August 30, 2016
Today is Den’s 3 month check in for the Momentum III study. He has lots of stops to make today, as usual. First up is to get his blood drawn for the lab tests. (This is always the quickest stop when we are here.) Den is also have a RAMP study done in the Cath Lab so he doesn’t need an echo cardiogram now (it is part of the RAMP later). Next we have his 6-minute walk. Den surprised me today by walking 700′ with no stops and walking for the entire 6 minutes. This is a big improvement over the last walk he did 3 months ago!
Our next stop was to see the LVAD Team. They asked if we would participate in another study. This study was called Prognostic Significance of Physical Exam in LVAD Patients. The researchers were trying to see if they could predict what changes would be made from the RAMP Study. For Den it only involved a quick physical exam, which they did right there, and signing the consent form. Everything else was just on paper.
After we left the clinic, I took Den up to the 7th Floor of CCD to check in for the RAMP Study. We checked in at 1130AM. They called for Den to go to Pre-op at noon. The nurses are all fantastic at U of C! They did the usual vitals and got an IV site in Den’s right hand. They finally took Den to the Cath Lab at 245PM and I went back to the waiting area on the 7th floor. The procedure doesn’t take long so I went straight to the cafe to get something to eat. I hate eating in front of Den when he has to fast for a procedure, so I try to wait until I am out of sight before feeding my face.
For this procedure, they insert a probe into Den’s heart thru a vessel in his neck. After the probe is in place, they measure the pressure inside the heart. Once they have that number, they take the speed on his LVAD down to it’s lowest setting (4800 for Den)and take a new pressure reading. They increase the speed by 100 rpm and repeat until they get to the top speed of the device (6200 for Den). They then review all of the readings and the information from the echo cardiogram that is happening at the same time and choose a speed that is best for the patient.
The procedure was done by 345PM, and I was back at his side by 415PM. The nurse told me that there had been no changes in Den’s LVAD speed. And we could leave in about 2 hours. I had brought some cheese and fruit for Den to eat and the nurse asked that I wait until Den had finish the juice that she had given him to drink first. My sister, Meg, had come down this morning to make sure Em had a ride home from school, so we didn’t need to worry about getting home quickly.
The only thing that I dislike about afternoon procedures is that we end up driving home in rush hour traffic. The drive was slow, but we made it home safely. Meg decided to stay for the night and drive home after the morning traffic died down. She had even made dinner for all of us and had it waiting when we got home. She is definitely one of a kind and a keeper!