Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Calling a Doctor a Jackass Saved My Life.

I was talking to my friend Ashley today about her son's upcoming surgery and how much of a nervous wreck she is. So I started telling her how nervous I was while waiting for my surgery. And then we came about the story of how calling a doctor a jackass saved my life. So I decided to share with all of you. 

Late 2008 I found out I would be having my surgery at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Every day leading up to the surgery I just felt this horrible unease. My mom and grandpa felt it too. No one liked the fact I was going to have surgery, there. But of course, they didn't say any of this to me. And I continued to wait, steadily feeling worse about it all, until finally I realized what was wrong. I KNEW I would die. I KNEW I'd be seeing my dad again soon. I was really reluctant on telling my mom this, but eventually I just couldn't keep it in any longer.

Everyone tried to be supportive telling me everything would be okay, until one day I yelled at them. We didn't know thing's were going to be okay, and I honestly believed they wouldn't be. But still, we didn't do anything about it. We waited and waited. I decided to read My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult to pass the time. That was a bad idea. At the end of the book I broke down and cried so hard. That was the night I decided to write notes to everyone I loved. 

I wrote a note to my brother, my mom, my boyfriend at the time, my grandma, and my best friend. I hid them under my computer key board knowing eventually someone would pack up my room and find them. Finally the day came, we left for Salt Lake. 

About a day or two before surgery the hospital called telling me we had to postpone surgery because I haven't had my pre-op testing. This made me mad, they never even told me to come have it done. They where going to make me wait even longer. And they where bumping up someone else's surgery. Those poor people, what if they weren't ready!? But I did as they send and we immediately went over to Primary's to get the pre-op testing done.

This included 2 echos, blood work, EKG's, all the normal heart stuff. It also included meeting my surgeon and the cardiologist in charge of my case. Now as much as I'd love to name names and call them out on how horrible they where to me, I wont. Because I know I have some friends who might read this who go to these doctors and like them. And I don't want to get in trouble either.

So anyways I met the surgeon first. He came into the room shook all three of our hands (my mom, me and my brother) and got right down to business. I could tell right away I didn't like him. He didn't have a very good bedside manner and he was very rude. He told me I couldn't have kids and I asked a simple question. 

"What is life without kids? Whats the point?"

Cause you see I've always wanted to be a mom. That's all I've ever wanted. When he answered he wasn't even a little bit compassionate. He was down right cold actually. I asked again and he said the same thing. I could tell I wasn't going to get any more out of him. He went on talking about the surgery and it seemed like he was rushing. So eventually I stood up, shouted, "You know what!? You're a jackass" and stormed out of the room.

It took my mom and brother a couple to seconds to realize what happened and follow me out. I ran past the nurses station bawling (I cry when I'm angry) all heads turned to look at me. Finally they caught up and calmed me down. Eventually we went to meet with the cardiologist. She told me I was in severe heart failure, I could drop dead any second, and without surgery I didn't have more then 5 years to live. 

Oh and they would no longer do the surgery.

So we left and called the doctor. I was freaking out and wanted to give up. But eventually he got me in with a surgeon in Spokane Washington. We went there and met him a few days before surgery and did my pre-op. Once I met him I felt comforted. I knew I was going to get through this. 

My open heart surgery was done July 24, 2009. Dr Worrall, an amazing surgeon at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital, performed it and did a wonderful job. After surgery was finished he talked with my mom and told her that he had to hook me up to the heart lung machine and just let me sit for half an hour before he could cut in. My heart was so swollen and up against the breast bone it needed to rest and un-swell a bit before anything could be done. If he didn't let it he would have cut right through the heart and that would have been the death of me. 

And now we know why I would have died in Primary's. The self confident surgeon wouldn't have waited, he would have just cut right in and killed me. 


  1. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS POST!! I can guarantee you, the next time I feel like a doctor is being a jackass, he will know it!! Thank you for sharing. I am posting this on my blog. Hope you don't mind :)