You may have noticed it’s been quite awhile since my last post. I didn’t mean for it to be so long, but life seriously got in the way of writing. And I learned that what feels like bad luck, can be good luck. The best luck.
In December 2011, Darling Hubby needed knee surgery. Because of the system in Ontario, we decided he should have it in New York. They’d already mistreated him in Toronto, left him suffering for two months and we were fed up. Since we already had a wonderful Orthopedic Surgeon in NY thanks to my breaking my ankle, we decided to go to him and he operated right away – and Darling Hubby’s knee was good as new.
Darling Hubby was sent for a pre-op check and the doctor asked how long he’s had that whopper of a heart murmur. DH and I looked at each other – heart murmur? What heart murmur? “Get it checked out by a cardiologist as soon as possible,” NY doctor said.
We went back to Toronto to DH’s GP, who’s been giving him physicals every single year for ages. He listened to DH’s chest and said, “oh don’t worry about it. Lots of people have heart murmurs. He can live forever with it.”
“NO,” said I. We want to go to a cardiologist. The doctor in NY said he needs a cardiologist.” GP didn’t think we did, but said, “Ok, fine. But it’s a year wait.” “What if people don’t have a year to wait,” I asked. “That’s Canada,” he said.
Luckily we had a friend with a good cardiologist – actually the best one in Toronto. Our friend already got Dr. H to agree to see us. All we needed was a referral. GP gave it to us and was slightly shocked that we could see this guy without the year’s wait. It did take several weeks but after several tests we saw Dr. H and he said, “Your aortic valve is extremely tight. You need open heart surgery.”
ACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCK! Open heart surgery. This isn’t funny. He didn’t know how GP could possibly miss this. The valve didn’t shut this much overnight. Amazingly, Darling Hubby wasn’t showing symptoms (so we thought) so he agreed to monitor it for awhile and give us a chance to absorb the news. “But,” he said, “surgery will happen sooner than later.”
I’ll leave out all the middle part, the tests, the visits, the advice not to go to New York last summer (but Darling Hubby insisted we go anyway) – in early November, Dr. H said, “this is it. He’s having surgery before the holidays.” Which took us to Incredible Surgeon, Dr. F. Dr. H and Dr. F prefer to work with each other. They have a way they do aortic valves and make a great team. Dr. F did the surgery on December 21st, we spent the holidays in the hospital, not in New York, and I got the best gift I ever had in my life. They fixed Darling Hubby better than new. Dr. F is still talking about how that valve was shut and they don’t know he was walking around. Darling Hubby is a miracle.
Leaving out all the medical details again, I’ll just say it was a rough week. I stayed in a hotel downtown – Bless and thank Stavros from the RC, for taking such good care of me. I’ve never stayed in a hotel alone before in my whole life. My wonderful children helped get us through this – without them, I don’t know how I could have gotten through the days. My dear, dear friends who are my family – oh how I love them and appreciate them. Everything they did for me during and especially after the hospital was a Godsend. How I thank them, how they own my heart.
And the best part of all – Darling Hubby. He recovered beautifully after some real complications. When we brought him home just a week later, leaving the hospital behind us, we knew we were beginning the rest of our life. What better luck is there than that?
Addendum: I won’t name people to protect their privacy, but I want to acknowledge and thank from my heart:
The dearest friends who got Dr. H to see us. There are no adequate thanks.
Dr B (incredible orthopedic surgeon in NY) and Dr. O (internist in NY who found the problem)
Dr. H (the best cardiologist in the world who thank God is here in Toronto) and Dr. F (the best open heart surgeon in the world, who also thank God is here in Toronto) They saved the love of my life, my Darling Hubby – my heart.
I also want to say Phooey to Dr. R, the GP who didn’t recognize or take a heart mumur seriously, and bless Dr. T, MY GP who has taken Darling Hubby on as his patient now.
I also thank the staff at TGH, especially the people in the Cardiovascular ICU. They watched over Darling Hubby like loving hawks, giving him the most caring and brilliant attention I could imagine. They were also so kind to me and worked around my being deaf.
Thank you to Stavros and the staff at the Toronto RC Hotel. They made me feel at home, they furnished my room with devices for deaf people, and they even took my room service orders by email. They also took me back and forth to the hospital every morning and every night. They made me feel safe and cared for. I felt like I was with family.
And the person I want to thank the most, is my Darling Hubby. For being so strong and loving us so much he defied medical science and is now better than new.
And to the person who is always watching over us – Thank you – and please don’t ever go away. We need you, we thank you, and we love you. DH never met you, but he knows how much I did and still do.