Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Title Change?

In the old days, you'd be guessing this post might be about changing the title of a manuscript.

Ah...the old days.

Nope. Today I'm referring to how I should maybe change this to Randy Writes About Her Heart Valve Replacement. Talk about a catchy title, huh?

Anyway, it occurs to me that not everyone's on Facebook (where from time to time I drop a brief update on the progress I'm making toward heart surgery). Indeed, I hear frequently from readers who wonder where my blog has gone.

With that in mind, here's a quick recap:

After nephew Brian (without experiencing ANY symptoms) discovered SEVEN blocked arteries, I figured I'd better get checked out myself. Saw a cardiologist in September who wasn't happy with my heart murmur. More tests in October confirmed "severe aortic stenosis" or, in other words, badass narrowing of the aortic valve. Prescription: Aortic Valve Replacement (better known as AVR).

Next test was an angiogram (I believe I posted a picture of my hospitalized self on the blog somewhere) during which it was determined my arteries were clear, so no need to tack on Coronary Bypass Surgery to the AVR. Yay for small miracles.

Consulted a surgeon and got the low-down, but meanwhile did some research on my own. Something called Less Invasive Surgery sounded mucho appealing, but how to go about making it happen?

Ah...that's when "possible surgery in November" turned into the interminable wait. Without going into boring detail, let's just say it takes a Ph.D. to navigate the complicated terrain of health insurance, and I ain't got no Ph.D.

Cutting to the chase...I saw a second surgeon yesterday, one who does indeed do a less invasive procedure. Oh, wait. Let's back up for the uninitiated. Traditional AVR is where they hack your sternum down the middle, spread your ribcage open, and have at it.

Hence the interest in "less invasive."

As opposed to ripping your chest hope, the surgeon makes a smaller incision above the breast and goes through the ribs.

Ouch, no matter how you slice it. (Ha. Slice it. I crack myself up.)

Anyway, here's the dilemma: yeah, surgeon guy number two CAN and WILL do the "less invasive," but is it his first choice?

Uh, no.

Basically, his point was: Why not make it as easy as possible for the surgeon to do his job?


Bottom line...more to think about--but not much time for it since yesterday's guy gave the impression that I need to get this accomplished sooner rather than later. ("Really? You're not having problems with passing out?")

Decisions, decisions...long time blog readers know I SUCK at making decisions!

Stay tuned....

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