Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heart Attack

Yesterday did not go as planned. The reconstruction part of my surgery, swapping out my tissue expander for my final gel breast implant, went well. When they put the implant in they sculpt the pocket at the same time, doing their best to match it to the other side. I haven't seen it yet because I am still all wrapped up, but the plastic surgeon told my parents it turned out well. But, after completing the implant he moved to taking out my port. This is what I was most looking forward to having done, and the reason I scheduled the surgery as soon as I could after chemo. Otherwise, I would probably have waiting until the fall to finish my reconstruction. 

 When he removed my port he discovered that part of the plastic tubing had broken off at some point. Apparently he has never removed one that has done that, and at first thought he might have cut through part of it. I'm sure it gave him a mini heart attack before he realized that he didn't do it. When they discovered that a piece of my port was missing they did an x-ray to determine where it was. It had traveled through my heart and was sitting in a vein.

Waking up from surgery the first thing I was told was that part of my port was broken off and I would need to have another procedure for them to try to remove it. They expected to be ready for me in about a half an hour...and it was about 10:30am. In the mean time they transferred me to the hospital and hooked me up to a heart monitor. As were were talking I asked if I could or would have felt this piece go through my heart and everyone thought that might have been possible. 

Once that came out, I realized that I remember this happening. On March 15th I was house sitting and was in town by myself. I was having a weird fluttering or twitching feeling in my chest. At first I thought I was having a heart attack but nothing else was happening and I felt totally fine. I decided that I must be getting paranoid after all of this crazy medical stuff. I went to bed and told Tarra about it the next day while we were selling tack at the Canby Tack Sale. Tarra agreed with my paranoid assessment and I never thought any more about it. Crazy!

We waited and waited to get any other news as to when they would be taking me in for the next procedure. Around 2pm the nurse got the okay for me to have clear fluids so I finally got some apple juice. They came to get me around 3:45 and started the procedure close to 4. They went in through my femoral artery at my groin and used whatever cool tools they have to go up through my heart and grab this piece from my port, bringing it back through my heart and finally out through my groin. It was so weird! They numbed me up and gave me drugs to make me sleepy but I never actually did sleep. It took about an hour, as it was hard for them to get a hold of and they kept trying different tools. I watched part of the surgery on their screen, and I felt them pull it back through my heart and out my groin. 
The 4 inch piece they pulled out

Once the procedure was done I had to spend 3 hours laying flat on my back to help decrease the risk of the femoral artery bleeding. I was able to have a little bit of water, applesauce and pudding, although with out being able to sit up, it was a bit tricky. About an hour an a half in to that time I asked if I could get up and use the restroom since they had me on IV fluids all day. The answer was no, so I just had to wait. From about 7-8 the lady who I was sharing a room with kept asking my mom to help her, so she would press the lady's call button and when the nurse would come in she would either forget what she needed or say she couldn't breath. The nurse was being called every 5 minutes, if not more frequently. It made me laugh a little bit and I was SO thankful that I didn't have to spend the night, but I also felt really sad for her. From previous discussions we had heard earlier in the day the woman was a smoker and had done some serious damage to her lungs. Evidently she was also having heart problems, and the doctors couldn't give her any timeline for when (or if) she will be able to get out of the hospital. Be thankful for today, and all of the good things in your life. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow. 

Finally, a little after 8pm I was allowed to get up, get dressed, use the restroom, and be discharged. Yah! My dad had left the hospital a couple of hours prior to make me a yummy dinner of rice and teriyaki chicken tenders. Dinner was in my hand as soon as I walked through the door. I topped it off with some chocolate m'n'm ice cream from my little brother, and I went to bed. I'm feeling alright today. Definitely sore and a bit uncomfortable but nothing too bad. Thank you to Kellie, my parents, and my grandparents for hanging out with my at the hospital yesterday, and for all of the love, prayers, and good wishes from everyone. I'm excited to have this all behind me and I'm looking forward to being completely healthy in the near future! 

16 comments:

  1. How scary! I am glad you are okay!

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  2. What an ordeal! I am glad you are ok and that the whole thing is over. Praying for quick recovery and for you to feel better asap!

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    1. Thank you. I'm already feeling better. :)

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  3. Wow... Glad that you are alright. Hope you are back to feeling better in no time!

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    1. I will be back to normal soon. My body has been working overtime to repair itself these past several months.... :)

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  4. bless your heart girlfriend, you have been through hell and back. How do you stay so positive?! This negative nancy is always learning lessons from you. Thank You!

    Hope you're back in the saddle shortly!

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I'm feeling better already, and I'm looking foward to riding regularly again soon.

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  5. oh my gosh when you said "a little piece" I was NOT thinking "4" piece of TUBING" WOW. insane. So glad it all went well!

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    1. Yes....just a little crazy! I'm glad everything turned out alright.

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  6. OMG thats sounds completely insane!!
    Glad your ok though.

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