Happy Thanksgiving…Here’s Your Heart Catheter

In 2010, I had a widowmaker heart attack the day before my birthday, so I spent my birthday in an operating room having a heart catheter done. I had a stent inserted at that time. In May 2012, I was hospitalized with heart, lung, and kidney failure.

caridac catheterizationSince then, I’ve worked hard to heal myself. My lungs are stronger, and my kidney damage has gone from borderline stage 4 to mid-stage 2 (I’m now at 74% kidney function, instead of 36% when I was hospitalized).

Unfortunately, it appears my heart is not healing as well.

I had a stress test done at the beginning of November. Basically they stuck me in an MRI machine and inserted a dye to gauge my resting heart function. Then they inserted a chemical that stresses out my heart as if I’d just ran really fast.

Most people react ok to this process, but for me, it felt like I was having a mild heart attack. Then I started having a panic attack on top of it. It was rough, but I made it through it. They also told me that I may have some nausea afterwords. If by nausea, they meant sudden intense diarrhea, then yes, I was nauseous.

Anyways, I went to the doctor this week to get my results from the stress test, and an echocardiogram I had the week before.

Apparently when my heart is stressed, a part of my heart has no blood flow due to a blockage. Because of this, I am scheduled for another heart catheter the day before Thanksgiving.

Last time, they went in via my femoral artery in my groin. This time, they will be going in through my arm. The procedure is the same, but I’m told it’s less dangerous.

Basically they will insert a tube into my arm that will then snake up my artery into my heart. From there, they will attempt to open the blockage without having to crack me open. Most likely I’ll have another stent put in. When they’re done, I’ll have to lie perfectly still for several hours. Barring any complications, I won’t have to stay overnight. If you want to know more about the procedure, you can read about caridac catheterization at the Mayo Clinic site.

I’m told that I can’t be stressed when this happens, or it’ll cause complications, but it’s hard not to stress when you know people will be working on your heart.

Positive thoughts, prayers, and healing mojo are most welcome to help me get through this.

 

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