Yesterday morning, I woke up at 4am or there abouts and couldn't go back to sleep. I knew the nurse would be coming to prep me for my "procedure" at anytime and I was a little nervous. By the time the nurse came in I had worked myself into a big bundle of nerves and was crying (not that sobbing cry but quiet fearful tears). My nurse, Nana, once again to the rescue. When I grabbed her hand and said "no one has died from this have they?" she didn't say no (because I'm sure that would be an untruth. She said "people have died from NOT having it done". In an odd way, that made me feel better. So she prepped me and then let me take a shower.
While I was in the shower, I thought things like: Surely this isn't my last day on earth and here I am taking a shower in this hospital room. Did I do everything God put me on earth to do? Is he going to say "Well done my good and faithful servant"? Does everyone know how much I love them? Is this going to hurt? What are they going to do to me? When do I get my Valium?
Oh, you can bet I asked about that Valium. I mean, I enjoyed that morphine, why wouldn't I like Valium? Surely that would calm these nerves.
After I was all showered and ready for my big procedure, Joan came and got me. I was hoping I would get to see Conrad and my mom before I went in but it wasn't looking good on that front. They weren't there when I went down to the Cath Lab.
Joan is a lovely nurse who came and talked to me and told me everything they would do to me. Calmed my nerves and also reiterated the fact that people had died from NOT getting this done (WAY more often than from getting it done, her tone suggested). Then, she did give me a Valium and benedryl. Talk about a calming effect on someone, by the time Mumsey and Conrad got there I was feeling no nerves about this.
Then they took me back. A large man, Mark, came and got me and he was so nice and turns out, he's a nurse and did the final prep work for this Angiogram. He introduced me to DeeDee and Pam and apparently they had been on the TV the week before introducing this robot that only they had in this surgical room. Don't ask me what it does but they were talking about needing to name it so I asked if I could help. "Of course!" they said. So I came up with "Robbie" and they liked it. I'm not sure if they were just blowing hot air up my hospital gown or if it's really going to be called that but, I believe they are so, that's enough for me! I feel like I did something good while lying on that table.
I don't remember alot about it, except that it did hurt (I think someone said something about the anesthesia not working quite as well as it should have with me) but only when they poked me and plugged me. Not the inbetween part. I didn't get to see my heart on the 6 monitors they had going - very disappointed in that. They know how to warm a blanket in that hospital. And, it didn't take long at all. I have no idea how long I was back there but it didn't seem long at all.
The Doctor went and talked to my family then came and talked to me. And, oddly, they have a different recollection of what's wrong with me. He told them that I have an almost non-existent artery, a congenital condition that I can do nothing about. He told me that I have a mitral valve prolapse which there's not much to be done about that as long as the valves aren't leaking (which they aren't). So, no blockage, no stints, just some foreknowledge that can come in handy if i should ever get leaky in my valves.
I became aware of some things while in recovery. I know 3 hours spent on your back will make you hurt like nobody's business. I know one of those nurses in that Cath Lab can flat rub a back. I know two darvocet will make me not care that I'm lying flat on my back for three hours and it takes about half an hour* to get them and another 20 minutes for it to work. I know you can have all the cranberry or cran-grape juice you can drink in recovery and they have good ice, much like sonic drive-ins. I know it's alot harder to go on a bedpan than one would think. I know that Joan has to be one of the kindest people I've ever run across and I so appreciate her wisdom, kindness and humor.
Finally, it wast time to go home! First, I got to get up - slowly but surely, then I got to walk to the bathroom and clean up a little. I know that sounds like not that big a deal. But, that bathroom was a million miles away when you'd just been lying on your back for 3 hours and had just had something jabbed/plugged into your leg (and up into your heart). But, then I got to put on my new "New Orleans Saints Superbowl Champions" shirt my Mumsey brought me and walk out that hospital door and back to my house. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see my house...EVER!! My bed was a welcome sight and a place I haven't left too often since I've been home. I'm to be a couch/bed potato for 2 days so I'm happy to stay here, as long as I'm HOME!
I'm happy to see my cats (and even a little happy to see Paco - as long as he's not jumping on me). Happy to be available whenever my children need a kiss or hug. And, really happy to be lying beside my sweet husband again who has been a real saint through this whole ordeal.
I want to thank Conrad from the bottom of my heart for being there for me and the kids during this time. Not complaining, not ever making me feel like I have put him out by asking for him to bring things (mostly clean underwear - in case you want to know) up to me. For just being the strong rock of a man I've always known him to be but tender enough to show emotion and show me how much he loves me at the same time.
I love that my children's face lit up each time they walked in the door of my room and in turn warmed my heart just by seeing them.
I so appreciate all the people who took the time to come see me or phone me or send me emails and prayed for me. You will never know how much I appreciated those.
And Mumsey? Thank you for being there for me. You just don't know how much you need your Mom until something like this happens. Sure, I could lay in my room all day by myself, but would I have really just laid there? No, I would have gotten up to make myself something to eat or what have you. Well, today I wouldn't have gotten up, I didn't have the energy. I anticipate tomorrow having a bit more energy so I may try to cheat a little. Mom is here to make sure I keep it in check and don't do too much. Thank you, Mumsey for taking time out of your life to come take care of me.
So, now this ordeal is over. I will, in 10 days, clear up exactly what the Doctor told me as compared to Conrad and Mom and I'll let you know what the final diagnosis is. But, I thank each and every person who had a hand in helping me through this. I love you all.
* I don't know for sue that it took half an hour to get the darvocet, but it seemed like an eternity.