My heart surgery on Thursday turned out to be a piece of cake. What usually takes around an hour and a half took about 45 minutes for me. Everything ran as smoothly as it possibly could go. I got some good calming medicine and some topical numbing but I was awake for the whole thing and watched it unfold on the screen. I saw the camera scope go up my veins to my heart, then I watched as they threaded a second tube in for the actual device to be in my heart. I watched them measure the size of the hole in my heart and listened as they debated what size of device would need to go in. I watched them carefully place the device and open it up, umbrella like, in my heart. My doctor told my husband that I was very brave. It actually was calming to me to be able to watch and see what was going on. I’m sure I would have freaked out if something went wrong and I was listening but the whole operating room was such a strong and confident environment that I wasn’t worried. I guess the good medicine helped too! I laid on my back, flat for about three hours after the surgery. They took out the two catheter tubes and then I laid for another hour or so. Finally I got to sit up for a bit then I got to walk around! I had my breakfast/lunch around 3:30 and I was home before 5. I was happy to see Little One. My mom said that when Little One got up (I was already gone for the surgery), she wouldn’t look or talk to my mom. So she asked if Little One was nervous. And she said yes, I am nervous because Mama isn’t here. Poor thing! I hope this is the last of it and she doesn’t need to worry any more. I am sure it weighs on her little mind and I don’t want her to stress about me being sick. I am not very sore today and I took about a mile and a half (slow) walk this morning. I took a nice nap this afternoon and soon I will get to shower and take my bandage off! I could not be more pleased about the whole procedure and recovery thus far. Definitely much better than I was expecting and makes the whole process worthwhile!
Tomorrow is the big day of my heart surgery. I’ve spent the last month wrangling with the insurance company to make sure it’s approved for in-network. The link below is a concise description of the surgery. I’ll let you know how it goes! Finally got nervous and overwhelmed yesterday. Cried today when Little One’s preschool teachers told me good luck. Sigh. Let’s close this bad boy up and get on with it!
So I am having heart surgery on May 8th. Well, that’s the tentative date at least, waiting on health insurance pre-authorization. It’s hard to say and I don’t like thinking about it. My mother will come back in town for at least a week. I have to be careful for at least a month, being careful with any type of strain or lifting as the artificial piece heals. I look forward to (slow) long walks and healing for the beach/pool! For all you medical followers out there, I am having a PFO closure. It is an outpatient surgery, done with a catheter. The surgery takes about an hour. About 80% of people have full closure right away, and most of the other 20% will have theirs close within 6 months. So I will have several check-up echo-cardiograms to make sure it’s in the correct spot and that it’s healing.
I am glad that I’ll be working on my foster care certification as I recover!
Well, everything is on hold now. After waiting 5 weeks to be scheduled with the cardiologist at Geisinger, and after calling every week trying to schedule an appointment, the doctor himself called me tonight. I guess it hit home with the ladies in cardiology scheduling that I am 32 and I have a hole in my heart… what am I going to keep my l life on hold while I wait to hear from them?? So the cardiologist was super nice and apologized for the scheduling problems. He called as soon as he heard about my situation. At 7:30 tonight! Crazy. I almost fell out of my chair. He said that he performs PFO closures on three merits: the age of the patient, the size of the PFO, and the patient’s personal beliefs on having it closed. Right off the bat I hit two of those three. So my husband and I will go in for a consult in the next week or so, and then I will probably have the surgery performed. This definitely puts a hold on all of our foster/adoption plans. I am sure that I will not be cleared by my doctors for probably 6 months after the surgery.
Sorry I dropped off the face of the planet… Or so it seems. My new laptop has yet to ship so I am lost, both professionally and personally. I don’t even want to get into all that was saved, moving and otherwise, on that computer. I do back up my files regularly, but because of the move it has been a while. And a lot has happened!
A few updates, for those of you still with me!
The director of the foster agency that we met with has invited us to start training this Friday. We are not ready to commit to his agency until we meet with his permanency specialist and at least one other agency. There are 3 total that I have been in contact with since the move and we are not ready to commit until we have exhausted our possibilities. We also need to see the cardiologist and make sure that I don’t need surgery before we make a commitment. While that was supposed to happen within a month of my hospital discharge, and despite my frequent phone calls, I do not even have an appointment scheduled. This guy is harder to see than the President!
Tomorrow I have my first of two different ob/gyn or Maternal Fetal Medicine appointments to find out if I can have any more children in the future (not that we are necassarily going that route) and to find out my options for birth control. I am weirdly nervous for my consultation. I have read a bit online about pregnancies with PFO and they seem to be either totally normal or they go horribly wrong! And while my husband and I have been unable to conceive a second time and agreed to pursue fostering/adoption first, when someone tells you that you should’t have more children there’s some innate reaction that makes you feel like it’s a personal challenge. Like, oh I can’t have kids/shouldn’t get pregnant? Now that’s my entire life goal to prove you wrong!