Option #2

Nov 18, 2017 | 1 comment

Nyel Under the Sterile Blue Tent

Yesterday was a very full and completely draining day if both of those things are possible simultaneously.  It was a day of the PICC (aka Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) Line and the Urinary Catheter Leg Bag insertions.  Plus, an Echocardiogram and a Right Heart Cath (aka a pulmonary artery catheterization).  Most of it (except the Right Heart Cath) happened in Nyel’s hospital room which, for the insertion of the PICC, was made sterile within a three-foot perimeter of  the patient.


The Big Deal was the Right Heart Cath –or rather what was conveyed to the doctor through that procedure.  He, in turn, explained that information to us around 8:30 last night in “the talk” which all of us dread.  Essentially, Nyel’s heart is pumping at about half normal capacity while, at the same time, the pressure from the fluids in the heart is at about twice what would be normal.  “If you took a fully inflated football and added enough air to make it twice its size, you know what would happen,” he said.  Way too graphic… but the analogy was clear.

The Masked Companion

He then went on to explain Nyel’s options which are (really not) three.  Option #1 – Do nothing resulting in death; Option #2 – Insert a heart pump which is a battery-operated device which will assist the heart do its job; Option 3 – A heart implant for which the cut-off age is 70 and for Nyel, at 74, is a non-option.  It’s probably an absolute no-brainer to say that Nyel chose Option #2.

The doctor said there is a ‘huge’ list of qualifying conditions, but he thinks Nyel is a good candidate.  He recommended that it be done at the University of Washington Medical Center – “the very best place” for this cutting-edge procedure.  Nyel, as a UW grad felt good about that and he and Dr. Reddy joked about an alumni discount.

Dr. R. will start the inquiries to the U on Monday.  Other than that, we have no timelines at all.  First, we have our fingers crossed that Nyel will ‘qualify’ and that it will all happen sooner rather than later – even if it means putting plans for our Christmas Party on hold until Valentine’s Day.  Which, come to think of it, might be appropriate all the way around!

1 Comment

  1. Jane E Smith

    Sydney, my dad had his valve replacement at UW Hospital…..fine with me since I am a Husky. The cardiology and cardiac surgery department took such good care of him! I hope Nyel meets their qualifications!


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