There’s no doubt the heart medications are helping, but I suspect the dosage (37.5 mg. hydralazine and 20 mg. isosorbide dinitrate three times a day) may be a bit too low; I’m good all day, but by the time I wake up I’m breathing hard. Will ask Dr. Weiss about that.
Also noticing some swelling in the feet and calves, most markedly in the right foot. That can’t be a good sign.
The hydralazine is marked “take with food,” and I discovered why when I took it along with just a little bit of food and failed to keep it down. It turns out to be fortunate that the pharmacy didn’t have Bidil, the combination drug. The levothyroxone I take has to be taken in the morning, at least 30 minutes before eating anything. That means that I can’t take the hydralazine first thing in the morning; fortunately, I can take the isosorbide, which seems to give fairly rapid relief from shortness of breath.
I’m also running into some fairly severe leg cramps at night, despite taking both zinc and magnesium drinking plenty of water. The episodes don’t last more than a couple of minutes, but while they last they have my undivided attention. They may be related to the spinal stenosis which I had fixed surgically thirty years ago but which I know is coming back.
On the other hand, the throatis much less bothersome than it was; what soreness remains is mostly well-controlled by cough drops and a phenol spray, without resorting to the lidocaine-Maalox-benadrylcombination. It was never much of an issue during the day, but now it isn’t a problem at bedtime either. I haven’t needed a sedative to sleep for the past three nights, which means I’m functioning better mentally. I’m now mildly optimistic that the radiation side-effects will be reasonably tolerable, which is considerably more optimistic than I was at the end of last week.
The voice has improved a little bit, from just a whisper to a fairly audible croak that sounds like a bad imitation of Brando playing Don Corleone; that may be just because I’ve done very little talking since Friday.
APPENDIX FOR EXPERTS
As part of the evaluation process for a kidney transplant, NYU Langone drew a dozen vials of blood and took a urine specimen. (The vampire must have been thirsty.) The list is below. The highlighted items were either negative or within normal limits. Results for the rest below.