It just so happens that on the day that the entire world is sharing love and hearts, my heart received some much needed love and approval from the cardiologist.
Let me back up a bit. I checked into Methodist University Hospital on Monday morning to have some cardiology diagnostic tests performed for the transplant. The transplant doctors need to be sure that my heart and cardiovascular system are healthy enough for the surgery. I got to the hospital at about 8:00a.m. after having fasted since the previous evening. I spent the next 6 and 1/2 hours going through one grueling test after another. They wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been allowed to eat or at least drink water, but that would have marred the results.
My first test was to be a stress test performed in Nuclear Medicine with radioactive isotope thalium tracer injected into an i.v. in my arm but that had to be postponed until late morning. The tech could not get an i.v. into my arm because my veins are too small and extremely scarred from years of hospitalizations. He sent me to radiology so that the tech in the CT Scan lab could use doppler to find a deeper vein for an i.v. The radiology tech was able to get an i.v. placed and successfully performed a ct scan with contrast.
I then was shuttled off for a chest x-ray. I left radiology with my still functioning i.v. and headed back to nuclear medicine. I was able to have my stress test performed. I finally went to the transplant clinic lab where 13 vials of blood were sucked out of my veins like Dracula after a Lenten fast. Seriously, who knew that much blood could be taken? Don’t forget, by this time it was 2:30 in the afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything since about 11:00p.m. the previous night.
Armed with all of those test results from Monday, I met with the cardiologist to review the results today. We did the do-si-do and he cleared me for surgery. I have no pancreas at all, but a healthy heart. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!!!
Also, don’t forget it is National Organ Donor Day!