A few RL people have asked me lately how P is doing, so I thought I'd provide an update here for those who read this blog. Briefly: He had an appointment with his specialist at the UCLA adult congenital heart disease clinic a few weeks ago, and his heart and lungs are stable -- nothing's changed from the last time he was seen. His fluid issues are under control (which is good news, condsidering that massive fluid retention put him in the hospital around this time two years ago), and his most recent echocardiogram was actually a little better than the one before it. He has the opportunity to try a brand-new drug that's supposed to help with pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs) and is considering it, though he's a little wary because the last new drug he tried had unpleasant side effects. He's had some problems with his anticoagulation therapy lately -- he has blood drawn once a week, and they seem to adjust his meds every time -- but he hasn't had any really excessive bleeding, and they're keeping a good eye on it. So, on that front, all is well.
As for the other big issue, his arthritis, he has good days and bad days. He can't take any heavy-duty arthritis meds because of his other health problems, so he's pretty much stuck with Extra-Strength Tylenol. It's a bit like shooting an elephant with a pop-gun, but it does help. On good days, he can do a lot -- walk around the mall, go grocery shopping, etc. -- but on bad ones, he's pretty well stuck on the couch. He just takes it as it comes and tries to hang in there. And let me tell you, he's one tough customer. I spent all last weekend bitching and moaning because the backs of my legs were sunburned and it hurt to walk, but it hurts him to walk every day of his life, and he barely complains at all. Go, P!