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The point of no return! Welcome to Pointless aka General. Other stuff that doesn't have a forum can be posted here.

I am back from the hospitals after three issues.

Posted 3 Weeks ago by chiarizio

On Saturday the 3rd of September — my fifth day totally free of COVID symptoms — I started feeling pains like (but not exactly like) those I had for my two previous kidney stones.
All the Urgent Care Clinics were either closed or booked solid, so I went to the nearest emergency room.
They found I did indeed have a kidney stone (issue#1). I passed it. But in the course of generally looking after my health they found I had DKA (Diabetic Keto-Acidosis (issue#2)) so they couldn’t let me go home — or drive.
They had an ambulance take me to a bigger hospital in their chain that was in a different town and had the specialists and equipment to treat the DKA.
So they got me over the DKA. In the process they tested blood pretty often and found troponin. Troponin is supposed to stay in your heart, not get in your blood. But when your heart is stressed, for instance because of high demand (e.g. COVID+kidney stone+DKA), it might release troponin into your blood. This may indicate an ischemia or infarction, or maybe not.
So they did an ultrasound echocardiogram of my heart to see.
And they found I have an LVEF (Left Ventricle Ejection Fraction) of only 25% (issue #3).
Normal is 50%-75%. Borderline is 40%-50%. Anything under 30% is BAD.
Last time my regular cardiologist checked my EF it was 55%, so this was a new problem.
They said I should have a cardiac catheterization. The total probability of ALL problems with a cath are about 1%; 99% of the time absolutely NOTHING goes wrong.
But the odds that a person with a 25% EF will survive an entire year are about 50%.
So I had the cath.

First they found out from my regular cardiologist (an Arab doc named Wes, like my Sufi nephew) where in my heart were the four places he had done non-invasive procedures to my heart before.
They were three stents and one balloon angioplasty.
This cath found three blockages.
Two of my stents are still fine.
One of my stents “has gone bad” — gotten dirty or something; anyway, blocked to a significant degree.
My angioplasty site is also re-blocked.
Plus I have one brand-new blockage where there’s never been a problem before.

Three blockages is too many to fix through catheterization. So I’m going to have to have bypass surgery.
They don’t want to do it less than 30 days after I first tested positive for COVID, so they sent me home until 9/24.

Friday the 9th of September, about 11:00 PM, I got home.
I’m wearing a “Life Vest”-style wearable defibrillator. I have to wear it except when bathing, for possibly up to three months; there’s a chance that after the surgery, before it heals and my heart gets stronger, I’ll still need the “Life Vest” for a while.

Pains in the ass from all this:
It’s hard to sit on the toilet or lie down and sleep with this life vest on.
They changed my medicines regimen up and I haven’t gotten it down yet.
I can’t drive.
Last time I went grocery shopping I wasn’t preparing for this, so I might not have enough of the foods I’m now supposed to eat.

A PITA not from this, but it’s more irritating now;
My insurance-company-owned pharmacy has an incompetently programmed robot menu-thingy, and there’s no way to contact a human, and it takes as good as forever to even talk to the faulty robot.

….. ….. ….. ….. …..

But other than that, I’m doing pretty well!

How is everyone else?

There are 5 Replies

I am doing fine so far. Sorry to hear about all the issues you are going through.

3 Weeks ago

I am doing fine so far. Sorry to hear about all the issues you are going through.

Thank you, Rika.

3 Weeks ago

Glad to hear you are ok too.

2 Weeks ago

Glad to hear you are ok too.

Thank you, prphd! I wish you well, in return!

2 Weeks ago

Tomorrow I see my cardiologist and probably schedule my bypass surgery.

1 Week ago

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