On July 21, 2008, I stopped smoking just before I was wheeled into the operating room to receive a pig aorta valve to replace the one I had and my only thought was "Why a pig valve in a Jewish boy?" In any case I haven't smoked a cigarette since that day!
Everything was going fine though I would think that Jew/pig and, also, I had read that the 'lifetime' of a replaced valve was about 10 years but really didn't spend too much time on either though I will admit a conflict about pigs as it was the 4 pound ham I ate one night over New Year's Eve that caused my going to the hospital with congestive heart failure and a relative of THAT pig provided the valve I needed to save my life--so I cut back on eating bacon and pork, not completely.
I won't get into the whole story about the '10 year lifetime', 2021 being 13 years, dealing with 2 new cardiologists, their not mentioning the valve but starting to 'push' a pacemaker and after referring to an expert in that field I didn't hear anymore until I was told I was booked into the hospital for a aorta replacement in August but that was cancelled because 'the machine was broke'--what machine? The Coke machine?
In any case it was at that point I started to think of the cardiologist that had done the pig valve replacement operation and that I should try to get in touch with him as I was very comfortable with him and he spent a lot of time answering my questions but I kept putting it off.
I would bet that I dealt with and spent more time with the Nurse Practitioner of the 2 new cardiologists then I did with both guys but that was okay because she is great! I won't go into everything because I have no one to blame but myself for not following through looking for the original cardiologist or asking any and all questions of the new guys.
I went in knowing very little of what would happen before, what to expect during the operation and what to look for after the operation---THE LATTER WAS A HUGE MISTAKE!! Won't go into details but I have never experienced any kind of fear when it came to my body whether the congestive heart failure, the pig valve replacement, having my appendix taken out in my 50s. etc., etc., but I was terrified, horrified, waking up in the middle of night in the hospital this week bleeding, and in pain, from a place I never excepted or warned that could happen.
I don't remember seeing either doctor before, during or after the operation except when it came to discharge time and that in itself was an additional horror. (Oh yes, the doctor did say I wouldn't have any problem with breathing--BUT I DIDN'T BEFORE THIS DOCTOR!!)
I got home Wednesday afternoon and though I could walk and didn't need help doing anything I am floored that for 3 days now I have slept from 1 AM straight through to 1 PM without waking once which is very odd for a guy my age plus I who have never been a 'napper' find myself napping 2-3 times between 1 PM and 1 AM!!!
I have zip energy--took me about 3 hours to type this--and made the decision to NOT go to the ER and to wait until Monday to call my Primary doctor for advice and to call my insurance company to track down my 'old' cardiologist and see if I could come to his office.
This is really the first time I have had uncomfortable experiences/feelings with doctors and will be the last. A word advise from an old man:
IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR DOCTOR, IF HE/SHE DOESN'T ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE OR WON'T LISTEN TO YOU PLEASE, PLEASE GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!!!
PS With all my moaning and groaning (and, yes GAINING 12 pounds the 24 hours I was in the hospital!!!) as you can tell I am well enough to smile, take selfies and I talked about getting a my semiannual crew-cut and shave with our local barber!!