p.s. post-TEE

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if my posts today do not make sense today–excuse. i am totally drugged up and regaining my equilibrium. i went in for my TEE (transesophageal echocardiagram) today, a fancy way to say “stick a tube down my throat and look at the hole in the back side of my heart.”

in performing the TEE, my doctor assessed the hole (PFO) in my heart, the theorized cause of my stroke in Tahoe New Year’s Eve, with the intention of later (in a subsequent operation) closing it up.

after an afternoon dealing with an immense headache and nausea (i forgot to tell them to go easy on the fentanyl), i’m awake and still a bit groggy and discombobulated.

thankfully, i don’t remember a minute of the actual procedure–i was admitted, asked a bunch of pre-op questions, hung out with my husband while garbed in hospital gowns, wheeled to the cath lab and prepped further. when the doctor showed up, my husband had to leave.

the doctor sprayed a numbing solution on the back of my throat (the jolly nurse said in his lilting British accent, “it tastes like tropical fruit! what fruit do you think it tastes like?” ohgawd. it tasted like CRAP. i told them, “how can someone think this tastes like pina colada?! it tastes like poisonous lifesavers!”). to top it off, i started drooling because swallowing became a huge effort.

my doctor smiled kindly and said, “you are okay, the drug is just making it hard for you to feel you are swallowing.” okay. okay. okay. we giggled and i laughed at the weirdness. how bad was i drooling?

it tasted so awful (worse than the gargling throat numbing stuff from my last TEE after the stroke), that i said, “please shoot me up with the drugs now.”

then came the versed and fentanyl. ahhhh. the next thing i remember was the recovery room, snoozing and occasionally peering at my heart rate and blood pressure on the beeping, chirping monitor.

as my ever-competitive self, i decided to play a game of lowering my heart rate–the monitor said 72, i would get it down to 62. i snoozed and peeked and snoozed, and saw my rate drop to 62 (yes!).

“her blood pressure’s been high,” i heard the nurse tell another–i peeked. it said 139/88. kind of high. then i lapsed back into gray and blackness again. she woke me up later and i saw that my blood pressure was 120/79. better. she gave me apple juice (i had a choice) and crackers, which i scarfed down while waiting for my husband to come pick me up.

(and i think i had a conversation with her about nursing and my mom (who was a nurse) and what a stressful job it is, etc., etc.  my recovery nurse was 64 years old and counting her last year towards retirement.  i wonder how many conversations i must have had that i don’t quite remember).

i went home and got hit with a major headache and nausea–and began throwing up…my vomit tasting like the nasty throat numbing “tropical fruit” flavor, my mouth beginning to numb. niiiiice.

then, as is the case with me these post-stroke days when faced with such physical travails, i passed out and fell asleep. ah, mercy.

that’s been my day. in and out of consciousness.

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9 Comments

Filed under Life, The Stroke

9 responses to “p.s. post-TEE

  1. Oh, I’m glad it went okay! And don’t worry, your posts make perfect sense.

  2. sense or no sense, your post conveyed the feeling of the moment. I have thrown up a sicky-sweet flavor once when I had mono. It sucked. At least you got the good drugs…the ones that make you forget.

  3. The best thing about a procedure like that is that it’s over. What you described Jade was bad enough, but what I didn’t hear about was “the dreaded needle”. I imagine you had to have an I.V.

    Hope you are feeling better today and that the docs got what they needed so that you don’t have to do that again. Its a good thing no one videos or takes pictures of these procedures.

  4. Hope you are feeling better now…I’m glad it went OK, even if it wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

  5. Lamberakis

    Great post, once again. Glad the procedure went well for you.

  6. mel

    I can’t even believe you posted after this. And what a great strategy – making a “game” of lowering your own heart rate – to get through.

    Glad you’re ok now and the drugs offered relief when they did!

  7. Mel: If I do not write, then I feel totally depressed and defeated–so believe me, I HAD to post this to get myself through!

    Yes, as Leroy said–the best part is that it’s over with! (and I did not mention the needle which was one of the worst parts–but these days I get stuck with a needle every few days and if I were to mention each time I was stuck, it would be quite a boring mention).

    Next is the surgery which I suddenly dread!

    Everyone: thank you for your good wishes and good thoughts and positive comments.

    Onward.

  8. mel

    Then I’m glad you posted. In lots of ways writing is good medicine.

  9. Ugh. I’m sorry.

    Sometimes it’s all about the drugs, eh?

    Now we all worry about the surgery, focus on how it will make you better, and the infinite weirdness that is caring for people on the internet.

    Be well–
    BK

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