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!
Today is the first day of Stroke Month. Did you know that 80% of strokes can be prevented? Take this quick quiz to know your risk!
Right now the total of my medical bills following my stroke, doctor’s appointments, tests, an ambulance ride, 2 ER visits and 2 nights in the neurology wing at Geisinger Medical Center (Hospital) is at $18,000. Granted, some of the tests have been denied by insurance totally and some do not seem to be covered completely when they should, so I am hoping that amount will come down quite a bit. But man, this medical crap is expensive! Especially for something that couldn’t be prevented! Right now my insurance has been billed a total of almost $100,000! And I haven’t even had my surgery yet! Last night when my husband looked up the grand total we started dreaming of what we would do with $18,000, other than paying for medical bills. What would you do with that kind of money? Go on an exotic trip? Take your kids on a cruise, first class style? Buy a new car? I can assure you that I wouldn’t use it for a two night hospital stay!
Tomorrow is our second meeting with the Program Director of the foster agency we like, and our first meeting with the Permanency Specialist. I read over the 100 page Orientation Manual since our last visit, so I have a bunch of questions for them! Hubby is all ready too, so it’s looking like we’ll be able to start training while I go through recovery! We had some good soul-searching over the weekend and we are both ready to go forward with matching an older sibling group. We figured out logistics and even bedroom layouts!
Would you recognize the signs of a stroke in yourself or a loved one? I sure didn’t! Luckily I saw a great doctor who took my situation seriously. Remember FAST– Face, Arms, Smile, TIME!
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!
Here are some things to watch for as women since we’re prone to clots, which can end up as a pulmonary embolism or stroke! Just as a point of reference, my neurologist wants me up and walking every hour when traveling. Which I definitely never did before and it makes traveling even longer, but to prevent another stroke it’s worth it!