I lived in London for just over a decade, and like to go back from time to time, even though my heart is in the country. So we plan the occasional trip, go to the theatre, visit the V & A, have heart surgery, that kind of thing.
Wait, hold on a minute, did I really say you could have heart surgery as a sort of glorified day trip? Well, apparently you can.
Earlier this year I had a TIA (a teeny-tiny stroke) which no-one picked up on until I had a big-ass migraine, which we did pick up on and which is what took me to the GP, who was on the ball and sent me to the stroke clinic, ‘just to rule things out.’ Anyway, to everyone’s surprise I had actually had a TIA (this was particularly surprising as I have none, repeat none, of the residual ill-effects one might expect from a stroke.)
Then began the investigation as to what might have caused an otherwise fit, healthy person to have such an event occur. Suspect after suspect was ruled out until the last test, when they found I had a hole in my heart of the PFO type. I’ve clearly had it since birth, but it seemed to now be causing trouble. These are actually quite common, about 1 in 5 people have them, and usually they don’t cause any problems at all, but they are now thought to be the culprit when people who have no other reason to have one, experience a stroke.
At first they thought it was relatively small, but every test I had showed it to be much larger than previously thought, so on Monday they closed it. I went up on the train, quite ridiculously early, but hey ho. The surgery was done about midday and I got home just about midnight because my heroic husband dashed home on the train from visiting me, got the car and turned right round again so I could go home in comfort and sleep in my own bed.
Apart from various bruises (I really hate canulas, as anyone who knows me can attest) I feel absolutely fine. More than fine, in fact, as I now realise I’d had a most uncomfortable feeling in my chest which has now disappeared and I’m sitting here wondering if this is what everyone else always feels like. I feel stronger and can breathe more easily, so I sort of feel like Wonder Woman right now, although that feeling will no doubt pass and I’ll feel human once again.
I’ve included a link to a short animated video that show what I had done – don’t worry, no actual blood! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5sRAcOVGiU