Saturday, January 21, 2006

So Far, So Good

Cindy came through the heart surgery very, very well. The doctor came and talked to us before she got back to the room. He told us she tolerated it well and he did as much as he dared. He said the problems were in her right ventricle portion of her heart. Because her heart wasn't constantly misfiring, he had to keep giving doses of adrenaline so her heart would act up, then he would back off and zap the misfiring nerve. Then he would give more, back off and zap some more. He said he went as deep into the heart as he dared to go. He told us that there was a 70 to 80 percent chance that he got it all. She was to be kept in overnight and they would monitor her. About thirty minutes later she was brought back into the room - almost four hours from when they took her to surgery. She was fully awake, which surprised me. She said she was wide awake during most of the procedure and was able to watch most of it on a monitor which she requested to be moved to where she could watch. She said she was only unconscious when they threaded up into her heart and when they removed the probe. She is like me and found the whole thing very interesting. (Cheryl said, "No way, knock me out for the whole thing!")

By the time we left tonight she was feeling quite tired and she said her heart was feeling sore. Jonathan did not stay the night. It was mutually decided that it would be better if he came home with us. Poor kid, he had such mixed emotions about leaving. He was feeling guilty for leaving her there and cried. Cindy kept assuring him it was best for both of them. She felt she could rest better and he wouldn't be bored. He wanted to "take care" of her. Since her room was right outside the nurses station, he was comforted by the fact that they were very close by and could help her if she needed anything. We left about 6:30 and turned out the lights so she could get some sleep.

We came home to a great dinner already prepared by my brother. Yes, Mom and Bill arrived from NY yesterday with no problem. Mom tolerated the trip very, very well. She does amazingly well for being 91! She even went grocery shopping with Bill and drove a, as she called it, go-cart, around the store for the first time. (Motorized, sit down, shopping cart.) It sure is great to see both of them. Cindy drove my other daughter's, Cheri's minivan to the airport so there would be room for all of us, plus luggage and Mom's wheelchair and walker. Cheri had volunteered to drive to the airport and get them, since she works in downtown Austin and she was closer. However, I wanted to be able to go, so we just swapped Cindy's truck for Cheri's van. By Cindy driving, that saved Cheryl from having to drive in Austin traffic.

My surgery for the portacath also went very well. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m., as I was the first one scheduled. Surgery was at 7:30 and I was back in the day surgery room by 8:05. They used conscious sedation with an amnesia drug, so, unfortunately, I remember nothing of the procedure. In fact, I don't remember much of anything until I was over at the oncology appointment across the street at 10:00 (which we barely made on time). The surgeon also used a local anesthetic where he made the incision. That local lasted for about 12 hours, so it was fully numb most of the day. We went out to eat later that night with Mom and Bill, and I took a vicodin just before we left. The doc said to take one as soon as I felt the local begin to wear off. I was a little loopy at dinner -- but not so much as anyone could tell any difference from my normal loopy personality!

I was a little surprised that the cath is such a raised bump under my skin. I thought it would be flatter. In fact, you can see it through my shirt if I smooth my shirt down across my chest. Because I could start driving again today, I did discover that the seatbelt was a little irritating as it crossed over the incision. It is in place on my left side right below the collar bone. It is a little sore tonight, but not bad. All in all, a very easy time for both of us. If Cindy has a good night, we will bring her home tomorrow. Prayer does work! Thank you to so many who have prayed for us and who do so every day. Continue to pray that Cindy does well, does not need the defibrillator and that my chemo goes just as well next week.


Jenny Lou said...

Good morning John,

You have a lot on your plate. I am going to add Cindy to the prayer chain at St. Michaels Episcopal Church in Austin. Tom is a member of the chain, so he can add her easily. You are already in our prayers. Let me know how chemo goes for you. I think you will be surprised that it is not as scary as one's mind has it out to be. (that was alot of prepositions at the end of that sentence!!) Good luck and I will be waiting to hear about Cindy and you.
Jenny Lou

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