Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CardioCatherization

Mike and I spent Monday in the bowels of Fletcher-Allen Health Care so that Mike could have the catherization process to assess his heart and arteries prior to surgery.

He has an aortic aneurysm right at the aortic valve which means that he will be having the artery reconstructed and the valve repaired.  There is a possibility that he will need to have the valve replaced with an artificial if his is too damaged.  Surgery is scheduled for Friday,  July 19.

It is a big operation--with a fairly long recovery period.  However, we feel fortunate that the aneurysm was discovered before it got to bursting stage.  Mike had no symptoms.

There was, of course, a great deal of waiting involved in Monday's procedure.  The cardio unit was a very busy place, but we were impressed with the friendliness and cheerfulness of the staff.  We met the surgeon and his PA and nurse.  Mike was very comfortable with all three.  They did all the preliminary work-ups before we left so that saves another visit.

So now I have homework to do.  We got all kinds of printed material and also a DVD related to homecare after the surgery.  I will have to get myself prepared and put on my Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy.  God help us both!

By the way, Mike absolutely refused to let me be the one who wheeled him to the lobby when it was time to go home.  And he told everybody why.

27 comments:

  1. Hope everything goes well. My father had a pig valve put in his heart when he was 70. It worked very well. That was in the late 70s or early 80s. Don't know what they use today. It is indeed a big surgery with a significant recovery period. In my father's case there was a lot of emotional issues to be dealt with. I'm not sure why but heart attacks & heart surgery has significant emotional impact. Good luck to both of you.

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    1. They still use cow or pig valves. My father had coronary heart disease but refused to have by-pass surgery (in the 60's) but was ornery enough to keep going until only 20% of his heart was functioning. Mike's concern is the hit to his independence during the recovery period--way more than for the surgery itself.

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  2. My husband had a sudden quadruple bypass 5 years ago at age 65. Now, at age 70, a routine scan show an abdominal aneurysm. His 72 year old brother has one and his mother did as well when she passed away at age 96. His mother's sister and son died in their 40's from brain aneurysms. It appears some heredity is involved. My husband and brother-in-law are being monitored every 6 months. There have been so many advances in medicine and we are so fortunate - good luck to your husband.

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    1. It does sound like an heredity factor at work for your family. Mike's doctor asked about that and told us there was a link to a genetic connective tissue disorder, but he seemed to rule that out for Mike.

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  3. It will be along journey when you both get home, but I have had friends make it through even more complex heart operations and now my friend is riding a bike at 78. Of course, he new how to ride a bike before the operation. ;-)

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    1. I am hoping Mike will get himself a bike when we are in Florida next winter. He used to be good about daily walking until he started having problems with his feet.

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  4. I'll pray for both of you. That sounds like a major operation. I know he will recover well. Good luck!

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  5. You and Mike are in my thoughts and prayers as he goes through this procedure. I totally enjoyed reading about your wheelchair misadventure!
    Peace,
    Muff

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  6. Good luck for Friday - I'll be thinking of you both - lots of good vibes!

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  7. The scary thing: he showed no symptoms. The amazing thing: all the incredible medical procedures they can do today. Best of luck to Mike!

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    1. We feel lucky that this was discovered before the aneurysm burst. That is usually a fatal symptom.

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  8. Good luck on Friday. I hope he feels much better after the surgery.

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  9. Aren't cardiology people just so nice???? I think it's probably part of the job description to stay upbeat and friendly. But still, it's so appreciated, isn't it? I'll be thinking of you both as this amazing surgery gets closer. Think of it. Not so long ago, it wouldn't have been a possibility. A miracle, really.

    And the 2011 story about the wheelchair is ROFL stuff! Thanks for that.

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  10. Ah yes, I remember you racing with Mike before when you almost knocked that poor lady down. Such a rascal you are with that need for speed. That link explains why I have had several hits today to an old post. Thanks again for those kind words.
    I am just so glad that this was caught in time and that he is happy with his doctor. That is huge.
    I have total faith in your Nurse Jane skills. Just get him a bell to ring when he needs something.:))
    Keeping you both in my prayers.

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    1. HA! Right, I definitely will be supplying him with a bell!! Please don't encourage him!

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  11. Olga, I will keep you and Mike in my thoughts and prayers this Friday. It sounds like you are both going to need lots of support and care for a while... and I'm sure you will get that from family and friends. But do keep blogging and keep us informed of Mike's progress.

    And I have to tell you that you mentioning Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy from Uncle Wiggily brought fond memories of my brother reading those stories to me when I was a little girl.

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    1. I am glad someone else remembers Nurse Jane!

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  12. Oh my, that is a big deal, for both of you. I have slow deterioration of my aortic valve, and will most likely have to have a valve job sometime in my future. I don't know which is more frightening, being the patient, of being the home health care provider.
    Good luck to both of you.

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  13. If Patti sends up a bell from Arkansas (and don't think Mike has not already thought of it himself), I can tell you with dead certainty who will have the harder role.

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  14. Thanks for all the positive energy sent our way. We appreciate it so much.

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  15. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck to you, Mike.

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  16. Lots of positive thoughts coming towards you and Mike!

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  17. Wow, this has come out of the blue for you and Mike! Keep us posted, please - we'll think of you both. I don't blame Mike at all for not letting you drive his wheelchair!

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  18. Hope all goes smoothly and wishing for a speedy recovery! You will be in my prayers!

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  19. Oh oops about the wheelchair. I'm glad they found this when they did for Mike. I can just imagine how worried you are, Olga. I'll be thinking about you both. I sure hope the recovery time goes quicker than anticipated... and that it's pain free.

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  20. Thank goodness the aneurysm was caught early on. Wishing Mike the best through the surgery and the recovery. My thoughts will be with you both.

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