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Monday, December 6, 2010

Fixing my Heart

Remember when I landed in the ER and then the hospital because my heart rate spiked to nearly 300BPM when I was pregnant? Well, the fix-it procedure is finally scheduled for this coming Friday. It was supposed to be done in early November but the doctor had to reschedule it.

So far I'm not nervous--just annoyed that I will have to take it easy for a while afterward. I had my "week ahead" phone consultation with the cardiologist's office last week. The lady went through current medications (none), concerns (none), and the timeline of events (when to check in, how long I have to stay at the hospital post-procedure to recover from the anesthesia, what time I can go home, etc.). Everything sounded fine until she said, "Now you know you won't be able to pick anything up that weighs more than 10 pounds for at least two weeks after, right?" My response, "Um...NO. I was told I would be back to full function/normal life at about 4 days."

Apparently the doctor told me wrong. It isn't my heart that's at risk, it is the holes they poke in me (into my veins). I guess when your muscles flex that tension pulls on your veins and the more weight, the more pulling. And they don't want those holes to reopen (...neither do I!).

I'd like to point out that a gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds or so....ten pounds is practically nothing. Jeez.

I pointed out the miscommunication and she basically said, "I don't know what to tell you." I then pointed out that I have a 23 pound toddler at home, a husband who generally isn't home, and the latter wasn't planning on taking any time off to care for either of us (since time off = less income).

After some more conversation, I agreed to make sure that someone was home for the first week to manhandle Eddie for me. And I asked her (very nicely) if I could use my own judgment after that to decide if I could/should risk picking him. She hesitated to respond, but then slowly said, "I guess that would be okay."

So I'm allowed to hold Eddie when I'm sitting, but not pick him up or hold him while standing. That's a pretty tall order for any mom.

Luckily my brother is planning on being at our house that week and Dave is going to try to take off the following week anyway in order to install our new windows (and recoup is lost income by qualifying us for an Energy Star rebate). And my labmate, Yumi, said she'd come over to cook dinner for me and Eddie so I can sit on the floor and play with him. So I should be covered either way.

Eddie will spend all day Friday, Friday night, and Saturday at daycare so I'll have time to recover. I seriously have no idea what to expect--I've never broken a bone, had surgery, or anything. The doctor is only poking holes in my skin and veins so it doesn't seem like the recovery will be all that painful. I guess I'm expecting to rent a few movies, bake some cookies, and address my holiday cards but who knows? I'm trying to get the house in order for Christmas now since I will be out of commission for up to two weeks. The Christmas tree is up, we disassembled the crib since it was taking up way too much room in the dining room (our windows are in there, too), deep cleaning the bathrooms, etc. The weekend after my procedure is Dyani's second baby shower (I'm the hostess) and I am still coming to terms with not being able to cook every single thing myself and haul it over to SF, and then comes Christmas...

I should point out that this is not "surgery" (assuming everything goes okay, that is). From an insurance standpoint it is a "procedure" because they don't open me up. The doctor will poke holes in veins at my groin and shoulder and run catethers through the veins into the heart. Then he'll illicit the rapid heartbeat (called a tachycardia) with electrical impulses, figure out which neural pathway(s) are out of whack, and then electrically scar them so they don't work anymore. Hmmm...that actually sounds a lot more scary that I thought...

Anyway, wish me luck on Friday!

5 comments:

Kait said...

Good luck! Any procedure/surgery sounds scary to me. A word of advice (not that you asked for it), but TAKE IT EASY. After my c-section with Ash I wasn't allowed to lift Iva for at least 2 weeks...it's hard but definitely worth it for your own recovery. You'd rather be safe than sorry, and Eddie won't remember that time after it's all over. Just be easy on yourself....please (I know, a very tall order for you!) I wish I was there to help.

mu rye uh said...

eek-good luck! And I am sure that your recovery will go well and lets be honest I know not all of my prayers are answered how i want them too ;) But You will be in my prayers...and your veins of course.

Team Roy said...

Good luck!

steph.kelley said...

ooooooh good luck, Julie!!! blech. i'm glad you have some good help while you struggle with this "taking it easy" business — NOT a Levie specialty! :D i love you and your productivity. you'll be back at it in no time. xoxoxo

Kelly said...

Good luck Julie :D I'm ALWAYS available to come over and help with Eddie, the dogs, cooking, chores, whatever. Just give me a call if you need anything, I promise I'll keep my phone charged :D