Friday, November 08, 2013

Post Afib, One Year Later

One year ago at this very moment, I was in the midst of a five hour procedure to zap those electrical circuits in my heart that tended to jump abruptly into episodes of atrial fibrillation. It was a very long day. Left for the hospital in Bea's taxi at 5:00 a.m., feeling happy that Obama won reelection the night before. I felt sure that Obama's win would have a direct impact on the state of my heart as I underwent the procedure. In the late afternoon, I woke and there was Roanne, who'd stayed in the surgical waiting room all day because, she said, someone needed to be there. Of course.
I think they moved me too quickly from the recovery area on to a gurney and then intto a hospital bed. One of those cuts in my groin began to bleed, not a good thing. This meant I had to remain flat and motionless until 1:00 a.m. so that no lurking blood clot could move toward my heart or head. I still have a strong body memory of that motionless and acutely uncomfortable state. Probably the most difficult part of the procedure.
Recovery was a bumpy 120+ days of adjusting meds, addressing high blood pressure, regaining energy and redefining expectations. Exactly one year later, I can happily say, "Problem solved."
Two months in Italy showed I can drink modest amounts of wine and espresso without bringing on weird heart beats. Oh, I have a few erratic beats now and again, but afib is gone. My skin is clear. Who knew that fixing my heart would stop my burning skin rashes? Dr. Ray Luk saw the direct connection between heart and skin in his Chinese way of seeing the body. As he explained, "Heart is fire and skin is metal. When the heart is troubled, it burns metal." Makes sense to me.
Here's to Dr. Anne Dougherty at UT Hermann who stopped two health issues in their tracks. Here's to good friends and wonderful family who encouraged me during a tedious recovery. Here's to sweet Earl who took me to Rome on the trip of a lifetime. To all, I am grateful and say thank you. I feel very lucky indeed.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

This is great news!