"My flesh & my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
& my portion forever."
During this period of time I was given prescriptions for 3 different heart medications to take along with the one I've been taking for 10 years. All 3 of these medications caused severe side effects. The heart specialist also tried increasing the dosage of my usual medication. Although the dosage I had been taking for the past 10 years did not cause me any adverse side effects, this higher dosage caused Parkinson-like hand tremors.
At my first appointment with the specialist, he talked about the possibility of surgery. I hoped this would not be the case. However, when the new medications & the increase in my usual one caused problems, I knew I would not be so lucky. When I saw him for my followup 2 weeks ago, he said that he had already discussed me with the other specialist in the office. Their opinion was that based on the problems I've had with the medications, it's in my best interest to have the surgery done now rather than later when I could possibly have an episode that can't be stopped at which point, as I understand it, a pacemaker would be the only option. He convinced me that the surgery, which should fix the problem permanently ... cure me, if you will ... is better than the pacemaker which is kind of like turning on a light to light up a dark room. The room is still dark, it's just that the light is making it not look dark. The pacemaker would turn on when I had an a-fib episode & make my heart beat regularly again, but I would still have a-fib. Both he & the other specialist are in agreement that the Greenfield filter I have, which was placed back in the mid-90s to prevent blood clots from traveling from my legs to my heart, should not pose a problem. I asked all kinds of questions & he patiently sat & explained everything to me.
I will be going to hospital in Lexington on September 11 for pre-op stuff, come back home, go back to the hospital on the 12th for the surgery, stay overnight, & if all is well ... as it should be ... come home on the 13th. He said that I'd have to take it easy for 10-14 days. He does not anticipate any complications. By the end of 3 months I will hopefully be able to stop taking my heart medication altogether & never have a-fib again. I will have to keep taking the blood thinning medication though because of my clotting problems.
The surgery usually lasts 4-6 hours, not counting the prep & recovery time, but for me it could be longer because of the filter. Poor John is going to be a nervous wreck. He is such a worrier & worries about me all the time. We have no family to help out, but we are used to that.
I was second guessing myself a few days ago because I hadn't had any a-fib episodes for a couple days. I was telling myself that maybe the specialist was jumping the gun a bit. Maybe I didn't really need the surgery right now. Maybe I could wait & see how things go. Then 2 nights ago I had another breakthrough episode. I think it was God's way of telling me "it's time" & I am now feeling confident that I am doing the right thing. Of course I'm not looking forward to the surgery itself, any pain involved, & the recovery time needed, but if it gets rid of the a-fib permanently, it will be a good thing.
Please do remember me & John in your prayers as well as the specialist & all the OR staff who will be with him during the surgery. I'd really appreciate it.