Dave’s consultation with the cardiologist

Yesterday started bright and early with me giving Dave his jab at 06:00 followed by some food. I took all the dogs out for their morning walk and was back in time to feed them and have a shave (going to the Big Smoke so need to look my best!) before Antonis’ arrival just before 08:00. He told me that he found his car had a flat which he had to change before setting off from home.

The previous evening I’d changed the gas bottle for the heating and cooker, so we took the empty to Manolis’ garage to collect a full one on our return to Paleochora. The trip to the vet was uneventful but the mountains looked particularly clear and more beautiful than usual. I suppose we arrived at the vet around 09:30 whereupon I sat and waited for the cardiologist chatting to Babis, who owns the practice. He presented me with a huge beaker of herbal tea from the café a couple of doors down. The cardiologist arrived and gave Dave a thorough examination, looking at both sides of his heart with his fancy gadget which does virtually everything except make the tea. He took photos and recordings of the heart rhythm and showed me the problem valve in the screen. He will produce a full report which I will receive via email in a couple of days. On a scale of 5 – being the most serious, Dave has a 3/5 congestive heart failure which is progressive, but can be treated by medication. He has suggested that I continue to give him Furosemide (generic Lasix), three times each day and to give him extra fluids alternate days. The furosemide is a diuretic, however it can cause kidney damage. He is to continue the heart tablets and take another medication to strengthen the heart action twice every day.
The new routine is as follows:
Morning:
1/2 tablet Vetmedin 60 minutes before food;
0.3ml Furosemide (generic lasix) with food
Noon:
0.3ml Furosemide (generic lasix)
200ml saline solution (alternate days)
Night:
1/2 tablet Vetmedin 60 minutes before food;
0.3ml Furosemide (generic lasix) with food;
3/4 tablet Cardalis with food (helps remove fluid and salt from the kidneys)
The cardiologist spoke excellent English, was a very nice, considerate man, and lives in Athens. He travels to Crete to various practices once or twice each year as demand requires. The consultation and report was €70 (£60) which I though was very good value. Dave will never be cured, but so long as he can live out the rest of his life in comfort with a good quality of life, it’s all worthwhile. He is back to the vet in two weeks for a blood test and from then on once every month so long as he remains stable. The blood tests and other workup was €22 (£19).
During our return, I mentioned to Antonis that I might need some more olive oil so he took me to a shop where we bought a 13 litre (2.8634 gallon) container. We then went up into the mountains, not far from the camping, where there is an olive oil factory. He showed me the process which is as follows:
The olives are poured into a hopper with a conveyor leading up to blower which removes all the leaves. The olives are then washed and ground up to form a paste which passes into a series of machines, a bit like food mixers, where the paste is churned and cut by moving blades whilst heated to 37C. After a while the paste moves to a horizontal drum, where it is spun to separate the paste from the oil and the water. The paste going into a storage silo where it is taken by lorry elsewhere to be reprocessed and further oli extracted. The oil and water, now separate, pass through a filter and then the oil passes into a further centrifuge before being poured into a collection trough. The oil is then pumped into containers which are sold by weight. My container had 12kg oil which cost €40 (£34) whereas a litre of oil in the supermarket costs €5-€8 (£4.25 – £6.80) making the price per litre €3 (£2.55).
There wasn’t much of the day left when I got back as it was nearly time to take the dogs on the evening walk before feeding them. I was quite tired so feel asleep and never found out how Columbo solved the murder. I’ll have to watch that bit again this evening.

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