Today, 235 days after I was discharged from hospital, I had my follow-up Cardiology Check-up. Having waited for such a long time I had mentally built it up to being a big deal, and I was apprehensive as the time of my appointment approached…
Aren’t hospitals are strange places! As I ran the gauntlet of smokers alley and approached the Main Entrance, it occurred to me how different this visit was from my last one. Are there any other buildings where the various users can have such vastly different experiences? As an individual, each visit can have such dramatically different purposes and impacts; births / deaths, delight / despair, mundane / eventful, excitement / dread, etc..
Fortunately for me, this visit was short and positive. I had an ECG on arrival, again bringing back memories of my previous visit as my chest was shaved to improve the contact points. One big difference this time, however, was that everything was a little more relaxed!
After only a few minutes, the Cardiologist was ready to see me. He reviewed my notes, took my Blood Pressure and asked a few questions:
“Everything’s Perfect!” Dr, Noman (My Cardiologist)
I took this to mean “Thing’s are as good as they could be.” Which is also pretty good!
Again, everything was more relaxed, so I had a chance to ask some questions:
Dizziness? Due to medication. There are some options, but I am on the optimal dosage and should stick to it if I can. The best approach is to take my time when getting up (See Golden Rule #1).
Sensations in my chest area? Consider them normal, as long as it doesn’t feel like I did before I was admitted last time (i.e. as long as I don’t feel like I’m having a Heart Attack!).
Exercise? To be encouraged, as long as I don’t feel pain in my chest. Make sure I eat properly to minimise the dizziness.
How hard can I safely exercise? The drugs should prevent me from going “over the top”, but keep an eye on my Heart Rate (120 is a sensible upper limit).
My sponsored cycle, 300 miles over four days? (This prompted a little more thought…) I hadn’t previously had a Physical Stress Test, so we went back to the images of my Angioplasty. [I should have realised, but the whole procedure had been recorded. Not me on the hospital bed being brave, or the attentive staff, but the business end of proceedings (i.e. my Heart).]
Last time I saw the images, I had a lot on my mind! I’ve spent so much time thinking about what’s going on inside me since last June, it was amazing to see them again!
The conclusion was that the damage to my Heart itself was minor and the narrowing of my other arteries was not sufficient to restrict blood flow, so I’m good to go! So good in fact that there’s no need for any further follow up visits unless something happens at my end.
So, the final “thumbs up”, I can really start training rather than exercising now, as long as I obey the rules…
Golden Rule #3: Make sure I am properly fuelled before (and while) doing exercise.
Golden Rule #4: If I feel dizzy while exercising, stop and refer to Golden Rule #3.
Golden Rule #5: If I feel chest pains while exercising, STOP!