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.