Yesterday was a great day at the clinic! My porphyria diagnosis was confirmed (yay!) and I spent the afternoon in the cardiac cath lab.
In the cath lab, there are multiple procedures that can be done (like stenting arteries open, taking tissue samples, measuring the pressure in the heart), but the general purpose is to view the blood vessels in the heart and throughout other parts of the body if necessary. When someone has a heart attack, a blood vessel in the heart becomes plugged up with a clot (in most cases, a pre-existing plaque or small clot breaks a little bit and a bigger clot forms over the new exposed tissue, thus clogging the vessel). The clot keeps blood away from a certain portion of the heart, and those cells die. If a part of the heart muscle dies, it can’t pump as well as your body needs it to and you can have major problems!
When we send someone to the ‘cath lab’, they stick a long tube up the femoral artery(deep in your groin) and follow it all the way up into the heart. From there, they can inject radio contrast and on X-ray, see where a vessel is plugged up.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I took the COOLEST picture of that radio-contrast injected that basically outlined the entire vasculature of the abdomen! In the middle is the aorta, which branches into the right and left iliac arteries. On the right and left above that, you can see vessels heading off the the kidneys on each side. So cool!!!
I think it’s so cool because the picture looks so still- like an artifact- but this person was alive and breathing and when I took this picture, you could see the contrast running through his vessels! This is what is going on inside us right now. Pretty sweet!
After I left the cath lab, I ran to the grocery to pick up some food for the weekend. I’m going home to see my mom for her birthday and it’s a tradition for Kyle and me to make a big birthday meal for everyone! We’ve been doing this for the past few years. I must admit that I selfishly love this tradition because it’s an excuse for me to go home, cook all day, try new recipes, and then eat then with some of my favorite people ever!
I can’t tell you what we’re making- because I will post it Sunday after it’s all made!
Hope you are having a terrific day 🙂