In the pre op getting hooked up to everything. Already have my box of tissues. :(
Yes, tears are flowing. Hopefully I'll make it through all the family and friend visits.
They put me in a purple gown. Guess what color I hate to wear? I won't even wear the purple exam gloves at work! Oh well.
Thank you everyone for all the well wishes. I feel the prayers.
April 30th I thought I was having a heart attack. Went to the hospital. Met an awesome cardiologist named Vu Nguyen who suggested an echo. Then had a TEE and a heart Cath. Met a super surgeon, Dr. Dewan. Now I am going in 2 days for Mitral Valve replacement. I can't believe this is happening. I know God saved my life by letting me find out my heart was sick. Deep down inside I kept thinking something was wrong.....no energy, light-headedness. So thankful it was found. And now in less than 48 hours I will have a new tissue Mitral Valve. Not sure if it will be pig or cow........Dr. Office just said tissue. It will be OK. I have so many people praying. I feel the prayers and the calm.........right now at least. Just need to stop eating so much......but chocolate cake is soooo good today!
Prayers to those in it this week, too, and those on the uphill and downhill sides. We will get through it!
Prayers aplenty? Yes I have so many awesome people praying for me. Today a total stranger in church stopped and said she felt she was supposed to pray for me. Cool, right? I think there will be a lot of people at the hospital with my husband. And Lots of praying. Never will have too much or too many.
Oh my. The day is getting closer. 5 days from now I will be in surgery to replace my Mitral Valve. So many many times I have wished I was not a nurse and had so much knowledge of these procedures and ICU, etc. The pictures run through my head and freak me out. I try very hard to not dwell on the thoughts. When I met with an Anesthesiologist at my pre-op visit, he was surprised I had now focused on the fear (terror, really) of being awake and still intubated (on the ventilator). He would e focused on making sure he had the best perfusionist and concern about being on the pump for several hours. That's one thought I refuse to allow into my head. I know God will bring me through. It's just the things I will have to go through......the steps toward getting out of the hospital and being at home. I just want it to be over. If you are praying for me, please pray especially for the anxiety to decrease and for me to feel the peace of knowing my Heavenly Father holds me in His hands and that I am reminded of His great healing Hands.
And for everyone who has been going through this these past weeks, I wish you a speedy recovery!
My first weekend of not being on call has felt so good. I have so much to do before surgery. I know. I am supposed to be resting and I will rest as much as I can. I will listen to my body's cues for sure. I am so grateful I have a new Cardiologist who was sharp enough to keep looking and trying to find out what was wrong with me. The symptoms were there, but the other Cardiologist just not pick up on them. I am just so thankful to God that someone did find it before I went into severe pulmonary hypertension or a-fib or worse. I don't want to go through this surgery. That's not a choice though. I plan to spend as much time between now and then in the Word of God, reading and doing a Bible study and praying God's Word. I have to be physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared. The God who made the universe is the same God who knows every time this old heart beats. He holds it and me in His Hands. I cannot keep worrying about it.
When I told my awesome cardiologist I was working so very hard and feeling so exhausted, he said I needed rest and could not go into surgery worn out. So my last day of work is Friday. That will give me 1 1/2 weeks to rest and maybe get in a better mindset for the big deal. Hopefully that will be enough time. It's all I have though. I'm confident in my surgeon and my anesthesiologist. I am told I have the "cream of the crop." My cardiologist says I have the best hands in town working on me. And I think I have decided on a tissue valve.......and trust God with the future. I have more peace with that decision.
Soooo....I guess I am getting ready to get this over with.
So, today we reserved an electric lifting recliner. Hopefully it will help me with sleeping when I'm home and recovering. I bought some cheery curtains for the living room......since I'll be spending a lot of time there at first. What else do I need to remember?
I have new soft, comfy gowns and slippers and a new robe. I'm sure we will have lots of visitors. My support team is somewhat large. I am grateful for that. I need all the prayers I can get.
I think I'm leaning toward a tissue valve. I want to be able say, "Yes, Lord, I'm going to trust the future to You. If I am still around when this valve needs replacing, I trust You will take care of it. Just like You have taken care of every single thing in my life these past 60+ years." I don't want to deal with Coumadin and diet restrictions. All the veggies on the list are my favorites. Anyways, I have to decide by the 19th.
So 3 weeks from now I should be in recovery from my Heart valve replacement surgery. I still don't know what type of valve to ask for. I know.....time is running out. Decisions are not always easy for me.
Work is soooo hard these days. Takes all my energy to get through the day sometimes. I am on 24 hr call for the next 3 weeks, but I try to not think about it much past the present. People at work try to help me as they can, but still it's hard. Everyone wants to get their kids' procedures done in the summertime.
We called about renting an electric recliner for a few weeks so I can sleep in it and also not have trouble getting out of it. And I asked a close friend to make a pillow for me to hold when I cough or sneeze or deep breathe.
Have to make my appointment for the pre-op stuff. I am sure they will be collecting the co-pay and my insurance deductible from me at that time. Curious to see how much all this will cost.
Time moves forward. No getting away from it. It's going to happen.........this surgery.
Is it too early to start counting down to surgery date? Less than 4 weeks.......26 days.......to what I'm calling D day........ Dreaded day. I'm trying to be positive but its not happening much. Still trying to decide on type of valve. I don't want more than one surgery.......but don't want to be on Coumadin. Going to have to decide pretty soon.
Today I told someone about my surgical team and she said I have the cream of the crop! That's encouraging.
Also, I'd been feeling so so tired and out of breath. I mentioned this to a co worker who said maybe I was retaining fluid. Got put on Lasix and felt great today! So good, I was thinking maybe this is all a mistake! Miracles do happen.
Thank you everyone for all the encouraging words and commitments to pray for me. I think it's working. I am feeling a bit more at peace......not as much fear. Maybe I am becoming more resigned to the fact that I have to have heart surgery. I cannot walk away from it. I am blessed that someone found the stenotic valve I have lived with for who knows how long. Because of a shortage of nurses, I will be on call starting Monday and through the whole month of August till my surgery. I told my boss I don't know how long I will be able to keep the pace required of me. If necessary, I will get a note from the doc to reduce the load. I am busy training the new nurse to take over when I leave. I feel bad that she will have so much on her shoulders, but there is nothing I can do. Hoping I can be back full time in about 8 weeks, but I don't know. Have to be able to push stretchers and move patients. We will see. I am trying to not worry about that, but I feel so responsible.thats just me.
I went to church today and we sang the song "I Can Only Imagine". It's about when we first stand before Jesus in Heaven and what we might feel. I realized I am not so afraid of dying in the operation. When I close my eyes, if I die, I will wake up with Jesus. The real fear is of the ordeal and the pain. It's harder when you are a nurse and you have seen and know so much of what people go through. But I will try to lean on Jesus more and more and let Him deal with the fear........and be the Great Healer and Physician. 5 1/2 weeks to go.
Yesterday I was given my surgery date to replace the Mitral Valve.......just 6 weeks away. It's overwhelming. Somehow I thought I would be able wait a while. I don't know where that came from except maybe from the fear and dread of going through it all. Today I received my instructions and recovery info. Wow! I believe in God, the Healer and Creator. I know He gives life and takes it away. I don know that I'm afraid of dying, but I am afraid of the pain and the healing process.