There’s another person involved in this journey… the FBH!
I have to deal with the physical, emotional and mental side but she has to deal with the emotional and mental side.
That makes it harder for her in a way. She has to stand by and watch and “make do”. She’ll need support as well and, while I’m recovering, I’m not sure I’ll be the one to supply it.
We discuss this as we head into this change in our lives and tell her how much I feel for her.
I apologise for putting her in this situation.
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.
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!”
“You have an appointment with him on Monday!”
Friday, July 6
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)
*”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.”
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.
”I don’t want to be alone” – Billy Joel
After any stress test you need to see your referring Specialist. I had made an appointment with The Cardiologist for the Monday following.
With no adverse results this was likely a quick visit.
Indeed it was.
We discussed the test. But we also discussed the pain I’d been experiencing on my runs. The runs were my real test, he advised, and they weren’t going well.
“But we’ll do an angiogram and see what that tells us.”
“At least that will rule that out,” he said.
And so an angiogram was planned for the Wednesday.
Note: an angiogram is not a message delivered by someone called Angie! (boom-tish!)
After you pass your stress test!
What do you do once you’ve passed a stress test?
With a new found confidence that nothing was seriously wrong, I decided to run home after work. The run from the Perth CBD to Meltham Station was just over 6km. It would be a good, medium range run and after a pain free stress test what could go wrong?
And, true to form … nothing happened.
Perhaps it really was just heartburn which a few more doses of Gaviscon would fix and it’d be back to the normal life.
Life was good.