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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Archive for the ‘Open heart surgery’ Category

Ethiopia – Yet another coincidence

Many times in the two years since I first met Brian and Keri deGuzman, I’ve been astonished by the connections and coincidences that have sprung from their journey to build a family through international adoption. I wrote about one of those “Oh, my gosh!” moments yesterday, when I described the surprise that awaited the deGuzmans […]

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In heartfelt company

I spent Saturday morning in a room full of broken hearts. Some were beating a lot faster than they should have been. Some were being monitored electronically. And some were beating only with the help of a pacemaker. It was two days before Valentine’s Day, and I had taken my mom to a heart symposium […]

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How to sell a book: Step 1? Be famous.

In late January I signed up to take a Writer’s Digest webinar called “3 Secrets to Selling Your Nonfiction Book.” A few days after I paid for the session, I was invited to observe an open heart surgery scheduled the same day at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center. It wasn’t a tough choice. The […]

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What I learned watching open-heart surgery

When I was driving home from St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center last Thursday night, it started to hit me. As I walked into the kitchen and my husband asked, “How did it go?” I started to tell him. And then I lost it. The significance of what I’d witnessed that day finally sank in. And I […]

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What it was like to watch open-heart surgery (Part 4)

I guess I watch too many medical shows on TV. But I was expecting something a little more dramatic. When cardiac surgeon Brian deGuzman, M.D. finished repairing two damaged valves during an open heart surgery I watched at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center last week it was time to give the repaired heart a test […]

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What it was like to watch open-heart surgery (Part 3)

You can’t repair a leaky heart valve when the blood is constantly pulsing through the chambers. So the heart has to be immobilized. Put in a state of suspended animation. Stopped. It happens soon after the patient has been safely connected to the heart-lung machine, which will take over the work of these two vital organs […]

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What it was like to watch open-heart surgery (Part 2)

Anesthesiologist George Gellert, M.D. describes the pressures of cardiac surgery like this: “It’s like you’re a pilot flying an airplane into a tunnel — a very dark tunnel. You can’t see a thing but you just keep going, hoping the tunnel is straight.” He told me this as I stood in his area of the […]

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What it was like to watch open-heart surgery (Part 1)

A lot of people have been asking me what it was like watching open-heart surgery. Many of the questions emanate from all-too-human fears that such an experience could be upsetting. There is, after all, the blood. The open chest. The saw. I won’t lie; I was more than a little bit worried about how I […]

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What matters in surgery

A very worried husband and his two adult daughters are breathing a little bit easier tonight. Their loved one — his wife, their mother — is resting easily in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center following a six-hour surgery to repair two of the valves in her heart. Their surgeon, […]

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Preparing for surgery

Before I left for Ethiopia last summer, I spent three days visiting my sons in Washington, D.C. While they were at work each day I spent quiet time alone, reading, writing, walking and thinking. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to settle my thoughts and prepare myself for the experiences to come. Tomorrow I […]

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