Yesterday I had an interesting, but unnerving experience. Earlier in the week, I failed an ecocardiogram, so the cardiologist suggested that I needed to have an angiogram. When they do an angiogram, they poke a hole in your femoral artery (not something I like to think too deeply about) and then thread a tube into your heart cavities. They they inject some dye and take pictures to see what your heart looks like.
So there I was, lying on a long table with a tube going into my heart. I could see the screens and see my heart beating on tv. They’d given me 5 mg. of valium, so I wasn’t too worried about anything anyone might do to me. I really got caught up in the fascination of the whole thing–that it was possible to do such a thing. Not only possible, it’s downright routine. My doctor does about 700 a year.
The first person who did anything like this was back in the 1920’s–As I recall, it was a German doctor who threaded a tube into his own heart from his arm and then x-rayed himself to prove it. You’d gotta hand it to that kind of a pioneer! I can just hear his wife saying, “You’re going to do what?” I mean what kind of person would dare be the first to do something like that?
Well anyway, even though I have been a good vegetarian for 18 years, my heredity has given me high cholesterol, which has blocked 20% of one artery–not too bad, I guess. I will just start taking a better cholesterol-lowering drug and proceed with my plans to walk in the Indy mini-marathon in May. I am going to report on my exercise here, because I think that would give me an incentive to stick to my plan (I hope it won’t be too boring!) I can’t exercise for a week because of the whole thing with having a major artery messed with, but after that, to the gym I go–wait and see!