Monday, December 10, 2012

Worst. Biopsy. Ever!

A couple of weeks ago (November 29th) I went for my year and a half biopsy and although all results came back fine, the procedure itself was horrible. Before I go into that, let me recap a little but that's happened since my last post.

Standing in front of the Tower Bridge with the Olympic
Rings hanging from the upper walkways.
London 2012 Olympics
As many of you know, in July I traveled to London for the Olympics. This was my first trip to London and it was absolutely amazing! Although I was only there for the first ten days of competition I still saw as much as possible. Event wise I saw beach volleyball, basketball and I went the the rowing finals. I didn't get to see any of Team USA until the rowing finals (we won bronze) but I still enjoyed every second of it. As for sights around London, I saw pretty much everything there was to see. From a tour of Buckingham Palace to the Tower Bridge. There wasn't a spot that I didn't try to see. I absolutely loved London and being there during the Olympics added extra excitement around the city. I recommend everyone go to the Olympics in their lifetime.

Summer and Fall
I spent the rest of the summer relaxing and amping up my job search (which has still been unsuccessful). I spent Labor Day in Cape May with Tony and went to a couple of concerts.

Thanksgiving Weekend
Tony and I spent Thanksgiving in Richmond with his college Roommate James, his wife Kathy and their 2 daughters. James works for UNOS. The following Monday, I went to visit the UNOS headquarters and saw the National Donor Memorial. I also got to meet Walter Graham, the CEO of UNOS as well as Andre, the gentleman who HUP talked to about making me status 1A-E (which eventually got me my heart). Everyone who works there seemed very happy to meet a transplant recipient, especially a heart recipient. It was such a great experience going there and meeting so many people who help change peoples lives every day. I also go some serious UNOS swag!

18 Month Biopsy
Back to "the incident."During the entire biopsy I felt as if the woman doing the procedure was unsure of what she was doing. And being that I was laying on my back, head tilted to my left and able to see to monitors, my worst feelings were being confirmed. When they take the actual piece of my heart, they us a fluoroscope to get a live image of the pinchers in my heart. During a typical procedure the fluro is on for no more than two minutes and they take about this samples. This time however, when the procedure was over the fluro time was 5 minutes and 14 seconds and she took EIGHT samples! immediately following my upper chest/shoulders where in pain, especially when I took a breath in. I told the NP in the clinic when I saw her and was assured it was nothing to worry about but if it wasn't better then call later in the week. The week went on and better it did not get. That Saturday night, the pain was so bad I called down to HUP and the NP on call told me I should go to the local ER. Tony and I decided it would be best if I went to The Valley Hospital since I have a history with them and after transplant, my medical records where still being sent there. The doctors thought that I had a Pulmonary Embolism, which is a blockage in the main artery in my lungs. After a few hours and a CT, it turns out it was not a PE but they think it was just my heart muscle itself was very sore from the biopsy (I'm assuming because it took so long and she didn't know what she was doing). I spoke with my NP down in Philly the following week and told them that, although I understand that HUP is a teaching hospital, I no longer want them teaching on me. I'm glad to say that I am now feeling much better and all the pain is gone.
There's still one other lingering medical issue that I'm currently going through but I will save that for another post. It should hopefully be cleared up in a week or two (fingers crossed!).

As the holidays approach and everyone is picking out gifts for their loved ones, take a moment and think of giving a stranger the gift of life and becoming an organ donor. You can do so by clicking here!

Thank you all for your continued support and I wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season and a very blessed New Year!