Ok so the news is in... I was accepted to the heart transplant program at Memorial Hospital's Total Heart.
Thats the good news, so now its a waiting game. My heart is not in good shape and not going in the right direction but has to function at a acceptable level until a heart becomes avail.
I am considered a Direct to Transplant paitent... unfortunately I am in the middle of the status as a level 4 on a need basis, but thats higher than a 5 or 6 on the priority list. Then having O blood type is lower on the list. Even though I could have a heart form an O- r O+ donar an A/B blood type can have also use an O heart.
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish
There is still much work to do and I'm still in hurry up mode.. there are holes in my armour. I need to get some stuff done, not covered by insurance so it is starting to get expensive... Need to get all my vacinations up to date, not sure which I have had most but need Shingles and Hep. B, before they will transplant me. Will be going into infectious disease people, hospital visit, for a further workup to determine. (Hep B is because its possible a heart could come from someone exposed without knowledge). Plus I need to gain weight weight I'm down to 140 from 155 after the last couple hospital visits and that ain't easy when you have no teeth and can't even use a straw. Have to wait 6 weeks to get teeth/dentures. Then there is that age 70 clock coming up soon, which does not immediately invalidate me but will be considered.
I cannot travel, and have to answer my phone, part of the deal is to be ready to go if the call comes in at a moments notice.
I have 6 more doctor appointments this week.. cardio doc, electro-phsiologist, and 4 with the heart team.
Its not as simple as sitting back and waiting for the call.
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish
It is very costly and honestly, I used to make fun of hillbilly people that had no teeth. Now I know why people have no teeth, they can't afford dentures! Forget the even costlier implants, it's crazy expensive and insurance pays for none of it MAYBE a percentage off or discount. We have very good insurance and a dental and vision supplement, it covers very little. I hear that even people on medicare can't get dentures paid for.
So, does the VA cover any of it?
Do you have a family dentist you can go to? If so, then get an estimate there it should not cost you. Here on the west coast there are a lot of franchise dental centers sprouting up like Aspen Dental which has an a la carte menu for services.
Medicare, no dental, I have a supplemental policy with Florida Blue VA, No Dental unless its directly related to dental work done while on active duty.
Family Dentist is a loosly used term. I have not bee to the dentist in a couple years, since he retired. We used another since last insurance change, wife did.. I called them and they do dentures, not sure of options, but it will take another 6 to 8 weeks to get them done after the 6 week healing of my gums. I.m kind of looking for a reputable place that has their own lab and can get them much sooner than next year. Dreaming after watching commercials of one day full service add's.
Surely some of the other old geezers on this board have some experience.. there has to be good and bad choices.
Today was a followup visit, turned into a conference with the head doctor and a couple other staff at Total Heart center... Tis the season for hearts, statistics say this is the best time of year to find a 5'11", 150 pound, blood type "O", donor. Plus I am next in their list (this hospital) to get one.
The right side of my heart is now as bad off as the left side making the blood flow not good, and if the electrical system f's up again there will not be much they can do.
They are asking me to come into the hospital asap, get that swan thing put in my neck again and do a few days of observation measuring pressures, then possibly insert a device into my heart that should help with additional blood flow. This is a permanent, at least until transplant, interim solution but can only be done as inpatient. Being inpatient and dependent on the device should make help the body cope with the poor blood flow, make my comfort level better, survival level higher, and raises my priority level on the list waiting for a donor heart. This increases the chances of getting a heart sooner rather than after its to late.
After discussion, no teeth/dentures is still a point of contention, I want them and they want me to have them but neither of us want to miss the opportunity to get a heart asap. Dentist says 4 to 6 weeks... they say we can't wait that long. The heart center called the dentist, (who I have an appointment with tomorrow), he said there is a possibility of getting something semi permanent within the next week to 10 days that I can get by with for a while, but will most likely need adjustments along the way. He can't practice in the hospital and they say I won't be able to go to him. Rolling the dice I'm going for it.
Looks like by end of next week I'll be out of circulation and in the hospital... for possibly up to 3 months and hopefully come home with a new to me used heart.
The device is called an "Impella" and the linked video is narrated by the heart surgeon who will do the tansplant, if you care to see more about it.