Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finally, A Response.

Xray of my new fusion

MRI showing the suspicious fluid which glows bright white

So, I finally heard from my doctor, and I did get some surprising news.

He looked at the scans. He said that the fluid in the picture is not spinal fluid! I don't have a leak. It is actually chemicals that were put in during the fusion. And my fusion looks exactly how it should look at this point in my recovery! So, everything is healing well. That part is a relief.

As far as my return of symptoms, my surgeon believes that they are being caused by my cardiovascular problems. He believes that I will need a pacemaker to stabilize my heart rate and blood pressure. He believes this would alleviate many of my symptoms.

I also talked to my local cardiologist today, since my 30 day event monitor is complete. He is referring me to an electrophysiologist. He also suggested that I may benefit from a new type of pacemaker.

Coincidentally, my POTS doctor, Dr. Grubb, installed the first in this new generation of pacemakers this past June. It is particularly advanced, and especially able to help stabilize both heart rate and blood pressure. [Correction: This is a false statement, which will be amended in the next blog entry.]

Here's a brief article describing this pacemaker:

My next step will be to contact a local electrophysiologist and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Grubb. I understand, of course, that there will be another waiting period.

Wow, I sure get to practice patience a lot.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to keep a good record of my heart rate and blood pressure. I find my current situation to be quite difficult to describe. Also, it's complicated by the multiple medications that are helping to raise my blood pressure, which stabilizes my heart rate, to some extent. It's hard to know how severe my situation would be without these medications.

That's all for now. It's a relief to know it's not a leak. But I guess the saga is never really over, is it? I don't want a pacemaker. I don't want heart surgery. But I would do pretty much anything to feel better at this point, obviously.