It’s been two weeks since my last post. Where does the time go? Well, I’m gonna tell ya. The last week before surgery was a plethora of appointments. Some very valuable and important, some just seemingly dumb. An example of the valuable: an appointment where Missy and I went for almost half a day and met with a nurse and got the full low-down on what will happen and what to expect. This was our chance to ask any questions we wanted. We used our chance, you bet.
An example of the seemingly dumb: I had to go to my family doctor for a pre-surgery physical, and get their clearance. Ummm, why? The family doc checked my vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, breathing, etc… things that the cardiologist and the surgeon and everyone else had been doing on an almost daily basis for the last two weeks… then they asked a bunch of questions from a checklist, AND it also cost me over two hours off work and a $30 co-pay. I’m sorry, but I feel that I got no benefit out of that whatsoever.
One week of the last two weeks was occupied by my actual surgery and hospital recovery. Yes, it finally happened! Last Tuesday, September 11, 2018, was the big day. I had fully intended to pick up the blogging a few days afterward, most likely in the hospital. I mean, how hard can it be to bang on a keyboard and blog, right? Apparently, harder than it sounds. I simply did not feel like it. I slept. A LOT!!! I came home two days ago, and even now I tire very easily. Not sleeping as much, but something as simple as typing something can be exhausting.
So, anyway, the day of surgery comes. I have to be there for check-in at 5:30 am. I get up at 4:00 am, take a shower and scrub with some special cleaning solution pre-injected into a sponge, intended reduce the risk of infection by removing as many organisms from your body as possible. I had shaved my beard the previous night, for the same reason. First time I had done that in over ten years.
Anyway, we get there, check in, and am led to the back for prep. I’m introduced to several nurses who have various roles. The whole vital sign check… which will become a ubiquitous facet of life for the next week, along with repeating ny name and birthday… and other sundry tasks, including… the body shaving. Yes, the body shaving. I was not allowed to do this myself, again to avoid infection if I were to nick myself. A young girl got the joy of shaving me. I will say they were very cautious and very respectful, during this process. I remained covered as much as possible at every step. They used a special electric razor that virtually eliminates any risk of nick or cut. Now, I was informed early that half my body would be shaved. Which half, you ask? Surely the top half, it is heart surgery, of course. No, the front half. The imagination runs wild.
End result it that, with the exception of a tuft around the “twig & berries”, the front half of my body was silken smooth, first time since probably babyhood. This included my left armpit, by the way, but not the right armpit. Had something to do with them taking an artery from the left arm, or something like that.
This last description is for the benefit of a co-worker of mine who was intensely interested in this aspect. Which is ok, because once you get discharged from the hospital you have no modesty left anyway.
So, 7:30 gets closer and I get a visit from the anesthesiologist and the surgeon. We all talk some, and I get wheeled from the prep room into the surgery room, all the while asking questions like how many surgery rooms they have total (12), how many are pretty much dedicated to heart only (2, but 2 others are purely dedicated to cancer), do they ever have all 12 going at the same time (yes, but not often), and so on.
And that’s where my memory ends. There is a several hour void until after everything is said and done. We’ll pick up post-surgery in the next post.