4/19/2010- Good news and confusing news

Hi All!

Man, it's been awhile! The good news- I've been feeling really good lately. : ) I'd say I've had about a 3-4 week good run, where I haven't had a bunch of PVC's and I've had good energy. Yahoo! I'm not really sure what the difference is here, but I'm happy for it. Don't look a gift several week run of good heart feelings in the mouth, I always say. : )

So that's the good news...now for the confusing news.

2 weeks ago I had a pulmonary stress test done. This test was a real bear. They hooked me up to a 12 lead EKG (which oddly enough only had 10 leads. I asked for a discount; they said no). I also had stickers on my forehead, a headband with sensors on it, a blood pressure cuff, and I had to wear a mask over my mouth and nose (like in Silence on the Lambs, but with a hose at the mouth). It was quite the get-up. Then I had to ride on a stationary bike.

They started off at no resistance, easy peasy. Then they upped the game. It got really tough, but gradually. I did the bike for 17 minutes! I was all proud of myself because the doctor kept saying "Good! Good! Excellent job!". I was pretty sure I rocked the test and blew them all away with my skill and excercising prowess (being that I've gone to cardiac rehab for WEEKS now). The one scary part was at the very end, my heart rate got up to 184. Sparky starts charging at 188. I had no intention of being defibrillated on a bike, so it's good that that's when the test ended.

So today at my doctor's appointment, I got the results of the test. And they weren't great. My nurse practitioner (NP) talked me through the results, but it was pretty confusing. The gist is that if I had a healthy heart, they would expect me to score a 31 on this test (sorry, I don't know what that scale goes up to...I don't think it's 100 though). I got a 16. 14 is the cutoff for "Severely limited". If I got a 14 or less, the docs would start looking pretty seriously at transplant again. Ack.

My NP was taking the positive approach- "Well, it's 16, not 14, so that's good!". Yeah, but 16 seems pretty darn close to 14. She said this number paired with my ejection fraction of 20% means that even though I'm feeling good and looking good (not bragging here, I just mean I have good color and am perky), these tests continue to tell the story that my heart is quite damaged and we need to keep a very close eye on it.

I decided that I wanted to talk to my cardiologist about this test and my condition as a whole. A State of the Union if you will. So my NP is trying to get me an appointment with the cardiologist within the next month or so.

In better news, I'm going to Las Vegas this weekend for a girl's trip! We are celebrating my wonderful friend Jenny's birthday. Jenny and her sister Sara are my best friends from Red River, NM, where we lived when I was in high school, so it will be awesome to catch up. This is my first trip involving a plane, so that should be interesting. I am going to play this heart thing up big time and am getting wheelchair service at the airport. Brilliant! Anyway, I'll tell you all how the trip goes, but I'm sure it will be fabu!

Ok, that's all for now...

I hope you are all doing well...I love you!

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