Tuesday, January 31, 2006


He's home. Finally. As usual, I'm pressed for time, so I won't post much. Basically, the long and the short of it is this: the arythmia is still a concern, as is the raised heart rate, but they are both "better". He's on medication to help regulate the heart rate, and this will hopefully help the arythmia too. They let him come home but we have to keep a close eye on his vitals, and he has been running a low grade fever that concerns me. But now, at least he's HOME!!!

We go back in 2 weeks to see Dr. L. I guess we'll talk more about what to do if the arythmia hasn't normalized yet. I think I mentioned that the worst case is they'd have to install a pace-maker, but they are waiting to see how the meds do over the course of the next few weeks.

The worst is over, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. I fear now that he'll feel TOO good, and do too much before he's really ready. But, at this point, if he wants to help clean up my house, then, well, I guess I'll let him! It's amazing how much mail can pile up in a week and half... And how is it that it's already February tomorrow??!! Wow. Time flies when your husband has heart surgery.


I took a picture of Tod's new chest "redecoration". He wanted me to post it. I did, even though I didn't really want to. It is below. If you are at ALL squimish, DO NOT LOOK AT IT.

As for new developments:
Tod's still in the hospital. His heart is still too fast. He's been put on yet another round of medications to attempt to "fix" it. His spirits are still very good, although he's finally wearing down in energy. He's likely to be in the hospital another 24 hours minimum. Possibly longer.


This picture was taken 4 days after surgery. He's actually looking pretty good. Esp. since you can't see the rest of the incisions (covered with bandages). The green things on his lower right (actually HIS left) with the little blue wires hanging on, and running into his chest: those are called "pace wires". They run directly to his heart. This is b/c his own internal pacemaker in his heart hasn't started working again. And if his heart stops, they have to be able to jump-start it quickly. .. And yes, that's how he walks around. No bandages over the chest wound. Wide open, although it is coated with derma-bond (super glue).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Second dispatch (from John) covering surgery and post-op

Well, after a couple of days in which I could not reach my email server
(through which this is passing on its way to you) I'm finally able to
communicate again. Let me start by saying that Tod is doing very well,
and Pat and I are beginning to feel as if life might someday return to

Tod returned to the hospital on Wednesday at 10:00 for a second try for
the surgery. Again nothing at all happened for quite a while. Pat and
I arrived at about 10:30 and sat with them. At about 11:45 Tod and
Danesha went "into the back" to prep for the operation. A few minutes
later their very good friend Las arrived. At about 1:00 a nurse came
out to tell the three of us that Tod would be going any minute, and it
was time to go back for hugs and kisses. About 1:30 a nurse-
anesthetist named Jimmie came by; he explained what sort of anesthesia
Tod would be getting, and answered a lot of questions. Very nice guy.
Then he disappeared to find out if the OR was ready for him yet. Ten or
fifteen minutes later a nurse stuck her head in and asked "What are you
doing still here?" We all kinda wondered the same thing. Finally,
finally, just when Tod was about to go completely nuts, they came for
him at 2:05. All they'd done in the previous four hours was get him out
of his street clothes and onto an IV. Although actually there'd been
more; by the time we went back to see him his arms were bandaged in
several places where they'd been unsuccessful in finding a vein for the
IV. Tod was getting very, very tired of being poked.

Anyway, at last, off he went. We knew no word would be forthcoming for
at least a couple of hours, so the four of us went out for lunch to a
Thai restaurant Danesha loves, but we got there after it had closed to
prepare for dinner. We eventually got sandwiches and soup at Panera,
and then went back to the hospital. They have a large "critical care
waiting area", full of chairs in gangs of 3 that can be arranged into
little family "cabins". If one threw a blanket or two over the top, it
could be just like being kids again. All over the room families were
clustered, each in its own style. At the middle of the room was a large
desk, staffed by some wonderful and sympathetic volunteers. When there
was word from the OR they'd announce that a member of the [name] family
had a phone call, and then they'd route a call from one of the surgical
nurses to a phone where you could get a progress report.

Our first progress report came at 4:42 PM. A nurse we'd met before (and
who had, along with Jimmie the nurse- anesthetist had been driving the
gurney when we'd last seen Tod) called to say things were going fine.
Tod was on the bypass machine and Dr. L was working away.

More waiting. Adjacent to the waiting area were some vending machines,
but nothing very palatable. The ladies (Pat, Danesha, and Laz) played
Uno while I read human studies.

