Today I had my scheduled left heart cath, which was to determine what type of surgery I would be having on October 20. I already had a right heart cath, so we finished out the other side of the heart today.
Dan and I drove down to Ann Arbor last night, due to the early morning arrival time in Ann Arbor. Our friends Shaun and Amanda graciously took Mazy over night. That meant her and her friend Isaac had their first sleepover! Thankfully Mazy slept well and we are so thankful for their generosity in loving our daughter like their own!
We did not arrive at the hotel until about 8 last night, but that meant we still had time to get in 3 rounds of Skip-Bo. You may have seen me post about our on-going Skip-Bo tourney with each other in the past, and this time, this round of 3 had special meaning. Almost to the day, 5 years ago, we started this little score card on a sticky note. We had just lost the twins and we were on a little getaway to regroup our lives, thanks to the generosity of a family who let us stay at their cottage for free. It was life-changing, literally, as we learned to enjoy life again, but also learn to live life, grieving the loss of dreams we had of having those two in our lives.
And last night, we sat playing again, and the score was 61-61. Best of 3. (If we played all 3 games in best of 3, that is 366 games of Skip-Bo). As we sat and played, we reminisced what the past 5 years have looked like. Last night, though we sat in a hotel room in preparation for my upcoming heart surgery, we sat knowing we had a little girl, our little sweet Mazy Grace in our lives, thanks to God’s grace in our lives. To see our lives come together in that moment, though it did not always make sense at the time, was humbling and faith-building.
So here’s to 122 more rounds of 3, Dano! We jokingly said that when we pass away someday, that our Skip-Bo scores have to be etched in our graves. Actually we aren’t really joking. It explains so much of who we are!
Anyways, so this morning we headed back to the cardiovascular center for my heart cath. They were on time, as always, but like any medical procedure, it just takes a bit to get it all done. I was assuming I would be knocked out for the whole procedure, but I actually remember it all, meaning I was pretty awake. It was a bit more painful than I expected, due to the fact that I was awake I think, but it was quick and mission accomplished! The doctors did not find one blockage in my arteries, which means I will (hopefully) have my heart surgery done through the ribs. Though, I am told by the surgeon that it is still painful and the recovery is just as long, but it’s just different. But hey, I’m okay with different! I know what a sternum heart surgery feels like, so if I can go into it not knowing what to expect, I feel like that could be to my benefit.
After a left heart cath, the only strange thing is that you have to keep the arm still for a few hours. I think I would have gone home sooner, but my incision kept bleeding and I had significantly low blood pressure, like 68/42. For me, that is insanely low, though I did not feel ill, which was good. When you don’t eat and drink all day, that doesn’t help, so once I got moving, it improved to 81/58. Still quite low, but for me, that was manageable. With heart issues, you soon learn that blood pressure, fluid levels, and weight can fluctuate in 15 minutes, so this was no different!
What was interesting, was that they used a pressurized band to put pressure on the incision. Then over time, they deflate the “pillow” underneath the bracelet (see below)
I was thinking that I would be leaving this lovely brace at home, but no-sir-ree, it came with us! I have to keep my wrist relatively straight for at least 24 hours, which means this brace comes with me, everywhere I go. I’ve never seen anything of the sorts, but it sure did the job. Mazy had fun playing with it too, when I took it off to give my fingers a breather!
On Friday we head back to Ann Arbor for all of my pre-op testing, which I am looking forward to. Then after that, it will hopefully be smooth sailing until October 20! We have been encouraged by today’s results and are eager to get this moving. Not being up to par as a parent has been the most difficult part for me, like wanting to lift Mazy up to snuggle. But that little girl so gets it! As I was lying on the couch tonight, she brought me a stuffed animal, blanket, and kissed my “owie” to make it feel all better. Now that is a girl who has a tender heart! When I had tears welling up in my eyes due to pain, she says “mommy sad, mommy okay?” (After reading my discharge papers again, I realized I could take Tylenol and what relief that brought!) The depth of her love, I tell ya!
I hope to give another update on Friday, as we hope to learn more about the actual surgery, what to expect, etc. And I must say again, I am married to an AMAZING man! Talk about a guy who has gone above and beyond! Couldn’t be more thankful for him. It is bringing out a different role in both of us, which is an adjustment, but I am humbled by the man I am married to!
Much to be thankful for!