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!”
July 9 –
The Boy’s 28th birthday! Happy birthday, son! 😐
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
Note: possibly longer than 100 words today, but not by much. Ok, double that!
It was time to put the past behind me and get back into training. Sunday is long run day and today was 8km. Easy!
West Coast Drive is a great place to run so I headed there. Starting at Trigg Beach I headed north, into the wind, so I had a tailwind on the way back.
It’s an easy run – 4km out, 4km back. Done and dusted.
About 2.75km in the chest pains began again but, you know, heartburn.
Then it grew to the neck and jaw (angina?) and then a crushing headache. I stopped to walk and take stock of what was happening. I decided it maybe better to call it quits, giving up on the 8km.
But, you know, f*ck it, if I have to walk to complete 8km, I’ll walk.
So I continued on and the pain subsided. Happy days.
After a while I decided it was okay to run again but after 500m all the symptoms came back.
Walking eased the pain again so I finished off by walking the rest of the way. No matter the 8.0 km was done.
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.