That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 3 (First EKG/Weekend in the Hospital)

April 25, 2012

Aurora's EKG after open-heart surgery
(I don’t have any pre-surgery EKGs on my computer, but here’s a post-surgery one)

It’s Wednesday – time to continue on with this series.

Last week, I left off with getting my EKG more than once.

There seemed to be some debate as to whether I was going to be sent home. My understanding is that there was a shift change going on. It kind of seemed as though two doctors were overlapping, and both were sort of in charge.

The one who was about to leave said he was pretty sure something was wrong and wanted to keep me overnight. The one who was coming on seemed to be of the mindset of “eh, you’re probably fine. Let’s send you home.”

Of course, I wanted to leave. I had never in my life missed a show, and I was not about to start now. The doctor who seemed to be starting her shift came in and told me they were going to discharge me. Rock on.

Before the other doctor left, he came in and said that while they were going to discharge me, he didn’t feel completely comfortable with that. He wanted me to promise him that I would come back the next day and get an echocardiogram.

“Um, sure. I guess. Why not?”

“No, really. Really promise me that you’ll do it. It’s important. I want to go home knowing that you’ll do it.”

“Okay. I’ll do it.”

My professor who taught the class I’d passed out in called me later that night, before my show, to see if I was okay. I told him the story, and said I was at the theater and that I guess I’d see tomorrow if anything was really wrong. He assured me that since they didn’t keep me things were probably all right. Yeah, good point. Agreed; they probably are.

Aurora's heart beating in an echocardiogram
My heart during a much later echocardiogram (after open heart surgery)

I told key people at work the story and warned them that there was a tiny chance I wouldn’t be there the next night, but I didn’t anticipate that happening. I mean, really. Theater has always come first. What could ever make me miss a show?

The next day, I dutifully returned to the hospital, as I had promised the nice doctor I would.

They took my EKG yet again. This time, when a doctor came to see me, she seemed pretty shocked that I had been discharged the previous day.

I got the echo. They said it was a little abnormal. That’s when it all really began. All of a sudden I was being admitted to the hospital.

It was weird to have an unexpected experience I wasn’t familiar with whatsoever. I’d seen people be in hospitals on TV, but never that moment when they were admitted. It wasn’t all that special – just paperwork and a wristband.

Still, it felt weird to be doing this brand-new, nothing-to-compare-it-to thing. Often if you’re gonna do something new, you read and prepare. But to have a totally new surprise… It was… Well, it was surprising, I guess.

I called work and guiltily gave them the awful news. They got someone to sub in for me.

Here’s the thing about being admitted to Tufts, with a rare heart condition, on a Friday – they don’t do a lot of their more advanced (non-super-emergent) tests on weekends. A one night stay immediately turned into a three night stay.

If all I was going to do was sit around all weekend, I really wanted to go to work. The hospital people were not keen on that.

I didn’t know whether I had a serious health problem. I didn’t know how much I could fight to be let go, or what the process is with signing an AMA form. I think there are some downsides with an AMA form… I still don’t know, actually. I didn’t look too deeply into it. People at the theater were being cool (well, cool enough at least), and the doctors were being quite serious (making it sound as though it’d be a really bad idea to leave), so I didn’t.

We’ll pick up next time with part 4.

I’m curious, since I’ve been doing this for three weeks now (and since this story is going to go on for many more weeks), is this a story you’re at all interested in? I know people have asked me about my heart condition and time in the hospital, which is why I started doing this every Wednesday night. Obviously, I’m throwing the super non-abridged version at you. So, I’m just curious if anyone likes this series, or if you all just skip reading on Wednesdays and think I should scrap it? Thanks!

14 thoughts on “That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 3 (First EKG/Weekend in the Hospital)”

  1. I like reading about it. I mean, I don’t like thinking about you being in pain/being sick, but I think if offers a good perspective about where you were then and where you are now, and how far you’ve come! 🙂 (Did that make sense? lol) Keep rocking!

  2. Aurora – I am sooo intensely engrossed reading your “bless your healthy heart” blog. Time seems to literally stand still while I’m reading. Thank you for sharing with all of us who know, love and adore you.

  3. I found your blog in February and it’s now one of my favourites. I may one day do a challenge like this. I read back to the beginning of your blog looking for the story of your heart condition and was really excited when you started this Wednesday series! I hope you’ll continue it. I’m interested in how you arrived at this point in your life.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?