“Seconds out. Round two”

Sitting at home after breakfast on ‘Leave’ from the hospital, I am feeling good knowing that the bypass operation six years ago is perfect and no major surgery is required. Having an angiogram has its risks, but the results showing all is working well and looks good means I should have many more years without concern over my coronary arteries.

Today is an electrical checkup. As I understood from the electrical heart specialist or ‘electrician’ as he called himself, the field is called ‘cardiac electrophysiology ‘: we are looking at identified
Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) issues to determine what level they are at in my heart and if they pose a threat to my health longer term which may require medication or a Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD). The outcome of these tests will determine the next steps and I should have some answers in the next 12 hours. As I mentioned in a response to a comment yesterday, the previous blog entry was written at various times during the day while I was at the hospital, in effect making it my first ‘real time’ entry rather than all our other blog entries, while sequential, were written at one time or after all the events had taken place for that day. Hence the focus here can change from paragraph to paragraph or even be contradictory. Today’s entry will follow a similar format.

Some words of wisdom to those of you who face major surgery: do not, as I did, make your parting words to your spouse, as I was wheeled into surgery for a quadruple bypass (4CABG) in 2009 “Remind them I am an organ donor”. Which, while well meaning, are not the best parting words to your loved ones as the operating theatre doors close behind you. I will try and remember that today.

I am waiting in the patients’ lounge by myself as I am at the end of the electrician’s, sorry the cardiac electrophysiology specialist’s, list today. Most of the morning patients have passed through the adjacent recovery area and so the place is much quieter. I feel a little apprehensive, possibly the thought of my reaction to yesterday’s cannula insertion and the fact that yesterday’s process is fresh in my mind. It may also be that should I have a diagnostic outcome, which suggests an ICD is required, this will bring some changes to my life going forward both mentally and physically at least in the short term.

It is somewhat strange to be writing about this on RTW motorcycle blog, but this is part of our journey and depending on the outcome may in fact be the termination of our journey in its current form. You the reader will have to wait, like me, for the outcome later in this blog entry.

I have noticed that the Vascular Lab as the department calls itself has a logo, maybe they do a label we could put on our motorcycle top box with other flags and logos from our travels. Wow I must be bored to write this, back to the Reader Digest it is.

Been here some four hours waiting with nothing happening, been reading, writing this blog, playing games all on the iPad Mini 2. Very useful tool, it took both video and photos for yesterday’s blog entry as well as allow me to write it as I am doing now, five minutes before they start the procedure. I have been advised I will be partially sedated for this test which will last 90 minutes. I have read, unfortunately, that they will be testing my hearts electrics that may end up stopping my heart and hopefully restarting it. Hummm… not my idea of fun, but us bloggers need to keep giving our readers new adventures to follow or they may desert us. For those of you who have said they feel they are riding with us on this journey, you may wish to sit this particular ride out. Oh here they come for me…. See you soon.

Onto the bed in in lab 3 again, the setup similar to yesterday. A new team to talk to as they professionally go about their business. A relaxant is introduced to my system to assist with the process by making me feel more comfortable. I feel relaxed and my next vague memories is of being in a bed in the ward. So much for user involvement in the process! They must have turned the sedative flow rate up to maximum to keep me quiet. Whatever they gave me really knocked me out – so much for mild sedative, I missed everything, but THE NEWS IS THE BEST, no ICD required, they were unable to induce a VT, hence the reason I was knocked out. I am good to go and I will be able to travel on with only the addition of some beta blockers to add to my current medication. South America is back on the agenda, once we have sorted the medication out.

My thanks to Bianca, Bree, Delwyn, Joel, John, Meredith, Wayne and the other members of the Vascular Laboratory team whose names I have forgotten and all the staff at St Andrew’s hospital.

– Anthony

The morning after

The morning after

22 comments on ““Seconds out. Round two”

  1. Now we can all – and especially Anne – breathe again. You know, once The Book is published, librarians won’t know which category to file it in : travel, of course, but also humour – you have bravely treated us to that in these two current blogs – whereas the beautiful photos that accompany each episode will make it worthy of being a coffee table book. xx


    • Yes Anne can breath again. I tried to make it both factual and inject a little humour in as well. Not sure that the libraries will be stocking our book. I think it will be a limited edition with small circulation numbers.


  2. Woohoo! Such a great outcome all things considered and a huge relief I am sure for you and for Anne. All the best with getting the meds dosage right – it’s not an exact science. So glad you will continue your journey and this armchair traveller can live vicariously through your blog xx


  3. Pleasing to hear you are good to go. When you say a “stress test” are they going to lock you in a room with you-know-who and monitor your reactions ? Actually, I was getting worried that I might have to complete the RTW trip for you.
    Giddy up !
    Throttle on both of you.


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