Angiogram


Yesterday I had an angiogram to check out my heart issues.  This was partly in preparation for an interview on October 18 to see if I am a candidate for transplant and follows a series of preliminary tests.  One price for living on Georgian Bay, not all medical services are around the corner.  The angiogram was done down in Newmarket, about 1.25 hours drive away.  The basic deal with this procedure is this: they give you some local freezing in the right side of your groin, make a small incision,  then push a small tube in your femoral artery, then insert a catheter in the tube and push it up the artery up to your heart and inject a dye.   You are stretched out on your back on a table with a large camera that swings around your chest to view your heart from various angles.  You are awake for this procedure which takes about 30 minutes.  There was no pain from the catheter.  The freezing needle was no big deal.  The tricky part is not to bother the clot that forms after the procedure.  You are to keep your leg straight and not raise your head or your arms over your head, since these movements make the thigh muscles tighten and mess with the clot.  Recovery is about 3.5 to four hours.

My right coronary artery has plaque buildup and is 90  per cent blocked.  I have had no chest pain.  A stent will go in there to widen it.  The procedure is known as an angioplasty and will take place either in the coming week or the week after that.  My heart is a little different. I have a fourth coronary artery called the intermediate artery.  About 5-15 per cent of the population have this.  It is neither pro or con to have this.

Staff were great.  Dr. Chun was more informative with me than some of my other doctors have been, and that communications shortfall is something I am going to have to do some work on in the coming weeks.  More on that another time.

I did not do great during recovery, my fiercely aching lower back (havent had that in almost two years) and my twitchy legs got me to move enough to annoy the clot.  That forced the nurses to take turns standing next to the stretcher and pressing down with enormous pressure on the right side of my groin to stop the bleeing and to make sure that a haemotoma did not develop.  So to take a lighter look at it I had an agiogram and ended up with strange women pressing on my groin.  Almost party time.

I left with a pressure bandage tightly taped against my groin and headed off to Orillia Hospital for a special dialysis run to get the dye out of my system.  That run was about 2.5 hours not the normal four.  This morning I went to Penetang for my normal four hour run of dialysis.

Pressure bandage came off after 24 hours and not much bruising and no other problem signs.  I need to take it easy for a few days.  I hope to get word on the day of the angioplasty on Monday or Tuesday and make a few arrangements to handle that, one being to get the neighbour briefed to help out by walking Grace while my sister and I are off doing the medical thang.

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Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

2 thoughts on “Angiogram”

  1. ” So to take a lighter look at it I had an agiogram and ended up with strange women pressing on my groin. Almost party time.”

    You sir, outta be a writer.
    Not sure I’d be as non-plussed as that, but glad that you can be. Hope the angioplasty (goes? went?) well…

  2. angioplasty goes on Wednesday the 22nd, around noon, they keep me overnight and I get out at 7 AM Thursday, all of this in beautiful Newmarket.

    trust you are doing well if not all the way to thriving and ecstatic, although if you are that far down to the end of the spectrum please do keep it to your self.

    you should read Superfreakonomics, you would love it.

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