Sunday, June 17, 2007

My So Called Broken Heart

You may have read my story back in mid-April about my visit to the emergency room after waking up due to chest tightening severe enough to awaken me (if you haven't and desire to read this "Hospitale", click here).

Picking up where that story left off, I see my primary care doctor about a week or so later as a follow-up. The antibiotics had done there job and the bronchitis was pretty much gone, as was the sinus infection. Regarding the cardiac workup in the hospital, he read a notation from the cardiologists in the hospital, who assured me the ticker was okay, that while everything looked fine, they thought to be certain all was fine, one might consider a "Myoview Stress Test" (MST). My doctor and I discuss my case and he feels comfortable at this time telling em that we could skip it for now and in the meantime, schedule a complete physical (which I am overdue for). A couple of days later, I get a call from my doctor saying that he really wants to be certain, and suggests now that I have the Myoview Stress Test. This of course got the hypochondria and anxiety disorder rolling; among other things.

There are several parts to an MST (which you can read about in detail at the link above if you wish). First you get injected with a radioactive contrast dye and then a series of pictures are taken. Later, you do a treadmill stress test then get more radioactivity injected and more pictures are taken. John, the wacky technician completely forgot to take the "resting" (pre-exercise) pictures but when all was said and done, the result was indicative of some heart problem. I didn't get alot of detail but the cardiologist recommended I return the next morning to do the resting pictures and also, take an echocardiogram as a back-up test.

Day two comes, I do the tests and then I meet with the cardiologist. He says that there is evidence of a cardiac problem as originally found in the MST and confirmed by the preliminary report of the echo. The test showed an "ejection fraction' of 44% - normal should be over 50% and four or so years prior, mine was at 54%. The doctor said that I should schedule a consult with him and by then he would view the echo completely and we could discuss the whole situation. By this point, I had been more scared than ever before in my life. The appointment for the consult was two weeks away and before I left, I looked at the doctor and flat out asked him if there was a chance of me dying before I saw him again. He told me to try not to worry, he didn't think it was that sever, but before I left, he did recommend a take a low dose aspirin once per day.

In the two weeks that followed before the consult, my neurosis computed every possible doom and gloom possibility of the grim results that had been laid before me. It was ugly and near impossible to get a full nights sleep. I cried every day, sometimes at work and in public places - fortunately it was during allergy season, so I always had an excuse for moist red eyes. I was scared and seemed to have good reason to be. I did take into consideration that the doctor knew full well that two weeks would transpire before I saw him again and he wasn't nearly as concerned as I was. I made it through the two weeks, and now it was time for the consult.

To be continued...

No comments: