2023 January 22

DAY 58 degrees Sunny. Highs and lower 60s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. NIGHT 36 degrees clear. Lowe’s in the mid-30s. Northeast winds around 5 mph.

Sketches and doodles from 1995

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Pastor Michele a Lott of Cross Tracks Church, Liberty Hill, Texas

Today is the 7th anniversary of my hybrid heart ablation*.


FRIDAY 22, 2016: We arrived at Heart Hospital of Austin at about 5:15 a.m. after a 45 minute drive. I was quickly taken to a room to strip down and gown up. I answered questions to verify that I was me. Did they think somebody would impersonate me to sneak in and have vast portions of their heart nerves destroyed? No I realize that it is a safety measure to assure they are doing the right procedure on the right person.

THEY started an IV, which is a challenge to most people because my veins are tough, they move, and it’s difficult to find one that is straight enough for the needle. It usually takes multiple tries. Oww!

I THINK that it must have been around eight when they wheeled me into the operating room and had me slide myself on to the surgery bed. I said, “I thought that you’d do like on TV and count to three and then everyone lift me onto the bed.” I was told that if I were unconscious they would have but the rest is just TV drama.

I COMMENTED on the huge digital display (4’x6’?) and said, “You’re not kidding me. After I go to sleep, you’re going to change channels and watch the game.” No laughs. Tough crowd.

THE anesthesiologist arrived and asked about any previous surgeries. I told her about them and she wasn’t happy that she hadn’t been given a complete list of my history previously. She was concerned about the surgery on my neck and on my knee. So she put a pillow behind my head and knees. When she started to give me the anesthesia it would not go into the IV. She pulled the IV and started searching for another insertion spot. The doctor came in and took over the IV while the anesthesiologist started doing her prep work. The drugs were finally administered and I remember nothing until sometime mid afternoon.

WHEN I came to, I was in a small room in the ICU. I had four IVs in me; one in my wrist, my forearm, the inside of my elbow and one in my carotid artery. I had bandages and packing on the two groin insertion spots and over the drain tube in my abdomen. The three inch incision on my abdomen was glued shut. My throat was rough from the tube that had been inserted in my throat. And the nurse asked, “How are you feeling?”

WE had a “Birthday Eve” party at my youngest son’s house with ¾ of my biological children in attendance. It was nice to spend time with all of this slice of family. I’m not prejudice at all when I say, “They are all nice people.” I would have said that they are good kids, except they are not kids. They’re not even young adults. They are all adults now. When did that happen? Obviously when I wasn’t watching.

Goodnight and God bless.

©2023 Thomas E Williams

*Hybrid ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for persistent atrial fibrillation that combines surgical and catheter-based techniques. During the procedure, the heart surgeon creates a small incision in the upper abdomen. Using small tools inserted through the incision, the surgeon performs voltage mapping and then ablates (Ablates: To remove body tissue surgically.) on the outside of the heart. An electrophysiologist then uses a catheter and 3-D mapping to ablate the inside of the heart.

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