Angiography

I’ve had my angiogram done now, and I’m glad to say that not only did the procedure go OK, but also the finding was that I have no coronary artery narrowing or blockage (and apparently this means I’m safe from coronary artery problems for the next ten years).
I’d been really worried about the risks of the procedure, but once I was in the procedure room I was so surrounded by people doing things to me that there wasn’t much room for worry; and of course it was all very routine to everyone else in the room, which helped.
The only problem was that the cardiologist first tried using a wrist artery, but that was too narrow for the catheter (apparently this is quite common) and hurt a bit, so he switched to a groin artery, where I didn’t feel the catheter at all.
Although everything I’d read mentioned the possibility of feeling a bit sick, or getting palpitations, when the contrast dye is injected, I didn’t get either of those, but a slight uncomfortable tightening in the upper chest. The cardiologist explained that that’s because the dye doesn’t have any oxygen in it, so reduces the oxygenation to the heart muscle as it replaces some of the blood that would otherwise have been there. But it was a very brief sensation, and in fact the whole procedure probably took about 20 minutes.
Annoyingly, they were running a bit late; I had thought of my appointment as being at 2:30pm, but I think they gave that time to all the afternoon patients. So I was worrying a bit about getting out in time for the last coach back to Limerick (or the last train, if I missed the last coach), but another patient, who was going back to Limerick by car, overheard and offered me a lift back 🙂

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