|University of Colorado Hospital|
Once I'd entered the surgical room, and just prior to the surgery, several ice cold, large disc shaped patches were attached to my back and front. I had been warned that I was going into a very cold room where very cold patches would be placed on me. I asked if we could take pictures and just use this experience as my ice bucket challenge. These discs or magnets are actually defibrillators and magnets that allow for 3-D pictures of my heart.
This catheterization, was not, as the saying goes, my first rodeo. I'd had a heart catheterization a year ago. This most recent one was much more intense to me, but I was told the other procedure was actually more tricky because of the side of the heart that is catherized for an artery study. The procedure that I had on Friday was an electrical study.
The surgery itself ended up lasting four hours. I think my dear husband was beside himself with worry. I was out cold for it all since I was given propofol. Or, if I were awake, I have absolutely no memory of anything, thank heavens. The doctor had to perform a heart ablation. This ablation should have destroyed those places in my heart that were causing arrhythmias. During the study, I did go into atrial fibrillation (aFib) with my heart beating 200 beats a minute. The doctors were unable to slow down the rapid beat with medication while I was in surgery, so they had to shock my heart back into rhythm using those discs that been attached to my body prior to surgery. I'd say it is handy to have a defibrillator attached to your body!
Because the procedure was done by a catheter being fed up to my heart via an entrance in the groin, I had to lie flat on my back another four hours after surgery. I was constantly monitored so I wouldn't cross my legs or try to bend them, or attempt to get up. I had exceptional care during the entire time I was in the hospital. There are only three patients for every nurse on the cardiac recovery unit. I felt very safe and cared for.
I spent the night after surgery in the hospital. This is always done after an ablation. Reportedly, I had no palpitations at all, and my heart rate was good the entire time. I did have some bouts with low blood pressure during the morning hours on the day after surgery. My readings were as low as 88/48. I have problems with low blood pressure at times, so this was not a new thing. Once I was up and moving around, my blood pressure improved.
The doctor put me on a diabetic diet while I was in the hospital. Smart move on his part, and actually, the food I had while I was there was exceptional. For lunch just before I left to go home, I had crab cakes, delicious crab cakes, arranged on a bed of romaine lettuce, and served with fresh asparagus spears grilled to perfection, and fresh steamed spinach. I was even allowed one half of a slice of carrot cake. It was all very good tasting and quite satisfying.