the dr. said

October 2, 2014 at 4:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

for some time now i have been feeling as though there is a difference in how my heart failure is progressing.  the strange thing with this condition has been my symptoms will stay stagnate for a period of time and then there will be this jump forward.

i’ve said a few times that i need to get in to see the dr.  honestly i know things are getting worse and that i need to see the dr, however, i see the look on his face and i put it off once again.  i say it’s not an emergency and nothing they can really do for me so what is the point.  he nods and we both put it on the back burner.

yesterday i realized i seriously needed to see my doctor.  aside from the regular stuff i was suffering from a raging sinus infection and heart related issues such as more frequent angina attacks along with more fluid retention.

my most recent excuse for putting this visit off was his big birthday. after that i needed no excuse since i have not had enough energy to get out.  over the past week we have gotten out a couple of times for a couple of hours and i was able to go out to dinner with a friend. this encouraged me to spend the day seeking out some answers.

what is that saying? be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.  dr. s is now at the urgent care and i was hoping to see him, my trust was rewarded with him being on duty this day.  it was his last day on for a while.  the relief and joy at knowing i would see him made the wait well worth it.  while sitting in the waiting room i saw him and he waved with his big smile.  when checking in i had asked to see him rather than the other dr. but knew that might not go well. once in the exam room he joked telling me that he had warned his co-worker that he did not want to see me with all my list of health problems.

my blood pressure was quite high, especially for someone on medication and with a pacemaker.  it has been well controlled at times but in the danger zone at others.  after the usual review of life and limbs he prescribed an anti-biotic along with fast acting nitroglycerin. the cardiologist may want to prescribe a once/twice a day longer acting nitroglycerin. that is if i see him.

we have to come to the point where i ask “the” question.  what can i expect now with so much change so quickly?  he stumbles over the words at first, then he slightly leans back in his chair and looking me in the eyes, well what we hope for is a quiet passing.  that you will go to sleep and …..

i can not help but lower my head in thought. i won’t have the luxury of a quiet death as long as this ICD is active.  do you think it is time for me to have it turned off?  he is candid in a way that surprises me. in the past he has been so optimistic and encouraged me to hold on as long as possible.  we had discussed chris’s birthday a couple of weeks ago.   i tell him i fear the longer i am here the harder it will be on my love.  his last advise was to do the things we want to do now.

the most difficult thing for me is i had no time to think about how i would tell him what the dr. said. if only he would have let me come on my own so i could be sure to find the kindest way to tell him this latest news. although it is not really news.  we have never taken any of our time for granted and are as grateful as any two people have ever been.

it will be cooler weather here soon and in a couple of weeks the leaves will be changing. in a couple of weeks we will be going in to tennessee and spend a couple of days at a bed and breakfast just enjoying the beauty of the season as well as each other.  we are as prepared for life as we are for death. each comes on its own terms and it is up to us to embrace them.

it is nearly 5 a.m. and i am going to try for a few hours of sleep, today is thursday and that means he will be playing bridge, then i will join the group for dinner.  i wasn’t able to go last week but i refuse to miss another week.  i so look forward to this weekly outing, seeing friends and catching up on what they have all been doing.  ahhh gotta go, he is coming down the hall to remind me it is time to join him.

just another reason to love him and to know how lucky i am, after all these years he still wants me beside him.  good night/morning my dear family and friends.  don’t be sad of this news, we all knew it was coming and who knows how long this phase will last? it could be weeks, months even years!


  1. prenin said,

    I’ll try to be with you every step of the way my friend! 🙂

    Love and huge hugs! 🙂


    • s blake callahan said,

      i know you’ll be with me even in spirit. you are so dear to me my friend!

      love and big warm hugs to you

  2. jmgoyder said,

    I don’t know what I would do without your life and death wisdom, Sandra. I just found out that a neighbour (diagnosed with cancer less than two weeks ago) has died. He is our age and I am so shocked and sad for his wife. I hope to use some of your wisdom when I speak to her next. You are a legend!

    • s blake callahan said,

      oh be careful using my “wisdom”, things you have read while either while enjoying a cocktail or pharmaceuticals may not sound as good to others as you might think:)

      i am sorry about your neighbor and sometimes wish i could have gone within a couple of weeks. though i don’t think i am supposed to say that out loud. sorry

      the pain her husband must be feeling is shocking. it makes me think of chris, except he has had time to get used to the idea of life without me. i know that you will say the right thing if there is such a thing.

      love to you and yours

  3. Julia Sweeney said,

    I would love to wow you with my “intelligent and philosophical comments”, but I just can’t find the words. Both of you are in my thoughts and heart,

  4. maggiebea said,

    Thanks for sharing this part of the journey with us. I so appreciate the tender care you have for him and for your relationship together. And how wonderful, in these days, to have a doctor so willing to be candid. Many Blessings to you all.

    • s blake callahan said,

      one of the best things someone with serious/terminal illness can have is a great primary care physician. i know that he is going to be honest with me and gets my point of view on further tests and treatments.

      i hope to continue with my journey a bit longer but whatever happens i am ready. thank you for sharing this time with me and hope to stay in touch.

  5. maggiebea said,

    So glad you have the gift of a doctor who can be candid. I so appreciate the gentle loving care you give to Chris and to the relationship you share. Many Blessings to you all.

  6. Syl said,

    Goddess blessings on you dear friend. I am so glad we met and got to work together. You have know idea what a positive influence you have been on my life. Love and hugs to you.

    • s blake callahan said,

      syl you are so sweet. you have no idea how much i enjoyed working with you and admired how deeply you cared for the kids we worked with. sending love and healing thoughts to you and yours

  7. Angie, also known as YS :) said,

    I vote for years. I mean, heck, you’ve surprised your physicians surpassing the 5 year mark, why not do another 5? 🙂

  8. Judy said,

    Dearest Sandra, This post really touched upon my feeling of “impending grief.” Our touching moments have been small treasures that I have always appreciated. I feel almost like all of your fellow readers of this blog are a special family – commected because of you. I’ve gotten closer to several other bloggers simply as a result of reading your blog. I know that all of us will feel a terrible punch in our gut to have you gone and there will be a tremendous void. It is nothing at all like what Chris, your sister or the rest of your family will deal with. But I needed to write this and acknowledge my feelings. This isn’t to make you worry about me or anyone else. It is to let you know that you are definitely a part of my world and when you are gone I will never forget you; you will be missed very much. Thank you for letting me express this. I have learned so much from you.

    • s blake callahan said,

      you have moved so far and grown so in your saying what is in your heart. i applaud you for that. my blogger family is very dear to me, you are dear to me. i have had to accept that those i love are going to feel various levels of grief.

      your music just seems to get better and better. thank you for sharing your own feelings regarding “impending grief.”

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