We started the evaluation shortly before Thanksgiving (which was catered as Carlos' stamina doesn't allow for much cooking any more - we definitely missed his yummy holiday foods). Dr Steidley wanted to rule out other possible causes of chest pain, such as a PE. They would also be looking for other possible underlying causes that may be worsening his condition, that are perhaps treatable. No PE, no other conditions. Just that crummy, bad heart.
Go out to your garage and grab a basketball....I know, weird request but just do it.....got it? OK, that's about the size of Carlos' heart supposedly. I find it difficult to believe. I really want to see it once he gets his new heart (that's the medical curiosity in me).
Going back to the evaluation...Carlos did significantly worse on his stress test, the right-sided heart cath was also less awesome. In fact they gave him some IV medication to decrease his blood pressure during the procedure, which reduces the workload of the heart, in turn increasing ejection of blood from the heart. Afterwards, Dr Steidley talked to me briefly. There had been some discussion about whether to admit him for the eval versus doing this outpatient. We were happy that we had been able to stay out of the hospital. Dr Steidley told me that normally he would admit someone with a heart cath like this but because Carlos had been stable he would let us go home. I had mixed feelings about this. There's a lot of fear living with someone this sick. It's reassuring when he is in the hospital - I know someone is watching that telemetry monitor....and can do something very quickly if he goes into V-Tach or V-Fib, which are both dangerous rhythms. He has had short runs of V-Tach but never enough to set off his defibrillator. I wish I didn't know that. Sometimes ignorance is very blissful :p