The next word came at 7:05. A different nurse called to say that they'd
successfully repaired Tod's valves, and were closing up. Everything had
gone very well.

At about 7:30 Jimmie came by on his way home to tell us Tod had done
very well, and to wish us all well. As I said, he was a really nice

At 7:50 Dr. L came to see us. He said Tod had had a great deal
of "redundant" tissue, and a very "floppy valve". Sometime when I have
the ability to draw I'll reproduce for you the drawings he did for us to
show what he'd done. In addition to clipping tissue out of the middle
of both the anterior and posterior leaflets of the valve, and pulling
the sides of each leaflet together in the middle and sewing them up, he
installed a reinforcing ring around the base of the valve. By removing
tissue in the middle of each leaflet he removed as well the longest of
the reinforcing cords; by pulling the sides of each leaflet to the
center he retensioned the remaining cords. He said that the result of
the surgery was a reduction in atrial regurgitation from +4 to between 0
and +1. He said further that with someone Tod's age one would hope to
make it perfect (i.e., zero regurgitation), but this was at least a
great improvement, and should last for 5-10-15 years. That was
something of a shocker--I'd hoped for a much longer run. Finally he
said that while Tod might eventually need a valve replacement, he was
not a candidate for a "tissue valve"--i.e., a pig valve. So we'll just
have to keep an eye on developments in the artificial valve department,
and hope for the best.

At 8:00 Tod arrived in the Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Unit--the post-op
ICU--but we didn't know that until later.

We kept waiting until at 9:00 we were allowed to go back to see him.
The first thing I noticed was the sickly yellow color of his skin. (It
was hours later before I realized this was not evidence of liver failure
but of thorough pre-op scrubbing with betadiene.) He still had a
breathing tube, and the tape holding it in place distorted his face.
The attending nurse said he wasn't in pain. He was conscious, and could
communicate. His grip was strong, although he'd accummulated a lot of
fluid in his hands and legs/feet. He could nod and shake his head;
shook when asked if he were in pain; nodded with all the vigor he could
manage when the nurse said she'd ask Dr. L if she could start
taking tubes out so he could sit up. He gave us a thumbs-up, and a
private "smile" signal he'd worked out with Danesha. He made a lot of
hand gestures which we all tried to figure out, without much success.
He gestured for the means to write; the nurse brought him a clipboard
and pen, but he couldn't control his hand to write. After a few
minutes we had to leave, to return to the waiting room.

9:30 PM is normally the last visit of the day permitted for patients in
the post-op ICU. But moments before they announced visiting hours we
were called to the desk and told "your bed is on hold". We gradually
figured out that this meant we would not be permitted to go back to see
Tod, because they were doing something for him. But we were told we
could see him after a few minutes.

At 10:00 they let us all go back to see him again. The nurse said he'd
had some drainage--more than they liked--and they'd given him some blood
products. He was still conscious, still bedecked with tubes, still
gradually recovering from all the various kinds of anesthesia. (He'd
had, of course, pain meds, but also paralytics, to stop his heart and
lungs, and amnesics. All in all, quite a load of stuff--a little of it
was still in his system 24 hours later.) At about 10:10 Pat and I left
for our hotel. Danesha and Laz stayed a few minutes longer.

At midnight Danesha called and spoke to Tod's nurse, who reassured her
all was well.

At about 2:00 AM, we learned later, they started removing tubes. Tod
was immensely relieved and much more comfortable. He got some sleep.

At 8:30 Thursday morning, the time of the first CTSU visiting period of
the day, Danesha and Pat and I went back to see Tod. He looked vastly
better for having the tubes out, but still had a nasty looking rig stuck
into his neck, through which they could pump him full of any number of
things. His bed had been made chair-like. He was wrapped in those
thin, towel-like hospital blankets, and with his nearly shaved head (his
choice; he figured he wouldn't feel much like either washing or fussing
with his hair for a while, so he chopped it all off--both head and chin)
he looked a little like a Buddhist monk sitting on a throne. His
spirits were good; the nurse said he was doing great.

After the 8:30 visit we took Danesha out for a good breakfast. Then
back to the Critical Care Waiting Area, our home away from home, to wait
for the 10:30 visit. At about 10:25 we were notified that they'd moved
him from the CTSU to a regular room. Great news!

