My Cardiac Catheterization Tips!

August 5, 2016

Preparing for a procedure big or small takes some preparation time.

This past Friday, I needed to have a Cardiac Catheterization done due to some issues involving my heart defect. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years of these procedures is that the more I am prepared mentally, the better outcome or recovery I have.

Even at 27 years old, hospital procedures big or small can be intimidating and downright humbling. Although necessary for your health, it always is a very vulnerable experience from the moment you enter the hospital to the second you get discharged.

I have learned to bring the necessities(maybe not necessary, but for my own sanity) to the hospital. If you have ever had a hospital procedure, surgery or any big testing done, you might know all too well that the waiting part to get taken back to the operating room can be a LONG one.

The waiting part is personally the hardest for me. It’s not that I’m impatient, it’s the fact that during waiting period all I do is think! I think about what could go wrong, the results, my future, the things I want or desire by next year and so much more! I find that to be one of the harder parts of these ordeals.

I can handle pain! I really can! Heck, I could handle more of the pain I felt from the actual cath since I had less drugs this time rather than thinking of trying to figure out my life after this.

A few things I’ve learned over the years is to make sure YOU have some necessities to make YOU feel the most comfortable, not just at the hospital, but in your overall life. People don’t realize that just because you have to have a procedure doesn’t mean that everything is fine and dandy in your life and all will go back to normal post recovery. For most people, it’s not that at all. So any little ways before, during and after hospital stays or procedures can help you keeping moving forward on this crazy rollercoaster ride you might be on just like me.

I am not someone who worry’s about my looks all the time, but when it comes to having no control over your body in the hospital, I tend to try and make sure I “look” presentable. At least as much as I can be. 🙂

A few things I packed for my Cardiac cath!

DRY SHAMPOO!! Ha, You might think wow this lady is worrying too much about hair even though its going to be pulled back or in a hair net sorta of thing. Most heart procedures usually involve incisions that you can’t get wet for a few days, so dry shampoo became my best friend for recovery times. A little dry shampoo for the days where you can’t shower helps you feel a little less dirty and oily.

A couple of clear elastic bands. Like I said above, you end up doing a lot of waiting before being taken back to the OR. Some people can pass the time by watching a movie or what not. For me, it’s the complete opposite. I need to be doing something. I can’t just lay there in a hospital and watch a movie. So, to pass the time, I braided my hair! It was great. It kept me focused on a small task without thinking and getting anxiety with what was about to happen at any moment.

My essential oils! If any of you have had a cardiac cath, you know the hard part is laying flat on your back for several hours after the procedure. I am a big believer in holistic care, but also modern medicine as I wouldn’t be alive without it. I think there is a good balance to be found with both and in situations like a cath, I know I can count on my essentials oils to help relieve discomfort and pain from laying flat on your back and neck after a long period of time. Who wouldn’t be in pain after not moving your body for several hours? Thankfully, my essential oil roll on helped keep my discomfort somewhat manageable.

Lastly, Try and schedule to see a Chiropractor and or Physical Therapist within a few days before or after your procedures(make sure your Doctor is ok with that first). I have found that my PT/Chiro team in my hometown has helped me so much with managing my back and neck pain that come from these types of procedures.

Above all, allow your body to recover! Put those feet up and watch some Netflix 🙂

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  • Reply Rocio September 13, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Reading this just made me feel a lot better, thank you! I am getting tested for pulmonary artery hypertension and this is the beginning of a series of studies, so I am a bit nervous, although I wish I could ease my mind or meditate enough to calm my thoughts. I still feel vulnerable to the unknown. For now I will carry my dry shampoo and good reading material for the wait.

    • Reply Mimi's Open Heart September 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Hi there!!
      I am so happy this makes you feel better! It is a scary world, but know you are not alone!! Carry that dry shampoo girl!!!! Hope all the tests go better than you think!! <3

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