Today we had yet another productive day spent at the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center!
Our morning started off with my TEE, where they stick an ultrasound probe down the esophagus, about the size of an index finger. After gargling some pretty nasty liquid, my throat was numb and I was given sedation. Apparently I was pretty restless, so I was given the maximum sedation, which therefore caused me to come out of it downright crazy. I mean Dan has like 8 videos of me saying the most obsurd things, from saying our van was the ticket, to the bars of the ceiling falling down on me, to wanting a bread that doesn’t rip when I spread butter on it. I supposedly had the room in stitches and of course I remember none of it! Always adds to the day when Kristin gets put under!
The test went well and by the time I was fairly coherent, we met with my potential surgeon, who I can now confidently say will be my surgeon!
Have you ever gone into a situation and thought okay, “this” is the best case scenario? I do it all the time. I like to have a positive outlook on life. But then God all of a sudden says “oh honey, just wait…”
Well that’s what happened today.
After talking with the surgeon, he said my heart is quite sick, but I need nothing done like right now, at this moment. But I will not be able to live like this the rest of my life, as heart failure would take my life. All things we knew. My heart is just being overworked and it’s just time.
After he described what was going on with my heart, he said that he really wants to go in and just fix everything that might potentially be wriong. My tricuspid valve is also enlarged so if it is over a certain size, they will insert an o ring into that one as well. With the mitral valve, they will fix the leaflets, put an o ring in, and also make something tighter as well.
I will need one more heart catheriation done on the left side of my heart to take a closer look at the connection of the artery onto my heart. If that is starting to look like it has some wear, he will also fix that during the surgery, but I will for sure need open heart surgery then.
Then here’s where God knocked out socks off. If that connection from my previous surgery looks good, he will do the surgery through my rib cage and not through opening up my sternum! It is still a long recovery, but just different because the bone doesn’t have to heal too.
I started to tear up. Now granted we will not know the answer until Monday, November 13, when I have my heart cath, but even to have that as an option, just knocked our socks off!
After answering a few more questions, he said it was time to set a date, which again, was so what we were praying for!
My heart surgery is scheduled for Thursday, November 30. When I first heard that as the first available, I was a bit bummed because I was hoping it would be sooner, but then God reminded me that He is in control of time. Not me.
This way, we can do things we wanted to do in September and October, but also enjoy the holidays as well. We know this too, is all part of God’s perfect plan.
The surgeons hope is that after my surgery, I will be able to live a completely normal life and possibly never have to have another surgery. He said the best thing I can do is exercise after my surgery, to encourage a decreasing of heart size, as it is significantly enlarged. Again, news that was far better than best case scenario. Exercising is something I so enjoy and to be able to introduce it back into my life, by the doctor’s orders, oh what a day!
We topped off the day be scheduling about 5 appointments on Monday, November 13, like blood draws, history and physical, a heart cath, and multiple meetings with different people in preparation for surgery.
Then we ended the day with yet another blood draw. Poor guy didn’t know where to draw blood from because I had a few marks already.
Now we can prepare our hearts, our home, and just enjoy these next few months, hopefully not wishing the time away!
We are so incredibly grateful for the way God answered our prayers today by opening up the door for an alternative way for surgery, via the rib cage, but also to get dates set for surgery and prep for the surgery. We feel we are in the best place with the best care! The U of M has been top notch, though of course the safest place to be is in the palm of God’s hand.
On the way to the doctor, we heard the song Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp, which we had sung at our wedding. As we sat and listened to the words, we knew that even 11 years later, those words held true all the more!
We will walk by faith, even when we cannot see, only because of God’s grace!