June 17, 2012
I am going in for a heart catheterization on Monday morning 6/18/12. I’ll probably get some blog time today but I am not so sure about the next two days. That will depend on the outcome of the procedure.
Here is a simple explanation of the procedure:
Cardiac catheterization (KATH-eh-ter-ih-ZA-shun) is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions.
A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to your heart. Through the catheter, your doctor can do diagnostic tests and treatments on your heart.
For example, your doctor may put a special type of dye in the catheter. The dye will flow through your bloodstream to your heart. Then, your doctor will take x-ray pictures of your heart. The dye will make your coronary (heart) arteries visible on the pictures. This test is called coronary angiography (an-jee-OG-rah-fee).
The dye can show whether a waxy substance called plaque (plak) has built up inside your coronary arteries. Plaque can narrow or block the arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart.
The buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries is called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease.
Doctors also can use ultrasound during cardiac catheterization to see blockages in the coronary arteries. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of the heart's blood vessels.
Doctors may take samples of blood and heart muscle during cardiac catheterization or do minor heart surgery.
Cardiologists (heart specialists) usually do cardiac catheterization in a hospital. You're awake during the procedure, and it causes little or no pain. However, you may feel some soreness in the blood vessel where the catheter was inserted.
Cardiac catheterization rarely causes serious complications. (What is Cardiac Catheterization? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; January 30, 2012)
For further reading on the heart cath procedure and potential risks CLICK HERE.
That’s it in a nutshell. Typically a harmless procedure that is for diagnosis, roter-rootering the plaque on my arteries and placing a stint in an artery holding it open if the plaque has closed the artery to the point of near blockage. Unless something freakish happens I’ll be home the same day or if stint is place I’ll be home the next day.
Now here is bad news. Stint or not, I have to lay on back not moving even a tidbit even for a bathroom break. If I can’t hold the old water I get to urinate in a bottle.
And here is the really bad news. My Medicare plan only pays about 2/3 or ¾ of my hospital visit and procedure. The hospital business told the actual cost but I only the part that I am expected to pay. That bottom line is $600 bucks. I am on a disability and cannot afford $100 copay and the $70/month payments that were originally offered.
So I did a little dickering and talked the business office down to $40 bucks to enter the hospital and $35/month. That is still rough for my wife and me to make ends meet because we are guardians to three of our grandkids who are sons of my irresponsible youngest step-daughter.
So there is my whine to go with my cheese. If anyone feels prompted to donate toward paying off this heart cath procedure I will be humbly grateful.
At my SlantRight 2.0 and the old SlantRight.com archive site I have PayPal buttons you can use if the prompting occurs. Or you can click this PayPal generated link to donate. Any amount would be appreciated; however I am not trying to defray the costs of my medical bill by guilt. If you are not prompted to donate, please pray for me concerning the heart cath procedure and for resources to open up to pay the bill.
John R. Houk