Tuesday, May 08, 2007

All Is Well

Tom and I arrived at the hospital at 7:30. It wasn't until 8:15 that I was called to get my wrist bands and sign consent papers. Afterwards I was taken to a room to change into a hospital gown. Take off all your clothes, including your bra and underwear. Ummm.....ok but I'm thinking why in the world do I have to take off my panties just to have my heart shocked? I'd prefer to leave them on thank you. Then I get to thinking ... gee maybe when you're shocked your body loses control and you pee yourself. Mrs. Hyde decides to make an appearance and puts in her two cents worth. 'Well I'd probably 'shi*t' myself if someone shocked my heart Missy. Yeah I hear ya Mrs. H. I'm not feeling too good about this. I remove my undergarments and slip into bed and turn on the TV while I'm waiting for someone to come in. Anyone. I am anxious to get this over with and go home.
The room is on the cool side. I'm not complaining though because I was really hot this morning after my shower and turned the ceiling fan on while I was getting ready. Tom grumbled about having to get up a half hour earlier than what he does when he has to get up for work and that it feels like he's in a wind tunnel. Grumble grumble. He gets out of bed, the ceiling fan stays on.
I feel myself starting to drift off. Even though I had 7 hours of sleep the night before, I am drowsy. I hear the door open finally and a nurse comes in to finish taking my medical history. She asks me why I'm here. Mrs. H was about to say 'because they told us to come here that's why' what do you think?? I push Mrs. H aside and explain to the nurse about the defibilator and communicator. She was fascinated and wasn't familiar with HOCM and asked alot of questions. While we were chatting, I saw Tom walk in and he was very quiet and just stood in the rear waiting for the nurse to finish. She turned to leave and when she spotted Tom she jumped. She wasn't expecting anyone to be behind her. She nearly peed HER pants, *lol*.

Just as I'm getting up to use the bathroom, someone else comes in and I slide back under the covers. It's one of the asst. anesthesiologists come to tell me what the plan is. They are going to sedate me through my IV and send an electrical current to my heart. I will be in a deep sleep and won't feel a thing, won't remember a thing. I'm ok with this, I feel if I can go through open heart surgery, this should be a piece of cake.

The first nurse leaves and returns to do an EKG. After that it was time to insert the IV needle. She couldn't find a good vein in my arm so had to use one in my hand. Man did that hurt. She needed to draw blood for bloodwork too but said she wasn't going to get it out of the IV, instead would get it out of my other arm. Good luck. I don't have good veins over there either. Again she went for the hand. Good Lord, it stung like hell and she had to wiggle the needle and dig deeper and it still came up dry. Let's try another needle, another vein. In the hand again. I'm not liking this one bit but don't complain. I'm a trouper. But Mrs. H isn't. This one hurt even worse and the nurse was getting flustered because 'this never happens, I'm always able to get blood on the first try'. Well Missy, you're on #3 now and if you don't get this going asap I think Mrs. H is gonna give you a swift kick where the sun don't shine. Yep. She's behind you now, rolling up her sleeves. Better get that needle in and don't hurt me no more. Two cotton bandages on the hand now and she's going for the crease in the elbow now. Should have gone there in the first place. Whew! She just made it ...a few seconds later and Mrs. H would have heave hoed and kicked her clear to Timbuktu. The hand with the IV is really bothering me, I'm hoping air didn't get in there, glance at it and it's fine. Just very sore. Both hands are hurting now and Tom says 'gee hon, you might not be able to get on the computer when we get home'. Ha ha.

Everyone has left the room but Tom so now's a good time to use the bathroom. Just in time too, when I came out, the gurney was waiting to take me down to the operating room.
Ha ha I emptied my bladder so they weren't going to scare any pee outta me today! Tom kisses me and says he loves me. I love him too.

I'm taken to what I thought was the OR but it turns out to be the recovery room. There's about 8 patients already in there on gurneys. Some are still sedated, a few are just waking up and a couple are wide awake and asking for an extra blanket because it feels like a freezer down here. Even I had to ask for an extra blanket. I cat nap for a little while waiting my turn. A nurse comes over and puts an oxygen mask on me so I think I'll be leaving any minute. Not five minutes later she removes the mask and says the Dr. is just finishing up with another patient and will be a little late. No problem, I close my eyes again.

When I open my eyes, 15 minutes have passed. The anethesia Dr. walks over and says ' I remember you!' you're the HOCM patient. Yep, that's me. What are you in for today? What the............. Doesn't anyone know what I'm here for??? What's your name? I thought you remembered me. Let's check it against your wrist band. Yep. You're you. Duh. Do you know which Dr. is going to do your cardioversion? Not really sure. Dr. Alpert. If you knew, why'd you ask ME?

I ask what a cardioversion is because now I'm leery. I want to make sure they have the right patient and they aren't going to do something I wasn't expecting ! You've seen those movies where they mix up patients, and one that came in for a nose job is getting his leg amputated. I want to make sure they know what the heck is supposed to be going on here.

Turns out a cardioversion is exactly what I'm here for. Cardioversion is a brief procedure where an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm without damaging the heart. Ok. I'm good.

I get to cat nap about another 30 minutes before Dr. Alpert makes his appearance. He shakes my hand and proceeds to explain what's going to happen.

I'll be wearing an oxygen mask. I'll be given a sedative through my IV. Once I'm asleep and breathing on my own, special cardioversion pads will be placed on my chest. Then the electrical shock will go through the chest wall into my heart. If things go well, my implanted defibilator will kick in. If it does, I'm good to go. If not, I will have to come back next week, after being off the Coumadin for five days and they'll open me up and fix what ever is wrong with the lead/s. He says he'll see me soon and when he walks away the anesthesia Dr. is back. He slides the oxygen mask back over my face, and tells me that he is giving me sedation through my IV. He wants me to squeeze his fingers a few times. Do you feel anything? Like what? Do you feel drowsy. No. Keep squeezing. Feel anything yet? No.
Keep squeezing. How about now? No. That's the last thing I remember until I'm woken up. I never felt a thing. I don't hurt. Are you sure they did me already? Wow. I'm impressed. I could do this again.

I'm not sure how long I had to stay in recovery before I was taken back to my room at noon. The time seems to have gone so fast from the time I was sedated until it was time to go back up to my room. Tom was waiting for me and I was brought a lunch of turkey breast on a croissant, a thimble full of potato salad and a cookie. I was ravished!

If I did pee when I was shocked, I don't know about it and no one's talking. Even Mrs. H is keeping a lid on it.

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