So we waited a few minutes for him to settle in and then went to see
him. Still shaky, still swaddled in blankets, still sitting in a
throne-like chair, but no longer with the nasty rig stuck in his neck,
and much more himself. He was wearing a wireless four-lead EKG monitor,
and the nurses could keep an eye on him all the time. After a while
Danesha left to run some errands; Pat and I stayed on. At 2:00 Tod got
up for his first walk around the area. At first he was very
stiff--moved his feet, but held his trunk absolutely rigid. But after
one lap of the area and a quick pee he set out immediately on another
lap, punctuated by his pausing for a few experimental standings on one
foot and simple yoga stretches. Then there was a third lap, and more
stretching. He quickly loosened up and started resembling his usual
lithe and flexible self. But he did tire, and after half an hour or so
he was ready to rest.

In mid-afternoon Danesha came back, bearing many wonderful viands
lovingly prepared by friend Phil for Tod, as well as jammies and a
couple of dress shirts! Tod so didn't like wearing a hospital gown, and
decided that what he had that was least like a hospital gown was dress
shirts, so there you have it.

Pat and I went to T&Ds house at suppertime, where we found friend Phil
still cooking--he'd spent his entire day off making one thing after
another, and tucking them away in the fridge or freezer. We had a very
good supper with him of pinto beans and [can't think of the name of
it--Italian corn pone] and beer. Very tasty. Excellent conversation.
Phil is a prince among men, and a very good friend to both T & D.
Danesha stayed at the hospital pretty late--she didn't get home until
after we'd left.

This morning I left Pat sleeping in and went to the hospital at about
8:00, where I found Tod wearing pajama pants that were cut as if for the
street--i.e., with pockets--and a white dress shirt. Stunning. He was
just getting his breakfast, of scrambled egg-beaters, nasty ham, grits,
and OJ. Because he had options (thanks to Phil) he had instead a pear
and some of Phil's puree of roasted red pepper soup and some
decaffeinated tea. He was still swollen from excess fluid, and I
massaged his legs while he scrubbed at the residual yellow streaks from
the betadiene. He scrubbed so hard on one shin he broke the skin. But
after he finished he looked worlds better.

A checker-upper came by to see if the staff had been telling him in
advance what was on the menu for the next meal, and offering him
options. He said no. So a few minutes later here come the menu guy.
Tod settled on alternate meals for lunch and dinner today, and asked for
a bagel with tomorrow's breakfast. I told the menu guy that this should
be a New York style bagel, specifically a toasted onion bagel with a
schmear. He asked if Tod would like capers? Yes. Onions? Yes. A
little lox? Yes. And a bloody mary or a mimosa? At that point a nurse
intervened. But I think it might result in a little better attention.
In general, Tod's been getting very good attention--the staff isn't used
to having a fit 29-year-old to deal with, and some of them seem to find
him quite attractive.

Another nurse came by to announce that at 10:00 there would be a
mandatory pre-release training session. I allowed my hopes for an early
release to soar, and left to fetch Pat from the hotel. Tod had noticed
and envied the crisp press on my shirt, so I took one of his back to the
hotel to press it. When Pat and I and the shirt got back the training
had begun already, so we sneaked in. A nurse talked through what to be
alert for after release, what not to do, what was OK to do, etc.; then a
dietician talked at great length about the elements of a heart- healthy
diet. At one point Tod chimed in to say that his wife, who is a plant
pathologist, recommends against organic peanut butter because it's too
likely to contain aflatoxins. The dietician said she didn't like it
either, because it was gray.

When the training session ended we all returned to Tod's room, where we
found Dr. L making his rounds. Tod asked if he could wander
farther afield than the 3B wing on his walks; Dr. L said no--they had
observed some irregularities, and didn't want him to go outside monitor
range. Dr. L said they were also concerned that the heart was enlarged,
but he wasn't sure why--it could have been mechanical, as a response to
the catheter they'd run up into his heart from his femoral artery, or it
could be physiological. Anyway, bottom line was a prediction from Dr. L
that Tod would be able to go home on Monday. So my soaring hopes
returned to earth; we'll have to leave town before I see him back home,
with the dogs and cats and video games he loves.

This afternoon Pat and I took some time off to rest. I had a long talk
with my office, and learned to my great relief that the human studies
rule did, after all, get signed yesterday, and has made very little
impact in the press. That's good.

