I received the results of my 3rd heart echo. It did not show any fluid around my heart, which the cardiologist was looking for since I’m still getting winded. My ejection fraction has increased from 40-44% to 45-49%!!! My cardiology team is ecstatic that my heart function has improved. Normal range (according to my cardiac nurse) is 55-60+. While I can’t believe it has ONLY increased 5% with all the changes I’ve made and all the cardiac rehab I’ve gone through, the cardiologist thinks this increase is huge…especially considering it was 15-20% after my heart attack. Also, due to the damage that my heart has, it isn’t really expected to get back to normal from what I gather from the doctors. They also say at least we are moving in the positive direction and any increase is great! As for the results of my bloodwork for BNP and BMP, my BNP level was 114. The PA (physician assistant) said that 100 or below is the normal range, but 114 was a good number for me. They don’t start to really worry until the level gets to 300 or greater. Within my BMP, my glucose was 99, which is good, so I shouldn’t be considered pre-diabetic anymore since the last my glucose was measured was in the hospital during all of my drama.
The kicker on this one is that I received a letter from my insurance company saying they will not cover the blood test for BNP because it is determined to be “experimental, investigational or unproven for the diagnosis” submitted with the claim, which is Coronary Atherosclerosis of Native Coronary Artery. Of course, I think this is ridiculous. Thank goodness it was only blood work, but I have NO CLUE what my bill will be!!! If it is a small amount (like under $50) then I don’t have a huge problem with that; but if it’s a large amount, then I will have to appeal their decision, which is allowed. It also says that health care professionals in my insurance network generally can’t bill me for services if they know they are not covered (yet necessary) and they tell me that in advance and I agree to it in writing. No one advised me of such, so I’m wondering if I will get billed. Maybe I will take it up with my doctor first if I do receive a bill. Speaking of…I’m still waiting on a refund from the GI Surgeon for paying for my outpatient procedure in advance when everything was switched to in-patient/hospital stay.
On another positive note, my doctor did say that I can now ride roller coasters and start jogging (I asked about both!). The jogging part is what excites me the most because it’s the only thing that will help me lose weight (I can’t believe I’m not losing weight with all of the changes over the past 3 months). My doctor ordered another heart test, which I’m having done this week. It will be a nuclear stress test while exercising. He said it will help answer all of our questions as to why I’m getting winded when I go up stairs and why I’m having chest pains and tightness. It will take pictures of my heart at rest and under stress to show how my heart is responding. Once the results are back from that, cardiac rehab will let me start jogging (based on the results) so they can monitor me before I start jogging on my own. Ironically, my dad, who now sees my cardiologist, is going for a nuclear stress test (non-exercising) at the same time on the same day but at a different hospital. Cardiac rehab told me that “no news is good news” when I’m waiting on results of the stress test. The unfortunate thing about this stress test is it has a $200 co-pay. Luckily, it’s happening on pay day. Otherwise, not sure how I’d be paying. Medical bills are adding up, and it’s taking a huge toll on my finances and budgeting. Having a heart attack is expensive, people!