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February 2023 - Heart Catheterization

February 2, 2023 ---Still waiting on the insurance company to approve my heart catheterization. Had an appointment on Monday with a nurse practitioner who didn't seem to know much about my status. She was reading her paper and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or hadn't researched myself. Yes, be your own advocate because no one else will.

I've had some kidney pain and they checked my blood on Monday. Everything was normal, again. They told me I was having kidney spasms (didn't even know that was a thing) because of dehydration. Say what now? "Don't drink too much because you'll retain fluid. You're on a diuretic which is removing all of it but you don't want to put back what your body got rid of." "Reduce your salt because it makes your body retain water." So guys guess what happened? I reduced my salt and my water and my body didn't like it. Fricken awesome. So glad there's good direction as to what the hell I'm supposed to do. It's a fine line. Oh and now I have to watch my potassium intake too because of the new drug.

Yesterday, I began to crave salt. I listened to my body. I ate a beef stick and I put salt on my dinner. I drank water like I used to before I knew of this heart crap. I thought for sure I'd wake up bloated and miserable. Nope, didn't happen. I actually lost .4 lbs (remember I have to weigh myself every day now) and I feel BETTER!

February 10, 2023 --- Heart catheterization update:

This is the arm that was abused today. The white part took about 20 minutes to stop bleeding. Both that and what's under the bandage are arteries so it makes sense. The other arm the nurse missed a vein and then had to put the IV in my hand.

While it was a long day, the heart catheter revealed that my arteries are clear and my pressures are normal. So, there's no easy explanation at to why my heart is so weak. They've added medication #3 and he told me I'd end up on 4-5. I go back in two weeks for more blood work and an appointment. Another echocardiogram is in my future too at some point to see if my heart is improving.

Thanks for all the love and support. I'm home and cannot use my right wrist much and have to be really careful for the next 72 hours. I'd imagine my arm and wrist will turn pretty colors too. I'm thankful the results are positive and sincerely hope things improve from here.

February 14, 2023 --- I'm trying real hard to celebrate self love. My health journey as of late has been arduous. I've had 7 appointments in the past 38 days and 6 of them required labs. Doctors don't talk about the mental health challenge that comes with all of this. Not only was the diagnosis what felt like a death sentence but all the poking and prodding since has been intense. In light of all that, I'm focusing on giving myself grace and compassion, trying to love myself as much as I give love to others.

February 27, 2023 --- Follow up with the cardiologist office today. They're stopping one medication to add another. They can't just add another while keeping what I'm on because my blood pressure is too low already (all the meds lower blood pressure to help the heart rest and use less oxygen). The goal is to give my body the max it will accept of this medication cocktail. Once they've done that, they will schedule another echo.

If the echo shows no improvement in my ejection fraction, there will be a discussion about a pacemaker or ICD. The other option is to have me go to UW Milwaukee or UW Madison for further assistance which my guess would be experimental? That is all a conversation for the future. Fingers crossed we don't have to talk about all that.

There's a referral now for cardiac rehab to help strengthen my heart and lungs. Exercise!! Yay!! Kidding, totally kidding. Never have I ever been excited about exercise . It's for the greater good though so I will do whatever it takes. I'm a fighter like that.

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My body has boundaries and I'm not a fan. Ugh.

I had to wait to post this until I was able to remove myself from the emotions. What a rough few days. I've shed a lot of tears over this. Unfortunately, it's not the first time nor do I think it will


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