Bob had a doctor's appointment this morning. On the way I noticed the leaves are beginning to turn and that is very exciting to me because fall is my favorite season of the year.
Angst, worry, OCD or dementia, I don't even bother to try to distinguish one from the other. Makes no difference. Whatever it is requires my attention in the same way, so I just deal with it and move on.
Bob is in heart failure and as it progresses he picks up additional problems that go with the disease. He's now retaining fluid, which is common in heart failure patients. It's a fairly new development for him. Yesterday I called the cardiologist for some guidance since it's now pretty clear this is here to stay.
My question was about managing Lasix (diuretic). It seems to me giving Lasix every day is probably not good if you can manage to do otherwise but what do I know? I know Lasix drains the system of potassium because I have to give him potassium when I give Lasix.
1) How do I know when to give it?
2) How often do I give it?
Word back from the doctor was when he's gained 5 pounds give him Lasix for 3 days. If he's not returned to his base weight call him.
Seemed simple enough to me but boy did that throw Bob for a loop. The simple thing seemed to be to tell him not to worry, to just leave it up to me to manage it. He was having none of that. He was off and running. We are now into day two of angst over taking Lasix.
Off and on all day yesterday I explained the situation to him. He'd be okay for a while and then we needed to do it all over again.
1) What if I have a doctor's appointment on a day I'm taking Lasix?
2) Why do you tell me one day I need to eat more, and the next day say I need to lose 5 pounds?
3) Why take it for three days and not every day?
4) I can't read the scales (wearing his glasses would probably help).
5) Why is Dr. P (cardiologist) doing this when I see Dr. K (pulmonologist) for my breathing?
On and on it goes. Eventually he'll move on but I'm not sure when. Tonight I'll begin weighing him in his pj's, and I'll read the scales. That will give me a good consistent picture. I'm now in possession of the Lasix and potassium. I'll decide when he takes it.
What can I say, he's 84, in frail health, but still on his feet and moving. He's still walking unassisted (most of the time), still washes his own clothes, still attempting to cook, but that's requiring a lot more of my help, still able to take care of his own hygiene. I have good medical support. All in all, life is good.