I would be fooling if I wrote that yesterday — April 1/April Fools Day, 2015 — was an easy day for me.
Was I a fool to see several cardiologists on April Fools Day, as I tried to reach non-foolish decisions about my foolishly unusual heart?
Here’s something I foolishly took a picture of, as I was waiting to see the first cardiologist on April Fools Day:
Here was the most foolishly scary thing I heard all day yesterday, soon after I took that foolish photo:
Your current doctors have been foolish by not replacing your valve before now. Valve surgery is the only thing that can save you. The operation may kill you, but if you do nothing, you will keep getting worse and die a horrible death.
You may think I am foolishly exaggerating what that first cardiologist said. I am not, although I foolishly cannot remember each one of his exact words.
After I heard those words (and many other scary ones), I shed a few tears. As always, it was NOT foolish to cry and to have my feelings. Then, I went to the hospital where my long-time cardiologists — Dr. Salem and Dr. Estes — have been treating me non-foolishly for over 30 years.
Here is Dr. Salem, trying not to make a fool of himself as he is interviewed on the phone by the Boston Business Journal:
Dr. Salem discussed many possible next steps with me, including:
- Valve surgery
- Pacemaker/defibrillator surgery
- Heart transplant
- Wait and see.
When I told him the scary words I’d heard from the cardiologist earlier in the day, Dr. Salem explained why those words were foolish and not true. During the many years I have been working with Dr. Salem, he has helped me let go of foolish fear because of foolish words I read or hear about my extremely rare cardiac condition, which can easily fool doctors who don’t know me well.
After I saw Dr. Salem on April Fools Day, I met with Dr. Mark Estes, whom I foolishly did not photograph. Dr. Estes, like Dr. Salem, is no fool. He told me he has spent the last few months talking to as many non-foolish experts about hearts like mine and reading as many non-foolish articles as he could find, in order to make his best, unfooled recommendation to me. Here was Dr Estes’s April Fools Day recommendation:
Replace my current cardiac pacemaker with a pacemaker-defibrillator combo and add new wires to pace and synchronize both ventricles of my heart.
Because I had foolishly not eaten enough yesterday and because I was still feeling the foolish fears from my first cardiology appointment earlier in the day, I foolishly did not write down all of the details of Dr. Estes suggestions, including the name of his recommended surgical procedure.
I am no fool, though, because I do remember all this:
- This surgical procedure has a 50% chance of increasing my life longevity,
- It is much less dangerous than valve surgery,
- If it doesn’t work, we can always consider valve surgery again,
- We scheduled this recommended surgery for May 4, and
- The first week of May is the week I was already planning to take off from work in order to enjoy the spring, which will be so foolishly and spectacularly gorgeous for all of us Bostonians who have survived this year’s foolish winter.
Be still, my foolish heart!
Actually, that’s a rather foolish thing to write, considering the circumstances.
Last night, I foolishly took all of these April Fools Day pictures:
What “Fool” song would you choose for this post-April Fools Day post?
No fooling: I’d be foolishly pleased if you leave any fool songs, questions, or comments below.
Heart-felt, day-after-April-Fools thanks to Dr. Deeb Salem, to Dr. Mark Estes, to Paul McCartney and the Beatles, to cardiologists everywhere, to those who try their best not to get fooled again, to hearts that follow their true path, and to you, my non-foolish and much appreciated reader.