I’ve had a lot of recent questions on how my procedure went a few weeks ago so figured it was time for an update!
I have always said no appointment is ever the same when I go to Iowa City. Once to the hospital, our masks went on proving yet again this was going to be a new experience for my otherwise ordinary routine procedure.
As we entered through the hospital we were stopped along the skywalk by nurses in masks, gowns and face shields to question us about possible COVID symptoms. We then followed the social distancing signs…
to the next stop where we were given name tags.
Shortly after we were seated in the waiting room, a nurse called my name and informed us that Tim could not come back with me. She explained that while one person is allowed with the patient to come to the hospital, they were not allowed in back where I would be prepped and recover.
Tim and I gave each other a quick kiss…through our masks and then he was left to sit in the waiting room until I was done.
I had originally prepared to be by myself but now I didn’t feel as brave as I once had when I played the scenario out in my head. I missed Tim. I missed him joking with me about something ridiculously silly only because he was trying to keep my mind distracted. I missed him tying my gown because for some reason I am completely incapable of tying it without getting my hair in to a tangled mess. I missed him winking at me as the nurse inserted the IVs in to my arms and I missed the sweet comfort of his hand on mine as we waited for the nurse to come in and say it was time to go.
And now, for the first time in the 13 years I have been doing these procedures, I was alone. But then I remembered one of the truths I had held on to that encouraged me…
Thankfully I was blessed to be the first case of the day so I did not have to wait long. Once in to the operating room, I was transferred to a cold table and covered with warm blankets as the nurses came from all directions to prep me for the procedure. I stated my name, birthdate and my interpretation of what the doctor would be doing as they put oxygen on me. I was told that I would be getting some medicine to relax and then that was that! I vaguely remember holding my breath on occasion for scans and having conversations with the nurses until the procedure was over.
After I got back to the recovery room, I texted Tim to let him know I was done and then the doctor came in to visit with me.
He began by saying that I had a new collateral vein in my neck which I reminded him was the reason I decided to call him. I had noticed odd veins after being out in the garden one day…
He said one vein unfortunately did not close but I questioned why the concern because collateral veins are good! He confirmed that yes, collateral veins can help develop new paths for blood to get where it needs to go but collateral veins can also be bad. He explained that I had reported some intense symptoms yet my stents were not all the way closed.
Even thought they weren’t completely closed, he was glad I did not wait to come in. They had narrowed enough to need angioplasty so when they opened the stents back up as much as they could, a collateral vein did not go away like they normally do. Since that vein is still open it kind of works as a detour because blood will continue to use that vein…which then can interfere with the efficiency of my main veins. We discussed that I had tests and a follow up with my heart doctor next month so we would determine our next steps from there.
I thanked him again for visiting with me and then he discussed all of this with Tim as well. After a couple of hours I walked out of the hospital with my husband, his strong hand finally back in mine, to head home.
I was starving and ready to hit our usual spot where we always get to eat together…Culver’s! But, I realized almost immediately that this trip home was going to be very long. I felt horribly sick! Tim pulled out of the parking garage and was able to somehow find a somewhat secluded area where he pulled over just in time…
After several minutes I got in to lay down in the back seat. We had to pull over two more times within the half hour so while I was not able to eat anything, Tim decided to stop and grab himself some lunch. With the busy interstate, so many meds on an empty stomach and being the sickest I have ever been after a procedure, packing a bowl after all these years had finally paid off! I couldn’t help but thank God for Tim who has done this with me enough times that nothing surprises him!
The kids were waiting to greet us when we arrived home.
Skye had come over to watch them and was quick to help with anything I needed before she headed back to work.
Tim had also planned to go to work the following day but I had been so sick through the night that he stayed home to help with the kids. I was absolutely miserable between the sickness and the soreness.
Once again, this procedure proved to be a little harder on me. The sickness lasted over 24 hours but the soreness is still going on. My chest is tight which is usually expected after angioplasty but I’ve also developed a cough again along with some fabulous brain fog. I can’t seem to shake the fatigue either and overall, I just don’t feel much relief this time around.
But that is okay because while I might need breaks throughout the day, I am still active and able to keep up with the kids…and that says a lot haha! And we were able to experience a little bit of summer after our local splash pad finally opened back up!
I had been dragging my feet about posting this update because it doesn’t seem very encouraging to people who aren’t living it.
For instance, I shared the following photo with someone a few days after my procedure and they were quick to reply “you aren’t even healed though,” so I asked where it said anything about physical healing?
Yes I am still experiencing physical symptoms but my soul is refreshed with every procedure because every procedure proves God’s goodness…regardless of the results! I may not be physically healed or physically stronger but the Lord healed my spirit…and with my salvation will eventually come that beautiful physical healing because of His love and sacrifice for me!
I am happy with the results! I went to the hospital, they were still able to access my veins and intervene! I did not die on the table and I got to come back home to my family! We will just have to try again next time!
As always, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement!!