A many-splendored love and hope story

August 11, 2009
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Superman and Lois LaneSo then there was Superman and his Lois Lane.  In this allegorical superhero story my Cardiologist and Internist are represented by this famous pair.  Although they didn’t do the hunting nor the cutting and correcting, these two gave light and warmth where it was needed…and they are married and in love.  Through the use of modern technology and know-how my Superman Doctor found the damaged tissue in my heart.  And my Lois Lane Doctor, she knew how to relate to me; regular human to regular human.

Superman Doctor was an interesting man because I imagine when he’s dressed in normal clothes, nobody would suspect him to be a doctor.  He’s a very soft-spoken man, so matter of fact with his diagnosis, you wonder if and how they could be true.  My doctor had a much easier time being who he was, he wasn’t burdened with a secret identity, and he didn’t labor anyone with long explanations of how he knew what he knew.  He had a white coat.  And like Superman’s signature spandex suit, that made him pretty credible.

Dr. Superman with his sparkling teeth and handsome voice located the most dangerous puzzle piece of all; the vegetation within my heart.  No, we’re not talking about vegetation like a carrot with a mean face telling my heart  to  “stick ‘em up.”  But that’s an interesting cartoon scene to let play out in your head.  The kind of vegetation I am referring to is built up dead bacteria tissue; unwanted, unnatural and the kind that causes inflammation of the heart valve. Once this build up of the dead bacteria was found, it had to be removed before it broke off and settled somewhere important, like in my veins, or gasp-in my brain.

Nerve racking stuff ay? I mean who wants to be held up by a vegetable?  Sometimes all of this medical talk, diagnoses, drugs and crazy cartoons going on in my head made me feel quite emotional, scared and lost.  Thank goodness for my Lois Lane Doctor. She was my Internist, and the sincerest of all my doctors.  Just because she’s not represented by a Superhero does not mean she lacks the moral fiber of the rest of the gang.  She was super in her own right, and kept all of the other hero egos in check.

She was so caring and the most relatable doctor.  Some might call it bedside manor but I recognized it as sincere consolation. Without the power to fly, an iron suit, or a Russian accent, she helped me by being a regular human being. My Lois Lane doctor was tough as nails, strong willed, and wanted me to be the same.  She kept me grounded and let me cry when I wanted to cry.  She even cried with me a few times.

These two doctors were wonderful together and apart.  I am so glad my heart was mended with a little love around.

I am beyond grateful for the whole team of doctors and nurses who gave me my life back, stitched and fixed.  For them, I’ll make sure to live life harder and better because thanks to them, I have a second chance!


The fanboys could have seen this coming…

August 1, 2009
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Iron Man

In the 1980’s, after a minor brainwashing incident was straightened out, Black Widow joined forces with Iron Man in the superhero team the Avengers.  Sorry fanboys for my predictability.  I will now explain the ways my Cardiac Surgeon is like Iron Man (Iron Man 2, 5/7/10).

My Iron Man doctor was a smooth talking, confident and absolutely trustworthy man.  Was he wearing an iron suit? No, that would be silly and far too literal. What he did have was great power.  With complete self-assuredness he could have convinced me it was necessary to cut off the end of my pinky because it was a Monday and I would have believed him.  But he didn’t do that.   He told me I needed heart surgery, and that he would be my surgeon.  And just like that, I had blind faith in the man as if he was wearing the hot-rod red suit of a superhero.

I did process all of the things he told me before the surgery.  He said I would experience discomfort and that I’d need rehabilitation.  I would have a significant scar.  I could possibly have the valve in my heart replaced with a synthetic valve (requiring me to take blood-thinners for the rest of my ever), or that I could have my valve replaced with cow or pig tissue (requiring repair surgery after 10 years of wear and tear, and also making me very uncomfortable with eating cow or pig products).  He said I would be okay, and somehow all the other things he told me sank into the background and I never once wondered about what would happen if I were not okay.

And then, as if keeping me cool lukewarm about having open heart surgery wasn’t enough, he willingly took my 25 year old life in his hands, he cut my chest open, cut my ribs open, pulled my ribs apart, cut the tissue around my heart open, cut my heart open, cut my mitrovalve,  and fixed that all up.  Then he got all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put Heather together again.

Thanks Iron Man Doctor, you’re one of my heroes.  But wait, where’s the love in these character profiles….

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Hi! My name is Heather and I write a blog :) I hope you enjoy!