Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Update

(Posted to Facebook notes 10/13/11)

I had my follow-up visits with both Cardiologists on Tuesday.

First with Dr. Cragun (the "plumber") who spent time and actually engaged in a conversation with me about all of the issues that I need to address with my heart.

  • Atypical Variant Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (the condition found when I was 13), caused...
  • Diastolic Dysfunction, which caused...
  • Pulmonary Hypertension, which caused...
  • Atrial Chamber Blowout, which caused...
  • Atrial Fibrillation

The Cardiac Ablation is supposed to correct the Atrial Fibrillation and have positive impact on the Atrial Chamber Blowout as well, but the other issues need to be addressed to minimize the chance of returning to this same place in just a few years. So...Cragun wants to do a procedure (Right Heart Cath) on November 14 to find out more information about the Pulmonary Hypertension and the Diastolic Dysfunction. There are some drug therapies he thinks could be beneficial to help get my energy back.

Dr. Hwang (the "electrician") had little to say except that all of my symptoms (chest pain, dizziness, short breath, and fatigue) are all normal. I requested a change of homework has taught me that the beta-blocker he prescribed (Sotalol) causes the worst fatigue side-effects and I wanted to try a newer brand, but he said I didn't have any options for 2 more months. I also expressed frustration that I haven't been able to really get a good work-out in the gym, and he told me I won't be able to for 2 more months...which is frustrating, but I'll figure something out.

Hwang also expressed disapproval at the procedure Cragun has, I have some homework to do, questions to ask, and perhaps a 2nd opinion to obtain before November 14.I have hit my out-of-pocket max with my insurance, so I want to do as much as I can before the end of the year...but I also want to avoid the hospital if I can.

I'm learning a lot about endurance and adjusting expectations!

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