That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 20 (The “Waiting for the Epicardial Ablation” Chapter)

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

It’s Wednesday night, so the heart story continues.

Picking up from last week (or really picking up from 3 weeks ago since the last two weeks have kind of been just generally talking about emotions and such) –

After my ablation at Mass General didn’t work, they scheduled me to come back and have an epicardial ablation. The date was set for the moment they felt my heart would be healthy enough to take it. (It wasn’t in its strongest state due to all that burning during the failed ablation).

I still had a couple of days in the hospital after I found out I’d be back for an epicardial ablation. I spent some of that hospital-bound time looking up experiences with epicardial ablations. Not that many people were talking about it.

I was going to start that sentence with “Surprisingly,” then I realized it’s not actually that surprising. It’s a rare procedure performed to fix a rare defect. Of course there aren’t people all over the internet talking about it.

But the one guy who was talking about it, was not taking about it with any joy, or happiness, or anything good at all. Not that people are ever going to be all, “Remember that swell time I had surgery? What a lark!” (Well, they might say that if they got a rocking nose job or something. But I understand that usually, surgery is not talked about with love.)

Dum dum dum! (Scary chords.)
(Or at least, so said the blogging dude.)

And this blogging dude was not happy.

My doctors explained the epicardial ablation to me. While it did seem more serious than a normal ablation, it didn’t seem as horrific as this blogging dude was making out to be. (Spoiler alert: It was not horrific at all.)

For those of you wondering about the difference between the normal catheter ablations I’d previously had and the epicardial ablation coming up –

The good ol’ previous ablations were done in a cath lab. I wasn’t put under for them. The doctors cut a teeny hole in an area at the top inside of my leg, and threaded a catheter up a vein of mine.

The epicardial ablation is more of a surgery. I’ll go full-out under, and spend the night in the hospital. The doctors cut in through my upper abdomen and then go up with their special instruments and do their thing. (Ah yeah, things get real technical up in this blog. (That’s a joke ’cause I say things such as “special instruments” and “do their thing.”))

So, as we wait for my heart to heal enough for the epicardial ablation, let’s check in with how things have been going with work and school.

Not well. Not well is how things have been going.

Between the original diagnosis, accompanied by a week in the hospital and my first heart procedure, then problems with medicines, that ulcer, the 2nd heart procedure followed by days in the hospital trying out new medicines – I’m pretty sure I’d missed, so far, over a 3rd of the semester in a number of my classes.

And way too many of my classes in that semester relied on attendance as a fairly large part of the grade. I had some teachers who did not care one bit what the excuse was.

“My lectures are a very important part of the class. And you have missed more than three [or whatever the cutoff was]. I do not care what the excuse is. The point is, you weren’t here. I don’t care if you do your homework. I don’t know how I’ll be able to justify passing you.”

Huh. Well, okay then.

Let’s pretend that all my days off school looked like this

I was mainly taking two types of classes – Music Production & Engineering (my major), and Traditional Music classes. It was the trad music teachers who were the more traditional type teachers – the “attendance really matters,” more stuffy-type people.

At Berklee, there’s this – picture the Jets vs the Sharks dancing at each other. In this scenario; one group is the cool, hip professors (such as the ones in the MP&E department). And one is a group of professors not dancing or snapping toward the other group because it’s not “proper enough.”

That’s a thing at Berklee – not wanting to do your more traditional type classes (and relentlessly making fun of them) ’cause obviously we’re all too school for (real) school.

The MP&E department was incredibly cool about it, though.

And this is where I’ll pick up next week.

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