Mondays–V3E6–Anticipation, Anesthesia and Anxiety (More A’s)

This last month has been a little trying for the Great Hunter and me as we wait for my upcoming Radio Frequency Ablation–Round 2, scheduled tomorrow. It was just a little over two years ago when I had my first, and until January, I was sure, only ablation. I remember how filled with anxiety I was, an anxiety that I felt I couldn’t reveal because I didn’t want the Great Hunter or my kids to be scared either. (It is a very safe operation.)

Before the ablation, I went through all my financials and put everything in a folder labeled “Just in Case.” I called my daughter over to the house and I told her I wanted her to know where everything was “just in case.” I’ve heard too many stories about loved ones being left in the dark and not being able to access their loved one’s money, or their insurance or even their social media. The Great Hunter is bad about this. I’ve asked him several times where his DD214 is and the best I’ve gotten is “in the file cabinet.” One of these days, I’m going to have to sit him down and have him put everything together.

My anxiety is being put under anesthesia for an extended period of time. (How can I control everything if I’m asleep?) Although I’m looking forward to not having my heart racing and pounding and not having my head spinning when I move too quickly, I have to admit, I’m as scared this time as I was the last time. You are lying on the gurney and the anesthesiologist begins injecting the sleep juice into your IV and your head begins to spin and you think, “no, wait, wait, just let me feel this for a while” and then nothing. Just the thought that this could be your last thought is enough for panic to set in.

Before they begin the ablation, they perform a procedure called  Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE). They numb your throat and give you a dose of Propofol, which is a fast-acting anesthesia that I’ve had several times with my cardioversions.
A tube with a device called a “transducer” (that sounds space-age) is passed down into the throat and into the esophagus (the food tube) that connects the mouth to the stomach. The transducer directs ultrasound waves into the heart and the reflected sound waves picked up by the transducer are translated into an image of the heart. Basically, I think what they are looking for is to make sure you don’t have any blood clots lurking in the recesses of the heart before they go poking around in there stirring everything up.

 At the time, the nurse told me that after the TEE procedure, they would wake me up and have me scoot onto the table where they perform the ablation. She said many people don’t remember this, but just the fact that I was going to wake up again before they began the long ablation procedure, was comforting. But, I didn’t remember it last time so went they hit me with the sleep juice tomorrow, there probably won’t be any waking up until…

I know I’ll be fine. I have a great doctor,  Ayotunde Bamimore, a youngish, very handsome guy from Nigeria. He has a great, caring personality, and most of all, I trust him. Something that doesn’t come easily for me.

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