Neal went to the surgeon yesterday...our last visit with him. We're going to miss seeing him! Now Neal will be seeing his regular cardiologist. His next doctor's appointment (other than getting blood checked) is May 13th.
Dr. M thought that Neal looked great! He did have to put him on an additional blood pressure medicine. It's running a little high, and with his heart healing they don't want it running high at all.
We asked him for "the story." Do you remember when I said he had something to tell that us that we would want to tell at our Thanksgiving table? That's the story I'm talking about. When we asked him he had a blank look on his face and the physician's assistant that was in the room said: "you do that all the time!" Then he said what he probably wanted to tell us is how the surgery is done. At this point we're feeling like this is kind of anti-climatic...after all we've been imagining all kinds of horrible things like Neal died on the table or his aneurysm ruptured when they opened him up. Not that we wanted any of that to happen, but that's what was running through our minds (and, after all, we knew the outcome...Neal lived!).
Anyway, we said that no, we didn't know how the operation was done. So he told us that with this particular kind of surgery (when it involves replacing the aorta) they have to bring his body temperature waaaaaay down. He compared it to the boy that falls through the ice of a lake in winter and his body temperature drops drastically. They brought his body temperature way down, and then (I'm so glad I didn't know this beforehand) they drain his body of its' blood and keep it in the heart/lung machine. Then they are able to work on the aorta! Whoa!!! Again, I'm so thankful I didn't know that was going on. It was hard enough to know that his heart was stopped for almost 4 hours!
The doctor did say that his aorta was starting to turn purple, so that means that they got to him at a very good time. I guess it turns purple as it gets bigger. I also asked if he had to have any blood transfusion while they were in there, and they said they didn't have to give him any! What a blessing!
So, although we felt a bit let down, that is quite a story!