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Our First Cardiac Procedure

Oct 15

Posted by: ACHA
10/15/2012 2:37 PM  RssIcon

By Jennifer Gooden

In early August I had my first cardiac procedure in a very long time. It was also our first cardiac procedure. Ziggy—the hubby—and I have gone through numerous doctor's appointments, MRIs, and other medical things over our five years together, but never anything that I would classify as a “procedure.” Nothing where I would “go under” and he would be the one left to make decisions if something—God forbid—happened.

Being a nurse, I know that a cardiac catheterization is an outpatient, routine procedure. Being the nurse also means I make the medical decisions for me and him. Being the nurse means I am in control. And for one fleeting day in August I had to give up that control. And honestly, I don’t know how people do it!

Sure. I have a chronic medical problem. Sure, I go to the doctor and take more medicine then people my age. But I don’t consider myself chronically ill or “sick” or a “frequent flyer.” I am just me. But the day of the cardiac cath I had to be the patient. This nurse had to be nursed and the husband had to take control.

I must say that most patients make the whole patient thing look easy. “C day,” as I call it, was far from easy. I had to decide so many things! Like if I wanted general anesthesia or just “twilight” drugs and where my IV would go—too many decisions! I had to not only prepare myself; I had to prepare my husband. I felt like I needed to make him comfortable, ease his mind, answer all of his question and reassure him that everything was going to be ok. And then the doctor had to do the same thing.

The nice thing was the hospital staff let Ziggy stay with me until I walked into the cath lab. Later I found out that the nurse went out every half hour to update him. They updated him when my oxygen levels dropped to low and they had to intubate me. I vaguely remember being on a stretcher in the hallway and saying hi to him in the waiting room after. He was the first face I saw when I woke up.

That is when I knew that we had made it through our first cardiac procedure. I know that he can handle the medical things and take control. I know that he will be ready for whatever happens next in life. I know that I picked a good one!

Jennifer Gooden is an emergency department nurse who was born with transposition of the great arteries, as well as other congenital heart defects. She and her husband Ziggy are working on transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle. Read more about their adventures in and out of the kitchen at their blog.

Copyright ©2012 ACHA

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

5 comment(s) so far...


Re: Our First Cardiac Procedure

Wow, this totally hit home, I am a Respiratory Therapist, so I totally get this! I've had several situations where I wasnt in control, and that can be the worst feeling in the world when you know so much about whats going on!!! I had my EP Study and Ablation when I was in RT school, and I was not sedated for at least half of it, lets just say I knew just enough to get me in trouble, the staff was awesome though, I explained to them what my background was and they explained everything to me as it was going on (I explained that I knew what most of it meant, so I wanted to be aware of what was going on, etc to help calm me down while I wasnt sedated)

The other side of this is I had an ER doc at the hospital I work at ask me what I wanted her to work me up for when I went to the ER for chest pain, sometimes its hard to give up control, but other times you want the staff to take control and advocate for you, thats a hard situation to learn

Thank you so much for sharing, my fiance hasnt had to do any of this for me, but I know its coming, and this will definitely help. . .

Jennifer, If you are reading this I'd love to talk to you some more about this subject!!!

By Morgan on   10/16/2012 8:03 AM

Re: Our First Cardiac Procedure

I'm glad to hear everything is going well for you and your very lucky to find someone who care about . God bless you both

By Roxana on   10/16/2012 8:03 AM

Re: Our First Cardiac Procedure

Morgan, I am reallly glad that this post spoke to you. Please feel free to e-mail me to chat at JenGooden1 (at) gmail (dot) com And thanks Roxana for you thoughts!!

By Jennifer Gooden on   10/18/2012 7:59 AM

Re: Our First Cardiac Procedure

Giving up control is never easy. As the mother of two CHD children and a post CHDer myself, I know beyond shadow of a doubt that I'd much rather endure a procedure than watch my kids have to go through one. My husband Mike turned into Daddy zombie while I was undergoing my transplant. So I have a good idea of how both you and Ziggy felt. It's hard, but that's what makes us the strong people we are today. Sending you both my love. ox

By Lorelei Hill on   10/23/2012 11:24 AM


I hope all the crew of emergency rescue units undergo or take up cardio tech courses for them to have a brighter idea about the technologies that can help to rescue a person who suffer a cardiac arrest.

By Vanny Thompson on   12/10/2012 12:42 PM

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