Monday, October 21, 2019

Progress made

Every now and then something happens that’s not related to what I’m going through—and, yet it actually is. Today was one of those days, and what happened was good.

Today I met with the cardiology team, an appointment I’ve been waiting some five months for (because my case isn’t as urgent nor as life-threatening as some others are). They agreed that I’m a good candidate for the ablation procedure (something not everyone wants, for some reason). To shorten the story a bit, they’re applying to have me added to the “urgent” list to get the procedure done, though in this case “urgent” could still mean six more months.

So, the senior cardiologist will check to see if my private health insurance covers the procedure, in which case it should be done by Christmas, or maybe a bit after. Merry Christmas!

They use the cryo method that freezes the naughty parts of the heart rather than zapping it with what are essentially radio waves. The freezing method has a higher success rate, which means that more people are fixed with one procedure, rather than needing two or more as is more common with the other method. While it has many of the same potential complications, it doesn’t have all of them, which is good. In general, it carries about the same level of risk as the cardiac stent I got in 2016, and that worked out well.

This has been in process, one way or another, since 2016, when I had my first tachycardia incident (it was a couple more years before I was officially diagnosed with atrial fibrillation—“afib”). It’s only been about the last year or so that they’ve been considering me for this procedure.

All of which means that Nigel was fully involved in this at every step, including taking me to hospital three times, and A&E three times. I know he was worried about me, though he didn’t want me to know he was worried. But after all those years together, I knew what he was thinking all the time, so I knew. I also know that he’d be so happy that things are now, finally, moving forward.

Here’s the thing. On the list of the most stressful things we humans can endure, are death of a spouse and moving house. And now I’m talking about adding a medical procedure—I must be nuts?

The truth is, I’m just realistic. This needs to be done so I can have a proper life, something that I don’t actually have with medication that makes me so tired all the time. And if I was to put it off until a “better” time, when, exactly, would be “better”? How much of my life would I miss out on while I wait for that time to arrive?

No, I need to get this done so I can begin my new life, whatever that turns out to be. I can’t do anything about my ongoing grieving—it’ll take as long as it takes—but the actual stress of Nigel’s death has pretty much ended. Besides, I know full well Nigel wouldn’t want me to put it off.

At the same time, it scares the crap out of me that I might have another afib incident while living here, all alone, and have no choice other than to call an ambulance, no matter how difficult that would be (dealing with the dogs, for example). Nigel took care of me when I had an afib incident and helped keep me from freaking out. That’s all gone now, and I have to rely on myself, and that’s frankly terrifying. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll feel that way.

If I were already in Hamilton, there would be family nearby who could, if nothing else, take care of the dogs without having to drive an hour or more to do so. Obviously, though, even with a long drive there would be family to give me support, but making it easier would be better for us all.

The best solution of all, though, is to fix the problem, and that’s why I’m going ahead with getting the ablation procedure done, and hopefully sooner rather than later. I have plenty of support to help me should I need that—like if everything happens all at once.

Today’s news isn’t directly related to what I’m going through—and, yet it actually is. Nigel knew about this problem, and he’d be happy for me that it’s about to be dealt with.

Things are still fully connected, and Nigel’s still a part of this. That’s extremely comforting.

Originally published on my personal Facebook Page on October 17.


rogerogreen said...

At some point, you might explain WHY some people do not want an ablation. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cardiac-ablation/about/pac-20384993

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

The truth is, I have no idea! There are risks like with any procedure, and maybe people are just worried about them. But for those of us who can't tolerate drugs, this is really the only answer.