Monday was angiogram day. That mean having a hole snipped into an artery in my groin. Through that hole a tiny wire and catheter were poked up into my heart. From the catheter radioactive liquid was squirted. And from that liquid an image of my heart was picked up by x-ray(?) and shown on a TV.
From what he saw the cardiologist determined that I don’t have coronary problems to accompany my aortic ones. Hooray! What he did find though was that my aorta has been stretched. So that might have to be replaced with the valve too. Not so hooray.
Anyhow, I’m one step closer to surgery and you’re wondering just what it’s like to have your heart squirted with radioactive stuff.
Well…the actual squirting was odd, but not that bad . First I felt a warmth in my chest a bit like that caused by a shot of whiskey. Traveling at the remarkable speed of my blood, the heat then raced to my head and my feet. It happened in a moment. Your blood really, really doesn’t mess about in its trip around your body.
I’d be lying if I said that the angiogram as a whole wasn’t a little unpleasant. But it was bearable. Easily bearable.
It was my first time in an operating theatre too – and that was kind of surreal. In the background they played reggae music (I’m not really a fan of Wellington reggae but it did help me relax). And at one point I swear that both the nurse and cardiologist were humming and swaying too it. I half expected them to break out into song. And for a moment, I was lying there on the edge of the musical of my heart problems. “His heat is bad, it’s very sad…”
Musical or not, the cardiologist, nurses and assorted medical personal were all professional, friendly and kind. It really helped.
As I left the theatre, two other people were queued up behind be waiting for similar procedures. For a whole morning, at least one day a week, the doctors and nurses in that unit perform angiograms and similar operations. One after the other. I can’t imagine how stressful this must be. I’m in awe of people who do this for a living.