Surgery Day minus 22:
Found out I flunked my stress test. Was in denial. You've gotta be kidding! Scheduled for cath next week.
Surgery Day minus 19:
Flew to Bethesda to see my son's "new" 14th fl condo. What a view. Had dinner at the home of one of his colleagues.
Surgery Day minus 18:
Had brunch with son's college best buddy, wife, and kids. Took Metro to D.C. and walked the Washington Mall in 95 degree heat and full sunshine. They don't have water fountains there any closer than every half mile. Somebody sells a lot of boiled water. Wondered if the walk would ever end. Had dinner with one of his H.S. friends who lives there. Flew home.
Surgery Day minus 14:
Had cath. Heard cardiologist mutter, "I can't believe she ever got to 70 with that valve." He cautioned me to have the surgery soon--absolutely no later than Christmas and then scheduled me to meet the surgeon 5 days later.
Surgery Day minus 13 through 8:
Discussed with hubby. How about when he goes on vacation Dec. 14? Maybe we ought to do it sooner? How about first week of October? After all, I'm going to a quilt show 120 miles from here next week and have tickets to So You Think You Can Dance Sept 30. WHAT? Are we crazy? Let's be realistic.
Surgery Day minus 7:
Did NOT go to Quilt Show 120 miles away. Filed fingernails so I wouldn't chew them. Transferred money in bank accounts, paid bills, tied up loose ends.
Surgery Day minus 6:
Got message from God--well, actually, it was a notice from my life insurance company that they owed me $4800, and did I want them to send me the check? Had first session with hypnotherapist who told me I would know they were giving me needles but I wouldn't feel pain and would amaze everyone with how well I would recover
Surgery Day minus 4:
Went to Bed Bath and bought nice new fluffy towels and extra tub mats anticipating the need for extra linens. Hubby placed huge order with Omaha Steaks in anticipation of our having to eat his "cooking" for awhile after the surgery.
Surgery Day minus 3:
Met surgeon. His first words, "What are you thinking? You've got to do this NOW, not in October!" We agreed. Surgery scheduled for Friday.
Surgery Day minus 2:
Had pre-op at hospital. It took 4 or 5 hours and included a full education on heart procedures, recovery, etc. Excellent information.
Surgery Day minus 1: Had second session with hypnotist. Called friends. Send group announcement out.
Time pushed back to 12:30 PM from 7:30 AM. Later met the guy they swapped my time with. He had a quad bypass and got very critical so they gave him my time earlier in the day and me his later. My best friend arrived at hospital to sit with hubby during surgery. My favorite neighbors also arrived. A woman from my knitting group as well. All stayed until I was cleared from surgery. Actual surgery at 4:30 PM. They tell me I woke up and looked at them and smiled at my son. I don't remember. I do remember waking up briefly and thinking, I'm ALIVE!"
The after-surgery days start counting when you get out of surgery, so mine started at 9 PM on Friday night. Hence Day One went from 9 PM Friday to 9 PM Saturday. Not a night I want to remember. More later. This is just a short timeline. I think the mouth tubes came out around 8 AM but not sure.
Transferred to regular room. Unbelievable view. Absolutely gorgeous. Learned how NOT to get up and lie down. Had sponge bath.
Actually just an hour into 3--found out someone was actually in more need than I and there was nobody to take me to the bathroom. Got out of bed and went myself. Took my first walk at 3 AM. Took 13 short walks that day. Had horrible night sweats that night, but nurses very understanding and changed bedding twice and showered me as well.
Took very long walks 4 times. Stopped all painkillers. Had no pain to speak of but took Tylenol at bedtime and a sleeping pill.
Not my best day. Had lots of visitors. The bowel problem was resolved in a major way and spend most of day on toilet. Was exhausted and called friend to tell her not to come that night.
Woke up like a new woman. Called hubby and said "I'm going home today." He asked sensible question, "Does the doctor know yet?" Felt full of life. Called nurse and told her to call all the doctors and tell them. They came in on their own and all agreed I could go. Went home at 3 PM. SO HAPPY to be in my own bed.
Day Seven: Where is all this energy coming from.
Day Eight: TODAY!
Typed young friend's project paper and spent day helping him think through some of the problematic areas. Will post pictures later.
I just got a call from the surgeon's office. They have a serious emergency case which they have to take in the morning, so my surgery has been pushed to afternoon instead of morning. I really hope they don't change the day because my son is coming in from D.C. and all my friends have set up shifts to sit/visit already.
They said bring a fat novel because they don't know how long the other surgery will take, but they will fit me in tomorrow. My husband is extremely nervous.
I went to my 2nd hypnosis booster today and am totally relaxed except that I am praying that I don't come down with the flu or something between tonight and tomorrow afternoon and have to reschedule the whole thing. Right now I just want to get on with it.
I am very grateful for my circle of knitting friends who are going all out to make sure I get all the help I need. The next time I get on this journal I'll have already had my valve job--God willing all goes well.
Where do I start? My endocrinologist badgered me into seeing a cardiologist about 6 years ago after my husband died. In my oh-so-it-could-not-be-me mood, I felt it was all unnecessary. My EKG was great, my cholesterol and all that stuff was perfect, and I worked out with a trainer once a week and walked a lot.
Each year the gosh-durned cardiologist's office kept pestering me to go back and get new tests. I had been to one of those mobile units that checks coronary arteries and mine were clean as a whistle, my blood pressure was 120/68, my resting heartbeat was 55, so what was everyone fussing about?
A couple of years ago my EKG started to look a bit dicey. They said I should be checked for bradycardia--slow heartbeat. The PA at the office said that I was just one number off from "norm" and people varied a lot. I didn't worry one bit.
I continued to exercise but found myself not walking as far anymore, but I didn't give it too much thought--just being lazy I figured. The cardiologist's office continued to make pests of themselves, hounding me into taking a stress test every year.
I hated the stress tests because my knees were shot and I couldn't walk the treadmill. So they did the chemical thing. Then I got my knees replaced and was able to walk the treadmill at last. Each year I was so proud of myself. After 12 minutes of hard trekking, they stopped the whole testing procedure with my heartbeat at 125. It never reached 130. My heartbeat returned to normal within 2 minutes.
Last year the cardiologist explained aortic valve stenosis to me. He said that maybe in 3 to 5 years I'd need a new valve. Pshhh! Hey, not me. Fast forward to this year. More to come.