Yesterday, March 21 2014, Britney from Cardiac Consultants called to set April 2 as the day for my cardiac catheter procedure at St. Luke’s Mid America Hospital Heart Institute. Dr. David Skolnick ordered the procedure after reviewing the results from tests I took March 14. Dr. Steven Laster will perform the test and when the results are in I will meet “my” Surgeon, Dr. Agerwald. This feels like a loaded test or that they already know my final grade.

This journey began with a routine echocardiogram of my aortic valve as a follow-on to one four  years ago. Dr. Kamath at the Kansas City Veterans Hospital asked, after completing my yearly physical, if I wanted  to find out the current condition of my aortic valve. Some aortic stenosis was noted on the first test so the idea sounded good but the results from the January 2014 test were SEVERE aortic stenosis and numeric measures I did not “grok” (Robert Heinlein fathered the word, grok. It is worth the time to struggle groking its meaning)(look in Wikipedia) but have since learned were measures of my hearts performance.

This is the first but least severe invasion of my body during this cardiac journey. Pictures of a heart cath keep invading my thoughts. My knee’s feel weak and I cross my legs to protect my crotch when these pictures arrive. The “big” one will involve splitting my breast bone, stopping my heart’s operation and depending on a heart/lung machine to keep me alive for a revival from this unreal state when the surgery is complete. I want to vomit and curl into a ball when this movie plays in my head but my other choices are worse. I guess!