Monday, January 21, 2013

Surgery and Recovery

Most people know I have a bad heart. I was born with it and it has been my constant companion from the very beginning. From pulmonary stenosis, to a ballooning of the pulmonary valve, to a possible aneurysm, it all comes down to me having a congenital heart defect. Or several, I suppose you could say. I've learned to live with it for the most part, have regular check ups with my cardiologist every four months, and do everything I'm supposed to. Well, except for stay away from roller coasters. I mean, come on. If that's how I'm going to go then bring it on.

Several months ago I was put on a medication for my reactive arthritis and this medication is known to react badly with people who already have an established heart condition. While it can never bee proven 100% that this medication caused a problem, I did develop something called premature ventricular contractions (PVC) while I was on it. Basically your heart beats top to bottom, top to bottom. Mine was going top bottom bottom, top bottom bottom over 1000 times a day. Nothing life threatening or crazy, but enough to make me know something was up. Now I am the type of person who can't even stand to feel her own pulse. It literally makes me sick to my stomach so you can imagine how these palpitations make me feel. I tried a couple different medications that did nothing, then talked to my doctor about a cardiac ablation surgery and had one scheduled fairly quickly.

What happens is they go in through different arteries or veins - in my case it was veins because mine are huge and disgusting - with catheters to look for the bad/overactive cells that are making the heart beat extra times. These cells light up when they are active and the surgeon can burn them off if they are in an area he can get to and if there are enough of them to destroy. Mine were jerks and decided to not be active enough. Because, of course. So I am back on medication for the time being. Since this is not a life threatening condition I may just decide to deal with it and drop the meds all together simply because don't want to have to start taking meds every single day until I absolutely have to. I can learn to live with the weird, gross thumping through sludge in my chest.

The surgery itself wasn't horrible. I was out for most of it, though they did wake me up in the middle of it so try and make my heart more active. I cried because it's what I do, and because the feeling was just awful. I can't beats, then slow, then it felt like it stopped all together, rinse and repeat. Then they put me out again and that was that. I had to lay still and straight for two hours and that was torture only because I had to pee so bad!

After two hours the nurse came to get me to help me to the bathroom. I walked fine until I got in there, then suddenly I was creating a small river of blood. I mean, it was all over the floor, my sheets, one of my blankets, my socks. You name it, I bled on it. So then the nurse had to hold me down on the bed and basically press her full body weight onto me to keep me from becoming a fountain. You would not believe the bruise I have from her hand alone. It looks like I got slugged with a baseball bat and it makes it more painful to walk than it would if I just had the incision sites to deal with. Eventually I stopped bleeding and after another three and a half hours of laying still and flat I was able to get up and move without leaving a trail to find my way back with.

It's been interesting keeping myself from doing a lot simply because I am not a person who likes to sit still. Even if I'm watching tv or something I have to be doing something else while I sit there. Thankfully now I can get up and move around without too much pain, it's mostly just discomfort. I haven't tried stairs yet so we'll see how that goes soon enough. Wednesday I start small group so I'm going to have to face those stairs eventually.

Until then, I have a lot of work to catch up on.

Diana Does Stuff Copyright © 2012 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template