Transesophageal Echocardiogram Today

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I go in for my Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE Test) today at 3 at Methodist Hospital downtown. I had a big breakfast because I can’t eat 5 hours before the test, since they stick a tube down my throat to do an ultrasound from inside my body. They also have to sedate me, so Stephanie’s coming with me for the test so she can ask intelligent questions (which I’ve written down) and drive me home, since I’ll be loopy. After the test I should know a lot more about my condition, including when I would need to have surgery and what recovery will be like.

The main question I want to ask is whether I have to have open heart surgery, or if I can do some of the other heart catheterization surgeries that they’re doing for valve repair. I don’t deny I need to have something done, but if I can avoid having them crack me open like a walnut, I’d prefer that. I know Dr. Yee said that they couldn’t do the less invasive surgery because there are two valves, but I want them to go into detail about that.

I also want to know a lot about the surgeon. Like a complete biography, and how many times they’ve done the surgery. And if they’ve ever had someone die on the operating table. Because if this is someone who’s going to drastically alter the course of my life, I don’t want it to be some stranger I meet the day before and then never see them again.

It’s strange, because first I feel much better about this whole thing, but then I’ll get scared and start crying at really weird times, like right before going into a meeting at work. Which is just so graceful. I pick the strangest, most inconvenient times to fall apart.
There are some things I’ve done to prepare for all this though. Since I’ll be preoccupied and won’t be able to write regular scathing remarks about how retarded George Bush is, I took my little flight suit George Bush doll and hung him upside down and stuck pins in him. Not in anyplace vital, just his knees and elbows and stuff. That should hold him until I feel better. If we find out Bush suddenly has erectile dysfunction, you know who to blame.

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Transesophageal Echocardiogram

More health-related googling and blogging for me.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram

TEE or Transesophageal Echo

Basically, I have to have one of these soon to see what’s actually going on inside my heart.

Today I went to the cardiologist (Dr. Yee, Cardiac Care Center, Methodist Hospital) to talk about the results of my recent echocardiogram. While I was there, he was interested in finding out how my heart reacts to stress, so he had me stay and and do a stress echo, which is the same thing as last week, only with exercise. Basically they do an echo, then the put you on a treadmill to get your heart rate up as high as possible, then they lay you back down and do another echo while your heart rate is way up. It wasn’t as fun as the last one; it was exhausting.

They were able to learn a lot more about what’s going on, but they don’t have a really detailed picture of the architecture of my heart, which is where the Transesophageal Echocardiogram will come in. Unfortunately, what that involves is sticking a tube down my throat and doing an ultrasound from inside my body, which means I have to be put under and on an IV, etc. I have to have some one take me and pick me up from the hospital, etc. More complicated and stressful.

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