The doctor (my cardiologist) gets my attention, and pulls me out of LaLa Land, and tells me the procedure is over. I’m just a little taken aback… when did they start? He then proceeds to tell me, very matter-of-factly, that I need to have heart by-pass surgery.
My reaction: 😐 Oh. Ok.
I had to absorb this a bit. The whole process up to this point from the tennis elbow up to this moment has been pretty mundane, almost kind of funny. “Juuust to be safe”, now took on a whole new meaning. It was serious. We talk for a bit, they show me the photos they took, and explain that they went in, found several near-blockages (four or five, something like that), knew a stent or two wasn’t going to cut it, took the photos, and got right back out. Took all of twelve minutes.
I listen. It all makes sense. Somewhat shocking, but it makes sense. come back to the moment and ask the doctor directly, “Ok, so why haven’t I had a heart attack already?”
Without missing a beat (no pun intended), he says, “You’re lucky.”
I can buy that. I also like his sincerity and forthrightness. Just tell me straight up.
Fast forward a few minutes and, after they put this inflatable device on my wrist to ensure the artery does bleed out, they wheel me and my bed back to my room. I’m reunited with Missy, and for reasons that are blindingly obvious, she’s upset. Or, rather, was upset. She has spoken with the doctor, called her mom, but has calmed down now. When I see her she has sort of a “We have work to do, but we’re going to get through it.” resolve, which is exactly what I needed at that moment.
Most of the rest of the afternoon is somewhat relaxing. I’m still in bed. Still wearing the stylish hospital gown. Almost kind of ‘chummy’, as we’ve gotten along quite well with our nurses. My primary nurse comes in every so often to let some pressure off the wrist device and check up on me. Another nurse comes in and does some sonic listening of my heart that I forget the name of. Another nurse comes in and checks out the veins in my left arm. This is where they will get the veins for my by-pass. The nurse also checks my legs for the same reason, as a Plan B. All this is unplanned, of course, but they’ve been through the drill before and are clearly competent at what they do. It’s actually impressive at how they can keep their spirits up working in an environment where there is so much potential for disappointment and grief, not to mention that your ‘clients’ keep changing on a daily basis.
Anyway, a couple more hours pass as things are done, I’m eventually disconnected from all the wires, get some more information and explanations. I meet the surgeon who will perform the actual operation. Very serious man, but also has a very good reputation. He says prognosis looks good, but since my blood glucose numbers have been up lately he wants them to come down a bit before he schedules the surgery (which has been going well), otherwise it would have been done in just a few days from then, almost immediately. They want my A1C down to 8 or less, and it had been a bit above that. An appointment is set for about four weeks away, and I should get a date scheduled then. It will probably be pretty soon after that. Until the, I wait… though it is nice to have some time beforehand to get things in order instead of having life take a sudden turn with no warning.