Friday, August 2, 2013

Balloons and Stents

Recap: Hubster had his heart catherterization and a bit of a scare.
Sleep and hospitals are like oil and water. Thankfully, they don't cram a sleeping pill down your throat anymore.
Back to fasting. No food - no water - except for the tiny sip to slide a handful of meds down the gullet.

Today's the day for the heart stent procedure. Hubster's got a reputation. Every new doctor and nurse  come in, pat him on the shoulder and with a wink of the eye say, "so we heard about your incident last night." He's in a cardiac care unit for goodness sake. This type of thing doesn't happen all the time? Not by the way the floor chatter is going. We decide they must have needed a little excitement to curtail the boredom.
I'm there for morning rounds. Doctor Stentnballoon comes in to give Hubster the lowdown on THE PROCEDURE. It's not done at Hotel Hospital Number One. Something about the law requiring that there needs to be a full cardiac surgical team available. HHN1 does not have one, but another hospital down town does. HHN1 contracts with Hotel Hospital Down Town. Thus - another transport via ambulance. But this time we get to stay there.
We get the procedure game plan. A tiny incision in the groin through the artery, up to the heart. Another wire with a little balloon is inserted, expanded and then a tiny mesh reinforcement is inserted. The plaque is smooshed to the walls of the artery allowing the blood to flow freely again. Balloon is removed. Badabing badabang. It will take between one to three hours depending on how his heart cooperates. He'll be sent to his happy place so he won't feel anything, but only long enough for the procedure to be completed.
The transport comes, all business guys, so no entertainment on the ride over.
Hubster's mom and sister - who surprise us with their visit since they came from a town 3 hours away, stay with me in the waiting room. We have time for a visit to the cafeteria for snacks and the gift shop for a get well balloon. The wait doesn't seem long before the nurse team that took him in arrive. "Hugs and kisses before we take him to his room. Doctor will be out in a minute to give you the update. He did well." And he did. He looks good. He's awake like he was when they wheeled him in.
Doctor Stentnballoon comes out smiling with two glossy pictures - suitable for framing. Before and after, and explains what he did. The artery was 99% blocked. The first small stent slides in and up beyond the plaque. Another one is put in and does its job. All is well. It only took forty minutes start to finish.
Hubster is now back in his room - a two bed, but we get it all to ourselves. He has to lay still for at least two hours so he won't bleed. That would be no good. No good at all. He's a model patient and obeys orders.
His mom and sister leave. I eat mac and cheese and a salad from the cafeteria and watch him enjoy his second meal - pot roast and potatoes.
We're both tired and ready to settle in. He's doing well and I know I can leave for an early evening at home. We're on the homestretch now.
Conclusion: The Care and Feeding of Your Heart Repair. 
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