In a few minutes we'll leave to meet Danesha and her
just-arrived-from-West-by-God-Virginia mom for dinner. (Notwithstanding
what it may say at the top of this message, the time is actually 5:30
PM.) We're gonna try Thai again-- same place that was closed a couple
of days ago. We'll pass the parental baton to Linda. A bunch of Tod's
friends are going to come to see him tonight, and we'll let them have
him to themselves. We'll go again in the morning, and then head for
home. Sunday I'll go see the P's, and tell them all about it.

Thanks for all your support.

First dispatch from Tod's Dad, John, about Tod's surgery

Tod's surgery did not occur today as scheduled, and has been re-set for
tomorrow afternoon.

The hospital simply got backed up today. They didn't have space in the
recovery area for the patient who got surgery this morning in the OR Tod
was to got to, and the surgeon came to say (1) he didn't think he'd be
able to begin before 3:30, and (2) he had an evening commitment, and
didn't want to be rushed. So he recommended waiting for tomorrow
afternoon. Tod was all for it. At that point Tod was very tired of
waiting around. He'd been there since 8:30, it was now about 1:30, and
he was very hungry. Nothing at all had happened until about 10:45, when
they took him "into the back" and shaved him from chin to knees and had
him shower with antiseptic soap; then they hooked him up to an IV and he
waited. He was chilly, bored, and uncomfortable. Danesha sat with him
until Pat and I arrived about 11:30. Then Pat and Danesha went for
coffee, and Tod and I sat and talked about childhood injuries, sports,
and other manly things. A nurse popped in from time to time to say "any
minute now", and then Dr. L came with his news.

So Tod decided he wanted a great big hamburger, and we all went to
Porters Grill downtown for a good late lunch. Then T&D went home and T
slept. Pat and I went to the NC State Arboretum, and had a nice walk in
the garden on an unseasonable beautiful day. Lots of trees and shrubs
in bloom, and we were particularly impressed by the Japanese apricots.
They bloom heavily here from December through February; when one
generation of blossoms gets frozen, more come along to succeed them.
They smell good, and come in colors from white to intense magenta.

We had thought about going for some barbecue, but the lunch was so late
we didn't really feel like eating. So we went to T&Ds, where Danesha
was fretting because she couldn't find one of the cats who needed to go
to the vet. Pat helped find Dr. Pablo Cobblestone (the cat) and he had
a happy issue from his affliction. Tod was setting up his teams for a
video game, NCAA football 2006, that he loves to play with his buddy
Phil. I dozed until Tod decided to play a game with himself to show me
how much fun it was. I was less than overwhelmed, but let the record
show that Tod's UWV Mountaineers whupped the Maryland Terps by a score
of 42-17 in the rain at Morgantown.

For those who have been sitting on the edges of things waiting for news,
I apologize. Tomorrow Tod will go to the hospital at 10:00, which means
he should sit around for less time before he goes back "into the back".
We'll hope that tomorrow's surgery happens more or less on schedule,
beginning in early afternoon. Dr. L will be on call in the
morning, so he won't have a morning surgery, but someone else will
presumably be using the OR, so it could get backed up again. For future
reference, if you're ever offered a choice, go for the first surgery of
the day even if it means you have to get to the hospital at 5 AM. Much
better odds of things happening on schedule.

I spoke at some length with Dr. L. He thinks the operation will
probably take 3-4 hours. He anticipates installing a reinforcing ring
at the base of the leaflets of the valve, as well as trimming the valve
leaflets themselves, and reinforcing the cords that keep them from
opening too far (and whose stretching beyond their normal length is the
proximal cause of the prolapse.) He's extremely straightforward, and
apparently humorless, but nice. He wasn't at all bothered by my asking
him direct questions about his experience and track record. I think
he's probably very good, and I see why Tod likes him. He inspires
confidence. And we all appreciated his coming out to talk with us--he
didn't have to do that, but it was informative, reassuring, and

Tod has amazing ability to stay calm. He's been doing breathing
exercises for several years now as part of his yoga training, and he
also does Buddhist chanting for an hour or more at a time; he can manage
physical stress as well as anyone I've ever seen. But he was getting
close to the edge when Dr. L came in this afternoon, and after
relaxing for several hours, he was getting a little wound up again when
we left him tonight about a half hour ago. He didn't sleep well last
night; I hope he'll do better tonight. But then he'll be sleeping all
tomorrow afternoon. . . .

