My angrygram

Military Medical Standards For The Heart - Enlistment Or Appointment

I’m back at home after a couple of days in the Mount Hospital for an angiogram (angrygram, geddit? I hardly need one of those). For most of the past year or so I’d been noticing little twinges of angina in my upper chest, and late last year I thought maybe I’d better do something about it.

Well, lucky I did, because the angiogram yesterday showed a heart blood vessel was 90% blocked. I heard the surgeon say the word severe while I was on the table, so he put a stent in, my seventh. It looks as if I was lucky, “dodged a bullet” as they say. It was easy and I feel fine. This was the third stent operation I’ve had and just another of many of these heart probes. This one was through the arm, thank goodness. I’ve had several through the groin into the femoral artery and I don’t like those because of the pain when the local anaesthetic needles go in down there.

Not to mention the difficulty one surgeon had in finding the artery, occasionally. I remember one procedure where the surgeon was grumbling and muttering as he couldn’t find it. Thank goodness he wasn’t too proud to say so and called for another surgeon to assist him, successfully.

Brrrr, those catheter lab rooms are cold. I don’t know why. Possibly so that the surgeon doesn’t perspire? I was on the table being prepped (by those lovely nurses – so competent) and this guy came in wearing what looked like a Hawaiian shirt, all floral patterned. He mumbled something like my name as he brushed past but I didn’t quite hear him. He came closer and repeated the greeting, and as I was seeing him upside down and in that shirt, I still didn’t immediately recognise him. It was the right surgeon though, so I let him go ahead. Heh heh.

Then it was back to the ward with a plastic pressure strip on my right wrist artery where he’d gone in. No problems, no bleeding.

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I’d been allocated a shared room and a guy was brought in about 5.30pm for the other bed. Holy smoke, the noise for the next three hours or more! He was the same age as me but had not much idea of his medical history and present complaint, or what medications he was on. The resident doctor had to prise it out of him, with his wife there too (all behind a curtain) not being much help.

Finally the noise quietened down and the people left, but then the coughing started (or continued, I suppose). Loud, hacking coughs every 30 secs or so, sharp, unrestrained. I thought, help, is this going to go on through the night?

Finally about 8.30pm I asked the nurse if there was another room available and she was very nice, went away and came back and said “Follow me”, so I was moved to another room, a private one with a great view out big sliding glass doors to a balcony overlooking the Narrows Interchange Gardens with all their leafy trees. Aaah, bliss. The nurse came back with all my things soon afterwards and I had a good night. The food was dead boring – I must remember not to say diabetic diet next time.

I had a reasonable night’s sleep, interrupted three or four times for a pee. Looks like prostate might be next on the agenda. I awoke right on sunrise, 5.30am, to the sun flooding in through the trees and those big glass doors. Lovely. Australia Day, 26 January and perfect weather, 28C, balmy breeze. Keith gave me a lift home, thank goodness. I caught the train in yesterday and taxi from the city centre to the hospital, but I felt a bit weak and tired this morning so didn’t want to walk too much today. Nap time now, quite sleepy. More later.