Thursday, October 27, 2011

1st Round of Pre-Op Appointments Complete!

As you know, I've already received a second opinion and have an appointment for a third opinion scheduled in early November. So I now have pieces of my medical records disbursed at multiple hospitals across the city. However, for the sake of ease and consistency (as well as my high level of satisfaction with my experiences there), I've decided to keep Northwestern as my "home base" and to have all of the procedures and tests done there. This also makes sense since this is where the surgery will be taking place. At this point, I'm about 90% sure that I will be going through with the surgery; but I will make my final decision after receiving the third opinion. In the meantime, I've decided to keep all of my pre-op appointments. On the very off chance that I decide to postpone the surgery, then at least I've added a lot of important information to my cardiac medical records over the past few weeks.

This week consisted of two pretty significant pre-op appointments. On Monday (October 24, 2011), I had a chest x-ray and a pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan. This scan is actually two separate tests. As described by the National Institutes of Health, "the ventilation scan is used to see how well air and blood flow moves through the lungs. The perfusion scan measures the blood supply through the lungs." I still need to follow up with the cardiologist to get the results.

Today was the appointment for my cardiac catheterization (angiogram). While it wasn't the most pleasant experience (But what hospital procedure is?), I do think that the anticipation was worse than the reality. The procedure itself lasted a little over an hour, but it was pretty much an all-day hospital visit. I arrived at Northwestern at 6:30 this morning (thanks to the very generous door-to-door service from my parents). After all of the prepping was done, the procedure started a little after 8:30am and was followed by four hours of bed rest (required while the puncture site was healing). My dad graciously kept me company throughout the entire day, and my mom came back to the hospital after her own doctor's appointment. I think I watched more television today that I have in the past month!

All in all, it was a good day. Aside from the pulmonary aneurysm (which we already knew about), the angiogram showed nothing abnormal; and it confirmed that all of my heart's arteries are open and functioning well! The puncture site appears to be healing as it should, and both the nurse and doctor were pleased with what they saw before I was released, which happened just after 4:00pm.

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