Friday, December 14, 2012

Update on Dick's health

Loved the coat rack on back of examination room at Dick's most recent appointment with a California cardiologist.

The doctor carefully read the post-surgery report with a few oohs and ahhs at what actually happened.  Finally he looked up and said to Dick, "You were really trying to die."  After Dick explained his recent symptoms, the doctor ordered a series of tests which amazingly all began happening immediately.  The EKG and cardio echogram in the same exam room.  Upstairs for a carotid scan, to the next building for blood work, and another building a short walk away to ophthalmology.

A follow-up appointment to discuss all the results and make adjustments to his recovery plan happens in a couple of weeks.  He did say a normal heart pumps about 50% of its capacity each beat, but Dick's appears to be working at 40%.   

The ophthalmologist said that when Dick's circulatory system failed at the beginning of the surgery and just before he was hooked up to the heart-lung machine, his blood pressure dropped so low that blood vessels in left retina became occluded (blocked).   He could see that new vessels have sprouted and are spreading into damaged area. The occlusion means fluid has gotten between retina and eyeball and can cause symptoms like shooting stars, double vision which feels like dizziness, “bar code” lines in field of vision.  Dick has been experiencing all the these symptoms, but hopefully they will disappear with continued self-healing. 

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