So I met with the Good Doctor O, and I also did the Mayo cardio gauntlet. You have to train for this like a marathon - 6-8 tests in 7 hours (lost count) in the glass Hab-i-trail that is the Mayo Clinic.
So I'm down 20 lbs from my Myectomy in 08, I've also shrunk in height. Stats on Echo look excellent. Echo took 1 hour & 20 min. Another 30 to verify results. (they run less than a half hour at Cedars Sinai in LA). They now look at Strain, which is a new thing for us HCM'r. Not sure if this is new at other centers, but its the first time I saw it. They take a measurement of the heart muscle (inside & ext diameter) then model the thickness. Then they document the muscle as it flexes during the pump. They then measure selected areas and record how this area (vertical & horizontal) flexes. Now that they have a base map of these sections they can compare how these areas do over time. If the flexes less, there is more thickening and scar tissue. Dr. Ommen explained that they can actually see minute HCM traits before they become more apparent with traditional echo - but they need a baseline to begin with. Again, Its the reason to come to a research center for cutting-edge care.
I also did the exercise test and didn't do as well as I'd have liked. Couple of issues affected it. I have a horrible cold, a bad knee, and a paralyzed diaphragm. That coupled with beta blockers, and ICD and I performed at about 75% of normal non-HCM guy my age. So I got the usual lecture on Cholesterol (I'm normal - but my LDL is elevated), Need to lose more weight (no surprise), and need to get back in the gym (since my syncope in Aug I've not gone).
Good news - No surgery ! The Watchman device is overkill. Not an issue with me since my last documented Afib run in '08 and we're going to go off beta blockers slowly & see how I do. I'm currently on 150 a day (75 am, 50 pm) and were going to just 75 a day for 3 weeks and see, if things go well, then down to 25 and wait again. So now that I know if safe for me to go, I'm going back to the gym, Going to lose another 20 & get off those BB & see if I can do any better on my next visit. Its good to have goals.
There's a prince visiting and the place was abuzz, and this one tech, with the sweetest mid-western twang said to me when I commented on him - "Ya know, he's treated no differently than you, we just accommodate his security entourage - thats it, your just as special to us, don't ya know"
I needed that on this birthday!