Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Pericarditis

I was back to the hospital yesterday. This time just for blood work. It is pretty amazing how much they can tell about your health from a blood sample. Within a couple of hours the hospital phoned to tweek a couple of my medications.

Tomorrow is a pretty big day for me. I am back at the hospital for more tests. The result of these tests will help the doctors determine the course of action they will take with me. My stay in the hospital last week was very interesting, parts enjoyable. The results of the medical tests and what not, not so good.

St. Boniface is a teaching hospital. In the cardiology department naturally there were quite a number of them. It turns out I am a prime example of an ailment that possibly may be a once in a life time opportunity for the student s to see, to learn about and to help them possibly diagnose in the future. I was happy to oblige as various groups came around to my bed side. I do hope and pray though that I am the only patient they may see with this condition.

I am going to try to explain this but I am not a doctor and have a terrible memory. Keep that in mind as I try to explain things as I understand and remember it and should not be used as any sort of medical reference.

Our hearts are contained within a membrane sack. This sack expands and contracts with the beating of our hearts. Occasionally though for a variety of reasons this sack can harden or stiffen or as in my case a part of it has. This hardened area restrict the heart from expanding to its full extent when beating. This restricted pumping action does not allow the heart to effectively pump as much blood through the body as is required. This reduced blood flow causes issues such as fluid build up and retention, problems breathing, lack of energy. Geesh, that sounds like me.

Solutions, open heart surgery. The hardened part is cut out creating a window, allowing the heart to beat more freely plus drain the fluids that will have built up around the heart. Doctor described this surgery as being particularly brutal on the patient and more difficult to recover from. This leads to the next question, after 5 heart attacks is my heart strong enough to make it through this process.

The second issue involves another blockage in the heart. I have had an angioplasty in the past, several of them actually. Experience tells me this is a very safe procedure with almost no discomfort for the patient. EXCEPT, in this case. As I understand it, my blockage is in a very difficult to access position. It is also located at the junction of 2 arteries. Being at a junction the 2 arteries form the shape of the letter Y. My blockage has wrapped itself around the inner fork of that letter Y. This just means it would have to be treated as 2 sperate blockages that have come together at the intersection.  It would mean doing one side first then pulling out to go back in the second vein for the second side. This is deemed very high risk as a piece of the blockage at the tip of the junction may well break loose. This would very likely cause a heart attack right there and then. Now there is just no place that is good to have a heart attack but I suppose if you do have to have on, being on an operating table in the cardiac unit of a hospital would be the place to do it.

I am back at the hospital tomorrow for more tests. This is to help the docs decide just how strong this old ticker of mine is and what or how much they feel it can put up with.

If it is decided the heart isn’t strong enough for either of these procedures. That brings us to option 3. Do nothing. This though is done knowing tha with that blockage there, it is in fact just a matter of time until that last heart attack comes.

Right now I can’t really say I am to excited about any of the options that lay before me. It is like they are yuck, yuckier and yuckiest and I can not decide which I think each option is.

After the tests tomorrow, the doctors will get together, brain storm and come up with their recommend course of action. I will be hearing from them one day next week. I have total faith and trust in my doctors, they are nothing short of amazing.  I have been so very blessed in my life time. Our Heavenly Father has always place the right people in the right place to be there just when I need them. it has always been that way and I can’t imagine it has changed now.

I think it would be fair to say I am a little apprehensive about this whole thing, a little nervous. But, I certainly am not afraid. I know I will survive, be it in this life or the next but I will survive. I am though kind of hoping it will be in this life.

17 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Pericarditis

  1. Jennie says:

    I’m glad you have such excellent doctors Bill. Sounds like some difficult decisions ahead.

    As always, you are in my prayers.

    (Try to keep your gown closed in the breeze this time, okay?)


  2. Cat says:

    Ugh, Bill, I agree. None of those options sounds particularly good. I will keep you and your doctors in my prayers and hope they will find that your heart is stronger than they imagined!

    Coincidentally, I am taking my father to the hospital tomorrow for an angiogram. He had a heart attack about four years ago and this week his doctor noticed something very worrisome on his EKG and ordered him to come in for an agiogram right away. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts while I’m there, as well!

  3. Mel says:


    And like you, I can’t decide which is which–I just know none of them looks to be easy/comfortable choices.

    I hope the testing went well.
    I hope that the physicians came to some conclusions that will give you greater peace to make the decisions you’ll need to make.

    You know you’re loved bunches and lotsa.
    And we’re all praying for you and yours….and for that peace……

    ((((((((((((( Bill )))))))))))))))

  4. Jill Cooper says:

    Prayers for you as always. And may you be blessed with peace and calmness as you await the doctor’s recommendations.

  5. Cat says:

    Bill, I hope you got good news today! My dad’s angiogram results were not so good. He’s got a 60% blockage in his left main coronary artery and will be having a triple bypass tomorrow morning. I will definitely be praying for both of you!

  6. starlaschat says:

    Yuck, yuckier and yuckiest, did I get that right? Sigh it’s tough when life hands you choices like this. It’s nice to look back and to see how the right people at the right time have always been there for you. I will keep my prayers going for you and your family. ;+) By the way I thought that you explained the medical stuff very clearly.

  7. Gloria Allen says:

    Good Morning,
    Your post brings to mind Mother Teresa, when she said “I know the Lord never gives you more than you can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn’t trust me so much.”
    We are all thinking of you and your loved ones.

    Take Care,

  8. regina says:

    prayers and good thoughts are coming your way! God Bless! 🙂

  9. Geri Atric says:

    Hello Bill, you can’t go yet (!) have just found your blog! Best of luck to you. Bodies are only temporary, for all of us – but your indominatable spirit will most surely survive.

  10. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    As the hymn says: Be not afraid…I (God) go before you always…Praying for your hospital staff and for you, Wiseman.

  11. Cat says:

    Lots of good thoughts and prayers still headed your way, Bill. My dad’s triple bypass went fine yesterday and he’s already out of ICU and in a regular room. He is doing really well so far, and I’m praying that your luck is as good as his!

    • Mel says:

      ((((( Cat ))))))

      I’m so glad to hear the bypass went well.
      Continued prayers for your dad…

      They can do such amazing things.

  12. Mel says:

    (((((((( Bill )))))))))

    Just sending hugs and prayers.
    Thinkin’ about you……

  13. jel says:

    in my thoughts and prayers!

    sending u and Vi a flybyhugging 🙂

  14. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    Just thinking about you…Prayers are being sent your way, Wiseman.

  15. Betty says:

    Bill – Thinking of you. I know this time must be overwhelming with all the medical appointment, tests, and decisions that have to made. Keep strong. You have so many people praying for you and cheering you on.

    To Cat: Glad to hear your dad is doing well. My husband had quadrople bypass done just six weeks ago and is doing much better than I ever expected. Just be patient as total recovery takes a long time, but it is all worth it.


  16. Cat says:

    Thanks, Mel and Betty! I hope that the worst is over for him and that he’ll feel a bit better each day. He definitely looked much better today than yesterday. It really is incredible what they can do.

    Betty, I’m very glad your husband is doing so well!

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