A few weeks ago I got a call from our health insurance company. They wanted to schedule an in-home visit with a nurse-practitioner for both of us. We'd been through this once before; it's really no big deal: They take your vitals, ask questions ("Do you fall often?" "Any trouble with dizziness", etc.)
I told Cliff I had a hunch they do in-home visits so that if someone is living in dangerous conditions (like a hoarder, for instance), they can call the authorities. When the nurse was here, I asked her about this, and she laughed and said, "Yes, that's right."
I had scheduled this visit for a Friday because we don't often have Cora on Fridays. However, this turned out to be one of the times she was here. That isn't a big problem, because as long as she is told ahead of time someone is coming, and tell her she needs to try and be a very big girl and not interrupt us when we're talking, she is a champ. As soon as the lady got here, Cora went for her pla-doh and stayed in the kitchen playing.
The nurse took me first. She listened to my heart twice and informed me I seem to have an irregular heartbeat, but she'd move on to Cliff and check again when she was done with him because maybe it was a fluke. I figured it wasn't a big deal. After all, I've had that silly murmur for years with no ill effects. I've actually become rather attached to it.
When she came back to me she listened to my heart again, picked up her cell phone, called our doctor, and made me an appointment for that very afternoon! What a pushy woman! I would have made myself an appointment (OK, maybe...), but not for that same day. About this time, Cliff's sister Rena dropped in. She takes her dogs to the veterinarian at Lexington because he charges about a third of what the vets in the city charge, for the exact same services. While her dogs are getting their checkups and teeth cleaned, she always comes to visit us. Cora enjoyed having Rena here; they even went pretend-shopping at my former chicken house.
Once the nurse left, it was practically time to eat; so we went to the Mexican place at Lexington. Back home afterward, the clock creeped slowly toward 2:30, the time we had to be in Oak Grove at the doctor's office. We told Rena she could stay here when we left, but she decided to step outside and call the vet to see what was going on. When she came back inside, she was crying as though her heart would break. Angel, her twelve-year-old dachshund, has cancer all through her body. What a bummer. This is the little dog that's been through everything with Rena: Her divorce, moving to our old house after living in Wisconsin for years, then on to a house she bought in Blue Springs. Angel has been the one constant in her life.
Rena went on to Lexington to get her dogs, and Cliff, Cora, and I went to Oak Grove. I had messaged Cora's mom to warn her that Cora would not have a nap that day. When we either one have a doctor appointment and Cora is with us, the other person stays in the car and plays with the kid; because who wants to take a healthy child into a germ-pit?
I was really concerned I'd have to take blood thinners. Mother had atrial fibrillation, and in spite of medication she still had episodes sometimes. I do NOT want blood thinners. But then I don't want a stroke, either. It isn't that I'm afraid of dying, but a stroke can leave a person disabled.
All is well. I do have that irregularity with my heartbeat, which the nurse at the office explained to me when she showed me the results of the EKG. However, as long as I'm not having chest pain or dizziness, I should be fine. I told the nurse she was starting to look pretty good to me, since she had good news.
So now my heart has the murmur AND an irregularity (but not atrial fibrillation). I'm feeling pretty special.
I looked up a video I took of Rena's Angel pestering a toad a few years back. Here it is: