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Medical Procedure Bingo

Alrighty dudes and dudettes! Who's up for another round of medical procedure bingo? That's rhetorical, because I'm playing whether we want to or not!

Fun story!: On Friday afternoon I was working ever so diligently at my work desk. My phone rings, "ATRIUM HEALTH" popping up on my caller ID. I answer and a very friendly and chipper voice asks to speak to "Ms. Yah-see." I confirmed that was me, and then she starts speaking Greek!

Ok, not really. But she did tell me that she was calling to go over my pre-procedural information for my cath next week. By this point my brain fired back up again and I ground the conversation to a halt by eloquently responding, "Uh, what?" ...Two decades of public speaking under my belt, folks. Essay and writing contest winner, right here. I'm a THESPIAN, for Pete's sake!

I eventually found the tens of thousands of words in my vocabulary and arranged them in such a way as to convey that I had no idea what she was talking about and could she perhaps tell me when this heart cath was taking place?

"Tuesday!" She said. "The 13th!" She chirped. "Your arrival time is 8:45!"


And then, because I'm polite to clearly psychotic levels, I simply replied with, "Oh, ok. Thank you!"

As you might have guessed, some kind of snafu has occurred that led to this moment. Apparently the scheduling people never actually thought to call me to notify me that they had found a spot for me to have a right heart catheterization done. So when the very nice lady from the cath lab called to go over the protocols for my procedure, I had not one iota of a clue as to what she was talking about. Bless their hearts, amirite?

Now here's a reminder that this was Friday. I was only being told on Friday afternoon that I had a minimally invasive, pretty important medical procedure coming up less than four days later, on Tuesday morning. To be fair, I knew they were going to schedule this for me, but I figured they were booking me a few weeks from now, so I wasn't concerned yet that I hadn't had a phone call about it. I just had a regular follow up appointment with one of the AHFT team doctors on Wednesday morning. (Dr. Garcia was awesome. We liked her.) And I knew that The Team wanted to keep a heart cath on the table as an option for checking on how well I was or wasn't doing. And when she mentioned at my visit that she didn't see me scheduled for one, I told her I hadn't heard from anyone that they were actively trying to schedule me. She looked at me. Then looked back at her computer. Then looked down at all the lab test results I had just given her. Then looked back up at me and asked, "No one has called you to get this scheduled?"


"Huh. Well, to be honest, you aren't one of the patients that I'd say could put this off for another few weeks, you know? You're kind of one of the ones that I'd like to do it, you know, sooner rather than later." And then she gets up and tell us she'll be right back and leaves the room. She's gone for several minutes and then comes back and essentially tells me that someone will be getting in touch with me to get that scheduled. No dramatics or hysterics. Cool, calm, and professional. But I imagine that in those 6-8 minutes she was gone, someone got chewed out. Someone dropped a ball and was supposed to have already been working on getting this set up for me. And she went and made some *ahem* inquiries and then 2 days later I'm getting a phone call from an RN on the cath team before I've even gotten notification from the actual scheduling office that it's been set up.

So that's what happened. For those of you still interested in the boring details of this adventure, the visit was fairly standard except for this. I haven't noticed any issues lately, but my labs weren't so hot. Some of my values were high (bilirubin, A/G Ratio, LDH, and my LDL which is the "bad" cholesterol), and she is concerned that the bad labs and my comically low blood pressure are more clinically accurate for what's going on with my heart and organs. It's possible that my young age and otherwise healthy body have conspired against me all these years in a Watergate level cover up. Essentially she thinks that my body has been dealing with this so long (referring to my lifelong congenital defects, surgeries, and specifically the more recent decent into madness) that it's learned to compensate for me. Which normally I would think is good. A survival tactic, I guess. But in this case, it means that I might be doing worse than I am outwardly presenting. Which is why AHFT had decided a few weeks ago to keep the heart catheterization on the table for me. But now I'm realizing that what I thought was "an option" was actually the option...and AHFT wanted it done.

So here I am putting another chip on my card! How I haven't hit BINGO yet is beyond me...

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