Meeting Up with the Surgeon
Today was Don's first outing since surgery. Too bad it wasn't something more fun than a follow-up appointment.
But it was good to get out. Don sat in the backseat and I played chauffeur again. It still seems pretty unlikely that we'd have an accident and airbags would harm his healing chest. But I was glad we'd done as we were told. We only had a 3-mile drive, but just outside of our neighborhood, traffic came to a halt. They were rerouting traffic due to an accident. On our drive home, we witnessed another accident. Yikes!
In the Office
Don and I waited for Dr. A., in the same office where we sat, just over 3 weeks ago. On that day, we had Don scheduled for a stent. I remember staring at this plastic heart on display and thinking. "Oh, that's a stent?"
By the time we left the office that day, I had learned that the colorful model was not showing a stent. I also learned that Don probably wasn't going the stent route, which came with a quick recovery time. It's been 3.5 weeks, since that day and I know a whole lot more about hearts.
While we waited for the doctor, I studied the screen, with some Covid updates. Again, I'm grateful this surgery was in October 2021 and not 2020.
When Dr. A came in, he seemed very happy about Don's progress. The long strip of tape was removed and Don's scar was totally revealed for the first time. Again the doctor seemed pleased. He reminded us, that Don was very lucky that his blockage in the left main artery had been detected, since he had no symptoms. He told us that this is the kind of case you hear about, when some guy who appears totally healthy, is out jogging and suddenly has a heart attack. If there's no one there to help... Gulp. Once again, grateful.
I was glad Dr. A was not rushing us. He was open to questions. Don asked about caffeine and was told he should wait a couple more weeks for coffee. Dr. A did however say Don could have a beer with the Astros game tonight! Really? Hmmm. He even said Don could drive, since he's not on pain meds. (What? Aren't airbags still an issue?) The doctor reminded Don about no lifting, but encouraged as much walking as possible. I asked about Don's immune system and his vulnerability at this point. The doc was vague about how cautious Don should be, but he did mention how much better things are, now. He said that not that long ago, things were pretty rough. Two of his patients got Covid, while recovering from bypasses in the hospital. Again. I'm glad about this timing!
Dr A. finally stood and shook Don's hand. (some doctors have gone to elbow bumps now) I said I had one more question. I was wondering about some of the things I've read, that talk about the connection between open heart surgery and mental health. I mentioned that Don was having a hard time concentrating. Dr A. was quick to say that some patients do have some temporary changes in mood and cognitive abilities soon after. I asked why that would be? He mentioned something about the long surgery and hours of anesthesia and then he mentioned the heart-lung machine...
So I wasn't reading "fake news" yesterday. There really are issues associated with the machine that circulates blood, while the heart is stopped... tiny debris and air bubbles enter the brain. I find this worrisome.
I'm just glad I got a bit of an answer to my question. I wish I'd had the nerve to ask another, "Why don't you tell patients about this earlier?"
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
The most recent post is at the top, from coronary posts in 2022, back to cancer posts in 2016.
To find past posts, look below the "Archives" section, to find "Categories".