Well, my TEE is not scheduled until Feb. 8th. To me that seems like such a long time to wait for yet another test. I just want to have this surgery & get it over with.
Yes, I want it done right and correctly, and I want the best for me. I just hate waiting.
Well... the good news: My arteries are not clogged or blocked. The bad news... Dr. Okada could find a wire/cath small enough to get throught the tiny, narrowed opening of my aortic valve. The next step is to have a TEE. Apparently they need to get some kind of measurement as to how narrow my valve opening is. I personally do not see why I need yet another procedure - it should be blatantly obvious that my valve is narrowed significantly and needs to be replaced.
Anyway...before the procedure was an absolute nightmare. Dr. Okada's office failed to let me know that I would need a pregnancy test. So, I went to the bathroom before I went to the hospital and had not had anything to eat or drink after midnight. Well, since I could not pee, they insisted on doing a blood serum preg test, which takes at least 2 hours to read. So, instead of having my cath at 9am, I did not have it until 1pm. If I don't eat, i get horribly nauseated. I sat for 3 hours with my tummy in agony and NO ONE would give me anything for my nausea. When I got to the cath lab, Dr. Okada told them to give me Zofran stat for my nausea. He also apologized for neglecting to tell me that I would need a preg test. Lesson learned - do NOT pee until you get to the hospital so you can have the fast preg test!
Afterwards, I had the most awesome nurse and tech. She was so sweet and attentive and very helpful. The tech even brought me extra string cheese (YUM!) for dinner.
My leg looks black & blue from the catheter, and it's pretty sore.
Now I wait for Dr. Okada to call me & tell me when I'll have my TEE.
***deep deep sigh now****
I am so not looking forward to this procedure. I am such a wuss when it comes to pain! I have been told that I will be awake for this procedure (but sedated)and I don't want to be aware of the needle going in. I am looking forward to seeing the camera take pics of my arteries & heart though. I love watching the echos when I have them. I'm with you, Captain Bill -- I would love to see a video of my heart surgery. I have a degree in biology from OK State and have always been fascinated by surgery videos.
There are times though when I wish I could just skip over the surgery part itself and go from pre-surgery immediately to after surgery. But, I know I am going thru this for a reason and that God wants me to share my experience with others.
I found out this week that there are at least 2 other people at my church who also have aortic valve issues! That's comforting and surprising as well. It seems they are all coming out of the woodwork.
Well... back to watching football!
Jan - I hear ya about daytime TV...glad you have videos & books! I shudder to think I will be reduced to watching Jerry Springer & Maury! EEK!!!
Well, according to my cardio, the time has come to have my valve replaced. There were significant changes on the echo I had Thursday and the one I had back at the 1st of November. I go for an angiogram/heart cath on Wednesday the 27th to confirm the echo results. Then we discuss surgery & options. I knew this day was coming, but it is always so different when you are confronted with reality. So many things are swirling in my head right now. My co-worker suggested I get a notepad to write down questions as I think of them & carry the notebook with me.
Once I get a surgery date I will start making definite plans. But until then I do not want to bog myself down with details and things. I am not sure how to deal with this emotional roller coaster I am on right now. One moment I want to cry, as if to mourn the old me, the next I am anticipating being able to do so many things without losing my breath. I am sure those of you who have been there know what I am talking about.
I am blessed with an awesome support team though!
The receptionist called & my cardio wants me to have an echo & lab work on Thursday monring and then have my appointment with him Friday morning. I figured he wanted the echo but the lab work surprises me. But, I am glad they called and am looking forward to getting some answers & see what exactly is going on. And, I am going to let the cardio know about how rude his nurse is. Thanks for all the encourgement you guys! It means the world to me. I thank God for each and every one of you. Keep watching for further developments as events warrant!
OK... Why is it that nurses don't feel obligated to return calls in a timely manner? I have been trying since Friday to get ahold of my cardio's nurse so I can report my shortness of breath when climbing stairs (the first time I have experienced this so something is going on) and my constant fatigue. When I finally got a call back this afternoon - after I had left another message this morning and my husband had to call as well - the nurse admonishes me for calling! And, she says she called me Friday after hours @ my work number after I told her in my message to call my cell number first. There was no message on my work # this morning so I think she made no attempt to call me Friday at all. Why couldn't they at least call & let me know that they could not address my concern immediately but would call me back by a certain time? Is that too much to ask? I hate having to be a pain, but dang it, it's my heart! So what if it ends up being nothing? Argh... And why didn't she call my cell/home number as well? She had both of those numbers. Oh well...
Had a good bagpipes lesson today. So far I have not had any shortness of breath while playing them. I really wonder if my playing the pipes will have an effect on how long that ventilator stays in me after surgery? Any other pipers that have had a valve replacement? I do know one of my band mates (I play with the City of Tulsa Pipes & Drums) had bypass surgery & he said that his playing pipes definitely helped. You have to have strong lungs to play pipes, and it takes a while to build stamina. Hmmm... I smell a research study here.
Well... I am waiting for my cardiologist to call me back. He told me to call when I experience either shortness of breath or chest pain. I have been feeling extremely tired recently. I also have clinical depression and female hormone problems (painful periods with heavy bleeding) so I don't know if my fatigue is that or my heart. I did experience shortness of breath after climbing some stairs the other night and that hasn't happened to me before. I also have noticed that my stamina when playing bagpipes is going down. I am so frustrated at slowly not being able to do things I normally take for granted, but I do know that once my valve is replaced I will be back to normal if not better.