My wife is truly the heart of our family. Without her compassion and understanding, we would have never become a couple and I would never become a cat person. So, when I say hers is the heart of my heart, I mean this most sincerely.
For many months, she has been struggling with fatigue, shortness of breath, and other health issues. She’s had doctors aplenty and been to some for years without any good suggestions about what to do to improve her health. Finally, she was referred to a good cardiologist (heart doctor), and that led us down a long path toward a diagnosis.
One of her heart valves is leaking. Another one is only operating at about 30% capacity. Both need to be fixed or replaced.
We had thought we could get this done here in Memphis, but one of the hospital groups is not “in network” for our insurance and the other one, after putting her through a very expensive and exhausting set of tests and processes, decided they would not do the work.
Here is where we are (in her own words, as she posted them on Facebook):
St. Thomas West in Nashville has accepted my case. Surgery date: 9-11. I will be checking into the hospital on 9-8. There is one additional test on Wednesday, after which they will decide which procedure is best: open heart or the less invasive method. Meanwhile, I need a clean bill of health from the dentist (an abscess would go right to my valves and cause infection) and a check for a bladder infection.
I took her to the dentist and to her regular doctor earlier this week and those other items are done or almost done. Now, we are just waiting until it is time to make the trip to Nashville.
For those who are not familiar with Tennessee, Memphis is at the extreme southwest corner of the state, Nashville is near the middle, and hundreds of miles lie between the two (both in a literal and a metaphorical sense). While Memphis is known in the region for its hospitals, Nashville is larger and richer than Memphis, so the hospitals there should be even better. St Thomas West has its own attached hotel and we hope to stay there as needed and avoid the worry of finding a place in a city where we know almost no one.
I will have to travel back and forth between Nashville and Memphis, as our cats and home (and my business) are all here. The new-to-us car that I bought in July will help with the trips, so, that’s something positive, at least.
The heart of my heart is leaking — but we hope and pray she will soon be on the mend.