It’s clear that the best way for me to travel the medical route in the future is to take it one doctor’s visit at a time—may be easier said than done, but I sure will give it the ole Scheffer shot (shades of the Corps!).

The AFib is under control with medication; last week I met with the director of pulmonary hypertension at the Westchester Medical Center. Leading up to this appointment was the advice of my other physicians that a heart catheterization would/should be scheduled. Imagine my relief when he advised that that might happen in the future, but not now: he ruled out any invasive procedure.  We did review the causes, symptoms and suggested treatments of pulmonary hypertension in great detail—there is no cure. He prescribed some meds, set up a blood screen and echocardiogram in two weeks. We will follow up in March and take the next step, including suggested treatment. I can do that!

Still to come: Blood tests are being evaluated to determine whether an additional phlebotomy is needed; checking to see if calcium level is still too high and what are the results of the home sleep study—one appointment at a time, right? I can do that, too!

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I attended a delightful dinner the other night, one of my very favorite things to do. There were quite a few folks I hadn’t seen in a while. Many remarked they had been following my column and that it was wonderful to see me looking relaxed and happy. Along with some hugs, I was assured that good thoughts and prayers were coming my way.

I didn’t realize this medical “stuff” had taken its toll, especially after the heart catheterization possibility had reared its ugly head. Even though the procedure looms in the future, I don’t have to think about it now, a definite weight off my shoulders that puts a smile back on my face!

My family, friends and dear readers/Brigadiers, I am overwhelmed by your caring thoughts and prayers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again: you do make a difference.

As for me, I quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive:

“I’ve been takin’ care of business, it’s all mine;

Taking care of business and working overtime.”

Ruthann can be reached at