At the Surgeon’s …

This is the first day of the rest of your life they say…

We take the train to the hospital because we’re not sure where to go and the last thing we need is to get lost in traffic, take a wrong turn etc.

It all turns out to be quite simple and we arrive at the Surgeon’s office quite early.

We head to the cafe.

When we return we’re told “He’s still in surgery but he’ll be here soon.”

… soon …

… soon …

And then …

“The surgery is taking longer than expected, we’ll need to reschedule!”

OK!

July 9 – The Boy’s 28th birthday! Happy birthday, son! 😐

The Weekend …

Previously on …

I’d got the news I needed heart surgery yesterday so what do you do Saturday?

You go to parkrun!

We were just going to walk this one and we took the Dog as a treat for him.

Being July the weather was bloody cold and The Dog wanted to stop at every plant and own it! (I.e pee on everything!) It was a very uncomfortable walk.

You can see from the map we headed home after only 500m.

My frame of mind may have had something to do with it. We were both a little distracted.

July 7

The waiting “game” …

Back at work waiting for the call from the Cardiologist.

I get 3 or 4 random calls between Thursday and Friday! I never get random calls!

I have to leave meetings just in case it’s … the call!

To say I was a little on edge would be putting it mildly.

Eventually the call came mid afternoon Friday.

“Yes, the recommendation is open heart surgery.”

“I have a good surgeon for you, probably the best in Perth. He does the heart transplants at Fiona Stanley Hospital!”

Me: Uh-huh

“You have an appointment with him on Monday!”

OK!

Friday, July 6

The Cardiologist (2)

We had an appointment with the Cardiologist later that day.

It’s funny how quickly things move along. I’d gone from being okay to requiring heart surgery.

The Cardiologist went over the findings and talked about stents versus open heart surgery. He didn’t need to convince me in favour of open heart surgery.

While stents have their place, surgery seems to be a more “permanent” solution and I was happy to go down that path.

He would get opinions from colleagues and then advise me of his full recommendation.

“I’ll be in touch in two days.”

July 4 (evening)

Angie-O-Gram Day (2)

*”And so here I am, waiting in the lobby, sweating bullets in this stupid old suit …” to have this angiogram done.

They wheel me in, slip the needle into my wrist to send the dye through to the heart. The specialist sees my tattoo and comments about running marathons.

“Quite a few ultra runners have heart disease issues.”

Nice start!

I’m lying on the gurney as he starts sending the dye through.

“Hmmm, we have a major, a serious and a minor blockage.” Or something to that effect.

He walks me through what he sees and, really, for the first time, I know I have some shit to deal with.

Try as I may, I can’t stop the tear running down my face.

Fuck!

July 4

*”I don’t want to be alone” – Billy Joel

The ED

I arrive at the ED and checked in. My GP has called ahead. They’re expecting me.

Chest X-Ray. Echo test. Blood tests.

I’m not in a panic and am more curious than worried.

The tests begin.

  • Chest X-Ray – fine.
  • Echo – fine
  • Bloods – fine

The consulting doc suggests a stress test – basically a running test on a treadmill with lots of wires, graphs and pretty flashing lights. I’ve done quite a few but this time may be different.

I make a stress test appointment for Thursday.

I walk the 2km back to work.

June 26. Midday.

The Call

Red-phone-backup-supportI suppose it’s serious when your GP tells you that you can put his number on speed dial.

Something’s gone downhill.

This was that time. The chest pains were happening almost every run now. Always dissipating but nevertheless theyhad become regular. I did a 5k parkrun with my daughter and all was well until we hit 2 km. Talk about a pain in the … chest!

And so the call to the GP.

“Yeah, maybe get yourself to the ED. I’d call an ambulance.”

I took a taxi!

June 26. Morning.