Goodnight to all. It'll probably be close to this time tomorrow (i.e.,
9:00 PM) before I can send further news, but I'll do it as soon as I

Saturday, January 28, 2006

So, here's what they did

I've had a few questions about Tod's sugery that I realized I had never answered here. Let me give this info here:

In December we found out Tod had a heart murmur. He went to a cardiologist, who found the left side of Tod's heart was enlarged due to "severe regurgitation". His valve flaps on that one side weren't working properly. He sent us to a surgeon. Who then sent us for more tests. Then, we ended up having to have surgery. What was done, in very general terms, was that the surgeon "trimmed" excess tissue off Tod's valve flaps, and cut the cords (to shorten them) that helped open and close the valve flaps.
Tod DID get a stainless steel ring inserted in his heart to help the flaps work better. He did not have to have an artificial valve put in. The good news is Tod's better. The bad news is he's not really fixed. Because of the way his heart is shaped, he still has some regurgitation (more than what the surgeon would like, but not so much that he won't feel a difference). That's GREAT, but we might not be out of the woods yet with this thing. (more on that after I speak with the surgeon Monday).

Now, they aren't yet sure about the arythmia, which is still a concern. (Basically his heart beat is not yet normal). This is not an uncommon problem for heart patients, but they are a little perplexed as to why it hasn't fixed itself yet. We will wait and see how this goes. Worst care - they open him up again and put in a pacemaker. god help me.

Today has been a rough day all in all. Tod's feeling worse, b/c he's been slowing down on th pain meds, and he's very pale. They had to give him a blood transfusion, but I think it was just a pint...they wouldn't take mine. I offered. So, a stranger's blood is really better?

Thanks, as always, for the continued good emails, phone calls, and thoughts. Tod DOES have his phone, so PLEASE feel free to phone him. He loves the option of talking to someone new!! (I guess he's tired of me...just kidding). But you know what I mean.
(written at 5:30 pm.)

Friday, January 27, 2006


I have no idea how to spell this, but Tod's got it. He has been doing so great, but now his Doc wants him to stay in the hospital over the weekend to keep an eye on Tod's heart. It's not got it's rhythm back from the surgery. We are not out of the woods yet...


It has been an amazingly stressful time, but by yesterday, all was well. Tod JUST came out of the Cardiac Critical Care Unit yesterday morning, and by last night was already doing so well the nurses told him to stop making the other heart patients on the ward look bad! He dressed himself in a dapper button-up dress shirt and long pants, and just walks around the ward (sometimes with hoses and tubes attached) with a smile on his face. Amazing. (this is orange in his honor!)

I am so tired, but so amazingly happy for the first time in many months. However, I am also saddened by a friend’s tragic news today. Someone I do not know well, but already really have a special place for in my heart. I got up this morning to write her a note to see if she’d bring her beautiful daughter to see me and Tod next week, but I got her news that she was sick again, and can in no way ask her to come. She must be utterly scared and frightened. And now, I know very much what it is like to have a spouse be given a heart-breaking diagnosis. Hang in there, K!

I would bet that she also has a great support network. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of our friends and family in the last few months and weeks. I need to buy more thank-you cards, and Tod’s still in the hospital!!

I know it will still be difficult after he gets home. But right now, with him doing so well, my heart (which as far as I know works fine!!) is so very light with happiness. It is a shame that it takes an emergency to remind us we are loved, or to connect with people we always think “I should call that person” but we never do. But the thing that is MOST important is that when we need them, they are there. And just so you, dear reader, know: If you need me for ANYTHING, YOU let me know. If I am able, I’ll be there for you. It’s the least I can do!

Now go out there and call or write someone you love, and let them know it. You never never know when something awful is going to happen and you won’t get to tell them you love them. I was lucky. I’ve had my marriage extended by years and years b/c the doctor found something very small wrong with my husband’s heart, and thought to mention it to him. I’ve never taken his love or our time together for granted, but I have been reminded that we are all but mortals, and our time together is fleeting. Better to spend it loving the people around you than wishing you had after they are gone.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Moved from ICU to Private Room Today

Tod was moved into a private room today WAY before we thought he would be b/c he was doing so well. His spirits are great (all things considered!) and he wanted to eat so I KNEW he was doing better. He claims he'll be back at work next week. (ok, so NO, he won't, but I bet he'll be well on his way).

