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Eleventh Hour Craziness....

Jeanette West

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Jeanette West

Let me preface this by building a foundation for the wildness that occurred this week: for my upcoming FFS and top surgery, I had an EKG performed by a local clinic in the first week of December. The nurse noticed something on it and said, "hmmm...let me get an opinion on this", and walked across the hall. She came back almost immediately, scribbling on the sheet, "he said it was fine". Then told me with a smile, "you are good to go"!


Tuesday afternoon the 12th at 12:30 Alaska time, my phone rang; it was my surgeons scheduler in Chicago. My docs' anesthesiologist didn't like the EKG that had been faxed to the surgeons office after two (2!!) weeks of calls, and emails to the local clinic that administered the test, due to "an echo". Okay. So the scheduler is telling me "you need to get in to Anchorage for an EKG ASAP. We called you doc in Anchorage, there was a follow-up scheduled, but it is for February 2". I can hear my doc in the background telling someone of the emergency nature of the necessity to get the EKG, and enormously expensive and serious surgery is riding on it and so on. This did nothing for my heart rate which flew through the roof. I didn't know what to do or say, except I started to get really angry that at the last minute....


Then my doc got on the phone and told me I "have to go in to Anchorage, they'll get you in, but you need to be there, they understand it is last-minute (no -crap-), but we need to get this done". I took several deep breaths, told him I'd get on it, and began making reservations. $1400.00 later I was on that evenings Alaska Airlines flight, had a car, and hotel reserved.


The next morning I called, they told me to come in Thursday morning at 0930 all would be well. I did this, was filling out paperwork when the cardiologists nurse called me, took me into an exam room, asked me a load of the usual questions, hooked me up to a machine, took the EKG (which took 45 seconds), and pronounced me "good". I waited longer for the guy to come in than all of the above. The cardiologist was a very friendly fellow who told me my EKG looked "textbook", asked me a few questions, we BS'd a couple of minutes about the surgery and I was out. I was able to get my flights changed did some shopping, and came home that day.


So...what was wrong with my original EKG? The doc told me one of the electrodes was probably placed a little off. Yup.


Okay, is this pre-surgery jitters or has anyone else had this mess too?

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Jackie C.

Maybe not that PARTICULAR mess, but my spouse kept asking me things like, "What happens if they take one look at you and 'nope' out of there?" There was also, "What happens if they refuse your surgery? Can you live with that?"


I'm a fairly positive person. I like to have contingency plans if things go awry, but I don't borrow trouble. The love of my life borrows trouble enough for the both of us.


I'm glad it turned out to be nothing. I've lost three out of four grandparents to heart disease or complications from heart disease (Number four was throat cancer). ANYTHING potentially funky with your heart is well worth being sure about.



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Oy!  That was an expensive misplaced electrode!  Sorry that happened to you.


I have an intermittent heart irregularity that caused the docs some concern.  I have called 911 an gone to Emerg. a couple of times over the years when it did it for a long time, but it always clears up before anyone gets an EKG on me.


Anyway, my GCS surgeon wanted an EKG just to make sure.  So my local doctor booked an appointment at the hospital, and I got it done.  No problem until a couple of days before the final reporting deadline before my surgery: my file is complete, except they never received the EKG!


Quick call to my doctor: no, they never sent it.  Because they never received it from the hospital lab.  Call the lab.  No, they never faxed it anywhere.  Argh!!  Give them the fax number for my surgeon, tell them to fax it stat!  Finally, a call from the surgeon's office: they got it.  Whew!  Of course, it showed an absolutely normal heart, so I was good to go.


Good luck with your surgery, Jeanette!

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That is so frustrating.  I'm sorry you had to spend all that money not to mention emotional capital.  I do hope your surgery goes smoothly.  You've earned it. 



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Jeanette West

I am laughing at my original post. I was sssooo frazzled...but I am leaving tomorrow night on Alaska 46 8:10 p.m. on the way to Chicago! I am really excited. Thank you for the supportive replies. Everything on my end set, clothes, prescriptions, money, all reservations printed and so on. Once I get there I want to get a relatively inexpensive point and shoot with video so I can record this experience.

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