On March 9, Lord willing, I’m scheduled for a surgical repair of my heart’s mitral valve. It seems I have severe “regurgitation,” meaning that my left atrium is sending half my blood in the wrong direction.
The good news is that the rumors that I am a heartless, bloodless change agent have been proven untrue. I confess to the change agent part, but they have found a heart in there. It just doesn’t pump much in the way of blood.
The result is that I tend to get very tired and short of breath very quickly. And I have to take naps. The heart just can’t keep up with the oxygen demands of my body.
It seems that this has likely been a long-term condition and would have to have been dealt with even if I hadn’t had endocarditis (infection of the heart valve) late last year.
I have to undergo a series of pre-operative tests to make sure there’s nothing else wrong with the heart.
After all, if they’re going to crack me open, they’d just as soon fix whatever else might need fixing while they’re in there.
So it’s possible they have to do more extensive repair work, but at this point, it looks likely that the mitral valve repair is the only work needed.
It’ll be done robotically (Terminator music plays in background). Really.
The doctor will open me up on my right side (you’d think the left, but it’s the right) and access the mitral valve from there. Heart-lung machine is attached, heart is stopped, repaired, restarted, sew me back together, and good as new.
I’ll spend a week in the hospital (Baptist Princeton in Birmingham), losing weight on hospital food. (Because it’s a Baptist hospital, I’ll strategically place in my room plenty of tracts on the Sinner’s Prayer and Once Saved, Always Saved and the dangers of the single-pastor system.) Recovery is likely about a month.
Fortunately, I’ve posted well ahead, and so the OIJ posts should continue unabated. There’s just so much of Romans!
My ability to respond to comments will be severely impaired due to my lack of consciousness and the narcotics and such like. But narcotics have, in the past, brought about some of my more interesting posts. This is not my first surgery since starting the blog, and my judgment about whether I should be posting has been known to be impacted by the post-surgical meds. I apologize in advance for being more uninhibited than usual. (I probably should have my wife change the password, but then she might never let me back on.)
So prayers would be greatly appreciated. Visitors for the day of and day after surgery wouldn’t be a good idea (except to keep my wife company during the procedure. She would appreciate that.) Thereafter, we’ll see how I feel. A good game of bridge might be a nice distraction, especially since football season is tragically over. Or “over tragically,” for us Alabama and Falcons fans.
I’m looking forward to feeling better. I’m going to have to do some serious rehab to get back in decent shape afterwards, so I’ll be paying the price for this for a while.
My goal is to get fixed up in time for the ACU Summit. I’m scheduled to speak on Five Major Trends in Churches of Christ. Time and date not yet set, but the Summit will held September 17-20 — which should be more than ample time to heal from the surgery and get into good enough shape to teach a class. I might even have time to think up Five Major Trends. (Suggestions?)
I had to cancel Pepperdine last year — likely because of this very condition, undiagnosed at the time. I just knew I couldn’t navigate that very vertical campus. I’ve been to a few Summits, but have had to miss the last few for health reasons as well, and so I’m excited at just getting to go. Getting to speak is the cherry on top.