My mom is going to have open heart surgery in April.
A couple of years ago she had a heart attack – not the “grab your heart kind” but a “didn’t know I had one” kind that health experts keep talking about. As a result, she had a stint put into one artery. My mom got a wake up call and began to exercise 4 days a week and eat a little healthier. Doctors kept saying everything looked good. But recently, fluid gathered around her heart making breathing difficult and after 300 cc’s of the fluid was removed from her chest, the doctors discovered the culprit is a bad valve. Plus they found two other not so good valves. And two arteries that really need to be bypassed. So they are going in.
I am scared. I understand that operating on a beating heart is common these days, yet I am having trouble getting over it being done to my Mommy. That’s my Mommy we are talking about. I feel so young and helpless. I am terrified of her dying on the operating table, leaving me without a Mom and my daughter without a Nana. I just found out yesterday, so the news is pretty raw, but I can’t live like this. This level of worry isn’t healthy for anyone.
Your advice is greatly needed. I can talk to the many doctors our family knows and get lots of information. I can read about the surgery online, probably even rent a movie about the history of the operation from Netflix (I saw the one about how bypass surgery was discovered, actually). I could not learn anything and just hope the worry goes away. I’ve got 6 weeks before it happens, and then I’ll be going in to help care for her as she heals (Mom is in Michigan, I’m in Texas). What do I do with myself for 6 weeks? How do I manage the fear and worry? How have you handled major family operations like this?
Give me what you got. I am going to need it.