The latest account

So I went to see the heart surgeon on Friday. He was running late…way, way, WAY late I’m afraid.

We waited in the waiting room for over an hour and then in the exam room for another hour plus.  Fortunately, I had my knitting and I was resigned to doing whatever it took to see him. Dr. “W” was obviously having a bit of a day, and I was not, so that made it OK and I took it easy on him.  I liked him – he shoots straight from the hip, and he makes jokes about cardiologists to boot.

Essentially, I do not have a date for surgery yet because he wants to dig deeper into the cause of what’s wrong with my heart.  He thinks I have sleep apnea and that’s whats causing the problem. I won’t tell you all the yadda yadda except to say that my heart valve looks normal…except that it doesn’t close right in a fairly serious fashion.  So I have to go do a sleep study (won’t that be fun?).  In fact, by the time we got out of there, it was too late to talk to the sleep apnea office because it was after business hours!  So I have to wait until Monday when they call and we’ll schedule that.  Finding out about the sleep apnea is very important because it will help me post-operatively and keep it from happening again…..but it might mean MORE surgery (!).  Then Dr. “W”  also thinks I would do better with a different kind of operation; intead of going through the sternum and opening me up that way (grisly, isn’t it?), he thinks maybe I should go up to Vanderbilt where a surgeon friend of his goes through the left side between the ribs -= less invasive, but a newer and far less common operation.  And of course I usually sleep on my left side……

This was upsetting to me because I was all geared up to have the surgery ASAP and now I have to wait: wait for a call, wait to make another appointment, wait to have the sleep study, wait and make another appointment to see Dr. “W” and then decide if I’ll be doing this here or going up to Vanderbilt…which means another appointment and so on.  Patience is not my strong suit, but I must learn I suppose.  I’m better about it today.

So stay tuned to hear about the latest delay; in the meantime, I’ve got a joke for you.

Q:  Is the quickest way to man’s heart through his stomach?

A:  No!  It’s straight through the chest wall with a sharp knife.


  1. Hurry up and wait.
    Hurry up and wait.

    Boy does that sound familiar. I’m sorry you had such a long wait on Friday afternoon. Any number of times I have thought that patience was one of the lessons I was supposed to be learning with this MDS. While I don’t knit, I crochet or bring a book or my laptop with me to all appointments now. I will be keeping you in my good thoughts and prayers. Good luck with the sleep test!

  2. I am excited about the possibility of you avoiding the rib-spreaders. I’m sure you and the doctors will settle on the best option for you. I think the problems sleep apnea can cause are often overlooked. I know Bruce’s CPAP machine has made a huge difference for him. I am so glad you are going to have a sleep study done. I have been thinking of you often.

  3. My second comment…sorry about that. But if any part of you, any quiet voice, is telling you that you ought not to wait for this repair, then please get a second opinion right away. You deserve clarity.


  4. You have been in my thoughts and prayers since I’ve heard the news, the sleep study should help you find out some of the problems. My friend also uses a a machine for his apnea (I believe it is a CPAP) and it works wonders for him.

  5. Poor thing. This is a hassle.

    My hubby has sleep apnea and uses a breathing machine at night. I actually find the noise soothing now, like a white noise machine.

    Maybe out of all this, at least you’ll be sleeping better.

  6. This could be the thing this waiting kind of along the line of patience is a virtue, but with a slight twist in that you could be waiting for better options or the right doc to do the work or the latest and newest way to a cure. What ever…I know that waiting is difficult.

    About your joke …that was bit hit sharp…don’t you think? 😉

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