I had done my research and both my surgeon, and the hospital were top of the line. Incredible reviews and top notch references for both. At least I had the comfort of knowing whatever he decided would be from a wealth of experience and skill. What surprised me was how much time he spent with my wife and me. He began by asking me to describe everything that I was experiencing and what led me to begin this journey. Then he went through a very detailed review of all the tests and what they revealed. This was where my heart and optimism sank through the floor. All the tests showed I was a good candidate for minimal invasive surgery, but one. Apparently, the TEE showed my tricuspid valve was also leaking as bad, or worse, than the mitral valve. Now, with two valves on opposite sides of the heart, and the ASD, the surgery simply became too complex for even him to perform minimally. I was in for full open heart surgery.
At any rate, our conversation continued on and the doctor described week by week what I was facing with recovery. That sounded amazing. I am particularly looking forward to the chance of hallucinations in ICU the first couple of days. For those of you who do not know me very well, I typed that with a heavy eye roll and sarcasm dripping from my fingers. Each week apparently has its own unique features and challenges that I will be facing, particularly the first four weeks. It seems that the brain does not like being shut down for five or six hours and takes forever to reboot all the rest of the body systems like hormones, cognitive abilities and even the bowels. Fun huh?
Anyway, as I recover, I hope to be able to continue this blog with a weekly tale of how things are going and what challenge each week brings. My intention is partly to help me deal with all of it, but also, and this is the teacher in me, to help let others out there who may be facing the same thing have a better handle on their own situation. So let the fun and games begin. See y'all after the first week of recovery. Or as soon as I can muster the energy to sit at the computer again.