[2011-01-12] Seeing the surgeon again

I visited my surgeon, Dr.R. This was a "check-up" in 6 weeks after my open-heart surgery.

Dr. R., had only one question, "Do you have any problem?". I mentioned pain in my left arm, numness in my left hand fingers (4th and 5th), taking the pain control pills (Tylenol #3 with codeine). He gave me the same type of answer as I heard almost from every doctor before: "It happens sometime, it is caused probably by position of the left arm during the surgery, it will improve".

He, then, had a look at the scar on my chest and said "excellent".

Before the appointment I prepared a list of questions for Dr. R. Here are the questions and his answers:

1) Left arm, still pain (on and off) ; more and less numbness in the finger 4 and 5; Tylenol #3 (with codeine) 2 tablets 1x a day; 50% strength (compare w. the right arm)
a) Would you recommend to use services of a chiropractor? Well, not right now. Manipulation can cause problems at this early stage
b) Would you recommend a massage therapy? Should not hurt

2) Chest, looks ok; from time to time I feel “a hand” holding my sternum and ribs
a) Sleeping on a side? No problem
b) Laying on chest/stomach? No problem

3) Massage the scar? (Vitamin E to soften the scar?) Should not hurt

4) Varfarin – how long to take? 3 months after surgery

5) Travelling by airplane, e.g. 2 weeks in Mexico
a) When would you recommend? Anytime, even right now you are capable to fly
b) What about Warfarin and vacation? I would postpone vacation after finishing Warfarin (change of diete, alcohol)
c) Salt water? No problem

6) Activities
a) Jogging Yes
b) Swimming Yes
c) Volleyball Yes (smile), but I would wait a couple of weeks

7) Where and how can I get some surgery documentation:
a) Transcript (log) of the surgery Yes, I will ask my secretary to give you a copy of the surgery report
b) Pictures during surgery – myxoma tumor itself? No, sorry, we have not taken any pictures
c) X-ray pictures of my chest, echocardiogram pictures? Yes, you can asks the Cardiology department at VGH

8) Any web site where I can post a surgery feed back? Well, I do not know, maybe at BC College of physicians - but no complains I hope (smile)

I gave Dr.R. a symbolic gift, a bottle of home made red wine, a small jar of red pepper jelly and black berry jam with a thank-you card:
On November 29, 2010 I was re-assured that
- the human body is a miracle
- life is beautiful
- the Lord is mercifull
and I learned that, you Dr. R. and the whole surgery team are excellent specialists.

Thank you and God bless you.

That's a great thank-you card

That's a great thank-you card and gift! Thank you for doing that. I guess no Mexico this winter?