Phew. It’s over. I’ve been home resting for a couple days. When I was first hooked up to the heart monitor at the hospital, the nurse commented, “oh I see you brought your Afib with you this morning.” Yep, my constant companion for the last month.
It’s amazing that in some places this procedure is done as an outpatient procedure. There is so much involved with cardiac ablation. General anesthesia, which is technically a medically induced coma; an arterial line in the wrist which is a thin, flexible tube that is placed into an artery which helps the doctor check your blood pressure and take blood samples and is used in operating rooms and intensive care units; an IV port in the other arm; venous punctures in both sides of the groin; breathing tube down the esophagus to make sure your airway stays open, tons of fluids being pumped into you and a urinary catheter for somewhere for that extra fluid to go. Then after you awake from the anesthesia, bed rest for three hours.
The EP came to the room to see me a couple hours after the surgery was completed. He explained that what had been happening to me was “roof-dependent left arterial flutter.” He said that during the original procedure he did two years ago, he ablated both sides of the left atrium, but that an errant signal was running around the top of the left atrium trying to find a way in. He said he’d now ablated the top and I should be good to go. I just hope there’s no basement or back porch.
I didn’t get much sleep the night after my surgery. The room was too hot, the bed was uncomfortable (what hospital bed is comfortable?) The light on in the shower to hopefully keep me from taking a header into the wall when I go up was too much, the dressing around my left wrist where the arterial line had been placed was too tight and my arm began to swell, the IV port with the curly tube in my right arm kept getting caught on my beautiful, fashionable gown, the heart monitor which was actually attached to my hip (don’t ask me why) had to be put in a pocket on my chest but would fall out or flop around, etc.
There’s something to this “anesthesia brain” I read about. I was addled for the next 24 hours, at least that is the excuse I’m going to use…Here are some examples…
First text to my daughter, the RN who worked an overnight shift the night before:
During the night, I knew she was working…
The next morning regarding my sleep (as opposed to my “sell” which I typed):
And to the Great Hunter the next morning…
The next morning my heart monitor showed everything normal so I was discharged. The Great Hunter came to pick me up and we were home by 11 after a run through Steak n Shake. Unfortunately due to my throat being sore from the endotracheal tube, I couldn’t eat the burger and fries but I had no problem with the chocolate shake. I was so happy to be home and in my chair where I spent the next couple of days.
I’m so thankful for all the great doctors and nurses who took care of me and all my loved ones.