Chest pains updated

February 14, 2013 at 1:19 PM 19 comments

In my last post I told you I was waiting for my procedure. In this post I thought I would update you on all that has happened.

Like everything I experience in life, my procedure didn’t go as planned. I did get transported to the other hospital that specializes in angiograms / angioplastys on Mon, Feb 11 in the morning, which went as planned. Everything else didn’t.

After arriving at the hospital for my angiogram they started to prep me for the procedure. I won’t go into detail but it was very intrusive to say the least. There was shaving, putting stickers all over my body (again), and asking very personal questions. So much fun (read with sarcasm).

Once they had me all prepped De-Ann arrived and we waited. I have to admit I was very anxious because I knew I was going to be wide awake during this procedure. And second, it was going to be on my heart so that made me nervous as well. But eventually they called my name and I went from one waiting room to another, then finally into the operating room. It was a very large room that was freezing. They put me on a very narrow table and took off the one thing that was keeping me warm and dignified: my gown. Eventually they put lots of warm blankets on me so I wouldn’t freeze to death during the procedure. How considerate.

During the angiogram they discovered I had two arteries that were heavily blocked. One was 90% and the other 80%. But thankfully the third one was fine, because I would be looking at open heart surgery–the doctor told me later on. Phew! The surgeon managed to stint the first artery which had 90% plaque build up but as he did so some of the plaque fell into my heart and caused some complications. So the surgeon decided to leave the artery with 80% blockage for another day.

If you want to know more about the angiogram and angioplasty procedures, Google it. It should give you a good idea of what I went through.

After the procedure, all I remember leaving the operating room freezing to death. I felt like my arm with the IV in it was laying on ice. They put me in my “stall” and loaded all kinds of blankets on top of me. I looked like a mummy. [blame De-Ann for not having a picture to show you. She wouldn’t take a picture for me. I think she thinks I am nuts]. Eventually I warmed up and fell asleep. I slept on my back for a few hours. Then more poking, more stickers and other unpleasant things I don’t want to mention. Let’s just say I was fully exposed.

After my recover from the procedure the surgeon came and told me what happened and that he wanted to give my heart a break before he put a stint in the second artery. It would probably be on Wednesday or Thursday. Man, I was not looking forward to that. The next day I was transported back to the first hospital I came from and I stayed there all day and into the night.

While at the first hospital I had some great visit with people who are so special to me. My brother and his wife came all the way from Ottawa. One of my co-workers dropped off a really nice care package with all of my favourite things in it from all my co-workers. They really know and love me. By the time night came I was exhausted and went to bed early. I almost forgot I was visited by my cardiologist and he told me I will be transported tomorrow morning to have my second procedure. I wasn’t looking forward to that. But I was so thankful for my brother’s prayer and one of my volunteers’ prayer as they prayed for me to have peace as I went into my second procedure. They both knew I was very anxious because of all I went through with the first procedure.

The next morning, Wed, Feb 13, came with me being poked three times. It was bad enough they wanted to take blood, but to miss my vein two times before. Uggh. Still I didn’t faint. Not sure why, but I just grit my teeth and let her poke me. [Am I becoming immune to this poking?] Then the transport guys came and brought me back to the other hospital. [Here’s a question you are all probably asking: why didn’t I just stay at the other hospital since I was going to be doing the second procedure in a few days? If you find out the answer, please tell me. No one knew the answer to that one].

I arrived at the other hospital at 6:45am and my procedure was at 9:30am. Of course, like everything else, it was delayed and I finally went in at 11:30am. This time they got me to walk to the table and put myself on it. Again I was exposed for all the world to see…okay, only the five people in the operating room. Unfortunately since my first procedure was only two days ago they had to enter my body on the other side of my body so now I have two incisions to heal. During the second procedure the surgeon was not able to use a regular mess stint, he had to use a full metal stint because the way the artery was shaped and where the plaque was built up. But the procedure went well and there were no complications. However it was almost twice as long and many times during it I became very cold or in a great deal of pain.

I came out and was put into my new “stall” [a bit roomier than the last one] where they put more blankets all over me and I slept for hours. I finally woke up and I got to see my beautiful bride sitting there beside me.

So thankful for my wife, De-Ann for being there every step of the way with me. And I know now that I am home she has an even bigger role to fill. My recovery is going to be long and I can’t do much for the first two weeks, including things I usually do like vacuuming, shovelling, laundry, collecting the garbage, etc. I am going to owe her big-time once I am completely recovered and able to do all of my regular duties.

As you probably have figured out by now, I am homeFINALLY! Now it is time for me to recover. The cardiologist has told me 4-6 weeks of recovery. I can’t even drive for a few weeks. Homebound I guess for now.

Thank you to each of you for your prayers, visits, cards, messages, gifts and love. They mean so much. I really do feel cared for.

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Entry filed under: Family, Friends, Heart Attack. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Chest pains Pokes

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Blackman  |  February 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    A.D. thanks for the update…sure sounds like you landed well when you landed at City Center… Marrying up was a good move well in advance of all this too! Keep us posted
    JB

    Reply
    • 2. Andrew DeGraaf  |  February 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      John, you said it. I am so blessed to have an awesome team to be on at City Centre and an amazing wife who is way out of my league. I definitely married up. I tell anyone who will listen. Love her!

      Reply
  • 3. Monique Glover  |  February 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    What an ordeal this was! But thankfully, you are home and in your own bed. Take it easy on your road to recovery. Keep the updates coming.
    Mo

    Reply
    • 4. Andrew DeGraaf  |  February 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Thank you Monique for taking the time to write a comment. Yes, it was quite the ordeal but the alternative is worse. So I am thankful they found the problem and have repaired it. Now I need to recover. And yes, I am very thankful to be home.

      Reply
  • 5. JC H  |  February 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Amen! Glad you’re home!

    the possible answer to your question that none had answered, is that, since it’s a specialized hospital and they already have people occupying the hospital beds, they didn’t want to risk of having a patient (who might be dying) wait in-line because there’s no bed to occupy, thus the onset of people who are done with their appointments need to go back from whence they came from because the fact of the matter is, there’s not enough beds for every patient that needs one.

    Reply
    • 6. Andrew DeGraaf  |  February 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      I can see your point, but when I went to go the bathroom in the middle of the night there were at least 5 or 6 beds empty. But you are probably right. I did go back from whence I came from, as you mentioned.

      Reply
  • 7. Susan Friesen (Byer)  |  February 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Hi Andrew, so sorry to hear of your experience… it is not fun to be sick. Was wondering if you would be okay sharing your home address with the Crestwicke people???

    Reply
    • 8. Andrew DeGraaf  |  February 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Thank you for your comment. I sent you an email with the info you were looking for. I miss the Crestwicke family.

      Reply
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    • 12. Andrew DeGraaf  |  March 17, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Thanks for the suggestion of the catchier title. I wasn’t really thinking about getting more traffic, just giving my regular readers a chance to hear about all I have been through.

      Reply
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