Trust Your Mechanic, Part 1 powered by insomnia
First off I’d like to say thank you to everyone providing well wishes, visiting and sending positive energy my way. It is a beautiful thing to be the recipient of so much positive. Breanne provided such a basis of support, comfort and confidence. I can’t say I went into the procedure calm and I’ll get into the details of that shortly. Again, thanks to everyone for their support, words of comfort, hopes for success and sharing your own experiences with AFib and other similar situations. Feeling connected with friends and loved ones builds strength. As always, there will be a lot of jump around.
It’s been quite the experience. Obviously there are the actual physical repairs involved. AFib is a malfunction of the electrical system of the heart so figuring out the repair isn’t as easy as looking at an image and making a decision on what to do. Yes, the images help point the doctor in the right direction. I think I’ll start off with the details shared with me about the procedure, such an interesting way of figuring out a problem contained in the center of the body…repairing a beating heart. Craziness! I’m intrigued and shocked still.
Thursday morning preparation started early and before I knew it I had a couple of nurses working on and IV, placing various leads to measure heart activity and asking many questions about medications. This discussion also included me talking about anxiousness around needles/catheters that I knew would be placed for extended periods of time. Haha. I mentioned that might be my biggest concern about the procedure over everything else. I was relieved to hear from the anesthesiologist. She reassured me I would be completely out before they started on any of the needles. Phew!
The access points for the working catheters going to my heart would be through both femoral veins at the top of my legs. They route through the femoral veins into the heart’s right atrium. Amazingly the next step is piercing the septum dividing the right and left atria. Crazy!!! It does get more better and intense. According to my hazy recollection and some reinforcements from Breanne, they then map the electrical activity at normal. Then they load you up with adrenaline and put your heart into AFib. Wow! This allows for electrical mapping while the heart is losing it, so to speak.
Let me do an aside of the type of doctor who does these procedures. They are MD’s specializing in Electro Physiology. Here’s a definition I like a lot: “Cardiac electrophysiology is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart.” thanks google… My Electro Physiologist MD is not only genius, he’s quite entertaining and fascinated by the way Breanne and I live. There will be a Part “x” on that one. Spending 5 minutes with this guy and I was sold. Again, I’m not so worried about what he was going to do with my heart, I was so much more concerned with those needles going into my femoral veins. I’m not sure why that is such a phobia. Maybe it’s diagnosable. Even the IV in my arm was stressful. Haha.
So, back to the craziness. Once they are able to map the crazy electrical activity they somehow manipulate the catheters in your heart to burn the offending tissues. Sounds straightforward…except for your heart is BEATING!!! Interesting fact: I left the procedure 11 pounds heavier than before. Take a guess why? So they are burning offending heart tissue. The best way to keep things cool is cold water. Keeping things cool by water makes a lot of sense. Go figure.
I’ve got a lot more details to share. I’m going to leave it at this for now besides give an update on my current status. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of jumping around in my narrative. I am trying to deliver this message in the way it make sense to me. I really am trying to describe this as I see it and I realize it’s a bit all over the place. Work with me.
A quick summary of the early part of this week is I am stoked. I made it through this procedure. It was heavy. I realized I am repaired. I spent an hour on Tuesday practicing yoga. I felt better than I can remember in a very long time. I cried tears of relief and joy. Tears of hope for what is to come. I knew when I would share this with Breanne she would be overjoyed. I know I was. There are more tests to do on myself. I am confident they will be successful.
I’m still trying to contain my enthusiasm and handle my emotions. Since I realized how bad I’ve been feeling for quite a while it is disappointing I didn’t listen to my body. I am so grateful there are ways to repair the body. It’s slightly overwhelming. I am committing myself to sharing this process. It’s selfish, definitely. I hope it’s also useful as I share these deep feelings and realizations.
May you find a light to guide you. It may seem dim at times. If you trust it, you’ll realize you’re not following it, you are allowing it to assist your passage, allowing your energy to flow in a direction you may not have noticed.