternal grandmother died in her sleep while at home. She was in her 50’s. And her only medical history that my mom knew about was high blood pressure.
One day, I might get answers. But not today…and not for the next 2 years.
My first follow up. I had repeat blood work, and noticed my BUN/Creatinine (kidney function tests) was starting to rise significantly, meaning my kidneys were in the beginning stages of failure. I mentioned this to the doctor, and he just told me we would monitor it. He was pleased with the progress I had made thus far, and said to follow up in 3 weeks. He did some minor medication tweaking.
I started back to work, and it was difficult. The dizziness was getting worse, and I had absolutely no energy. After arriving at work and during my lunch time, I would snooze because I was so tired. I would find myself having to hold on to walls as I was walking out to get patients. I also began getting increasing (what I now know to be) ocular migraines. It was hard to read the orders during these times. The really bad ones could last for 1/2 hour or more, and would completely drain me of what little energy I had.
But life goes on, and you deal with the cards dealt. I learned to adapt to my new normal.
My next follow up went as much the same as the first….follow up in a month. No dosage changes at this visit. But did say that we might do some more tweaking at the next visit.
The next follow up did not go as the first two had. Unfortunately, my insurance is attached to a mail order drug company called OptumRx (bane of my existence!). According to Optum, we are only allowed 2 refills at a local pharmacy for the same drug. Okay. I got the original prescription filled, and then tried to do the 2nd refill, and it got denied. WHAT?!?!? This would be the first of MANY phone calls to Optum. I found out that they consider the FIRST fill as a refill! So, since I had already filled one prescription twice, they refused to fill it again. I was down to less than a weeks worth of pills and a mail order fill on a new medication would take about 2 weeks to get to me. Armed with this new information, I went into this appointment thinking I could possibly get a couple of weeks worth of samples to tide me over..as long as he didn’t change the strength. And, I knew samples were available because I worked at other offices that had them. This drug is not cheap! To pay out of pocket, would have cost me over $300 for a month’s supply. I didn’t have it. So, stupidly, I asked for some samples. He laughed at me….I mean, actually LAUGHED! Then said, “Do I look like a pharmacy?” My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe his rudeness! I told him I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket, the drug was too expensive. What he said next was the straw for me….He said, “Your husband’s a lawyer, he should be able to afford it!” My mouth closed up tight. I didn’t say another word. He told me to follow up in 6 months. I walked out of the office without making an appointment. I was livid! I started crying on the way home. Everything just hit me. It was too much.
First doc fired!
I got home and told Lou what had happened and that I would never go back to him again. And so begins the search for a new cardiologist….