Thursday, June 20, 2013

Time Flies.........

You can't. They're to fast.

It seems like years ago I was laying in the CCU at Shands hospital and being told my only chance for survival was Experimental Cardiac Stem Cell therapy.  No more bypasses, no more stents, no way I was ever going to be on the transplant list. Pretty much Stem Cells or die.

Since then I have had a couple more stents and a few angioplasties, and the results are always the same. Stem Cells are the thing. One day as I was laying in the CCU daydreaming about my nurses there, a doctor walked by doing his rounds with his entourage of baby docs. They stopped briefly by my door and he said to them "That is Dr. A's pt. There is nothing we can do for him" and they walked on by. Kinda pissed me off.

The reason I am thinking about all this stuff today is that I am scheduled for a pretty hairy heart cath/surgery next Thursday. Experimental, Clinical Trial Surgery. I have never been scheduled for one before.

Normally you would get the crushing chest pain out of the blue, fall down screaming and sweating profusely clutching your chest hoping someone was there to take you to the hospital or call 911. You lay in the bed in the Emergency Department, scared to death, in pain and having no idea what is coming next. You get hammered on the GOOD drugs so the world is spinning and you sign something. You could have joined the army as far as you knew, but the pain was lessened so you didn't give a shit.

Next thing you know you are being whisked to the cath lab and the procedure begins. It's over before you know it and you are back in you bed in CCU being restrained by the hot nurses who work there and make it all better.

The secret is that you had no warning, no choice in the matter and you were stoned out of your mind when it began. You had no time to digest what was going on, or being done to you. You were alive and happy so.

What they are doing to me is quite different. They will be injecting 10 spots inside my heart's left ventricle with either a saline placebo or CD34+ Stem Cells. I have known about it for 6 months, anticipated it for 6 months, sweated about it for 6 months, and now the time has come. If that wouldn't scare the shit out of you, I don't know what would.

And I get to think about it, I get to think about it a lot. Actually I get to hope I get the opportunity. Talk about a weird twist of events. I get to hope and pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I will get the chance to have this done to me. I have a 25% chance of not being picked for the program even after all the hoops I have jumped through for the last 6 months. Being in the control group is an early death sentence. The Stem Cell therapy prolongs my time on earth.

All the while trying to maintain my suave and debonair lovable self.

Of which I probably have failed miserably at!

If I have, sorry about that. I have never been through this before. In fact, since this is such an experimental, cutting edge procedure, no one really has. I will be the first person in the NE Florida area to be in this phase of the study if I am chosen tomorrow. There are probably more heart/lung transplant patients in this area than Cardiac Stem Cell recipients.

So now the waiting begins. I will let you know what happens once I get back from tomorrow's appointment at high noon. Cross your fingers for my Randomization.