Hello everyone! We woke up to 4 inches of snow in Idaho and groaned a bit, that we hadn’t gotten on the road yesterday, but our journey south was uneventful. I had no episodes on the way down, which should have been delightful but only served to increase my anxiety that the trip was all for naught. I can’t help worrying that the doctor visits and tests are complete wastes of money; that they won’t find anything, and that I should have stayed home looking for new shows on Amazon Prime.
We pulled in around noon, to my cute dad standing in the garage clapping. It was too funny. He was glad we made it safely through the snow (which dwindled to nothing the further south we drove) and glad to see me, and of course my niece Miss H. Awww. My parents are the cutest. We unloaded and then dad took me to the appointment with the specialist. The doctor was wonderful. He spent over an hour with us, was so thorough, and kept his staff harassing the hospital in ID. until they finally received my hospital report. He believed me, did not discount my episodes, and explained possible connections. He went over the hospital reports with us and we found out a few things we didn’t know.
Apparently three (yes, three!) of my heart valves aren’t working quite right. There is a mild regurgitation happening on the mitral, tricuspid, and pulmonary valves. He reassured us that this kind of thing can be present and not cause anyone any trouble, and you might live to be 100 years old without issue. But it could be contributing to whatever is happening. He said the PFO closure is something we could do tomorrow, but he wants to make sure it’s the right choice for me, so I’m scheduled for a few more tests.
On Monday I’ll be having another bubble echocardiogram, confirming the presence of a hole, but this time they’ll also be running an ultrasound on my brain. They want to verify not only that the ‘bubbles’ cross the hole in my heart, but actually travel all the way to my brain. If they do, it confirms my risk of a stroke and makes me a very good candidate for PFO repair.
After that we’ll be doing the test where I swallow a tiny camera on the end of a tube. It will ‘dangle’ in my esophagus near my heart (they are close neighbors, the esophagus and heart) and see if they can get a good picture of the hole itself, and try to verify its size. It does need to be 5mm or larger, I think, for PFO closure to be considered.
I only had a couple of small episodes at the doctor’s office, and was a little disappointed he couldn’t see one for himself. I of course, had a few big ones as soon as I was back at my mom’s house. Isn’t that the way it always goes? Silly body.
I suppose that’s all for now.