So I’m going in for triple or quadruple bypass surgery next week. Being the curious sort of guy I am, I went online to read about the procedure. I already knew the basics: rib cage opened up, heart stopped, and veins or arteries harvested from other parts of the body.
I should have been satisfied with that. But instead, I went exploring, and found stuff like this: After you are asleep, a breathing tube will be inserted and you will be connected to a respirator. A stomach tube will be inserted and attached to suction to remove excess stomach juices and acids. A bladder catheter will be inserted to empty your bladder and measure urinary output. A Central I.V. Line (CVC) will be inserted in your neck to replace the I.V. in your hand. An arterial line will be placed in your wrist to measure blood pressure. You will have chest electrodes placed on your skin to monitor your heart rhythm. Once you are in a deep sleep, the breastbone (sternum) is cut and separated.
It goes on to describe how the heart is stopped through the use of a potassium solution, how you awaken with chest tubes protruding, and other fun stuff like that.
Like I said, I really knew all that before, but for some reason seeing it all written out makes it a bit too graphic for my tastes. One thing I’m NOT going to do is watch the YouTube videos of the procedure. At least not until after it’s all over.
And, of course, I keep thinking of those horror stories of people who wake up during surgery, and because of the paralytic drugs administered to keep them still are not able to say, “excuse me… but I seem to be awake, and I can feel that.” It’s extremely rare, of course, but that sounds most unpleasant.
Still though… looking forward very much to getting all this out of the way and becoming healthy and productive once again. Not that I was all that productive in the first place.