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Good news.

I saw my cardiologist (who has a much more robust/sophisticated EKG machine than my internist), and there is no Q wave on my EKG. We actually spent most of the visit on other topics (below) and I finally asked specifically about the Q wave report. He said there is no Q wave on the EKG. There is a “slow progression on the R wave, but no Q wave.” He was not concerned with the EKG.

I wasn’t concerned either until I got home and looked up what a slow progression on the R wave meant. There are a couple of common causes for this. The first is a myocardial infarction of the back of the heart (i.e., heart attack affecting the back of the heart). So I immediately panicked and felt like I was right back where I started from. The second concerns large-breasted women (check that box) because it’s difficult to get the leads placed correctly.

I finally calmed down and decided that I was seeing one of the best cardiologists around (he did the recent stent in ex-President George W. Bush’s heart and they try not to let bozos work on ex-Presidents). He’s also my husband’s cardiologist and so I know how conservative he is, having had him in our medical “family” for more than four years. If he didn’t think the situation warranted further tests or exploration, then I was going to trust him. And even though I’m an extremely skeptical and active participant in my health care, sometimes trusting the experts is the right thing.

He was seriously up in arms about my cholesterol levels (as mentioned in my earlier posts). My cholesterol has been over 200 since April 2010 and has sky rocketed this past six months, closing in on 300. (Yikes!) He looked at my (extensive) medication list and ask me where my statin prescription was and I explained that my PCP hadn’t prescribed one. To which he replied, “I will take care of that. We will not have you dying of a heart attack or stroke.”

I actually thought it was strange that my husband’s cholesterol has been in a healthy 100 to 150 range for several years while we eat basically the same diet (although mine’s probably a bit healthier). Then it was one of those “duh!” moments when I realized that, of course, he is on a statin which helps control the situation.

Being on a statin (and taking yet another prescription medication) was the last thing I wanted. For someone with RA taking a drug with potential side effects of muscle and body aches is not something that’s appealing. But diet and exercise have not reversed the trend and dying of a preventable condition is not acceptable.

So now I’m on generic Lipitor. I go in for lab work in a couple of months with the expectation that my cholesterol levels will be dramatically improved.

In other news, I’m continuing on with physical therapy for my new knee. It’s a slow, painful process. My knee still isn’t bending much over 100 degrees (it takes about 125 degrees to effectively get up from a sitting position). But no one said it was going to be easy. Some days are better than others. But when I look back five weeks to my condition right after surgery, I can see that I have made significant progress, so I have faith that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope that what ever is at the end of your tunnel brings a smile. Thanks for checking in.