Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday (Ss Perpetua & Felicity)

One never plans on a day like I had today, but, in the larger scheme of things, I was well-timed, in that my "real" life has been only minimally disrupted. 

Ever since my surgery two years ago to replace my aortic valve, I've had some ongoing mild "chest discomfort" symptoms. I've discussed them with my cardiologist, and only yesterday my new primary care physician and I charted a course to figure it all out. Yesterday afternoon, however, I developed a new twist on my symptoms, something I haven't experienced before. So I decided this morning to check it out at urgent care. As part of that process, they did an EKG, the results of which tripped a decision matrix, and the "standard of care" was for me to be shipped to the ER ... in an ambulance, no less.

Once there, they drew blood for the usual cardiac enzyme test ... one of the steps in diagnosing a heart attack. But they have to draw blood twice, four hours apart, and compare the change in enzyme levels between the two. So I had a lot of just down time, and with nothing to eat. Along the way, they did an echocardiogram--a moderately uncomfortable 45 minute procedure. I also developed a low grade fever. 

Anyway, the enzyme test came back negative--no presence of the relevant enzyme in either draw. Not a cardiac event. But my white cell count was elevated. That, combined with the fever, made the ER resident who looks like he just dropped in from high school football practice opine, "Maybe it's the onset of pneumonia." He prescribed an antibiotic. So I will follow up with my regular doctor on Monday. In the meantime, I'm feeling better than I have all day and plan to stick to my schedule going forward unless something else intervenes.

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