I finally made it to the cardiologist for my second follow up appointment after my procedure during the summer. I had to cancel once because I had the flu, ironically 2 weeks after getting my flu shot. I had a pretty severe case of it. I was well for ten days only to get slapped down with Covid the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So that makes two Thanksgivings in a row ruined by Covid. But I tested two days before my appointment and I was negative so I was able to keep my appointment and go. I still feel cruddy, but way better than last week, so there you go. It's more like a cold now.
I finally got a name for my condition. It's called microvascular dysfunction and I was born with it. Normally, I would have probably been fine with it my entire life, other than the difficulty they had finding a blood vessel big enough to draw blood from or start an IV in (there is one in my arm and one in one hand), but when I got Covid last year, it caused the right chamber of my heart to become enlarged. With the right meds and watching my salt and restricting my water, we are hopeful that we have helped with reducing that back to normal size. I know I have felt a huge difference with the reduction of salt. He is letting me up my water a little bit more and my brain feels better already. It's just 8 ounces more a day, but it is a big difference to me.
He said my heart sounded really good, so hopefully that means we have also fixed the flow rate on the other chamber of the heart, too. He said both things can be fixed or at least drastically improved. Well, the first thing can be completely fixed. The flow rate on the other side depends on the salt intake and the amount of water in the blood, because of the microvascular dysfunction, which I will always have. You can not make tiny veins and arteries any bigger.
So I will have an echocardiogram on the 12 of January to see how everything is doing and if there is an improvement with the meds and the dietary changes. I hope I get the female technician this time. The male is kind of a jerk with a really bad bedside manner. It's not really the sort of thing you can request. They only let you request that for a mammogram.
Speaking of mammograms, I got my annual letter to go and get one. I don't always get them annually. I should, since my mother had breast cancer at 40. I usually get them at least every 2 years since I was 40. This year, since the doctor did a blood test for cancer earlier this month, and it was negative, I'm not really feeling it. The only reason they did it was because they were unsure of some markers they were seeing, but it is the same old, you have another as of yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease that isn't lupus or any of the other common ones to go along with your rheumatoid arthritis and you are massively inflammed right now with some kind of infection.
And I said, "No, duh." Well, no I did not. I said, "That's what my rheumatologist said," which is also what I said before they took the blood test, but you know doctors. Turned out yes, there was some kind of massive infection, because the next night I dropped like a rock with Covid. So then I had to call the doctor's office and they had to call the lab that is part of their office and let everyone I had come into contact with know they were exposed to Covid most likely. That was fun.
So anyway, it will be fun to see who eats up the deductible first this year. DD has her surgery scheduled on January 5th, my echo is on the 12th, and my son may or may not get his testosterone implant in January. If we are lucky it will be in December still 100% covered. DH did sign up for the HSA debit card this year, so at least we will have that. Which I need to remember will lower the paycheck. We've had a year without that deduction.
I have to take that into account when thinking about the 401K deduction. Think I'll definitely have to go 17%, not 18%. I still think we will make it, though, since we almost did with 16% and that was with DH only having the raise amount from the end of July on. Actually, I didn't consider that. I may have to run the numbers again. I'll do that after we get his last paycheck and I know exactly how much he earned this year.
I wonder if there is a way to just have a dollar amount withdrawn from each paycheck instead of a percentage. I don't see it as an option of something we can do on our end, we can change the percentage to whatever we want whenever we want, but if there is a way for his employer to make it a dollar amount out of every paycheck, then we could make sure we got the max next year without having to stress over it towards the end of the year. That would be nice. Then it would be $1153.85 each check with the last check of the year evening out the odd penny here or there. It would be about $160.85 more than we are putting in now with each check, but that is doable if we keep ourselves on budget. I'll have DH look into this further.
I'll have to have him get me his approximate gross income for this year, too, so I can base my calculations on that. I know what his gross income is supposed to be going forward, but if I can figure out how much overtime he has worked this year on top of base salary, it will make it easier for me to estimate the percentage I need to use next year based on the full year at the higher salary, plus overtime, and not just 14 paychecks out of 26. The overtime will continue into next year, and will probably increase and they are talking about another COL raise, too, which may or may not happen, but wouldn't go into effect until July anyway if it does happen. The on in July was 3%, so would probably be similar. I guess we will see.