Before the storm

Its 7am Monday 4/4/11 and in two days I will have open heart surgery to repair an anurysm in my ascending aorta, also Dr's will try and repair my aortic valve and if they can't -then replace it, fix part of a wall in my heart that is thick and also take care of my A-fib. Wow it looks even more dramatic when i write it. When I was in my teen I knew I had a mitral valve prolapse but some how I grew out of that. Then back in '04 I had my first V-tach and continued to have V-tach's until late in "05 when I had an attach that almost killed me. The EMS techs had to paddle me to convert my heart back into sinus rhythm. I landed in the hospital for 8 days and was given every test in the book. I had a cath. done and the Dr. said my arteries were clean but my aortic valve was bad and i would need a new one. Then the next day my other Dr. tried to do an ablation on my heart and couldn't... he said the area was between the wall of the heart and he didn't have the expertise to do this kind of operation. At the time I was single and my family lives too far away to visit... though friends were there for me. But it's "me" that's going thru it and i was real scared... what do I do now. Dr's told me the best Dr. would be in Boston so I went home for 6 months and did not work because the meds were so powerful I slept most the time. Early June of "06 I fly up to Boston and they do one ablation on me only to find out that I need one more the next day. It was a real drag but the guy in the bed next to me needed a new heart so I really felt lucky. Everything worked out in Boston, they even said I probably wouldn't need a new valve for 10 years. Great!! Dec of "06 I have my 1st A-Fib attach and land back in the hospital but only for two days and they converted me on meds, put me on blood thinner... I went home. No A-fib attacks for 3 years and Dr's took me off blood thinners. Valve is doing fine and I meet the most wonderful woman that will soon become my wife. Decembor of "09" I go into the hospital for a shoulder replacement... lucky again... they only had to do microscopic surgery (clean it up) and went home. August 2010 I wake up in A-fib and take myself to the emergency room, call my fiance to tell her what's going on and lucky from the meds I went back into sinus rhythm, we went home. I am leaving out all the tests... CT scans, echo Dr. Visits. November 2010 the day before Xgiving... we get married... all is wonderful... love is all around us. Early Feb 2011 we get the call from my Dr. on a fri night... tests came back and my anurysm has grown too fast and I needed surgery in the next few months. We drive down to the city tonight, check into the hospital on tues and wed morning they will open me up like a sardine can... I can't remember when I have been so scared and though I try to laugh ( we laugh alot in our house) the tears are right there behind my eyes. I have so much in my life right now and it took me a real long time to get where I am. Deep down I know that I have the best of the best... Dr. and hospital and so much support... I will make it thru but right now I am before the storm. p.s. my wife is a retired nurse... so I will have 24/7 home care with many extras. Don Howard Krantz


Anonymous said...

Wishing you the very best.

Benjamin J. Carey said...

Wow Don, scary stuff. The afib, vtach, and heart arrythmias are scarier than surgery. I went into atrial flutter two weeks after open heart surgery and that was more frightening than the surgery itself. I remember feeling frustrated that my heart was beating out of my chest and being unable to control it. Hope your surgery went well. Please post a follow up and let us know how it went and how you're doing. You're definitely a Heartosaurus brother!

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