What do you do when you get bad news from your doctor? Life threatening bad news. How do you handle it? What do you do about it? My significant other, Mikala, has been diagnosed with Left atrial myxoma. She never had any of the common symptoms that would lead up to this discovery. However, over the years, an occasional low-grade fever and night sweats, was thought of as the onset of Menopause by most doctors. Although, she’s way too early in age for menopause, but it was the only the diagnosis doctors gave to these symptoms she occasionally gets.
For years, the doctors couldn’t find anything. X-rays and blood tests never revealed anything that would cause these symptoms. Some doctors just dismissed it as “everyone is different“, that’s an actual quote from a doctor to which we went looking for another doctor. And you thought health care was bad now.
Enter the Family Medicine Center at Hilo, Hawai’i. The physicians here decided to do an echocardiogram on my Mikala, and they found something they didn’t like. That led to more detailed testing. A Trans-Esophageal Echo (TEE) was performed at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu and it did confirmed that there was a tumor present in the inner left wall of the heart. The doctors recommended open-heart surgery to remove the tumor.
Thoughts can race through your mind at warp speed. Your life is at risk, you have to make a decision, quickly. Plus, you must trust those that are advising you about your health. Where do you go? What do you do?
Myxomas are polypoid, round, or oval. They are gelatinous with a smooth or lobulated surface and usually are white, yellowish, or brown. The most common site of attachment is at the border of the fossa ovalis in the left atrium, although myxomas can also originate from the posterior atrial wall, the anterior atrial wall, or the atrial appendage. The mobility of the tumor depends upon the extent of attachment to the interatrial septum and the length of the stalk.
Left Atrial Myxoma happens in about 1 in 500,000 people per year. There is a host of information that can be found on the web. Its the significance of where the tumor is located and what needs to be done to remove it. Open heart surgery is not a simple procedure by any stretch of the imagination. The tumor is located in the heart itself. The surgeon has to stop the heart and cut it open to remove the tumor. Then put you all back together.
We here in Hawai’i are blessed with the Queens Medical Center. The largest private, non-profit, hospital in Hawai’i it offers comprehensive and specialized medical care. Emphasis, private.
I’ve never seen a hospital like this before. It is beautifully architecturally designed with state of the art equipment, and staffed with the best of the best physicians, nurses, and support personnel.
It’s like walking into a 5 star resort. The people here are very friendly and helpful.
The moment comes. My Mikala is prepared for surgery and wheeled away to the operating room. That was at 7 AM in the morning. I await in the waiting area drifting in and out of sleep. I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Even the wonderful dinner we had at the Top of Waikiki the night before hadn’t quelled my nervous anxiety.
Time drags on, minutes seem like hours.
There’s nothing to do but wait.
Finally, I get the word from the surgeon: Success.
And now, recovery. For the next five days, recovery.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many tubes and wires coming out of a person before. The equipment surrounding my Mikala watches over her like some robotic sentinel. Recording the heart rate, oxygen intake, dripping fluids into the body and fluids dripping out of the body. Occasional flashing lights on the monitoring equipment show different colors of red, yellow and green. I’m guessing that the color scheme speaks of danger, caution and OK.
Accompanying the lights are sounds: beeping pulse tones, and harmonica like sounds that tweet out some message indecipherable by me. Air tubes sound like that of Darth Vader, keeping breathing at a rate steady.
If I close my eyes, it sounds like some crazy casino in slow motion. I can hear monitoring equipment nearby in other patients rooms. The Intensive Care Unit is eerily quiet of human voices, yet there are nurses here moving about watching the equipment and the patients. But the sounds of the monitoring equipment is like a symphony of oddly automated machines caring for their patients.
After five days in the cardiac recovery center, it’s time to go back home to Hilo. Recovery has gone remarkable well given the amount of trauma open heart surgery causes. As I gather and pack away Mikala’s clothing, cards, and get well soon gifts, I contemplate the miracle that happened here. And indeed, this is a miracle is sorts. If this condition were never found, it would have been instant death for my Mikala if the tumor broke off the heart wall and entered the bloodstream.
We are lucky to be near a hospital with such an excellent facilities and staff. Queens Medical Center is a Magnet Hospital. Meaning, this hospital meets the American Nurses Credentialing and has embarked on an extensive review and systematic evaluation of its nursing practice. This is the same hospital that Rush Limbaugh stayed at during his heart problems in Hawai’i. Like Limbaugh said, “there isn’t anything wrong with the American health care system“.
I whole heartily agree with that assessment.
We may have, at this time in our country’s history, the best medical assistance in the world, but that is about to change thanks to a democratic congress determined to enslave the American people.
We’re also lucky this procedure was done before Obamacare was rudely dumped on to the American people. Would this procedure be available under Obamacare? I doubt it, and I blogged about this before.
What will be the future of this wonderful hospital under Obamacare? We know the goal of Obamacare is a single payer system. A government system that will put the private insurance companies out of business and the government will be controlling all aspects of health care. A Government system controlled by Washington bureaucrats. A system that determines what care you are eligible for. Just because the government insures you, doesn’t mean you will get the health care you need. Government mandated insurance will decide the cost effectiveness of your illness, and if your need for such a procedure will help you. Your children, your life, your family, is your cost effective enough in the eyes of your government overlords, meaning can you pay taxes. Then, you may wait a long time for an answer.
If you think I’m exaggerating, think again. Medicare is going to be used for Obamacare funding. Medicare is almost bankrupt. Social Security is now paying out more than it takes in. All Ponzi schemes like this, and Obamacare, end up in the end, bankrupt. Doctors don’t get paid, Patients don’t get care. It’s as simple as that. Walgreens has announced they will not accept Medicare patients after April 16th. Who will be next?
Still not convinced? Ask your Congress Person why they are exempt from the Obamacare plan.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
–– C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)
This is the Progressive Movement, the Socialist Movement, The Communist Movement, all on display in Obamacare. This is true hatred for individualism. This is why Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, wanted a second Bill of Rights. He was a socialist. Just like Obama.
The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, says we should get used to being like the Europeans. Many of us who immigrated to the United States left Europe because of government over-regulation, socialism, and oppressive government intrusion into individual freedoms. We came here because there was freedom. We left Europe because freedoms were eroded under the European governance model. Freedom of religion. Freedom of Liberty. Freedom of Choice. Freedom to Grow. Freedom to Earn. Freedom of Life. Freedom of Faith.
2,000 plus pages of legislation that passed Congress. They call it historic. I call it evil. This legislation is a Rube Goldberg maze of government contraptions that will suffocate what manufacturing is left in this country. It will ultimately destroy our country. It will kill health care in this country. The clock is ticking and time, set in motion, cannot be reversed.
This Too, Shall Pass:
What’s for Dinner?
“I’ll See You in My Dreams”