Well, come on, one did save my dad, now. How can I not heart them?
I spoke with my sweet GP on Saturday and decided I would go see the local cardiologist guy. As I said to her, “I suppose at the very least, I really rather liked him and if it all hits the fan, it’s more likely to do it here, so it’d be good to have a few specialists in the know backing you up with the hospital dorks.” She told me that she’d rather the fan get hit in Boston. She doesn’t deny fan hitting any more. I’m actually thankful for that.
She said that the local hospitals don’t do the testing that the nice pulmonologist ordered. We’ll get to that.
So I went to see the cardiologist, who really is cool. I mean, I tend to like cardiologists just because they tend to be honest about hearts… hearts are bits of machinery and really essentially simple. They are either not working correctly mechanically or working correctly but getting bad signals. It seems everyone still believes I fall into the latter camp (which is I guess better than the bad signals making my heart bust.) Based on family history, he said, he feels like he’d be remiss in not sending me for a cardiac stress test to look for artery disease. He also said that despite family history, given everything else and all, he doesn’t think it is. I don’t either. I mean, I’ve seen how that stuff goes down in my family, and it isn’t quite like this has been. He also called me kiddo and didn’t sound like a total dweeb doing so. That was funny.
So I would really have rathered a treadmill stress test. But here’s the deal: He said that if difficulty breathing should cause the test to end prematurely, the results won’t be nearly as clear or accurate, and he thinks while it’ll be pretty normal, he thinks a good baseline right now is important. While I think I could push myself, I don’t think (alas, I’ve been told) it is not a great idea. So I am having the crap injected and the pictures taken. I don’t like the injected crap idea. Don’t ask me why. I feel like a wuss — not because of the injection (oh please, wait till you hear the next bit) — but because I can’t do a fifteen minute walk on a freakin’ treadmill anymore.
He asked if I exercised. I said (honestly) that I did until it became obvious that putting on my sportsbra was a workout, never mind releasing the platform on the treadmill.
So that’s going on next week. I told him about the pulmonary stuff, and he said, “You’d better be doing that in Boston.” He like… squeaked it out, all high pitched.
Heheheheh. Yeah, I found out what they do. Um. I am not going to sleep until mid August. Actually, I know it’s all safe and they do this stuff and blah blah, and the Brigham is very diligent on making sure pain management and such starts prior to a procedure so that really the pain (and therefore, often, recovery time) is shorter (the hospitals out here? Not so much.) but the idea is creepy. It kinda skeeves me out. It is friggin’ cool they can do this sort of thing, but it is scary.
The pulmonologist left his take on things like this, in this order: You have an issue with heart lung communication. By the way, how are you feeling? Your PFO is not an issue and no one thinks a closure is needed. I’m ordering a specialized test that measures oxygen exchange and how things pump through your heart and lungs when you are working. You’ll wear a respirator thingy and electrodes and we measure your blood levels.
Okay… so the cardiologist asked what was meant by communication issues… given the test that was ordered, was my pulmonary pressure elevated on the echo? I am not sure. It was only after the fact when I spoke to my sweet GP and then looked up the exact test done by said name at the Brigham that I realized I’ll be doing this second stress test with a heart catheter.
See, a catheter in my heart makes me think about all the things one might do with a line into their chest, and not one of them involves a bike (it is, of course, necessary that I do exercise on that test.) Now, I know this is something that sounds freakier than it is, but come on…. I hate having IVs stuck in the crook of my elbow, because nurses think the line is so flexible that not only can you sign paperwork or change out of your johnnie with the thing in, but they want you to play tennis and ping pong with them. I swear. And trust me, it isn’t that flexible, especially over the course of a few hours.
I am neither expecting that test to be pushed forward and I am actually somewhat surprised it was this soon. Also, I guess I’ll be moving from naproxen to tylenol again shortly.