My yearly heart checkup.

(Revised/Updated on Sep. 23, 2020)

My yearly heart checkup.

The last few days/weeks were a bit busy and we had really hot weather here this summer.
Hot weather is not really good for me because, with warm weather, the heart needs to work harder.

At the beginning of this month, it was time again for my yearly checkup.
Normally every half year, I have a checkup of the pacemaker/ICD, to make sure that things are okay and that the battery is still good.
But also every year I have the checkup of the pacemaker and a meeting with the cardiologist to see how things are and if there are new things.

This day would be a busy morning and almost the whole morning I would be in the hospital.
It started first with an ECHO.
With this, the doctor would like to see if there were any improvements after the change/upgrade of the pacemaker.
And also to see if the medication is doing his thing.

After that, I had my pacemaker checkup.
This is an easy thing.
They just put something shaped like a computer mouse on your shoulder and connect with the pacemaker.
And read out all the important data.

They told me that the battery was still good for around 8 years.
It should be, considering that it was just placed maybe 7 months ago.
Also, there were no signs of any heart rhythm problems.
All the other things also looked okay.
So, the next checkup would be again in 6 months.

After this, I would have a waiting time of maybe 45 min before I would have my talk with the cardiologist.
But after maybe 10 min, I was already called in.

According to the results of the ECHO, there was a slight improvement in the heart pump function.
It went from 15% to 20%
It’s not much, but all things count.
After some questions from the doctor to me and looking at the ECHO results, he told me that he thinks that there is still some small improvement to gain.
He would like to do an Optimization Echo.

What they do is, first they will make a new ECHO.
Then someone from the pacemaker/ICD department will make some changes to the settings of the pacemaker.
After that, they will make one more Echo and look at the results.
Then they will make some more changes to the settings of the pacemaker.
Then again an ECHO and see the results.
This will go on until they found the most optimized settings.

He cannot tell me how much this will improve the pump function.
But for myself, I think it will only be a small improvement.
The only thing I can do is wait and see.

We also talked about the situation of the kidney.
According to him, there is a way for the medication.
For some short time, I could switch to a different medication, that would have the same effect but is better in case they would operate on me.
He wrote this also in my medical file, so the kidney specialist also could see it.
But for now, just wait until the appointment is there for the Optimization Echo.

In the meantime, the kidney specialist had called me and we talked about the current situation.
He is still not sure about everything and wants to wait until the optimization ECHO.
He also will talk to his team and see if maybe someone has a bright idea of what they could do.
For now, he will go on holiday, so it will be in September before we will meet again.

Again, for now, I only can wait and hope for the best.


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