Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Afternoon with Dr. Wiggans

Well, we made it to the appointment on time. Mom and Dad were ready and Dad zipped out the door, descending the  stairs just like they taught him in rehab and we were off!

Earlier in the day I had sort of forgotten why we had made the appointment. I wondered if I had pushed for it because I expected Dad to start improving more rapidly when he got home and that wasn't happening. But Dad has stabilized the last couple of days. With the Ambien regimen figured out it looked like he could get some sleep and a lot of the other issues seem tied to being tired. So while we were waiting I asked Mom and Dad if we had our questions ready for Wiggans and they had them down:  Blurry and occasionally double vision, confusion, depression, anxiety, increased tremor in the left arm and right leg, drooling, he doesn't hear own voice normally, no appetite, difficulty sleeping. We were in the right place!

And then the doctor knocked on the door. Dad listed the issues very cogently and clearly with little assistance and prompting. His language was descriptive and analytic which is not what he usually uses when asked about his condition. Recently his answers have taken the form of immediate complaints.

I really like Dr. Wiggans. He listens very carefully and asks questions about what is being said. When he talks, he presents things in an extremely rational manner.

After the exam, he said that the issues were physiogical, neurological and/or pharmalogical. There's always the possibility of a small stroke, but he was more likely to suspect Dad's meds, He is now on a number of very high-powered medications where before the surgery he was down to just two. Of course we had forgotten to bring Dad's list of meds. The list, generated from (a great FREE website to create lists to track your medications) was back at the apartment on the dining room table. I was able to remember a number of them. But what he wants to do is re-balance the med levels, he wonders how many are absolutely necessary.

Of course he said the best way to do this was to check back into the hospital where they could closely monitor the effects of the changes in medication under the supervision of a cardiologist and they could investigate any possible neurological issues. Dad would have none of that. He said "I don't remember ever dreading anything as much as going back into the hospital. I'd rather jump out of that window." (An amazing proposition given the height of the window....) Wiggans didn't push the issue. He did tell Dad to stop one medication (Reglan) that he thought was a major culprit. And he left the hospital door open. If things get worse or if Dad reconsiders, we can check him in through the emergency room at any time. We'll probably go back to see him next Wednesday unless Mom's treatment schedule intervenes.

We all felt good after the appointment. One change was made, so that was a step in the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. Consensus yesterday was that dad was better although he seemed to think not by much.