Today is the first day (and the last)


Today is the first day of summer. The vegetables in my garden look vigorous and green and oh-so-tasty. Everytime I peek out onto the garden, I imagine all the dishes to cook. My dog (above), looked out the window too, with many ambitions. They were probably not the same as my own, but still, today he dreamed.

Today, the fog burned off early, and I drove through the tunnel to even sunnier climes where my doctor’s office and hospital stand.

Today is Pre-Operative Day.

Today I sat in the doctor’s office with the nurse, attaching sensors to my head, trying to detect the teeniest blood vessels running inside my skull. The machine pulsated with the sound of my blood vessels, and shot mountains and valleys onto its screen. The nurse injected bubbles intravenously, and I saw the transcranial doppler machines light with noise and sound, fading into the distinct sounds of bubbles. The light and roaring sound were the bubbles rushing through my vessels–the bubble sounds were the last few bubbles trailing the rush through my arteries.

The bubbles had gone into my arm, into my heart, through the hole in my heart, and straight into my brain…skipping the lungs.

The room went silent–they had already been silent, but it went even more silent with certainty and awe. The room turned gray for me. In front of us was a conclusive test that said the hole in my heart was a straight path for clots to travel to my brain, resulting in strokes and TIAs. The bubbles would normally, without a hole in my heart, go straight to my lungs where they would be dissipated.

They had me take one more test as well–I blew into a tube very hard, for 10 seconds, while they ran the test again. The machine alit with noise and light again, louder and brighter than before.

Okay. I’m definitely having surgery tomorrow.

Today, I left my doctor’s office and went across the street to the hospital. I walked to Admitting and filled out paperwork. “So THIS is the other way to end up in the hospital!” I joked, having only been admitted via the emergency room before.

The lady took my insurance card, verified my personal information. She gave me a map to the blood lab and the x-ray lab. I had my blood drawn. And then I sat in line to get my chest x-ray.

X-rays freak me out with their invisible beams that can see right through flesh. I wore a lead apron, and I did not think it was anywhere big enough to protect me. I walked out of the hospital, after this pre-operative process, feeling almost invisible. I drove home.

Today my parents arrive–they are driving by car across hundreds of miles to be here when I go for surgery. I have made them promise not to worry or to fret in front of me. By evening, they will be assembled, we will be assembled.

Everything is prepared and done and ready. Tomorrow I have surgery to close the PFO. Today is the last day I will have a hole in my heart. Today I wait. Today I am thinking about climbing mountains with fully oxygenated blood, without a hole in my heart to slow me down.

Today is the first day of summer. It is beautiful outside.



Filed under Life, The Stroke

17 responses to “Today is the first day (and the last)

  1. and tomorrow they will fix you. i do hope. and it will be the first day of the rest of your worry free life.

    two summers ago, my daughter’s best friend passed out. she had been complaining for months of migraines, and then boom. grey, on the floor.

    she had a rogue cluster, and a brain bleed, and just about died in the emergency room of our local hospital as they were bringing an ambulance to get her. they didn’t want to put her in a helicopter to rush her to children’s because they were afraid of even the slightest drop in elevation killing her.

    she had three or four seizures and strokes, she had four surgeries, and today… she is seemingly okay but like many 14 year old girls got busted for smoking. imagine her parents’ outrage.

    you, my dear, will dissipate bubbles into your lungs soon. you, my dear, will be home hugging wiener dogs in no time. my prayers for you and mr. jadepark…

    much love.

  2. lucy

    whew. Let this be the last of your health concerns and get you back to blogging and writing and being your fabulous self. I love reading about how your life progresses and where your talents and intuition take you. More!

  3. And tomorrow will be the first day of a better life. Best wishes tomorrow Jade…keep us posted when you can!

  4. Eric

    Honey, I’m gonna be strong for you and send you all the strength of the universe that I can possibly hold in my little hand. Keep strong, special one.

  5. ChaEsq

    What is it she said? Tomorrow is another day? And thank God for it! Praying for you …

  6. nequila

    형님, 화잇딩! ^-^

  7. Roz

    Thinking of you and sending good thoughts and love your way. RW

  8. Thinking of you! Please do update us on how you’re doing once you feel strong enough to do so. I’m hoping all goes well.

  9. Good luck tomorrow! It will be a relief to have that taken care of. And that’s so sweet that your parents are driving up.

  10. Amy

    Thinking of you today. Wishing that you recover quickly, and continue to take something beautiful from your experience. You deserve a break! Thank you for sharing. This entry was so moving; Im sitting here at work feeling emotional after reading it.

  11. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

  12. toni

    i would call but i know your busy with the fam. tell your mom hi…i miss her and mundu…i picture her standing in the kitchen saying “oh toni she so skinny…”ok now maybe she would say “oh what happen you toni you gain weight, sheila cook too much for you…” lol. i wonder what hospital you will be at? how long you will have to be there. ugh. it is no fun having to be poked or prodded, but it will make everything better. 🙂 i feel like calling somehow this pre op email seems lame…i’m lame sorry.

  13. I didn’t check in here often enough; I didn’t know. I hope and pray that all is well and that you are recovering tonight. Be well. I am glad this surgery is here, to fix that hole, and I hope it went swimmingly.

  14. w

    Dear, I hope the operation went well and am sending you strength vibes. Many, many hugs…

  15. I am truly blessed to have you in my life … You will be in my thoughts! Here’s to yummmmy Umma comfort food and a speedy recovery.

  16. wowee, everyone–thank you SO much for your good wishes! i hope the same for you in your lives.

    i’m at home now and resting–definitely feel tender and all the things that one feels after undergoing surgery–and i have to be careful with how much i do move and how i move, etc….but i feel good.

    christine: what a traumatic sequence of health events for your daughter’s friend–i cannot imagine going through a thing at such a young age, when people often feel invincible.

    lucy: i love that you are out there.

    Leroy: yes, it’s a new start

    Eric: you are a big sweetheart and i feel better knowing you are rooting for me

    ChaEsq: tomorrow is now today and it feels better already

    Nequila: thanks for the good wishes, countrywoman! 🙂 I feel better already

    Roz: thank you–smiling as i read and write this

    Stephanie: I feel good–definitely tender in spots, definitely feel not so robust right now, but I feel good

    Bustopher: Yes, they are here–I feel a lot like I need to take care of them, and be strong which is not so good, but at the same time it is nice to have a good peanut gallery on your side.

    Amy: I feel good that my writing impacted you in a deep way–and thank you for the well wishes.

    lgt: you know I always do the same for you–let’s hope both our luck turns soon!

    toni: well dude, I called you from the hospital so you know how things are! i feel better knowing my longest-standing friend is always out there rooting for me. you are not so lame at all.

    leonessa: I am at home, recovering, and the doctor said it went well! thank you. 🙂

    W: operation did go well! thank you–and i send you virtual hugs too.

    ihategreenpeas: We already went out to eat at Art’s Krab Shak! 🙂 I know, that is SO not Umma comfort food, but it was good anyway.

  17. Jade, I am so happy to hear you are home safe and sound. Thinking of you for a good and speedy recovery!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s