Today is Tuesday the 10th of May 2016. Yesterday I went to the local hospital to have blood drawn for pre-surgery testing. On Thursday the 12th of May I will present myself at Meadows Regional Hospital for a planned cardiac catheterization and if found to be both necessary and possible a balloon angioplasty and stent installation will be done. If nothing is necessary or possible I will come home the same day, if a stent is installed opening up a clogged artery I will stay overnight just in case something untoward happens.
How did I get here? Well, I lived through a myocardial infarction on 2 February 2001, just 4 days before I was leaving on the first planned vacation in 8 years therefore vacations are bad for your health. 100% occlusion of the left anterior descending artery the surgeon said to me. Did I get to the emergency room just in time? No not really, I should have been there 2 weeks earlier when the first symptoms appeared. Instead I diagnosed myself with angina and decided to have my heart checked after the vacation. The medical reality was one of the arteries feeding my heart was closing itself off. So this time I picked a point in time when the shortness of breath, the nausea and the chest discomfort was severe enough to present myself for examination. After an initial screening, I underwent an echocardiogram examination along with nuclear imaging of my heart and a chemically induced stress test. The results were “well, we need to go in and take a look.”
None of this rules out a chest opening artery bypass graft but I’m hoping for the stent.