That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 29 (The Pre-Op (Op Being Open-Heart Surgery) Chapter)

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Photo Credit: Childrenshospital.org/arthur/ (A super cute guide for kids who are going to have surgery at Children's Hospital Boston)

Photo Credit: Childrenshospital.org/arthur/ (A super cute guide for kids who are going to have surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston)

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

Picking up from last week

So, I went on living my life in February and March doing as much schoolwork ahead of time as possible.

On March 12, 2010, I had my Big Ol’ Pre-op Appointment. (That’s how I referred to it in my calendar.) I think I called it that because they told me I would be there for a huge chunk of the day.

I don’t remember all of it, but I had to see different people in different departments. They did some mental tests. Do I know answers to questions? (i didn’t know what county we were in. I was like “who knows the county?” But I got all the other ones correct. Could I touch my nose?

This brain-test stuff was, I guess, used as a baseline in case we had any problems after the surgery. They could know that we were never smart enough to know what county the hospital was in.

Also, the (physician’s assistant?) asked me to raise my eyebrows. This was actually somewhat hilarious because I’d been working hard on trying to make facial expressions with as few wrinkles as possible. (I want to be like a Simpsons character – as much expression with as few lines as possible. (That’s how people describe drawing them in commentaries and stuff.)

(Granted, I don’t try to control my forehead quite as much any more. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s a bad thing. Either way…)

Catapulting back to 2010, the PA asked me to raise my eyebrows. I thought I was. She said I was just opening my eyes wider. I’d definitely trained so hard to not move my forehead that I’d forgotten how that whole mechanism worked! Sorry, doctor, this is the best I can do.

I’m sure that embarrassing tidbit is in my chart.

(If anyone’s wondering if that’s maybe a story to cover up Botox injections – I will be the first person to let you know when I get Botox. (I have not had any.) And I will put it off for as long as humanly possible. (By “human,” I mean “L.A. resident.”))

I also had my neck looked at that day. Doctors look for signs to tell them if you have some heart disease that’s in a bad stage (or something like that). I didn’t have any problems in my neck.

I think I also filled out a bunch of paperwork that day, got instructions with special pre-surgery soap, got my blood tested. I pretty much became best friends with everyone at the hospital is what I’m saying.

The week before my surgery, I went to Portland for my last big hurrah on America’s Got Talent. (I was back in May It wasn’t a big deal.)

The crew gave me this cute t-shirt I’d been eyeing during the whole tour. They gave me one I could wear, and one signed by everyone with loving messages. It was sweet of them.

When I got back from Portland, it was time.

I cleaned my apartment, stocked up on groceries, and prepared to take care of myself.

I used the special soap, packed up my computer and anything I felt I needed for a week-long stay in the hospital.

Off I went to Mass General.

If I remember correctly, and I could be completely mistaken, I think got there super early. I don’t remember why. Maybe I was afraid I’d sleep in. Maybe I just couldn’t sleep, but was ready to get out of my apartment. Either way, I’m pretty sure I ended up hanging out in the lobby, surfing the internet at 4:30am or something like that.

Before you knew it, time to go under!

This is where I’ll pick up next week.

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