Friday, June 26, 2009

My Palpitating Heart



A few posts back I discussed some possible cardiac symptoms I was having. I saw the cardiologist on June 17th at which time he informed me he wanted me to have an echo cardiogram and a chemical stress test. The tests were done on that day. So I waited until June 19th to receive the test results. My echo came back normal but the stress test showed an abnormality. I was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization on June 23rd.

My husband has 7 coronary bypass grafts, 8 stents and an artificial aortic heart valve. We have been through some trying times over the past 15 yrs. It isn't as if cardiac procedures are foreign to me but when it came to me being the patient I suddenly lost all perspective.

My Mom died at the early age of 52 and I am 52 now. For whatever reason I have always felt living past the age of 52 would be a milestone for me. I never claimed to think logically. So my mind ran wild with scenarios as you can probably imagine. I found myself so frightened and certain of impending doom. Many things go through ones mind when confronting your own mortality.

I made it through the 3 days of waiting for the procedure. That morning a relative calmness had come over me. Strange feeling for me. My husband went overboard trying to reassure me by using humor of all things. Poor guy he was doing his best to help me through what he knew had me very frightened. In retrospect I am grateful for his support, love and humor.

The procedure went smoothly. I was so impressed with the cath lab team and their ability to make me feel at ease throughout the whole thing. We even had a conversation about the use of bee venon therapy for certain diseases. A catheter is in my heart and I am watching it on the screen and we are talking bee venon.

One regret I have is not asking the nurse to shave the entire area as it is swimsuit season. Yeah right, me in a swimsuit. Oh, the results of my cath? No signs of blockage! Yippee..

I had no blockage so I had to keep my leg straight and motionless for 2 hrs. and then I could go home. Now if I had had stents placed or an angioplasty I would been kept overnight and my leg would have been motionless for 6 hrs. Insurance companies never cease to amaze me. Not that I think I needed to stay overnight but something just doesn't make good sense.

That is what I did this week and now I am looking forward to the results of the Holtor monitor I wore for 24 hours. Hopefully it will explain my symptoms. Other than having a bruised groin, a partially shaved pelvic area and frequent palpitations I am back to the normal life with MS.