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Finger Ulcers


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#21 Ron

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 06:50 AM

My finger ulcer has finally completely healed.  It started in April.  Now I have a new one on the same finger, not in the same spot, smaller but still painful.  That ulcer was the worst one I ever had. The relationship with digital ulcers and PAH has been documented, I think I may have PAH.  I had a ECHO and the heart doctor said there was some thickening on the vessels in the right side of the lung and heart.  I hope I don't have to go for a right heart cath.  I dread the use of a bed pan.



#22 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 09:03 AM

Hi Ron,

 

I've had finger and toe ulcers, without having PAH, so although there is a correlation, and perhaps even a likelihood of PAH in your particular case, given so many other things, it is probably not an automatic shoe-in (which I mention for other people with digital ulcers who perhaps have a fresh worry over pulmonary hypertension).

 

The right heart cath generally isn't as bad as advertised.  Between prep and recovery it can be just a few hours. It just sounds so much worse, and so much scarier, on paper than most people find it in real life.

 

My late husband rated right heart caths as one of his favorites, among the invasive tests, and would even have his without sedation; but he was a crazy fool that way, he would also have his esophagus stretched without sedation and hop right back in the car to go to work again. He loved following the heart cath on the monitor, as its one of those things you can often watch (if you are game for that sort of gory stuff).  He also had very many bronchoscopies with biopsies, and he preferred heart caths over bronchs, so if you've ever had a bronch, you've probably already been through worse than the heart cath, and lived to tell about it.

 

If you're not game for all the show-watching, which anxiety might just understandably toss out of the ball park for you long ahead of time, they do give the really good drugs for this one to really relax you. You will float off into a pleasant little cloud of relaxation, and should awake being able to throw on your street clothes and go home as soon as they give the all-clear.  You'll need to have a driver, and you will have some activity restrictions for the first day or two, so you can plan for an at-home movie fest or chug down a good summer book.

 

If they are coming close to a PAH diagnosis, as I understand it, the right heart cath is really the only truly acceptable way to properly diagnose it, even though there is a constant push to use cheaper tests to diagnose it, they are simply not as accurate.  You might even mostly pass the other tests but flunk the right heart cath -- and vice versa.  You can look bad on the other tests, but be basically okay on the right heart cath.  And bear in mind, you can have plenty of stuff wrong, and have impaired breathing, without having full-scale, in-need-of-treatment PAH.

 

You shouldn't be bed bound for more than an hour or so in recovery, provided everything goes fine, of course. Which it is very likely to, because you are conscientious, and conscientious people overall have better outcomes because they read the instructions and -- oh, dare I say! -- actually follow them.  It's normally the daredevils who mess up in aftercare by doing stupid stuff, and I just don't see you throwing caution to the wind, and getting drunk down at the local bowling alley and scratching your head over why your incision broke open and you don't feel so hot.

 

So, if they eventually get around to doing the procedure, which would seem reasonable, you'll likely do great with it...or at least, a lot greater than the carefree ne'er-do-wells!

 

:hug-group:


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Shelley Ensz
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#23 Ron

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 01:25 PM

Thanks Shelley, that made me feel better.  :happy:



#24 judyt

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 03:00 PM

Hi Ron,

 

Your comment about the bed-pan made me smile.   I would say you are unlikely to ever have to use one.

 

I am hopeless with using them and I have had just about every invasive internal exam that it is available and the only time I have had to try using a bed-pan was when I was in HDU with Pneumonia (High Dependency Unit).

 

Don't lose your sense of humour - it will serve you well!!

 

Best wishes

Judyt



#25 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 07:12 PM

Hi Ron,

What would really lift my spirits would be a nice long list of crazy things a person could do with a bedpan. I will donate the idea of decorating them with designer duct tape, perhaps the 70s peace sign version. And arranging an artistic display of them, perhaps spray painted and arranged like daisies, for a urology reception area.

Luckily our sense of humor is infectious, and it's also the only organ that cannot be affected by scleroderma.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#26 Joelf

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 01:23 AM

Hi Ron,

I agree........bed pans; not a pleasant prospect!! :wink: :sad:

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#27 quiltfairy

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 06:31 PM

On the old time TV series MASH they took the bed pans and made a fountain out of them.



#28 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 07:59 AM

Hi Quiltfairy,

 

That's a hoot!  I'll never look at a bedpan the same way ever again.

 

:hug-group:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.