Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Heart

This surgery was a defining moment in my life. I will rank it with defining moments like my marriage etc. The surgery has forced me to re-evaluate my life from both a physical and emotional dimension.

The surgery itself has minimal risks -- the success rate is something like 97%. That's very good odds. But let me tell you, if it's your chest they are going to open up, if its your heart they are going to stop so that they can work on your heart, that 3% looms really large on your horizon. So on the advice of my brother i made a will. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. The op went well and i have come out better than most. Sure there are the aches and pains which i feel but if i can have about another 10 quality years, then i can count myself fortunate.

What do i remember about the op & the hospital stay? the guy who showed his scars on his leg the first day i was there (it looked like he got bitten by a shark), The nurses --they are so young. And they seem so competent. The blood transfusion they gave on the second night of the operation -- the first thought that ran in my mind "shit, i am screwed. The stitches have given way and i am bleeding internally" Having to take a crap in bed -- they don't allow you to walk to the toilet. And then the young nurses clean your ass (oh, the ignominy of it, of being treated like a helpless baby), the dreams that i had of devils and demons after the op -- i will then awake and be reassured to see Nabilah beside me in the cot. It is now close to 9 months after the op and i still dont have any sensation in my left pectorals. Heart is beating fine but sleep seems to be erratic. The date of the op: 29 August 2009. The doctor who led the team was Dr. Venugopal Balchand.