I've notice dbubley has been more out of breath the last 4 or 5 days. The rehab center works like this: you call a main number and leave a message with a nurse, who then relays it to the doctor in charge of her care. I did this on Tuesday. Wednesday dbubley was out of the facility from approx 12:30 to 4 pm for an appointment with her surgeon. Thursday morning a physician’s assistant, who works with the doctor, stops in to see Betty and asks her a few questions. The PA told dbubley it’s probably caused by her weight and lying down in bed for a few weeks.
Dbubley tells me this and I start to see red. She was in bed for 4 months after her kidney surgery and she was never out of breath like this. I left the paperwork with the number to call in the van. I was just getting ready to go get it when my cell phone rang, it was the PA. I didn’t even let her start in on dbubley's fat causing the problem, I told her this has not been an issue in the past and we need to figure out what has changed. They have her on warfarin to protect against blood clots while she is so immobile. I’ve been watching the blood work (I do love the fact that Kaiser gives you access to your test results on-line) and her PT INR (International Normalized Ratio – Prothrombin Time) number is more than twice the highest normal range. I asked the PA what the therapeutic number they were aiming for and could this med be the cause of her breathing issue. She assured me it wasn’t and in her 25 years had never seen this problem and her number was right where they wanted it to be. I then told her one of the side effects listed for this med (and quite high on the list) was breathing problems. And my Google search lead to several sites with reports from patients and doctors of this effect. She said she’d have to look into this. I also asked how dbubley's last chest x-ray looked and she admitted there seemed to be some fluid build-up. She ordered another x-ray and would give her a dose of lasix to reduce it.
She then tried to push some of the blame on dbubley when she said “Well, she didn’t tell me everything.” With the type of meds she is on, unless she is in a 5 or 6 level of pain, when you ask her how she’s doing she’ll say “okay”. The only reason dbubley even mentioned the shortness of breath is because I kept saying something to her every time we talked on the phone. Well tonight I got a call from the facility letting me know they were starting dbubley on an antibiotic because the chest x-ray showed she has a “touch of pneumonia”.
Don’t tell me this isn’t a case of medical fat bias! How bad would she have had to get before someone noticed and looked more closely at her.