Factor V Leiden, and moving

I know, I know…I’m bad about keeping up with this blogging thing.  Life has a way of getting in the way and wrangling one’s attention away from miscellaneous stuff, hence the dwindling posts.

One thing to celebrate?  Fall is here!!!  Thank the heavens above!  Between hot flashes and South Texas summers, I’m about burned to ash.  Fall is a nice reminder of cooler temps, family and friends gathering, and being able to enjoy the outdoors once again.  The last couple of nights we’ve been able to sleep with the windows open, which has been awesome.  I freaked one of our cats out the other night, though.  With the fall the owls have been making their presence more known.  Last night we had an owl land at the top of our chimney outside and began its vigorous call of “who…who who”.  The last time this happened I went outside and found the owner of this flamboyant, over-the-top call, thinking it was going to be a very large owl.  Nope, it’s a tiny little guy with a huge set of lungs, lol!  When it started last night, the cats were in the room with us and the call echoed down into the fireplace.  I answered the call, mimicking the cadence perfectly.  The owl replied.  I thought the cat was going to lose his mind!  He backed up, looking at me with huge, dilated pupils like I had grown a second head or something.  I called back to the owl, and the owl replied again.  The cat left the room and was nowhere to be seen for the rest of the evening.  The owl and I had a conversation that lasted a half hour, at the end of which I called up the chimney “sorry buddy, I’m not really an owl, but a human.  You’ll have to go elsewhere to find a mate.”  He took off, hopefully to find more of his own kind in the woods behind our house.

Our realtor in Tennessee has been busy, updating our shopping cart with real estate prospects as they become available.  I have to hand it to her, she’s a trooper knowing that we won’t be moving for three years yet actively working to show us the best properties that match our wants and needs.  When I saw she most recently updated our cart at 1 AM last night, I went to her (our) favorite spa and ordered a gift certificate for her for the The Ultimate Moroccan Oil Pedicure.  It consists of 80 minutes of “a luxurious orange peel scrub that gently exfoliates your skin, preparing it for the rich hydrating effects of Moroccan Oil’s honey lavender intense hydrating treatment and signature body souffle. This treatment includes a foot mask with warm towels and a soothing foot and leg massage. A complimentary glass of champagne is yours to enjoy during this pedicure.”  Anyone who will bust their behind for us three years out from the actual move definitely deserves some pampering.  She recommended the spa to us when we visited Tennessee, and my daughter and I both had fantastic pedicures there when we visited, so we wanted to return the favor.  It’s definitely not easy looking at the things she adds to our cart–she’s hitting the nail on the head as far as properties go, finding the best of the ones we would have chosen ourselves.  Having experienced crappy realtors in the past as well as phenomenal ones, she definitely falls into the phenomenal territory.

The one thing that has come up as the most important in our move might be something most people don’t need to consider–finding appropriate and competent doctors and medical facilities.  I want/need to be within a decent driving distance of hospitals/doctors who specialize in cardiac conditions.  Hubby had a heart attack in January 2014, a “widow maker” that thankfully didn’t make me a widow since he was close enough to the hospital when it happened and recognized what was happening.  They were able to get him in straight to the cardiac cath lab just as the vessel was closing off at 100%, opening things up before any damage to the heart occurred and placing two stents.  He had another episode in July 2015, not as serious but resulting in another stent being put in.

It turns out his heart attack was not due to obstruction solely from a plaque, but obstruction from a clot.  After extensive testing by his awesome cardiologist, they found he had a Factor V Leiden mutation which predisposes him to forming clots.  He only had one copy of the mutation, which thankfully didn’t make him a “super” clotter.  Those with two copies usually have issues show up early in life–his didn’t show up until he was in his late 50’s.  His mother had problems with clots, but that was before they tested for Factor V Leiden, so she wasn’t officially diagnosed.  With hubby’s diagnosis, we had our daughter tested for the mutation by her pediatrician and found she also carries one copy of the mutation.  She’ll have to take a baby aspirin during pregnancy to prevent complications, will not be able to take hormonal birth control, etc, but being forewarned is being forearmed.  She’ll know how to take care of herself before experiencing complications and hopefully will be able to keep herself healthy with good choices.

Hubby has been blessed with excellent doctors who have managed his condition and put him on the road to total recovery.  Hubby eats right, exercises almost daily on the treadmill and lifts weights, in addition to taking medicines for his high blood pressure and Brilinta for his stents/clotting.  He has done so well he was able to discontinue one of his blood pressure medications, and the last arteriogram they did showed that one of his plaques had actually decreased.  The extensive blood work they did showed that hubby is actually “resistant” to Plavix, meaning that the medication doesn’t work on him for the clotting issues, so we’re happy the doctor didn’t place him on that initially.  Who would have thought one’s genetic makeup would make one resistant to a particular medication?  He’ll take Brilinta until he’s at least 18 months out from placement of his last stent, then he’ll transition to a full dose aspirin.

This journey has made me more than aware of the importance of having a knowledgeable doctor as well as good medical facilities nearby.  This has altered our search to make sure we’re within a reasonable travel distance to medical facilities and physicians, if we should need their services emergently.  So, it’s made our search a little unique–I place a target on the best hospital and draw a perimeter out from that to make sure the distance isn’t too far in case a medical issue dictates expediency.  It limits our search area to some degree, but there are still many properties to choose from that fit our wants and needs.

Now it just becomes a case of do we choose near the top of our budget for something that’s move-in ready, or do we go the route of the show Fixer Upper, choosing something well below our budget that needs upgrading, and put the extra money into customizing the property to our needs?  I wish Chip and Joanna Gaines worked on properties in Tennessee–that would make our search so much easier!

Until next time…dreaming of Tennessee.  🙂

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