He can receive visitors, and can accept phone calls. If you would like to call him, send good wishes, flowers, or come visit, just call me and I'll set it up. If you don't have my number, email me (nesharoo7602@hotmail.com) and I will call you back. Tod can also read email at the hospital on my PDA, so you can also send emails directly to him.

I will continue to keep you informed this way, and thank you once again for your continued support!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

He's doing GREAT!

Tod is doing great. I will only post briefly now, and will post more tomorrow. He went in surgery at 2:00pm, and came out around 7:30pm-8:00pm. We were able to see him by 9:00pm. He looked aweful, but his spirits were good, and he was cracking jokes (even though he had a tub in his throat and couldn't talk, we knew it was a joke). Everyone said he was doing great.

By 10:00, he had some bleeding that the surgeon said was "More than usual, but nothing to be alarmed about". They sedated him so he'd rest, and they made me leave. His surgeon is the on-call surgeon tonight and he promised he'd take good care of Tod.

I see him tomorrow at 8:30am. He should be able to speak by then, and hopefully off the respirator, etc.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Today is the day. Or is it?

Yesterday was Tod's pre-op day. It was long, and dull, and really really long. It was in preparation for today - surgery day. So, today when we had to get to the hospital at 8:30 for MORE pre-op stuff (you know, like "clipping"), I was already tired of the waiting room. So, we were in the waiting room until 10:45 or so, they took him back for the pre-ops. We were scheduled to have surgery at 12:30 or 1:00. Noon rolled around and Tod was in the op's room waiting to go for surgery (IV in place, hospital gown on, etc.), and they told us they were running late. More waiting. It was aweful for me and I can only imagine how aweful it was for Tod!! At least I had my clothes on!

I finally went for a cuppa' at 12:45. My first ANYTHING of the day, as neither of us had eaten and I hadn't even had time for a cup of coffee. When I got back at about 1:30, they told us "Thank you very much, we can't take you today, so come back tomorrow."

It's true. We got cancelled. We have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN TOMORROW. I already know every inch of that waiting troom, and my husband hasn't even gone IN for surgery yet.

I'm fried. Tod's freaked out. I can not post more today b/c I am falling asleep on my keyboard.

I'll post again when I have time. For now, here are the highlights:
We go back tomorrow morning, and surgery is scheduled for afternoon TOMORROW. (They promised!). The surgery will last into the early evening, and I'll get to see him around 7:30 tomorrow night. If all goes well, he'll get a private room Thursday night, and I can stay with him all I want at that point. He can also have visitors, so anyone close by can let me know if they want to visit.

Lastly, thank you ALL for your thoughts, prayers, wishes, and supportive emails and phone calls. We are overwhelmed by the love we've been shown. Please send up some special thoughts for us as we try again tomorrow.
Thank you all.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Quick update.

I hope anyone out there in blog land understands that Tod took over for the 19th. I asked him to clarify, but I suppose y'all can figure it out.

Anyway, not much to report. Tod is doing well, and we are looking forward to a nice quiet weekend. We've been doing little stuff to get ready for "the big day". We cleaned the house, got all our laundry done, and re-arrainged the bedroom. Tod wanted a "fresh new look". Ok, Mr. Queer Eye. A fresh new look it is. It was nice waking up in our "new" room. Of course, I might be sorry I agreed to one MAJOR change, and that was a TV in the bedroom. I've always hated TV's in my bedroom. Tod's really psyced about it, and I figure, hey, the fellow has very little to be excited about in the next few weeks, so if it makes him happy - well, so be it.

Lastly, our second and final home study visit went pretty well. Tod nearly made a fatal mistake casusally contradicting my "Tod likes to stay up late to play video games" statement. In reality, this IS true, but there's more to it than that, as some of you may know. One of my very dear friends from high school is currently staying with us. A no-no in adoption land. So, Tod actually didn't quite get that out when I shot him the dirty look. Suddenly I was right, again. So, HS visit - check. Lots of paperwork ordered and received - check. On to more paperchasing, and waiting until we get our dossier to China. Which still can not happen until I turn 30. So, May it is!

