(Posted to Facebook Notes 09.20.11)
“Vampire bites are not sexy.”
That was my first complete thought Thursday evening after the Cardiac Ablation procedure. It was late, friends and family had long since said goodbye, and it was just me standing in a dark hospital room attached to a bunch of wires, taking my first glance in the mirror to see exactly what “hit by a semi” looked like. My right jugular vein had been one of the entry points into my heart and I stood there staring at these bizarre little “bite marks”, right where they should be had I been jumped by a glittery vampire...but my version lacked all of the sparkles and romance of the Hollywood sort.
The procedure was a success as far as the doctor’s ability to identify, and accomplish what he had hoped. He identified 47 offending areas to burn (it didn’t occur to me until now to find out how that compares to the average). It turns out that the end results aren’t manifest until 3-6 months afterward. I'm currently navigating some wicked heart-burn...as in burnt up heart, not acid reflux...and too frequent bouts of dizziness and shortness of breath...but I’m leaning optimistic that these will all soon fade and I'll be in Rockstar condition in no time!
The first 24 hours following the procedure are blurry...thanks to the high doses of Ativan.. and I spent most of the afternoon and evening asking my parents the same questions repetitively. The haze has stuck with me at home. In fact, just yesterday (96 hours later), I discovered an EKG patch still stuck to my left rib cage. I LOATHE those things and can’t believe that one lasted through showers, and wardrobe changes, and restless nights. It’s just evidence that I’m still working my way back to sobriety.
The competitive Denney side of me showed up that first night when I was given permission to take my back-less gown for a late-night stroll...I walked for 45 minutes...a floor record (which would present with much more pride if I wasn’t 50 years junior the average patient)!! I am continuing to feel out my limitations here at home by pushing expectations during my daily walks.
I am immensely grateful for Craig and Sheri who were willing to make sacrifices to be by my side. Although I don’t think there is anything wrong with being tough and pushing myself into recovery, it has been good to have my parents here to help me, encourage me, distract me, and pace me.
Saturday and Sunday were much tougher than I had anticipated, and I found my independent self both frustrated and submissive. Fortunately, sleep is coming more easily now, and each morning I wake up feeling a little better than the day before. I still have a lot of work and required patience ahead of me, but I think that tomorrow I might even feel up to returning the emails and phone calls that I haven’t had the sense to before.
I’m learning a lot about faith. I feel blessed to be sustained by the thoughts and prayers of those who have mastered it better than me. Big thanks to so many people who have been a great support as I fight through current struggles and work toward an exciting future.