Last summer, I learned that that I have a rare syndrome called WPW (Wolff-Parkinson-White). In summary, I have an extra pathway in my heart that allows the electric current to circulate in my heart. It causes rapid heartbeats. The problem with this condition is that the extra path does not have a mechanism to stop palpitations, and very rarely that can be fatal. After 4 people on my paternal side suddenly passed away from heart diseases, I did not want to take my chances and decided to opt for an ablation this summer.
~Dealing with love ones ~
Preparing for the procedure was nerve wrecking. Between calls to l my health insurance to make sure the procedure would be covered, calls to my wellness coach to make sure I have support, and doctor’s appointments to keep an eye on me; I had to deal my mother and my “best friend”. Once I picked the date for my surgery I told my boyfriend, my mother and my best friend.
My mom drove me nuts. At first, she connected me with her cousin who is also a cardiologist. It was very helpful, he guided me and still checks up on me. One week before the surgery, my mom calls me to tell me that she is opposed to the surgery because she had not yet consulted her spiritual guide. She needs to first contact the universe and see what they have in store for me. I respect my mom’s beliefs; she is a highly spiritual and superstitious person. However, one week prior to the surgery is not the time to have doubts. She had known about the surgery date for 2 months! Then, she required once again more explanation and insisted on calling my procedure an EKG test. My mom was visiting me during the month of the procedure. I had told her I wanted her to be by my side. However, a few days beforehand she left me to stay with my brother who lives about 2 hours away from me. Nonetheless, she told me that if I really wanted her to come and stay with me during recovery she could make the sacrifice and come up to stay with me. To which I responded: “no need for you to sacrifice yourself, I will be fine”. She ended up coming because her cousin guilt her into staying with me. However, the day after I came back from the hospital she left to stay with my brother.
My ‘best friend” knew about the surgery and had said that she would come to stay with me. Honestly, I did not want her to come because she is very narcissistic. It is always about her and for her; everything should and need to revolve around her. Not once had she ever asked me how I am doing since I told her about my heart conditions. I did not want to deal with her while recovering. She knew about the surgery. However, she did not remember (or did not care…) and later on, she accused me of not keeping her updated about my health (that is her reason for not coming to stay with me).
~ The Procedure ~
My procedure was to be done in two steps. First step, the electrophysiology (EP) study was the physician will attempt to recreate the symptoms and pinpoint the extra path. The second step is to perform the ablation.
The day before the procedure, the hospital called me three times to reschedule which created much anxiety for me. The day of, I went there bright and early; the staff was lovely and answered my list of questions. I went in and came out about 5 hours later. The doctor had only done the EP study. The extra pathway in my heart is near the AV node and with modern technology there is a 90% chance that there will be complications and necessitate the use of a pacemaker. I should attempt the surgery at a later age according to my electro-cardiologist. I am grateful that the doctor did not continue with the procedure, because I had told him that I was opposed to a pacemaker unless it is utterly indispensable. However, I am a bit sad that I had to undergo all that stress and yet nothing is fixed.
The first few days after the procedure were painful and worrisome. But now I feel better, I am back to my pre-surgery symptoms; which is normal for me. The doctors will keep an eye on me. I also need to learn how to make my health a priority.