I'll sign off here and likely won't be posting before next week sometime. Just in case anyone missed it JANUARY 24 is the DAY. I might post on Monday, which is Pre-op stuff. Then Tod's last dinner at Uncle Phil's restaurant... I hope I'm hungry, and that they serve a good cosmo.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

And the mutilation begins (Tod posts)

So I had my teeth out and my teeth cleaned, in that order which I found surprising. I just assumed it would be the opposite. I asked the doc and he said it can be done either way and makes no difference so i deffered. I felt good this morning even though i was up till 4:30 am last night maximizing my pre mutilation time. I was able to make it to yoga only a little late after I finished up with the social worker last night, our homestudy went well. I will miss yoga. I was able to take those concepts onto the dentists chair as i relaxed my body trying to find any part of my body that could be doing less. still felt fine after the procedure, chatty with doc, did some errands, then came home and the fact i had no breakfast caught up and the nausea and chill set in. So i went to bed and chose a movie, Narc, and watched 5 min till the pregnant lady started gushing blood and decided to change. yech. So far no pain meds, and it ain't that bad. it will be nice if this does not compromise my enjoyment of the next few days before surgery much. cheers -T

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

And the hits just keep on coming

Did anyone know that when you go in for open heart surgery you get shaved from "chin to knees"???? My poor husband is getting totally shaved (yes, folks, his ENTIRE BODY) from chin to knees. I hope they sedate him first. Can you imagine?? Poor Tod's...well, YOU know. As if the gown they make you wear isn't bad enough...

oh, and one more thing

I forgot to mention the latest: Tod has to have his WISDOM teeth out!! Yup, it's true. This Thursday. Nice, huh? We just found out. They can breed bacteria, which can compromise his heart. I suppose it is good they caught it now...right?

Yet another doctor's appointment

Well, Tod headed off to yet another doctor's appointment today. I think the total count is 5 as the number of doctor's he's seen in the last month and a half...The poor man looks like a pin cushion from all the needles they stick in him. We have one more pre-op appointment on Monday, and then he heads in for surgery on Tuesday.

I don't know much about the surgery, other than he goes in at 10:30, and the surgery will take all afternoon. I am blessed by such great people that I don't think I'll have to think much while I am waiting at the hospital. I'll have a number of people taking care of me. It also helps to know that Tod'll have a TON of experienced people taking care of him too.

On an up note, we have our FINAL homestudy visit tomorrow night. I
hope it goes well. Tod and I discussed our options as far as disclosing the up-coming surgery or not, and well, he felt honesty was the best policy. So, we will share this with our social worker, and hope that Tod's surgeon can write a REALLY good follow-up letter to go into our file. I wanted to put off telling them as long as possible, but he was too stressed out about the thought of keeping somehting like that a secret. Besides, imagine if it just slipped out!!

social worker: "what was your most traumatic expereince in your relationship?"
Tod: "oh, you know, last month, when we found out I had to have heart surgery."
social worker: "um, ok. Did I see that in my notes? huh. no, I don't think so. What the @#!!?"

Um, no. Not good. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that They (yes, with a capital T) will accept our paperwork in light of recent events.

Ironically, if it hadn't been for the adoption paperwork, it might not have even been discovered that Tod's heart was only functioning at about 50%. Who knows how much worse it COULD have gotten. Say what you will about the tedium of this process, but thank goodness we had to have these medical forms signed!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

From out of the wood-work they came...

Wow. Can I just say, my friends (and family) ROCK?! I've had so many wonderful letters of support, and offers to help, it really is amazing. Thank you all.

I keep thinking: at least he's young. He's healthy. He will fell BETTER after the surgery. He WILL GET BETTER. We WILL travel to China in a year, and pick up our beautiful daughter (who could be born any day now). After that, I want to stay home and take care of my family. I'll throw a party. Everyone who has offered support, and time, and encouragement will be invited. Hell, I might even let people who HAVEN'T OFFERED support come. (I'll see how I feel. LOL)

Today's big shocker - a very dear friend - whom I no longer speak to for somewhat ambiguos reasons - phoned in her support last night. And everytime I tell this story (about how we found out about Tod's heart condition) it makes me cry, so when she called, I was a total mess. It was emotional for a number of reasons. I don't know what to make of it, other than, I guess maybe she still loves us as much I we still love her. (And she call call anytime she wants)

And, as much as I hate to say it, maybe SOME good will come of this mess.

Until then, I will make it through, thanks to friends and family near and far, close and distant, and with luck, by the grace of god.

ENOUGH. On to better things:
I thought I'd open this up to others. I'm putting together a "bucket o' fun" (thanks Jen for the idea!!) for Tod while he is recooperating. If you were to add one CD or book, or movie, what would it be and why? I'll go out and buy a few off this list next week or so.
(If you want to play, add your comment there where it sez "comment").