Friday, May 07, 2004

Heart Attack (?) 

This is actually Stress Test Part IV. When I started this series of posts, I never expected them to drag on like this. Of course, I also never expected to be told that, at some point in the past, I have had a heart attack without knowing it!

I have just returned from my follow-up visit with the cardiologist, Dr. C. He has advised me that, although some of the problems indicated by the stress test could be in error, they probably are not. He is pretty certain that I have scar tissue on my heart, which probably means that I have had a heart attack somewhere along the way. One section of my heart also does not "fire" (pump) properly, but this is not considered arrythmia. The pains in my chest are probably a combination of angina and something else, possibly an esophageal problem. Even more importantly, Dr. C and I have decided to refer to each other using nicknames; Dr. C is "Joe".

Joe says I should have an angiogram. If nothing is wrong, I get to spend a few hours in the hospital, then go home. If something is wrong, Joe will fix it and I can vacation in the hospital for a day or several. Joe points out that "something" goes wrong in one angiogram out of 1000, and if he has to "fix" something, that could go wrong one time in 100.

Joe: So, when do you want to do this?

Me: That depends. How many have you done since the last time something "went wrong"?

(OK. I didn't really ask him that, but I sure thought it!)

I tell Joe that I am obligated to play music for the next three weekends, so I can't be confined to a hospital. Joe allows that I better get this done; if I have already had at least one heart attack, I could have another one at any time. Joe also advises that he will be on vacation the last week of May and the first week of June, so I cannot have my heart attack during that time; I therefore need to have the angiogram sometime in the next week or two.

We set the date for May 17. I shall post on other things in the meantime, or possibly just delete the whole blog.

To be continued (maybe...)