Thursday, October 04, 2007

Good mornin' - I'm baaack!

Ok - here's what went down on Tuesday...
Checked in at 6, and was sent in to the "lab" at 8:00. Dr. Doug threaded cables in through both my femoral arteries as well as my neck. These three little cables had cameras and weapons. Here's what he found:
1). He agreed with the first cardiologist's theory about this being caused by a virus because he did see an area that still looked pretty irritated. There was a charge being fired from there and when he tried to ablate that one, it just moved over to another area right next to it, and he didn't want to just chase it around my heart, burning my heart wherever it went, which is what ablation is - I learned that ablate just means "destroy" in the cardiac world - I got to watch a video before going in.
2). He successfully ablated two other areas that were mis-firing.
3). There is still one mis-firing area that is on the back wall of my heart, but he couldn't ablate that one because my esophagus was resting directly behind it, and being that the heart muscle wall is only about 2mm, he would have damaged my esophagus, even though he and his weapon were on the inside of my heart, and my esophagus was on the outside. So he left that one.
4). Everything else he could see along the way looked really good.
5). Hopefully, as I lay low for 3 or 4 days, my heart, which has REALLY been irritated now, will settle down and most of this will go away... forever, I hope.

So here's something to brag about in a strange sort of way -- being in such good athletic shape and so efficient (in SOO many ways.. tee-hee) I kept metabolizing the anesthesia and WAKING UP. I remember three times waking up and asking them if they were STILL doing this and how much longer it would take and if they all had lunch yet. I awoke again later and learned that it was 2:15 p.m., and again when I heard myself snore - seriously! Bob says I never snore! And again at 2:45 just when he was burning at a certain spot. Let me say OUCH!!!!. So the nurse fiddled with my IV again and I fell asleep.

After it was all over, I think the doc spent a little over 6 hours doing this procedure. I went to the recovery area where I had to lay still for 3 hours -yep - along long, long time when you've already been on your back with no lumbar pillow and your head turned to the side with a cable sticking out of it. I was just dying to move. I guess they have to allow your arteries to to close fully before you can bend anywhere.

Anyway, when it was time to go at 7:00 or 7:30, I couldn't stand up long and would turn white and feel pukish and my blood pressure would drop (to 87/36 at one time). I guess I'd had too much anesthesia yet to process. So I ended up getting checked in for the night around 9:30 p.m.
Much as I wanted to go home, in hindsight it was good that I stayed over becausxe I was hooked up to the EKG machine all night.

And if I thought my heart was wigging out before, let me tell you it was REALLY wigging out now. The alarm was going off every 10 minutes. I'd have runs up to 7 beats long of ventricular tachycardia (the one that is supposedly "not compatible with life"), pauses much longer than before, and racing sessions that would start for no reason - like, I hadn't even moved - and hit 180 beats, then drop back down to 39. The only good thing... and this is going to be hard for me to fully "get"... is that the nurses would come in and say it was not anything to worry about. I guess if you don't sustain these things for like a minute, then you just have to learn to deal with it.

So, anyway, I am home, laying low for my 3 to 4 days, hoping my heart will settle down. Twin Cities is out - so I will be there cheering for a bunch of folks doing the marathon and the 10-miler. Jumper is planning on doing that one so maybe I will tool around on my bike and find his wife and daughter and cheer with them for a bit.

You guys have all been such a great support - I wish I could hug each one of you.