Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'll Have what Bret Michaels is Having... Surgery!

Hey Y'all. 

I'm back. How was all y'all's holiday weekend? Do anything fun? I started my weekend out by getting an MRI of my gray matter, and it could only get better from there, right?

I promised a detailed description of WTH happened during my visit to the hospital when they went looking for a hole in my heart, so here it is.

Symptoms: I've been getting migraines and headaches, and I've been forgetting words. My doc heard a heart murmur, and taking that into account with the other stuff, she sent me to a cardiovascular guy.

Cardiovascular guy: He ran a test called a Transcranial Doppler. 
It looks like this:
(As seen only on the SyFy channel)

They put this thinger on, and then they shot bubbles up my arm. (This is not a euphamism or anything. They really did shoot actual bubbles up my arm.) 

The bubbles are supposed to go to my heart and then to my lungs to be cleaned. They should not go to the brain. If they go to the brain, it means there's probably a hole in the heart. The headband thingee measures the presence of bubbles.

So, yeah, the bubbles in my arm went straight to my brain. Then they did an echo cardiogram to confirm.
Diagnosis: BUBBLE BRAIN. 

(Okay, they really like to call it a PFO, or Patent Foramen Ovale).

It's a hole that should've closed over after birth, but mine never did. 

Some holes are fine, but this particular hole means blood clots and "dirty blood" can go directly to my brain and cause strokes (possibly this has already happened with mini-strokes causing my cognitive damage... or maybe there's no excuse for my mental defects...) or it can go to my carotid artery causing heart attack. 
This is the point when my doctor exclaimed, "You know that thing that Bret Michaels has? It's the same thing you have!"
At which point I thought, Um... Bret Michaels has so many "things". Do I really want to have what he's having?
 (Bret Michaels. We're like totally disease twins.)

Then my doctor, who's a horse enthusiast, told me how PFO's are like Horse Colic: There's no one certain cause. 

So, aside from the honor of sharing a disease with Bret Michaels (at least it's not the clap), I also have a connection to sick horses. 

I know what you're thinking: How does it get any better than that?

Well, let's talk about surgery.

I go in on June 29th to get it fixed. They snake a balloon attached to a camera into my heart, and then they blow up the balloon on one side of the hole, and then the other. 

I asked if they could leave the camera in my heart, so I could always carry around a little monitor and see it, but they said that's not possible. Cowards.

I get to stay overnight in the hospital, which I'm really looking forward to. It's like I get a night away at a fancy hotel or something, where the room service is automatic. It's more like a "swinging" hotel because I could possibly have a roommate I've never met before. Very exciting.

So, that's the long and the short of it. My only concern now is, what if I've only been able to write because of my brain damage? What if surgery takes away my sense of humor? (Which, contrary to popular belief, is not located in a bone in my arm. I know. I asked.)

So, that's that.  I hope y'all had a great Memorial Day weekend. In honor of my hole in my heart, I'm hereby declaring Friday's to be "Free Book Friday's."

What do you mean I already did that? Stupid bubble brain.


  1. If I had a penny for everytime someone compared a hole in the heart with horse colic, well, lets just say that I would be a very rich man.

    That Brett Michaels is quite a looker. I have a feeling that he has a few more things going on in his body than just a hole in the heart.

    I also believe that your hole in the heart is the cutest one in town, but it will get a nice little umbrella to fix it up.

  2. so crazy - you're sense of humor in still intact though - sincerely hope the surgery doesn't effect that. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Maybe you and Bret Michaels could do a show together. Rock of Fiction or something. You're so much better looking and talented though you'll definitely steal the spotlight.

  3. Well, if anyone should be the poster child for this, it should be you. You are FAR better looking and more coherent. His must be worse...maybe he has more than one hole?

    Man, I wish I had a hole in my heart to blame on being a bubble head! Maybe I just have a extra hole in my head?

    Seriously, I will keep you in my prayers!

  4. The "disease twins" line made me spray the computer screen. Hahaha still laughing when I think about it.

    I'm impressed you are keeping upbeat. NOTE: Everyone says that hospital food is bad, but it's NOT. It PWNS. Every hospital cafeteria I've been to has a mongolian bbq and a vegas-style buffet. Don't take any of that jell-o stuff they'll try to feed you. Order the beef strips with semame seed oil.

  5. I'm so sorry. But I'm also going to vote that the lack of migraines is just going to make even more of your brilliance shine through. You'll leave us even more in the dust.

    Best of luck to you.

  6. If I had to guess, I'd predict that any humor-producing brain damage that has occurred is likely permanent. Sorry, girl. You're stuck being funny.

    Now, the migraines, headaches (yeah, I do know there's a difference), and forgetting words thing--that can go. Think how much funnier you'll be when you can think of the exact word you want!

    Good luck!

  7. I don't think a disease could hold anything on your humor. Your humor comes from within. Brodi will always be Brodi, even with a balloon and no camera in her heart.

    Good luck!

  8. I have always thought you looked a lot like Bret. Oh, that's not what you were talking about? :D Good luck, we will certainly be thinking about you. Call if you need anything. I'd be happy to wrangle a couple of cute little boys anytime. (If you feel comfortable leaving your children with someone like me--which might speak somewhat to your mental status.)

  9. i don't and bret kinda make a cute couple. although he may wear more makeup than you!

    i call dibs on a dinner for you after surgery!

  10. Sam- Maybe the doc just looked at me, and thought to himself, "How can I put this in terms she would understand?" And then he's all, "I know! Horse intestines!"

    Mary- That show would rock! Let's start an internet campaign to make it happen.

    Una- The problem is, after I get it fixed, what will I blame my quirks on? At least now I have an excuse for bubble-headed behavior.

