A Heart-felt Week

Well. This has been an interesting week. On Tuesday morning, an incredibly skilled surgeon, Dr. Vinay Badhwar, was snipping at a floppy flap in my heart using a robot, then placing a titanium ring around the problematic valve to keep it functioning as it should. And now, here I am on Saturday morning, sitting on my couch, telling you about it. Mind-boggled doesn’t begin to cover the way I feel.

That Tuesday morning began with surgical preparation, which itself began with the statement, “We’re going to shave you from your neck to your ankles.” I thought that this was some hospital hyperbole, but it turns out they were rather literal–to a point. They shaved my legs, but only on the tops, so now my shin bones look like two tonsured, Medieval monks.

When they wheeled me into the operating room, I expected to see Princess Leia washing her hands because that was the whitest, most futuristic place in which I have ever been. At that point, I remember having a pleasant and very detailed conversation with one of the anesthesiologists. Then I remember being in ICU with tubes and needles stuck in me and some gadget sutured to my neck. Once the chest drainage tube came out on the afternoon following surgery, the recovery really began to accelerate. Of course, they kept sticking me at all hours of the day and night in order to thin my blood, measure blood sugar, and inject anti-biotics, among other things that I remember. I was stuck so much that I even winced when we got stuck in a little bit of traffic on the way home.

In any case, the medical population that I fit into is “unique” as one of my excellent nurses, put it. I have a very healthy heart, which happened to have a mechanical flaw, “since birth,” according to Dr. Badhwar.

Star Wars surgery Tuesday morning, home on Friday afternoon. Beyond mind-boggling, this experience is already producing an interesting set of emotions, but more on that tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a really cool photo. It’s like a heart-selfie.

Dr.  You can see the robot arms, center left and lower right. The one on the left has just snipped part of the valve, resulting in the slight crescent in the white tissue at center.


About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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14 Responses to A Heart-felt Week

  1. Barry Neeb says:

    Glad it went well. Hope your recovery is quick and painless…and your hair grows back.


  2. Bonnie Lane says:

    I am so glad that it all went so well. I’m sure that it is wonderful to now have this procedure BEHIND you.


  3. Jerry Lane says:

    Gee, Austin. That looks just like me stripping the excess fat off a chicken breast.
    I’m super glad all went so well. C U at the dance tonite? LOL. Maybe Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. buffycooper says:

    Glad you’re doing well. Great picture. It does kind of look like bacon wrapped chicken ready for the oven (minus the robotic arms).


  5. Teresa says:

    Very cool surgery! Glad you are doing well!


  6. ann marie rohland says:

    So glad everything went well! You are so blessed.


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