Friday, June 19, 2009

Patty's in the study!

Hi everyone:

Patty is quite excited that she finished her preliminary qualification testing for the Paracor Heartnet study, and then was chosen for the treatment group (a 50-50 chance). I gave a high-level overview of the study in my May 21 post; if you'd like further details, let me know. You'll probably hear more on this site as things progress.
Patty "passed" in that her heart isn't so weak it needs to be transplanted, nor so strong that she wouldn't qualify. To put it bluntly, her heart still sucks just enough to make her a good candidate for the procedure. Her ejection fraction is still low, which means her heart remains at risk for further remodeling (reshaping, thickening and then aneurysm). This procedure should reduce that risk.

I'm happy that Patty's happy, but nervous about any procedure that involves getting up close and personal with her heart, especially since she's being doing so well. Too often, I'm a believer in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of medicine, although I know that logically this is a very good opportunity for Patty to improve her quality of life in the future. Besides, Patty continues to have periodic incidences of low blood pressure, dizziness and shortness of breath, so this may be a shield against what seems like a possible return of some heart failure symptoms. I'm just a bit worried, that's all; it's not like having a wart removed, and Patty is the queen of unpredictable reactions to medical procedures. Okay, enough whining...

Barring any major changes in plan, Patty should be having the procedure on Tuesday, June 30 at Edward Hospital (no time firmed up as yet). She'll be in the ICU for 3-4 days, and then in step-down for another 3-5 days. After that, she'll need a few low-key weeks for recovery. I will do my best to keep the blog current, so that anyone who is interested in hearing how things went can check in.


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