    Heather- you seem to know a lot about hospital food! What does PWNS stand for? Is it like texting terminology? Am I totally uncool?

    Jenilyn- What you are calling "brilliance" my doctor was calling "cognitive damage". I'm gonna have to go with the doc on this one.

    Robin- I hope the surgery will help me deliver a line better. So I"m not all, "... to get to the... to get to the... crap. Why DID that chicken cross that road? I swear I know this one..."

    Jenni- Sam says my sense of humor is a disease. Very contagious too. He's trying not to catch it.

    Keersten- Bret's totally my doppleganger. We're brothers from another mother.

    Dorien- I'd go to surgery every day if it meant getting a taste of your cooking!

  11. You know, you're one of the only bloggers I "know" who can make a funny light-hearted post about heart surgery. Totally my hero!

  12. Ha, ha, ha! You really don't want what Bret Michaels has...ick. Sorry about all of that - heart surgery has got to be scarey. Keep us posted. I still think you should sneak a rabit tail in there could be like the junior mint on Seinfeld. Have Sam get on that!

  13. Melissa- Hearts are supposed to be light, right? I'm just happy to have an excuse for my "bubble brain".

    Cam- I wonder if I could request a bunny-shaped balloon. Clowns do bunny-shaped balloons all the time, right?

  14. Wow! So sorry about the surgery. I'd be temped to write a few last minute instructions on myself with a sharpie for the doc to read after I was under. Things like: "Did you wash your hands?" And and arrow pointing to the heart saying, "This side." And a note requesting them to count all the 2x2s and to pick up their litter instead of leaving it lying about.

    But seriously, my thoughts and prayers are with you. And you are way cuter than old what's his face. Good luck.

  15. Man, I should have read this sooner. The other commenters stole all the funny lines. Especially love Leisha's about Sharpie instructions. You should totally do that! And also, I agree about it being nice to have a scapegoat for your quirks. Pregnancy is my excuse for everything right now. It really sucks that your excuse sounds slightly more dangerous, otherwise I'd advise ditching the surgery and keeping it forever.

    Good luck with the whole thing!

  16. You could never lose a sense of humor as fabuloso as yours! I can't believe how upbeat you are about it. If your surgery is at IMC you should have your hubby get you a turkey avocado sandwich on their sourdough bread. It's delish & only like $3-5 depending on if you get the half or the whole. (I spent a lot of time at that hospital for a while. Awesome cafeteria. cheap great food. We've seriously contemplated going there for a cheap date.) ;)

    I hope it all goes well. I'll be praying for you. And yay for free book Fridays! :D

  17. Yeesh! No fun at all! I'm sure the doctors will all be dazzled by your remarkable wit. Its always fun to hear what people say coming out of anesthesia.

  18. I think I need to get my heart looked at too. You have an excuse for why you are forgetting words...what about me?!!! I've had this problem my whole life. "A Life in the Day of Erin" comes to mind. I'm just glad you're getting it fixed. I still think you will be funny too. I know the funnies are located in the funny bone, Dave told me so. And there's your second opinion.

  19. Love your positive attitude!

    And you and Bret do almost look like real twins, not just disease ones ... can you post a picture of you wearing dreads, puckering up, and looking half-stoned for us to compare?

    Kidding, you're much, much cuter. Or hotter. Or something. Are girls supposed to say that about other girls they've never met, or is that just weird?

    Yeah, it sounds weird. I'm gonna go now... *looking for rock to climb under*

  20. Leisha- Excellent idea! I can also leave little notes like, "Pretend I'm Bret Michaels."

    Nikki- I think I'll take your advice. Surgery's off!

    Sara- Thanks for the advice. I might go there for lunch next week and try it out.

    Kayla- is it too much to hope that anesthesia will actually sharpen my wit? I'm going to try my best to make sure my first words are, "So, Priest, a Rabbi and Kim Jong-Il walk into a bar..."

    Erin- "A Life in the Day of Erin" is seriously one of my favorite lines of yours. That and "6 hours of man work."

    folksinmt- It just so happens I've got about 20 pics of me just like that: dreadlocked and stoned. AKA the college years.

  21. You are SO wonderful- seriously what a great sense of humor in a rough time. Ah, I can learn so much from you!

    Thanks for the reminder & good luck with the surgery. Not only bed rest but GOOD DRUGS too! Many hopes of Oxycodon for you! (& I'll say a prayer for you too!) Good luck!

  22. No more comparisons to Bret Michaels. Scary! As for this hole in your heart - you tell the docs they better darn well not lose your sense of humor somewhere in the process. It's what keeps us all going some days!

    So sorry you have to add this to your to-do list. We'll be praying everything goes smoothly!

  23. Yowza. Good luck with all that. :D

    And, yeah, hospital food isn't all bad. There was a full menu of options I could order from when I had the baby!

  24. Olivia- If you like that, you should read my family's blog during my dad's ordeal with Pancreatic Cancer. It's hilarious! (No seriously, it is.)

    Cath- We can't choose whom we share diseases with. Check that. We can't choose whom we share non-communicable diseases with.

    Never mind. Thanks for the well-wishes!

    Britt- No matter what's on the menu, it's guaranteed to be better than what I serve in my own house.

  25. Holy crap. Thats a lot of stuff. Are the mini-strokes anything like mini-puppies? Cause those are cute.

    I have an idea that might make you smile. I better go get started so I can send you a picture of it.

  26. Debbie- Oooooh. Now I'm intrigued.

  27. I found your blog by way of a mutual friend from the PFO Research Foundation.

    "Bubble Brain"...ha ha!! That about sums up the feeling, huh?!! Seriously, thanks for the smiles. It's refreshing to be able to laugh about all this.

    I hope your closure is a 100% success. Good luck on the 29th.