Although I've been having a less than stellar time of things, I can't be all about me, all the time.
So this week has mostly been about my husband.
A little while ago, he sat down with our GP and had a stern talking-to about his uncontrolled diabetes. More recently, she sat him down again and went over the improvements he's made (Yay, Scott!!) and the steps he needed to take in order to improve his health over the long haul.
In the process, they went over his family history, and what that and his diabetes meant in terms of risk factors. She recommended that he have a cardiac stress test done, to get a baseline for his heart.
Scott had no symptoms, and he's been exercising regularly for the last couple years, so he was pretty sure that he did fine with the test - and seriously shocked when the test results concluded that his blood flow was down by at least 10%, showing that there was probably at least one blockage.
On Tuesday we saw our new and wonderful cardiologist, who told us that we should waste no time in getting an angiogram, which would tell us exactly where any blockages might be, and how bad they were. We scheduled the angiogram for Thursday.
An angiogram is a surgical procedure in which a wired tube is threaded through your veins and into your heart, where dye is then injected through the arteries and a camera can take pictures that show any places in the arteries where blood might be flowing less than freely. If there are blockages, the surgeon can push back the soft plaque with a balloon (angioplasty) and, if necessary, place a little expandable mesh tube (stent) in the artery to hold the plaque back and keep it from re-collecting itself in the same spot.
In Scott's case, he had one large blockage, which was backing up into an area where several arteries branched off. If he had waited a while before taking that test, if all those arteries had been blocked off, things could have been much, much worse. As it is, we really felt that we dodged a big ol' bullet!! They pushed down the plaque as much as possible, placed a stent in the area, and we could see on the 'before' and 'after' photos how well they had opened that artery up. Lovely!
Usually the wire is threaded from the groin up and into the heart; my husband was prepped for that type of surgery, but at the last minute his surgeon had to take an emergency case and Scott ended up with a hotshot new surgeon who threaded the wire through his wrist and arm instead. It was amazing - within an hour of surgery, he was walking down the hall and eating his dinner. And today, Scott says he feels just fine, barely even an ache in the spot on his wrist where they inserted that wire.
Modern medicine may not have much to say when it comes to treating advanced breast cancer, but it certainly has much to be proud of when it comes to treating the heart.
In this case, they treated both Scott's heart and mine. It does my heart good to know that he will be around for a good long time, loving and caring for our son and our extended family**.
** Speaking of which, I cannot thank my mom enough for her support and help in this, as in all else. I couldn't do it without you, mom - you are my hero!!