Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OHS: Pt.3: Cardiac Cath

The days leading up to the cardiac cath where some of the best of my life I guess you would say?
I had just got news I needed ANOTHER life saving heart surgery, I was worried and all I wanted to do was have fun. So I did. I spent a lot of time with my then boyfriend. Those day's where also difficult. My symptoms where getting worse. Everything got me out of breath. My chest hurt a lot.
I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to nurse Julie. Setting up plans and preparing. About two days before cath I had to set up for a room at the Ronald McDonald House of Boise.
(Have I ever mentioned how much I hate talking on the phone?)
Those two days are a blur of memories. A blur of my boyfriend and I hanging out. A blur of chest pain. I remember the day before going to Boise I went to my friend's house to hang out with her. I remember dropping my phone in the toilet. (Just like me to ruin a phone before a 3 hour trip through the Mountains.) Then having to stop by the Sheriff's office (where my mom worked) at 11PM to tell her my phone had died. Then rushing home to finish packing and put the phone in a bag of rice to see if I could dry it out. And of course to try and get some sleep.
The next morning was hectic. Running over to my brothers house to see if he could fix the phone because I couldn't get it to turn on. Then finding my old phone that I had before I upgraded. Once I finally got my sim card in my old phone and turned it on I found a message from the doctor who was going to do my cath. From then on it was a bunch of phone tag between me and him.
Phone tag, checking into Ronald McDonald House Boise, shopping at the Boise mall, getting soaked in the rain, more phone tag, dinner at red lobster (but I couldn't eat I was too nervous) and then finally meeting Dr. Womack.
Dr. Womack was, is, an AMAZING man. He met me down in the entrance of St. Luke's Children's Hospital. He explained everything he was going to do the next morning. He then described my heart defect and the surgery that was needed. He even explained everything a tenth time when I began to cry and said I still didn't understand.
The next morning was slow. I remember waking up and going to the hospital and having to sit in the entrance until a orderly would come down and take us up to 3 telemetry. The wait seemed like forever. I remember playing on Facebook on my phone, trying to pass the time. I was so anxious. But finally he came and I got to go upstairs. I got into my gown, I answered all the questions about what I'm allergic too and did I eat that morning? (No of course not, you told me to fast!) Finally doctor Womack came back in and did a physical exam to check my liver and other organs while the nurse put in my IV. That's when nurse Julie came in! She gave me a big hug and said "I feel like I already know you!" She was amazing! Soon it was time for the good drugs. The anesthesiologist then began to ask questions (boyfriends name?) and was sad when mom already knew the answers. Soon they where wheeling me to the cath lab.
I don't remember this, but this is what I was told. The anesthesiologist tried to get me to princess wave down the halls. He was appearntly hilarious to watch. I refused to princess wave. (thank goodness!)

I remember waking up in recovery, coughing so very hard. My throat hurt. I turned to nurse Julie. I was very thankful she was still there. Waking up to a familiar (okay, I only met her a few hours ago, but it was familiar) face just made everything better. I asked if they had to put my on the vent. They told me they were not going to, but my throat was so sore I thought maybe they did. I was right, appearntly I had a reaction to the anastesia and was coughing so hard I was waking myself up. This is when they told me I needed to be checked for asthema. I asked if they blocked veins like they said they might (nope they didn't).

After that all I would ask is what time is it and can I see my mom. I wanted out of the recovery room. Everyone in the room looked dead. They where just laying there, and the only reason I knew they weren't dead was because it was recovery ward. I kept having them switch me from the nasal canula to the mask because I hated the canula.

At one point I got hot and the nurse guy who was watching me walked away for a second. I considered moving the blanket until I realized I was naked from the bottom down. No one needed to see my butt. So I slowly sat up and removed the socks they put on me. At that point the nurse guy came back and gave me a weird look. Appearntly you are not suppose to sit up in recovery.

Eventually it got to the point where I was so anxious that I annoyed the nurses enough that they moved me from recovery to 3 telemarty. (sooner then they thought I would). I was happy to be away from all the sick people and to finally see my mom again! We started joking right away and I told my mom "shut up or I'll kick you." None of the doctors and nurses knew what to make of that and just stared. Eventually nurse Julie spoke up "Use your left leg!" (They had gone in through my right leg and I wasn't allowed to move it for a while.)

The rest of the day was blur of everyone not waiting for a backboard to move me to a different bed but of about 6 people just lifting me with a sheet. A blur of Julie, a blur of my cardiologist coming to see me. A blur of finding out yes, I did need surgery. A blur of meeting an electro physiologist. A blur of a nurse I didn't like a of an amazing nurses assistant name Drew. A blur of having a major headache but they wouldn't give me a meds because they couldn't find a doctor to authorize it. A blur of chugging caffiene to try to get the head ache to go away. Of being anxious and complaining about not moving my leg. Then of finally being able to move my leg and it felt so good that I forgot about the headache for a while. A blur of my mom becoming super bitch and harassing the nurses until they finally gave me some damn asprin and my prozac to help my anxiety.

And then when both kicked in, it was me and my mom joking. She helped me clean up some blood and went to throw away the tissue in the sharps container and lost her ring in it. It was then Dr Womack coming back in and saying "I hear someone is anxious and wants out of here." My reply? "Well now that I have my prozac and asprin I'm good!" He gave me a weird look and then went on to say,

"You've been a lot of trouble, are you worth it?"

I didn't even need to think, I answered

"Hell yes, I'm awesome!"

So we went to a walk so I could go see the video from my cath. He told me it was a good test, because if I was gonna, spring a leak, it's best it happen here in the hospital. He was shocked to see my right ventricle (what tiny little bit of it I had) actually trying to work. It was trying to do its job. Of course, it wasn't, it was just pushing a little bit of blood around, not at all helpful, but it was trying!

I got to go back to the Ronald Mcdonald House after that to spend another night. I remember waking up the next morning and finding another sticky on my shoulder. And then it was the 3 hour drive home to start a whole new journey.

A journey to save my life.

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