Life Interrupted. Part 4.

We were finally moved to another floor; new room with a shower, a pretty view, and even a closet! It’s the little things. The nurses scrounged up a cart for all of our things as we had collected quite a bit. Andy was pushed in a wheelchair, I carried some extra things that wouldn’t fit on the cart, and our sweet nurse, Dawn, carried our Christmas tree. I’m sure we all looked ridiculous. We settled in, wondering how much longer we would be there, still waiting on the biopsy results.

Andy’s doctors determined that regardless of the biopsy results he should have a defibrillator (ICD) put in, based on his heart rate still going up from time to time. This device is would be surgically implanted with a lead that would screw directly into his heart. If his heart rate got dangerously high, it would try to pace him down. If that didn’t work, then it would shock his heart into a normal rhythm. This would keep him safe when it was time for him to go home. “Some people who have this device have never gotten shocked from it. It’s basically an insurance policy,” explained the cardiologist who would be performing the procedure.

The biopsy results finally came back and they were inconclusive, which was disappointing. One of the spots that they biopsied showed slight inflammation, but not enough to determine a diagnosis. Since Andy’s heart seemed to be responding well to the medication, he would be discharged after getting the ICD, and a PET scan. This meant that we would go home with no answers as to what was causing his heart to do this. At least we would have the safety of the ICD.

The procedure went well and Andy had a new, gnarly scar to show off. He had to keep his arm in a sling and deal with post op pain, but this new ICD would be with him forever, and just less than two weeks later would save his life. Once the pain from the ICD surgery faded, Andy just wanted to go home; we both did.

A PET scan was scheduled for December 23rd and after that, we were told Andy would be discharged, just in time for Christmas, ten days after being admitted. The PET scan requires a special, strict diet for the scan to show what it needs to show. Somewhere in the communication we missed the info that cheese is a big no, which screwed things up. They couldn’t do the full scan, but only a portion of it. They would have to do the other portion after the New Year on January 3rd. This was annoying, but didn’t change his discharge process, so he had the part of the scan done that he could and we started packing up to hit the road. …