Tuesday was essentially a wasted day. I was feeling better until the coughing began and the last diagnosis was that I had some sort of infection – most likely in my artificial valve(!!). We were supposed to do tests to confirm that diagnosis but instead nothing happened. What a misegas! I had been carted down to the exam room and was being prepped for the TEE when the doctor, who I’d never seen before, told me he wasn’t going to do the procedure because I had trouble last time and he wanted confirmation from the Gastroenterology that is was OK to proceed. I don’t blame him for being cautious; I do blame him for wasting my time on something that was clearly on my chart and could have been dealt with on Sunday had he bothered to read it. The rest of the day was a series of finger pointing and back an forth until consensus was reached. Meanwhile, the whole time I was kept POS (nil by mouth or no food/drink) for 22 hours while they duked it out. It certainly didn’t do my diabetes any good and I let all and sundry know my displeasure on no uncertain terms.

The TEE (or Transesophageal Echocardiogram) is an amazing but highly uncomfortable procedure. Essentially, a probe is stuck down your throat until it is where the heart is. Since there’s no bone between the esophagus and the heart the doctor can get great pictures without invasive surgery or the “staring at the shadows” that is sometimes necessary with CT scans. The drawback is that having a probe shoved down your throat is as comfortable as it sounds.

Tomorrow’s plan is to do a TEE on my heart valves and of they see signs of infection. They should have caught it early enough that it can be taken out with antibiotics. My cough is still a doozy – coughing drives my blood O2 low enough that I’m back on Oxygen. They are supposed to move me to a “normal” room tonight since I’m supposedly out of danger.

Thanks for all the good wishes and hope that the #$#$& goes as planned tomorrow!

Tom IV

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