Welcome to my day to day journal of having open heart surgery.

When I started this blog I was not sure if I would need surgery but after many tests and doctors visits I had valve replacement surgery on June 23, 2010. I was born with a congenital heart defect, a bicuspid aortic valve. My blog reads backwards (like all blogs)....not like a story in chronological order...so go all the way to the beginning (here) to read about my history and how this all got started.

Let me know you stopped by......leave me a comment :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Cardiac Catheterization

No food or drink after midnight last night.  I woke up before my alarm because of a racing heart and just could not sleep well.  We have to be at the hospital at 10am and my procedure is at 12.  We got there, filled out some paperwork and sat in waiting room.  Dan was able to go back with me for the first 2 hours.  They put an IV in and went through a mini history.  A nurse explained everything and then we just waited....a long time.   Then my doctor came in, not the new young doctor, but my doctor form years past.  He did not even know who I was.  My history....or anything.  I am sorry but we put our lives in these peoples hands and I would think he could have taken a moment out of his morning to open my chart and see what was going on with me.  But at the time I was to nervous and all these thoughts are in hindsight.....at the time I just wanted everything to get started.

The operating room was sooo cold.  They actually have this kinda of blow up mattress on the bed that is blowing warm air up on you.  I got very scared and started cry and they started my sedation.  I think it was a combination of them saying " We hate to see someone your age coming in for this test and then the nurse asking about my children"   I cry so easily anyway.  So they give you something thru the IV in your arm and you do stay semi awake during this.   I remember hearing them talking....there was music on.....and then comes the Dye.  Wow when they say it is hot, they are not kidding.   They place the catheter into your upper thigh and inject the dye and you can feel it going all though your body.  It was uncomfortable.....but nothing hurt.   I guess I was in there for 2 hours.   I did really feel when they pulled the catheter back out of my leg.  But it was quick.

When it was all over that same doctor from earlier came over to me and said I have good news for you "you do not need surgery"   I asked why do I feel so bad and what is wrong then?   He said it may be because I am out of shape!  Ok yes, I am a big girl.  I am 6 foot tall and I could lose 50+ pounds but that did not all come about a month and half ago......It upset me so much that he was dismissing everything.....Just not a good doctor....because after speaking to a few more people after this....We all decided he had no idea what was going on with me and remember how he did not even know I was a patient from his practice.   He must be what people would refer to as a textbook (he may be in his 70's) doctor.  He is basing his very bold statement on the fact that my valve is 1.1 cm instead of less than .09.   We are talking about 2/10th of a cm difference.   Am I the only one who finds this crazy?  So am I just going to walk around like this and wait till I faint or worse?   I have every symptom they list for this issue except I have not fainted.    Ugghhhh.....

Ok, back to the procedure.   Once I went back to my room...Dan came in and I was able to talk and such.   I could not move the right leg at all and I had to lay still for 3 hours....that was going to be 5:30 and then they would have me walk around.   I felt ok.   I think I fell asleep for alittle while.  5:30 came pretty quick and they allowed me to eat something...I choose a chef salad and soup.  I decided that Dan is alittle crazy when feeding me... alittle messy too.....but eating and lying down are not easy.   I was not very hungry anyway.   The nurse came back and I felt alittle lightheaded....but we walked to the bathroom.  I was taken back to the room and then she came back again to do a longer walk.   They just want you to be careful because the plug they put in in my femoral vein could come out and I think that would be pretty bad.   So I took it slow.  I little pain on my upper thigh...but I walked.   We were discharged around 7pm I guess.   I was very tired when I got home.

2 comments:

Nick said...

When I had my cardiac catheterization I was only nineteen years old. I loved to eat, and I am, still to this very day, a night owl. I love the night, you just cannot get me to switch to daylight. But, of course the world operates during the day. I had my catheterization and I couldn't eat. It was torture. Honestly, pure torture. I have teenage brothers, and they eat all the time.

Once in the hospital, I had of course, two IVs started. Why in the world in the angle eludes me to this very day. And they sterilized a part in my groin to get ready for the procedure. My family got brought in after this and they started to explain all the risks. The listing of the risks makes me dizzy, don't they do that to you?

I was sedated for the catheterization... but I woke up during it in pain. It kind of freaked out the nurse, my entire stay in the hospital she visited me nearly every second she could. My entire leg went numb. After almost four hours in recovery from the day surgery place, I was discharged. As soon as I got up, I collapsed, and barely was able to feel my legs. They admitted me that night. The next day the doctor came and talked to me about my test results, they started administering drugs after he explained risks of the surgery and everything. So it was my last day to eat, I got a whole free pass to the cafeteria.

(The hospital I stayed at, they have like a full restaurant, so their foooood is great!) They decided to do my surgery the day after. So I shoved my face until the midnight timer.

Luckily it isn't rushed for you. My surgery went badly, but that's rare. I'm still here and better then ever! :].

David Beckham said...

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Each year, cardiac complications and diseased occur within 30 days after major non cardiac surgery in more than 10 million people worldwide.

Today, however, the tether is fraying. How can we use technology to bring Cardiologist database in USA closer to patients rather than making them more remote?

Small tips to avoid heart attack

• Take responsibility for your health. ...
• Know your risks. ...
• Don't smoke or expose yourself to second-hand smoke. ...
• Maintain a healthy blood pressure. ...
• Monitor your cholesterol (blood lipids). ...
• Limit your calories. ...
• Make exercise a daily habit. ...
• Pick your pills wisely.