I had my post-surgery follow-up appointment with my cardiologist today. It was our first meeting where she only had positive things to say. I’ve been used to her being serious, trying to convince me that I should have surgery. She’d usually refer to a sad story about one her clients who was young and healthy dying too soon, to try to scare me. Today she didn’t have to. She got what she wanted and I’m slowly beginning to believe that I did the right thing.
She said my scar would always be a reddish tint. In time it would not be as noticeable. She said I had one of the cleanest and smallest scars she’s seen.
She said my low blood pressure is nothing to worry about. It’s common for thin, fit women to have low blood pressure. I asked if 98 over 38 doesn’t worry her and she didn’t flinch. Okay then.
I asked her if I could do any sport now, expecting her to say yes. She said I could do anything but competitive sports, using examples like Olympics and Common Wealth games. I said no problem, I’m too old for that. I asked about doing a triathlon and to my surprise, she said no. I asked why. Her answer, “The surgery took away the thickening to decrease your chances of cardiac arrest but you still have ‘abnormal’ heart muscle.”
That was a lot to take. Apparently I will always have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy despite being fixed up. My chances of fatal symptoms are slim but I still have the disease. The surgery didn’t end that.
I asked her more examples of what she means by competitive sports. Floor Hockey, which I was hoping to now do is considered competitive. Unless I join a female league (WTF!). Did I mention my cardiologist is female?
Interval training is okay. What it comes down to is as long as I’m in control of my intensity and not at the control of someone throwing a ball my way and causing my adrenaline to go up suddenly is the difference. It was a lot to take in but it does feel good to have more cardiovascular capacity and I’m excited to start doing intervals.
She said I’d never get Life Insurance, which doesn’t really bother me. I have to mention my disease on travel insurance. In fact, I always have to mention my disease when filling out any medical forms. She said she’d back me up if need be saying I’m not a high risk patient if I ever need, but no letter writing would get me Life Insurance. As I said, that doesn’t bother me.
We left it that I’d see her again in a year.