Friday, March 2, 2018

My SVT Story [Part 6, Post-Ablation News]

Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Hello, hello! I'm alive and well and here to talk about my experience with the ablation. I did as much mental preparing as possible but still cried quite a bit the night before and the morning of. We arrived at the hospital and did all the paperwork, paid for some of the procedure (OUCH), and proceeded to the heart catherization lab. I went back around 7:30 or so and had to give a urine sample. I got into my gown. They took vitals and started an iv - all the typical stuff. My husband got to come back and hang out with me until it was time to go back to the procedure room. He told me that the receptionist (who was this sweet little ole lady) told him that she had been working there 16 years and not once had a patient died. Nick helped get my earrings out (which are a pain in the butt because they are hoops that sit right up against my lobe and clasp shut on a hinge) and then around 8am they took me back to the procedure room.

The nurses were all very sweet and talked with me to distract me. Anesthesiologist came in and put a mask on me while another nurse administered meds to put me under. My husband got updates every so often while I was under. They were a little behind schedule because they needed some equipment that wasn't there, so they really didn't get started until about 9am. By 10:30, they had done one burn and were sitting and waiting. Pretty much that's how it's done. They burn, watch, and repeat, if needed. I ended up having a stubborn fiber that had to be burned three times. But I was done at 12:30 and Nick got to see me before they took me back to recovery. Apparently, I was awake, but they told him I probably wouldn't remember it.

I didn't really become conscious and aware until about 1:55pm. Even then, I struggled to try and stay awake to hear the news. I didn't know if they had got it or if they had punctured a lung, etc. Especially since it was a little later than I had expected to be awake. I finally was mostly awake around 2:30 and the doctor came in to tell me it was a success. Honestly, the biggest problems I had when I woke up were that my lower back was killing me and my throat felt super raw and also hurt quite a bit. The lower back can be explained from laying flat on the procedure bed for so long - my butt is big and doesn't allow my back to rest so it was arched for a while. I asked my nurse if there was a reason my throat might be sore and she said they intubated me - which is standard during one of those procedures (no one warned me of this ahead of time). They also had put a catheter in because of the length of my procedure which I was really glad for. I did ask the nurse prior to the procedure if they would because when I was put under when I was 4, I remember I had peed myself.

I got up to a hospital room around 3. I was taken off of bedrest at 5:30, although the anethesia still made me feel heavy and it was hard to move. It literally felt like when I had had an epidural. I tried to eat dinner but my throat was still a little too sore and I didn't really feel hungry.

As far as my heart goes, I had a few skipped beats that first day, which is to be expected. I would feel flutters when I tried to get up to go to the bathroom. I did kind of have a moment of panic because my heartbeat felt fast, but the nurse reassured me it was only 115 and that was just slightly higher than it had been since recovery (90 to 110). They gave me a dose of Ativan and some Tylenol and I was able to fall asleep a little after 8 pm.

I woke up at 5:30 am because they were drilling in the room below me and scared the bejesus out of me. I was able to eat all of my scrambled eggs and part of my biscuit with butter and jam on it for breakfast. They started my discharge papers about 9 am and I was outta there by 10:30.

At home, I still just felt a little sore. I didn't really have much discomfort in my puncture sites. It's really just my throat that's the worst part. I did have some more flutters in the early afternoon when I stood up and walked to the car. I didn't want to be left alone, so I rode with Nick to get the big kids from school, go to allergy shots, and get gas in the car. We pretty much stayed in the car, so I wasn't moving around much. When we got home, I didn't have any flutters getting out of the car and haven't had any since. I did have to take another dose of Ativan to be able to fall asleep last night - because I'm a crazy person and sometimes can't stop my mind from freaking myself out. The nurse at the hospital said usually the dr doesn't prescribe anxiety meds, but he did for me. She said to continue Ativan at home as needed.

I'm currently writing this on Thursday and again, not really in any pain. No discomfort. The very little walking I have done has been okay. The dr instructed sedentary activity for Wednesday and Thursday, back to normal on Friday (including being able to drive). I was instructed to limit lifting more than 10 pounds for a week or until my wounds heal. I am going to play it by ear. My wounds look really good. I haven't had any bleeding, oozing, etc. No lumps or bruises (yet). There is a little pain but it's only when they are physically touched. My collarbone wound isn't tender to the touch at all.

So far, the only thing I have noticed that is "off" is that I do get some discomfort in my stomach after eating. I'm still not really feeling hungry, but I have eaten and each time, my stomach feels bloated and slightly achy.

I will be back in a few weeks for more recovery news. As I've said, it's really not nearly as bad as I expected. I am tired for sure, but pain-wise, it's all low. I haven't had any Tylenol today. A little discomfort after eating. But that's about it :)

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