Saturday, December 10, 2005

The final result (for now)

Whew! It's been a while.

Back in November I had an issue with giving blood, where they said they wanted to wait for my next cardiac exam... I guess it would be Bad if I had a heart attack while giving blood? I had a CT angiogram Thanksgiving week. The technology was fascinating, and it showed enough for them to recommend a nuclear myocardial perfusion study. I called the office to schedule it, and the receptionist said, "You want an exercise Thallium?" Sounded about right to me. I had that the following week, and that was very interesting too. They shot me with something radioactive and took pictures of my heart... then put me on the treadmill and repeated the procedure (with a different radioisotope).

You want the pictures to be identical -- that is, the pattern of blood flow into your heart when you're resting should be the same pattern as when exercising. If the patterns differ, then you have an exercise-related blockage which makes you a candidate for some sort of event later on.

In my case, after the last set of pictures, the doctor came in smiling. "Good news," he said, because the two sets of pictures showed there was no significant blockage in those vessels.

So that's good news! I'll bet the blood-donation people will be happy to take my blood now.

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