Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ablation Part 2

After what seems like 25 visits to Tampa General Hospital ... They finally found my heart!

Wasn't easy for them. I've pretty well beat it up over the last 62 years and it wasn't too big to begin with. So if you're not TOO OVER my medical stories .... Here's another.

Yesterday my angelic wife Debbie drove me to the hospital at 6AM for Part 2 of my cardiac ablation. This time ... to try to zap the little electrical misfires on the right side of my heart (the last time it was the left side).

I didn't bother taking pictures of the stuff that you must be sick of by now ... My gown, slippers, potty, wires, nurses ...

They pre-prepped me when I got there. That means, they stabbed me a few times, checked my weight, blood pressure, and told me to lie down for a few hours (apparently until the anesthesiologist and doctor woke up and arrived at the hospital).

The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about 8. He was already dressed in surgical gear and ready to go (didn't fool me ... He just wanted to look like he was in the lab for hours). He asked me the standard questions: Did you eat anything? Do you smoke? Would you like to have drinks with me after the procedure? Standard stuff.

Then the nurses came to get me. I remember one of them from my last procedure. She drove the bed down the hall and only hit three people this time while she talked to the other nurse about what she did last night.

Once in the EP Lab (that's a fancy way to say the place where they stick things in your heart), they REALLY prepped me. Six lab techs surrounded me. I got the full bikini shave treatment as well as the 40 Year Old Virgin uneven chest trim. Monitors were attached, Ice cold patches were put on my back and sides (not sure why they have to be ice cold), high tech cameras were covered with plastic (hmmmm, I thought, is this to protect me or to cover the lenses when the blood starts spurting everywhere?)

Dr Herweg arrived.

"Good morning Mr. Momberg." He has a heavy German accent and reminds me of Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes.

"Hi Doc," I said trying to sound brave and relaxed even though my voice sounded a few octaves higher.

"Are you comfortable? Ready for the procedure?"

"Ready as ever ... I guess."

"Goot .... Vell here's vat vill happen. Ve vill have catheters in your right and left groin, vun in your neck and another in your left arm. Do you feel comfortable enough to stay awake during the procedure or should ve give you general anesthesia?"

Okay ...the only image I had at that time ... looking up at the German doctor ... was Mel Brooks telling the story about his colonoscopy and endoscopy at the same time feeling like a "rotisserie Jew".

"How long do I have ... um ... I mean how long is the procedure?"

He looked down at me. "Could be four hours ... Could be 6 hours ... Could be longer if we need to go into the valve ... " He paused and said to the anesthesiologist ... "Put him out."

I woke up sometime after the mask went on and anesthesiologist said "Get the big needle ....."

If you've ever had general anesthesia you know just how crappy you feel in recovery. My throat felt like it was filled with razor blades from the tube they put in to keep you breathing and my whole body was sore. The one saving grace was that one of the nurses took the Foley catheter out (that's the one that goes to your bladder) before I woke up.

Alright ... Enough whining. Good news!

Check out the monitor picture on the left ... It's normal! A regular heart beat .... Been so long since I have seen that. I know ...  Sounds silly since yours is just like that all the time.

Mine used to look like this.


Anonymous said...

A seriously perfect rhythm strip as I look at your monitor from thousands of miles away! LOL... Geez I hope this finally takes care of the pesky misfires and that you will feel great again. Being a patient these days is beyond a humbling experience and scary when you start to "know" everyone! OMG. You passed the test once again! Whew ---- Nurse Sharon

joel said...

Tx Sharon!

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