After a bunch of tests and blood samples and imaging and CT scans, I went to see a second cardiac surgeon (referred by the first one). It is somewhat worse than I’d imagined from what I’d learned so far.
I will be having surgery on Jan 22, during which they will not just patch the aneurysm on my aorta. They found another troublesome spot further down and they will be replacing a big length of the whole aorta. The one single solitary ‘good news’ part of it is that they will not have to crack my chest open. But it will be a “Y” shaped replacement aorta, so I’m assuming the incision will be similarly “Y” shaped. Or maybe just a straight line down and they’ll just move my innards around to reach what they need to reach. (I didn’t realize the aorta was just in front of the spine, behind all the other internal organs! They’ll go in through the front and move everything aside to do what they do — fascinating!)
I’ll be in the hospital for about a week, and then possibly in a nursing facility for another week or two (if I don’t come straight home), but the doctor said it will be six weeks before I can think about getting back to work lifting wet yarns, moving the loaded steamer, and all the other physical labor of being an independent art yarn dyer. Even now, of course, I’m not supposed to lift over 10 pounds, but he said not even 5 pounds after surgery if I want to avoid creating a hernia.
I’m already going stir-crazy — can you imagine how I will be when this is all over?? (On the other hand, can you imagine all the brilliant new colorways I can think up? Aortic Ice! Incision Iridescence! Suture Surprise! Suture Self!)
I’ll be having a sit-down with my daughter this weekend to plan out the essentials of what can or will be done.
Best case scenario, it will be sometime in March that I am able to dye up the next batch of Blog Reader Specials.
The doctor said I probably won’t even feel like knitting until a couple weeks afterward, but I will try to have pen and paper handy.
Feel free to ask what you will — no guarantees of details answers, but I’ll try to answer what I can.