In re My Heart Surgery, Part 2

I have news.

1. Further testing shows that, in addition to needing a mitral valve repair, I need a triple bypass. One artery is 90% blocked.

2. Surgery has been moved to March 2 at Baptist Princeton in Birmingham. I go in the day before for preadmission testing, spend the night at a hotel on site, and then they go to work on my chest early the next morning.

I no longer qualify for any of the minimally invasive techniques. We could fairly think in terms of maximally invasive. Split the ribs, connect to a heart-lung machine, and rebuild the heart back to factory specs. I think there’s also new rings, a block and tackle, and a four-post car lift involved somehow, but sometimes I get confused.

I’ll likely be in the hospital for a week or so. May have to go to rehab for a week or so afterwards. There’s something about having a heart valve that pumps half your blood backwards (not kidding) that makes it hard to keep up your exercise regimen. (Or to do anything at all, really.) And then home to recuperate for a while.

So I’ve pre-posted well into March but by late March may have to take off a few days. Should be plenty to talk about as we move into Romans 8. But I’ll not be too active in the comments. Or I may feel so much better having blood actually circulating in my body that I go crazy and spend all day posting and commenting. I’ve never done this before. It’s hard to predict how I’ll respond.

With the benefit of hindsight, I’ve likely had these problems for a couple of  years or more. I was having such severe problems this time last year that I had to cancel speaking at Pepperdine as a result. In a crazy kind of way, my blood infection in October led to the discovery of the valve problem — which didn’t show on an echocardiogram or an earlier stress test. The bad valve required a heart catheter test. They stuck a camera in my right femoral artery (below belly button and to the right — my right, not yours) and maneuvered it into my heart, where they took pictures of three blockages — which had not shown up on countless EKGs, echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiograms, or even an earlier stress test. So getting sick may well have saved my life. The 90% blockage is in the artery they call the “widow maker.” So that got my attention.

So anyway … I’m looking forward to feeling better and getting back into some kind of decent shape, Lord willing.

And in the “Lord willing” category, prayer would be much appreciated. I’ve seen it work too many times not to ask.

Leave a Reply

  1. Jay,

    You probably know many who have had similar experiences and can give you advice or testimonials.

    I’ll add mine.

    When I finally submitted to the test they told me it was too late for stints and would not let me go home. Waited from Friday to Monday in the hospital to have a double by-pass, and was discharged the following Friday without incident.

    Rehab took 12 weeks, 3 times a week; got a neat T-Shirt upon successful completion.

    That was in 2008; no complications since, and the symptoms disappeared immediately after the “rib splitting” operation.

    I don’t know why I didn’t think to ask you about my newest “cause”, Jay, since it is a big deal in Alabama; depending upon who you talk to.

    That is the “Baby Holm” case brewing up in Cleburne County.

    Have you heard of it.

    Some are trying to use it to mount an attack on the Alabama DHR and the Government in general.

    I have a FaceBook group that presents a little different perspective on the case at:

    If you are your audience are interested, you might check it out and post your comments. We have some lawyers in the group as well as folks local to Cleburne County, AL and its DHR operations and the Holm case in particular.

  2. Robert,

    I’m not familiar with the case and am in no shape to get involved. I’m busy moving my entire clientbase to other lawyers in the firm for my surgery and recovery.

  3. No problem!

    If you do hear about it (Mr. Holm’s people are desperate for attention), you can say you heard it first here!

    Some in your audience may be interested in following the developments.

    It’s been a brewing since October, 2016.

    I got involved when I heard that Kent Hovind’s legal dream team member (not a lawyer or paralegal) was secretly meddling and so insuring that nothing productive would be done to resolve the custody issue.

    There’s a lot of “sovereign citizen” support behind Mr. Holm’s false narrative.

    Of course, Kent Hovind is now Alabama’s problem since he moved to Conecuh County last year and started building his fantasyland and cult compound on about 145 acres he managed to come up with.

  4. I’m sorry you’re having to go through all of this. I’m sure you’re hearing about a lot of people’s experiences with heart surgery–I’ll just say that both my mother and my father-in-law had similar surgeries, both came through it well, and for both it significantly improved their quality of life. We’ll be praying that all goes smoothly through it and that you’ll experience an even more successful outcome!

  5. I wish you a successful surgery and quick recovery. My grandparents both had bypasses put it and did very well and were much older when they had it done.

  6. Jay I had my first valve job in 1982, which valve lasted 25 years before needing it replaced. Fortunately there is a lifetime guarantee with them. I was a week in hospital and back working some three days later after the first one. (I was prescribed Tylenol 2 for pain = My daughter was given Tylenol 3 when her wisdom teeth were extracted.) I didn’t need rehab after either valve job. I join other in prayer for you and your speedy recovery.

  7. May the Lord bless you and keep you Jay. My family and I will pray that the Lord will use the hands of the surgeons and those caring for you, to bring you through a successful operation and speedy recovery…your Christian (of the Lutheran variety) friend…Trey

  8. I’ll add you to my prayer list! I had a quadruple bypass 18 years ago and all went well. My cardiologist continued to tell me do whatever I want to do