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Thursday, September 07, 2006

 

Up and down

Has it been almost two weeks since I posted last? I got my hard drive defragmented, but I've been facing one hard knock after another. For one, the ORS in Utah gets to take more than half of my Disability benefits for back child support, which tightens the financial pinch I was already feeling. I did get the temporary partial denture, (I have teeth now), but the rest of the work I need is going to cost more than I can afford.
Because my shortness of breath and chest discomfort have been increasing on increasingly lighter exertion (e.g. this morning, just standing in the shower), I scheduled an early appointment with my cardiologist. He is recommending one of two possible surgical treatments; an Alcohol Septal Ablation, or a Myomectomy earlier today I saw a cardiac surgeon, who is ordering another echocardiogram before he decides whether to do it or not. Apparently the hospital system has misplaced the record of the one that was done when I was in the hospital last October...and, I'm reminded, there was one done last March, and they don't seem to have that one either.
I looked up "myomectomy" on the web and found a bunch of articles that don't apply (I don't have a uterus and never did), so I refined it to "cardiac myomectomy", and learned that these are indeed the two procedures of choice for patients with Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopaty (HOCM), whose condition is resistant to treatment with drug therapy. Incidentally, I found a description of the symptoms that matches mine...the only one I have't had is fainting (although I have felt a bit faint from time to time). The Myomectomy is the standard treatment, the Alcohol Septal Ablation is newer with less of a track record, but less invasive, there doesn't seem to be a consensus yet on which is better, except on a case-by-case basis.
I dislike the idea of open-heart surgery with a week in the hospital, and how much more post-operative recovery time I don't know...in a third floor apartment, (and, it's been pointed out, all alone with no one else to help take care of me...) I would prefer a less invasive procedure, but if it isn't going to work as well, I'm not sure. Unfortunately, the Ablation isn't done at WVU, so I have a suspicion that unless I actively seek it out, I'm not going to be offered a real choice, but get steered toward the surgery. At the same time, it's recommended that the best success with this procedure is when it is done at a major cardiac center by experienced surgeons, and I'm not sure this place qualifies. The surgeon I spoke with wasn't promising success: some patients improve considerably, some improve a little, and some don't improve at all. I'm not reassured.
I visited my family doctor and thought I was going to have minor surgery for a suspicious-looking mole on my back, but that didn't happen. and the next chance for it is next December. I do have plastic surgery for one on my jaw scheduled in about two weeks. What I did get out of the visit is a handicapped parking permit, a recommendation for me to move to the ground floor when an apartment becomes available, and a recommendation that I have a colonoscopy, probably after the heart surgery.

Comments:
got what you got had a myectomy june 30 2006 i was out of the hosp july 3 mayo clinic minnesota 5 months later the symptons are the same....
 
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