Thursday, March 10, 2011

Part Two - My Surgery

I lost count with how many EKG's I had overnight. There was one right after another at point because the doctor on call didn't like the way something looked. The second one appeared better to him so I thought everything was okay.

At around 2am I was finally able to get up. It felt amazing to finally move. I had severe back pain as well as my left shoulder issue and the Tylenol 3 they gave me did nothing except make me a bit sick.

Then at 5am the nurse woke me up by turning on the brightest light EVER. I got two hours of sleep at this point and couldn't go back to sleep after having blood pressure, temp, EKG, weight and blood taken.

By 7am I was starving. I had not eatten anything except for a few bites of the dryest (but most delicious) turkey sandwich in 36 hours. I couldn't wait for breakfast to come. Shortly after my primary nurse came in and mentioned something about my sinus rhythm continually going below 60 all through the night. At this point I still thought things would be okay. But quickly found out the reason I was beeping all night was because each time my pulse rate went below 60. In fact there were a few times it was in the 40's. Not good.

A few minutes before 9am, incidently a few minutes before breakfast was going to be brought in, they came in to do yet another EKG. Immediately after they finished hooking me up my Cardiac Electrophysiologist (CE to save me typing it out in future), PA, and another nurse came in the room. The PA turned off the television, the CE said the EKG could wait. Uh oh, this wasn't going to be good. Then my CE sat down across from me and explained my rare case again and how the second SVT was that lucky 1-2% that is close to the junction box and it was indeed damaged when they did the ablation.

I would need a pacemaker.

At that moment I felt like my world was crashing in on me. I knew this was a 1-2% chance when going in but I wasn't fully prepared for it at all. My husband was still in Jersey taking care of a few things before coming in to pick me up to take me home. I warned him I thought something may delay me going home that day but I had no idea it would be this. My CE was amazing and was able to get me in for the pacemaker procedure immediately with another surgeon he worked with. He also called Bart to explain everything. After everyone left the room I called my Mom. My Dad answered the phone and all I could get out was "Can I talk to Mommy?". He asked if everything was okay and I told him no and I needed a pacemaker. He put my Mom right on the phone. I don't know how she even understood me through my crying. I was devestated. After I spoke to her I called Bart. I was being brought down for prep in a few moments so we didn't have much time to talk. We both were crying and he was going to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Within minutes they were wheeling me back down to the prep area. I spoke with a whole bunch of people, saw some of the amazing team I did the day before and in mere moments I was being moved into surgery again. I called my husband to tell him I was going in and that I loved him and would see him later.

There was a different vibe in the operating room this time. They had music on while they got me prepped. I found that after the procedure I would be able to sit up right away and walk shortly after. This time I was under twilight sedation but I fell asleep. In fact I found out after the procedure I was snoring. I woke up as they were stitching me up.

I felt much better initially after the pacemaker was implanted than I did after the ablation. I was able to sit up and get onto my bed to be moved to my room. One of the wonderful people that worked with me (I can't remember his name or title) had music playing as they got me unhooked and had the most fabulous personality. Honestly he made the experience feel so much less stressful.

Seeing my husband right after was amazing. I was so relieved to see him. We went to my room and got settled in again. A little time past I sent hubby out to get me some food. I was starving. Unfortunately I was only able to eat about a third of my sandwich but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The hours past, more EKG's were taken, antibiotics given. My CE and PA came in the room and did an interrogation on my pacemaker to make sure it was working properly. All I had to wait for was an X-Ray to get me cleared to go home that night.

Just around 8pm I got my next round of antibiotics and found out my X-Ray came back good. The PA came into the room to go over all of the details, wrote me out a precription for pain meds and gave me the option to stay the night or go home. I opted to go home. I wanted my own bed, to get puppy kisses from my beasties and to get some sleep.

Recovery was going to be much longer than with the ablation. For one week I would not be able to lift anything over 10lbs with my right arm. That was pretty much it. Now in addition to that I would not be able to shower for 5 days, lift my left arm up or behind me for 6 weeks. Oh and no lifting anything heavier than 10lbs for 6 weeks....umm that would be a challenge with a 32lb toddler at home.

After the antibiotics the only medicine I needed to take is Tylenol once a day for 30 days. And my Xanax as needed. And oh boy in the upcoming days would I need it.

Getting the IV's removed felt wonderful. The nurse allowed us to take home one pain med since we were not going to be able to get them filled until the next morning. Hubby helped get me dressed and then we just waited for the wheelchair.

They wheeled me down to the entry way and told Bart he was allowed to wheel me to the parking lot and leave the wheelchair in the doorway.

We were on our way home and I was on a very bumpy road to recovery.

Nina's Mama


  1. Wow!! I work in the OR, so I get what you went through (hospital wise). You poor woman. I hope and pray you are on the mend. You have a cute blog. Following from the hop, hope you can follow back.
    God Bless,

  2. Hope you are feeling better! Following from Relax and Surf Sunday.


  3. Oh my goodness, you've been through so much! Take care of yourself and keep smiling.

    I'm a new follower from Relax and Surf Sunday. Nice to meet you! Hope you can swing by and say hello. :)

    Wife on the Roller Coaster

  4. I am following you (suelee1998) from the blog hop, you have a great site. Would you please follow me back?
    thank you :)

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