It’s now 11:08 p.m., and typing tonight’s blog will use up the remainder of what energy I still have. I am spending the night at Pat and Tanya’s, in their living room with Steph’s iBook in my lap and past the point where caffeine is fueling me. Susie is sleeping upstairs with Gianna. I’m riding on fumes here, but I do feel a need to bring everyone up to date on what’s happening.
The cardiac catheterization was not a simple procedure. I think I mentioned in an earlier entry that it would involve running a needle and tube up to Steph’s heart via her groin. During the procedure this morning, they were putting the catheter into the artery (there’s supposed to be one catheter for the artery–arteries carry blood away from the heart–and one for the vein–carrying blood to the heart), and the tube went through the artery, in one side and out the other, and on into the vein. When they tried to withdraw the tube, it started bleeding profousely. The doctor who spoke to me late this morning said that they would only remove the tube as a surgical procedure, or else they would not be able to control the bleeding and there would be a risk of substantial blood loss.
When they moved Steph into the pre-op area, I left voice mail messages for Wendy Fish, the associate minister at the Unitarian church, and with Pat, who was at work. Wendy stayed with Steph for a little bit, and then with me until Pat was able to leave work and be with me during Steph’s procedure. (We stayed in the families’ lounge and waited for over two hours, with only bad syndicated TV for company.)
Steph was in recovery a long time, but both Wendy and the hospital staff assured us that didn’t necessarily mean anything was wrong–it may have just meant they were waiting for a room to become available. Once in her room, a little after nightfall, Steph mentioned that she was going numb in her right arm. This meant another procedure, to see if there was a clot in the arm, and if there was, to prevent it from breaking off and heading for the heart or the brain. (After much testing, there turned out to be a clot.)
So, Susie has been to see Steph, Tanya took Susie to the hospital and took the two of us home, and all of us are going to collapse and sleep tonight. Once this is over, I have earned myself the mother of all nervous breakdowns.
Steph is at Riverside http://www.ohiohealth.com/riverside and she is under fine care there. The only genuinely scary moment was the conversation we had pre-procedure with the anesthesiologist. It wasn’t the information he conveyed to us as much as his bedside manner, or lack thereof. I have to take into account, however, that his clientele is usually asleep.