My right heart cath with angioplasty was a success!
After I arrived at the hospital and was shown to my room the nurses came in introducing themselves and mentioned that one of the doctors was out there bragging about how I had written a book. I started laughing and said he was the doctor I had just met a few months ago. My regular doctor had told him about the book so while we were in the middle of my checkup he was on his phone ordering my book off of Amazon. The nurses and I continued to make small talk and seemed to do a lot of laughing as they put in my IVs and prepped me for surgery.
I had read my devotion earlier that morning and received so many encouraging messages from you guys and now to begin my appointment with such fun nurses and doctors…I was feeling pretty confident about this surgery.
Tim on the other hand clearly was not amused by my sass. Nobody likes hospitals but I have no choice and have to be here quite frequently so I try to make the most of it. I took a quick selfie in between the nurses coming in and out to check on me and Tim said the picture definitely tells the truth about our attitudes!!😜
I was then wheeled off to the operating room and like last time, I had to wear oxygen which is now apparently my new norm as my levels tend to drop too low during these procedures anymore.
I have a great medical team and they do the best they can to make me comfortable but in order to measure the pulmonary pressures and take pictures they have to go through the groin, meaning for the first part of this procedure I need to be awake enough to follow their directions such as when I need to hold my breath, breathe, etc. As much as they try to numb the incision site first, I am still pretty alert and feel quite a bit throughout this process.
I was on the table trying to convince the doctors and myself that I was okay as a couple of tears escaped my eyes. If I felt a sharp poke I would jump. I also felt a lot of pressure which made my body tense up and that weird feeling as I felt the catheter slithering through the inside of my body made me jittery. They would give me more medicine in hopes that I wouldn’t feel as much, yet could still be able to comprehend and do what they asked of me.
I don’t know if I was just overwhelmed by such an emotional week my family has had or what but I couldn’t seem to relax and apologized several times for being so jumpy.
It was determined that my artery was indeed closing so we were going to do angioplasty to open it back up. The doctors had already made the first incision in my right groin, however, they were not able to get the sheath through so they had to make a second incision on the other side of my groin. I’m never too excited about extra incisions. Throughout all of the discomfort I was experiencing, I lost focus on the fact that God was still with me…and that made matters so much worse. My mind went to a place it hadn’t been to in a long time. I began thinking about the what if’s…not necessarily in regard to this surgery, but…
What about the next angioplasty I will need? My heart doctor could not get through the right side of my groin and now my SVC doctor had said my arms were shot from so many procedures that they too might need to start going through my groin. But what if going through the groin won’t work again? What if I’ve had too much wear on my body that they can’t find access to do any intervention? What if these procedures won’t be an option for me soon? What if the doctors tell me there is nothing more they can do?
But then my morning devotion popped into my head…
One. Step. At. A. Time. I remembered the last line especially because I replaced the words and read it as “Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up your stents and to keep them open.” Haha! I know that is probably weird but those words seriously popped into my head while I was reading it. I need to only focus on this moment. My what ifs are the cliffs referenced in my devotion and I do not need to worry about it!! God has already prepared a way for me and whatever mountains I face He will make sure I have everything I need to get over them.
And then just like that the meds really kicked in…or perhaps peace, and I didn’t feel anymore pain for the remainder of my procedure.
As for recovery, I had to lay flat for 4 hours before I could go home. I was not to lift my legs or even lift my head up the slightest bit so when I sat up to grab a drink the nurse held the straw up to my mouth and told me to stay down. Once I realized how strict they were on that rule, I would wait until she was out of the room and sneak a drink on my own. I was able to manage getting a drink while barely moving my head so don’t yell at me, it’s all good!! But yes…I also tend to push the limit with some of the restrictions I find silly.
After four hours of consistent checks on both my infusion sites, the nurse reviewed discharge instructions and then I was able to go home! I do have to come back in one month for a ct scan to make sure no new issues develop.
I didn’t realize how miserable I really was last night until I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Tim is working today so I took Leah to gymnastics and then came back home to bed. I am still being very careful not to overdo anything and will make sure to get plenty of rest!!
So for now, I am going to relax and enjoy the fact in knowing that all eight of my stents are open today!!
Thanks again for all of your prayers and messages…and thank you to my mom’s cousin for some super warm and comfortable pajamas to recover in!