Monday, February 3, 2014

great news

Okay.  So the California trip was super fun.  Included a trip to the beach and some babysitting time and lots of pancakes and delicious dinners and hours and hours with Jessie.  Perfect.

I was feeling the usual sadness after being left behind at the airport, until I remembered that there was going to be a party at my house when I got home, a party with all of the locals, including the new baby boy, who keeps getting cuter, which I cannot even explain because he is so cute already.  It makes no sense and yet perfect sense somehow.

My flight crew was on top of their game and got us home nearly 30 minutes early.  Or maybe there's a storm blowing this way.  Whichever.  Arrived home just in time for the big super bowl party, which was, let's just say, better than the actual game although it was super to watch Denver lose again.  Obviously.

So all of that was good, but then today a really great thing happened.  I called our internal medicine doc to see if I could get in to see him sometime to talk about these worrisome apparently not-hear-related episodes.  They got me in at 3:20 this afternoon, and I'm tellin' you, that guy is a genius.  Or he has seen a lot of patients in his life.  Either way.  After I described my symptoms, he asked me if these little attacks occurred after eating, which they haven't.  Then he told me that there are only two things that cause the type of pain or weakness or heaviness I've had in my chest and arm and neck and shoulder and back--that is, two things with those symptoms that ease up when the patient takes a nitroglycerin tablet.  And since I've successfully passed both of my stress tests, we can rule out one of the things--heart issues.  Which leaves only the other thing--esophageal spasms. 

Of course--why didn't I think of that? 

Because I'd never heard of it, that's why.  But he said it's actually fairly common and if it were happening regularly, daily or every few days, he would recommend I take something to reduce the acid in my stomach because I would likely have gastric reflux.  But instead of reflux, my esophagus freaks out a little bit and spasms, which causes the pain in my chest, neck, shoulder, back, and arm.  The nitro is very effective at easing spasms in the esophagus and the heart.  It doesn't help for strokes or irregular heartbeats or much else, but it works for these spasms.  And since they occur so infrequently, it doesn't really make sense to take something for the acid, but it does make sense to use the nitro if I need to.

So there you go.  I'll carry around a little bottle of nitro just in case, replace it every six months when it loses its potency, and everybody can stop worrying about me falling dead suddenly.

This, this, is the best possible diagnosis.  This doctor is awesome.  He knows his stuff.  I couldn't be happier.


Lisa B. said...

yay! awesome medical news. yay!

Joey said...

Good news!