1-23-14: Mobeen Mazhar, MD (Cardiologist) appointment: Doctor met with Barbara and me to tell us that he had diagnosed me with "severe aortic valve stenosis" and that I needed "aortic valve replacement surgery" as soon as possible! However, I had anemia (not enough red blood cells in blood) and I needed to find out what is causing it and try to correct it before surgery.
2-12-14: Veena Chandraker, MD (Hematology/Oncology) appointment: Doctor thinks that my anemia probably is due to iron deficiency shown in my blood work. She scheduled me for iron infusion on 2-17, 2-19, and 2-20-14 and to begin taking over-the-counter iron tablets once a day.
2-26-14: Veena Chandrakar, MD appointment: Doctor still feels that my anemia is caused mainly due to iron deficiency. She said continue taking iron tablets.
3-26-14: Veena Chandrakar, MD appointment: Doctor feels that my anemia is caused by
iron deficiency, and I was given OK to schedule heart valve surgery. She again scheduled me to have iron infusion on 3/27, 3/28, and 4/1/14. Also, I am to continue taking over the counter "iron tablets" once a day.
4-1-2014: Finalized appointment with Ross Reul, MD (Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery) at Texas Heart Institute, St. Luke Hospital on 4-8-2014 at 1PM.
4-8-2014: Appointment with Ross Reul, MD: Dr. Reul agreed with diagnose that I needed surgery. Said that he did 500 or more surgeries a year (both heart & lung). I feel God had a hand in leading me to Dr. Reul. He had very good bedsides manners - he took his time explaining everything & didn't try to rush. His father is a heart surgeon that trained him. He recommended a biological tissue value. Benefits include not as likely to cause blood clots (also not having to take blood thinner the rest of life - a problem since I have anemia), tissue values actually are lasting longer than 15 to 20 years - now are putting in patients younger than 60. He suggested that I have heart catheterization (procedure involving inserting a hollow tube into an artery and passing the tube into the heart with dye) before the surgery. Dr. Reul also wanted to confer with Dr. Mazher and Dr. Chandraker before surgery.
4-8-2014: Applied to be in a testing program of a new tissue treatment of an aortic value with Laurie Fondren, Research Coordinator of Cardiothoracic Surgery while at St. Lukes. I would be 1 of 15 people regularly brought in to test how are doing for 5 years after surgery.
4-16-14: Dr. Chandraker appointment: Doctor said blood test showed iron deficiency had been corrected; however, I still don't have enough red blood cells in my blood. This should be corrected over time, and I should continue taking the iron tablets. She made an appointment in 3 mos. (after I should have had the surgery).
4-22-14: I found out that Dr. Mazhar could not do the "heart catheterization" because "Obamacare" required my insurance to drop Northwest Cypress Hospital as part of their network. Since catheterization requires you to be an outpatient in the hospital for part of a day, I could not use Dr. Mazhar. However, I can use Dr. Mazhar as my Cardiologist for checkups after I leave St. Lukes hospital.
4-23-14: Made appointment with David Fish, MD (Cardiologist) as 2nd cardiologist for St. Lukes hospital visits and to do cardiac catheterization.
5-1-14: Dr. David Fish 1:30 PM appointment: Met with Dr. Fish's assistant first (good bedside manners) then Dr. Fish (bad bedside manners) to discuss my cardiac catheterization scheduled for Tuesday May 13, 2014 at 7 AM. at St. Luke's Heart Institute Hospital. The procedure is not scheduled for a particular time slot, so I need a Christian book and lots of patience! Please pray that God gives Dr. Fish a lot of wisdom to do the procedure correctly!
5-14-14: Cardiac Catheterization at 7 AM at St. Luke's Texas Heart Hospital: Please pray that God gives Dr. David Fish the wisdom to carry out the surgery including any extra problems successfully! Result: I had a clean procedure and didn't have to have any stints put in my arteries!
5-20-14: Aortic Heart Value Replacement Surgery at 7 AM at St. Luke's Texas Heart Institute: Please pray that God gives Dr. Ross Ruel the wisdom to carry out the surgery successfully without any problems!
5-20-14: Everything with the surgery when sooth! I was transferred to the ICU in early afternoon. I hardly got any sleep that night due to a woman (she was a pastor's wife) staying up all night complaining to the nurse assigned to her and me.
5-21-14: I was transferred to a regular room in the afternoon. My new roommate had been in the hospital since 5-14-14. I got confused that night because the nurse & assistant seemed to come into the room constancy along with the roommate getting up allot. Anyway, I lost control of what the actual time was and I woke up at 4 AM during the night. I turned on a light and looked at my watch and though it was 4 PM when I thought Barbara was supposed to come around 2 PM. I decided to call Barbara and ended up calling our home phone. Brandon answered & wasn't pleased with me & had to convince me that it was still in the early morning. Then he told me that he was going to call Brooke & I asked him not to; however, he did & she wasn't too happy earlier!
5-26-14: I had been told that I would probably be allowed to go home on 5-26-14 back on 5-23-14. I had met or passed all the goals the Doctors had given me. Happy days finally came around 2:15 PM & I was able to scream "I'm Out of Here" as I was wheeled down the hall! I was very tired when I got home.
5-27-14: Living again at home wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought. I slap until 11 AM.