This Week's Challenges -- Part 3


This Week's Challenges -- Part 3

So, the hospital visit and angiogram are over with. He did well through the procedure and was actually able to come home same day (well, good and not particularly good as he's not a compliant patient but that's another story....)

So the angiogram gave us good news and not so good news.

The good news is that the two stents he already has (one in his femoral artery on the right side and one to the left kidney) are both clear. YAY for that!

The not so good news is that just above the femoral stent and just shy of the main artery coming down (where it splits to become the two femoral arteries) he is completely -- 100% blocked. Thus why they couldn't get a pulse in the right ankle and why he can't walk more than a few steps without extreme pain. From the photo, it appears that the blockage is literally "spilling over" into the second artery (the left one) and partially blocking that one (about 50 to 60%). Doc was able to go past the left blockage yesterday but not the right.

This means he will be going back in for another procedure in a few weeks. We have to wait the few weeks because 1) he is diabetic and as a diabetic, his kidneys don't work as well as they should; 2) they used dye for the procedure yesterday and will use more dye for the next procedure; 3) since he is a diabetic with poorly functioning kidneys, overuse or excessive use of the dyes might "kill" the kidneys. Therefore, to be safe and protect what kidney function he has, we wait a few weeks to completely flush the dye out of his system before they try again.

The doc is planning to try angioplasty and stent placement for both blocked arteries. The left one he feels will go well and without issue. The right one (the completely blocked one) however is another issue completely. He will first try to gain access from the groin. If he cannot get through the blockage in that direction, he will then try to gain access from the arm (snaking everything down the body and "attacking" the blockage from the top). Having to plan for these options, brings the procedure to a potential three-hour long session.

If he is able to get through both blockages and place both stents, the doctor said my husband would be walking pain-free within several days.

If he is not able to get through both blockages, then we are then looking at major surgery.


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Oh, boy, MD, you've had a week! So many ups and downs. \r\n\r\nI love the quote you included at the end of your post. I especially like the suggestion not to obsess (I'm an obsesser.) It's so hard not to worry about what could be next. We can't know so you're right--it's all about the here and now. \r\n\r\nI hope this weekend gives you a break from the roller coaster and that you have time that's just for you and that you get to decide just how you want to use that time.