Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Medical Monday but I'm in good shape

Don't really know what to call yesterday, but I arrived at the hospital on time for my 9:30 AM angiogram.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the hospital is in an area that is a little run down.  But you can't judge a hospital by the way it looks like on the outside.  Inside, it was great.  People were very friendly, the hospital was bright and clean and up to date.  It had been renovated and it was a 'new hospital' on the inside.

I checked in for my angiogram and waited about 30 minutes before I got taken back to the prep room.  The procedure wasn't scheduled until 11:30 AM so we had plenty of time.  I didn't take anything but my ID card and my phone.  I was told to leave all my valuables at home.  No camera so I don't have any pictures or 'before and after' results.

Speaking of results, I came out with a very good report.  Very minor blockage in two arteries.  Since I have a family history of heart disease (my dad died at 62 and my mom at 80) and my brother had a triple by-pass a couple of years ago, I thought it was a good idea.  I don't have a lot of symptoms except abnormal EKGs,  a left branch bundle block and pre-hypertension.  My cholesterol is around 200 ~ all of those things don't speak to anything serious but they are a little suspect...I wanted to check it out.

Bottom line:  I don't have any blockage (well some, but it is minor) and I should be fine with more exercise, losing some weight, watching what I eat and maybe some medication.  At 180 lbs, I am not obese, but I am not in shape either, so I need to get with it and be consistent.  None of this is really new but confirmation that things are OK is new, so it was worth it.

Back to the angiogram.   Carrie (one of the nurses) got me all fixed up and ready for the procedure and said it would probably be a catheter through the groin although sometimes they go through the wrist.  Wrist?  I have never heard of that..

The hardest part was waiting for the procedure and it took the doctor about two hours to get to me.  About 2:15 PM he showed up and went into action.  This team knew what they were doing and didn't skip a beat so to speak.

I was awake through the whole thing and it was fascinating.  They went in through my wrist and it was  over in 15 or 16 minutes.  He said things looked good and no cause for worry or concern.  It took them longer to get me cleaned up and wheeled back into recovery than it did for the procedure.  Amazing.  I was very pleased.

The nurse put on a radial wrist, hard clear plastic band that had a small inflatable bag over the incision.  The band was secured with velcro.  The very small bag was initially inflated to apply a lot of pressure over the incision, then every couple of hours, the nurse reduced the pressure.  About 7:30 PM she was satisfied the incision was healing and closed properly.  She removed the radial band and put a very light splint over 3 x 3 inch clear plastic bandage on my wrist and put a light splint on the back so I wouldn't bend the wrist.
My hand is a little blue because that is the color of the antibacterial soap they use these days.  They no longer use the orange/brown iodine soap.

We watched a movie, "The Morgan's"  and I had a couple of naps.  Finally, we talked, signed some release forms, then I was discharged.   I am to followup in 7-10 days with my cardiologist to finish up.  All in all, it was a great day and I am glad I had the angiogram done.  Now I know how things are with my heart muscle and it is in good shape.  But I need to stay on top of things.

On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's for a sundae and then got back to the RV in time to watch some baseball before we went to bed.

It was a good day and the weather here continues to be terrific.  Today is supposed to be the same.  Hope is it summer where you are!  Thanks for following the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Great news , again Good things happen to Good People, now just go out and do some bike riding and walking and you will feel and be a lot healthier. Sam needs to get exerciseing to lose weight and feel healthier. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. Glad to hear everything went smoothly and the results were positive! Thanks for the update.

  3. I'd heard that they are doing angiograms here using a wrist incision but you're the first I actually know who's had one done that way. Glad to hear it was o.k. and that your heart is in pretty good shape. It's always a great feeling to leave a hospital or doctor's office with good news!

  4. Great news!! Mike and I both have heart issues in our families. We also need to be more careful with our eating and I especially need to loose weight. Thanks for the motivation!! :)

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri

  5. That's amazing. I've never heard of them doing that through the wrist. Rod had one but his was in the groin. The wrist looks like it would be WAY less painful.

    Debbie & Rod

  6. Glad you made out okay, Randy. I had an angiogram through my wrist last year before my heart valve replacement surgery. It's kind of a new thing, and much easier to recover when they go through the wrist. If they go through the groin you have to lie very still for several hours after the angiogram which would be hard!

  7. So you're getting on track with a sundae. Not good, Randy, not good. LOL

  8. Great news Randy. I've always had the groin procedure so I'll have to ask the doc about the wrist next time. It sounds much easier. Godd luck on the diet/exercise thing.

  9. glad you are well and made it through with only a minor wound!!..that is great news!!

  10. WOW...never heard of this procedure....going through the wrist. Mine was through the groin, but I had had a MI so they stablized me in the ER, transported me to the hospital of choice by the cardiologist, and I had an angiogram. And..yes we need to make life changes so we can enjoy the rest of our life!!