Health Update – Part 2

I got the the hospital for my stress test this morning. It took half an hour for them to find a good vein for the IV then another half hour to get the EKG wires attached and do the resting set of echo pictures of my heart. Then the cardiologist came in so we could start the treadmill part of the test. After asking me a few questions about the pains I’d been having over the past week, she decided that since I’d been having some instances of pain with no exertion, that stress test would be too risky. She feels that there is a very high probability that I have some blockage in one or more arteries around my heart, given the symptoms I’ve been having.

So tomorrow, I have to go in for a heart catheterization. This will consist of having an IV put in, being sedated, and then they will insert a catheter into my groin and run it up to my heart, put contrast dye into the IV and see what the condition of my heart and surrounding arteries is. If I’m lucky, there will be no blockages. If there are blockages they should be able to either use a ballon or stents to open them up, unless there are too many blockages or they are too blocked, then its open heart surgery for a bypass.

It’ll take about an hour and a half minimum for the procedure. If all goes well, I’ll go to recovery for 6 hours and then get to go home tomorrow afternoon. If they need to do the ballon or stents, I’ll spend at least one night in the hospital. If I need surgery then that will be schedule for a week or two out.

I’m not too worried. I’m actually more nervous about the wound from the catheter than anything else. The literature the gave me keeps mentioning swelling and bleeding as possible problems. I’m not really too concerned if I need the ballon or stents since that will make me healthier and feel better. The possibility of open heart surgery isn’t very appealing, to say the least, but I think that possibility is pretty remote.

I’ll keep you all posted.

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5 thoughts on “Health Update – Part 2

  1. I went through the same thing around 5 years ago, and wound up with three stents. The cath wound isn’t all that bad, though one has to refrain from strenuous stuff for a while. And they did me as an out-patient: I was home the same night.

    See PZ Myers’ account of his recent experience in the same situation.

    And good luck!

  2. That’s very good news. I just now noticed the post date and realized it’d be over before my comment was read! (And I wish my arteries were in that good shape: I’m down to one carotid artery due to a blockage that can’t be treated.

  3. Nope, they don’t fool with it–the blockage extends up to the Circle of Willis, and no surgery cab get that high. I’ve got two good vertebral arteries and one good carotid, and one can get by on that.

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