ejection, rejection, and erections: an owner’s manual

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On The Mend

Phil’s ejection fraction (the percentage of blood that leaves the heart after it’s pumped in) was at 10 to 15 percent before this most recent surgery, where an ICD-CRT device with a bi-ventrical lead was implanted. A normal ejection fraction is 55 to 70 percent. I’m happy to report that at his most recent checkup none of the nurses were crying.

Funny, when there’s bad news to be delivered, the nurses tell you they can’t really read things, that you’ll have to wait for the doctor. But when it’s good news, they seem to tell you right away. “Oh thank God! Dr. C. will be so happy!” And she was. Phil’s ejection fraction has climbed from 15 to 35 percent. It all might just be an estimate, but it’s one we’re thankful for having. He’ll be examined again in October.

Now, on the atrial fibrillation front, however, Phil’s still in A-fib and flutter 33 percent of the time. The nurse told Phil, “It’s good that your ejection fraction is up, but you’re still in A-fib, which is, without question, damaging your heart. You will need another ablation in October or November, so just be aware.”

The last time Phil had an ablation, he was miserable. And what’s worse, his surgeon told us he had to be very very careful because the heart wall became very thick and was highly diseased, so he had to be gentle in burning that area because it’s likely to perforate. So that’s what we’ll be dealing with come October/November. But in the meanwhile, we’re getting our dance on, busting out ridiculous football touchdown dances with every mention of the word ejection.

I’ll also make the astute observation that ejection is just one friendly "r" away from a good time… and also from the theme of this Greek Tragedy blog.

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  1. This is such good news. It’s wonderful to know you’re still dancing. Someone very wise tells me that’s half the battle. And thank you for sharing all this to begin with. Another someone-close-to-me is getting ready to go through the same thing (he’s at 22percent) and, to be honest, you’ve done more to help us understand the details than his cardiologist.

    Here’s to tons more dancing!

  2. That is awesome. I’ve been hoping that things in that area were not becoming more stressful. Happy thoughts, hugs and blessing your way!

  3. stephanie, i used to read you all the time, fell away, came back occasionally, and recently saw all this going on w Phil. I am so very sorry for all this craziness and I truly applaud your attitude.
    I truly wish you and Phil & the babes the health and happiness you deserve.
    Stay strong– which i know you do!


  4. HA! KL….too funny. Use it or lose it! Keep that man on top of his game!

  5. Yayyyyyy!
    we’re still sending prayers and good thoughts out to you Phil! Glad to get an upbeat update :)

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