Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Heart Catheterization - Part 2 - Susan

This is my attempt at keeping one of my blog posts under 2000 words.

A few weeks ago I described Russell's procedure for his heart catheterization.  That was quite appropriate as we will be doing something that is even new to us.  We will be doing our second heart cath in less than a month.  This time it is Susan's turn.

Last week, Susan had her 6 month appt with her cardiologist (or one of them).  When we had our appt in June...the conversation was a little more serious.  It is re-assuring to be taken seriously but it also comes with some not-so-pleasant strings attached.  In our appointment last Thursday, we also had a fairly serious discussion but this time the Dr shared his game plan with us.  We are being referred to the Toronto General Hospital where there is a clinic that specializes in HOCM (Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy).  This is both good and bad news.

The Good News

The Drs are taking Susan's condition very seriously.  Having minimal cardiac function and no quality of life is a big deal.  This condition is not common, so being able to work with a clinic that is experienced with the condition is a positive step.  The fact that we are able to get a heart cath in two weeks is also rather amazing given the average wait for a procedure like this.  It is good to see some action taking place.

The Bad News

Living with a chronic health condition is challenging.  Declining heart function is not pleasant.  In order to get action this quickly is a positive step but it is also an indicator of the seriousness.  In order to be seen by the clinic in Toronto we will have to go through several tests here.  Blood work, echocardiogram, and a heart catheterization.  The heart cath is by far the biggest deal as it is a surgical procedure.  Once this is done all of the data will be collected and sent to Toronto.  There are several treatment options.  One of which is open heart surgery.  That really sucks and it is something we would like to avoid.

The Frustration

Our feeling is that we are heading down a very negative path.  We went down this road with Russell and he ended up with a heart transplant.  This may be why we are somewhat jaded by this process.  We have to remind ourselves that we are on a journey with no known outcome.  Because Russell ended up with a new heart does not mean this is what will happen with Susan.  There are a lot of unknowns.  This is the reason for all of the tests and to consult with experts.  To try to figure out what is going on.  We won't know a whole lot until we get that information.

My apologies in advance to the folks at St Boniface Hospital.  I'm in no mood to play games and be patient.  I'm done.

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