That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 23 (The “Blood Clot On My Heart” Chapter)

September 12, 2012

(Not the actual doors at Mass Gen, just what I could find online.)
(Photo Credit:

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

I left off last week with waking up in the ICU.

I had this humongous room all to myself. Uh, what happened?

I’m not really sure. Something to do with my liver or something. Okay, I guess that’s not really a satisfying answer. They said that something got nicked during surgery. I’m hesitant to share that part, because I don’t want it to sound like anybody at Mass General makes any mistakes.

Obviously, I’m fine. They went out of their way to take exquisite care of me. I think more than anything, they were just being incredibly cautious by putting me in the ICU. They are so very patient-focused as Mass Gen. They take every precaution to make sure every patient is totally taken care of.

In one of the earlier posts I mentioned that there was a blogger who said that his epicardial ablation was the worst thing ever. He made it sound quite painful, and all around awful.

For me, it was not like that. I felt totally fine, maybe a little (lot) drugged, but fine.

Before I had the epicardial ablation, I was warned that if it didn’t work, the next and last step that could actually fix my heart problem was open-heart surgery.

I don’t remember exactly when I was told that the ablation was unsuccessful – soon after surgery, later that night, or the next morning. Sometime around that day, I was lying down in my hospital bed. When I opened my eyes, I looked up and saw the doctor. The first thing he told me was that the epicardial ablation was unsuccessful. I’m glad he just spit out that news first, ’cause that was all I wanted to know.

I wasn’t shocked. I hadn’t had the greatest bit of luck up to that point with the failed ablations, failed medicines, ulcer, and all that jazz. I had already been told that my extra pathway was in a very hard to get area. So, open-heart surgery was up next.

Oh, one more thing… Actually, a lot more things. (I talk a lot is the point of this picture and this caption.)

Stephen, my amazing professor, came to visit me the night of my epicardial ablation. I told him it was super unnecessary, but he came anyway (from a party and everything – how kind, right?). In the end, I did appreciate it.

But don’t get any ideas, people of the world. Usually I was so annoyed at the thought of visitors. I was ready to Taser anybody else who came all up in my biznatch, but Stephen has a superhuman ability to deal with mere mortals such as my annoying self, so he was cool.

I probably rambled like a crazy person when he saw me. I  know that’s sort of base level life for me, but I’m thinking I rambled more than usual. Who knows? I don’t. Well, he does, actually. I asked if he remembered what that night was like. He said I was super-talkative – which he took as a good sign (since that’s kind of who I am (in case you couldn’t tell)).

The next day, I was deemed stable enough to move out of the ICU (yee-haw). Originally, I was supposed to go home the next day.

Funny story, I had a blood clot on my heart.

I had to stay in the hospital while I got Heparin, and they sorted the whole blood thing out (by thinning my blood).

I didn’t mind the extra days in the hospital too terribly much. I think I ended up staying 5 or so days in total that visit. Part of me was getting a bit of cabin fever at the end. I kept looking out at the snow, and it was gorgeous, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

There was definitely part of me that wanted to run outside and feel the cold winter’s night air while I ran through the snow. But other than that, I pretty much was just thinking that the whole hospital thing was ridiculous. At that point, it seemed like everything always went wrong anytime I entered some kind of medical place. Of course I have a blood clot, right? How could I not?

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

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