Jessica, Namine, and I went to the hospital yesterday morning because Jessica’s mom Charlene was having heart surgery. We weren’t sure what precisely was being done — from what I understood, it wasn’t even clear yet to Charlene, either — but at the very least, the wiring in her pacemaker/defibrillator was being replaced. I am happy to say that the surgery went well, and she spent the night in the ICU for recovery.

We knew the lead in the pacemaker wasn’t working. While Charlene was in the hospital, throughout receiving dialysis, doctors deliberated on performing the surgery. It wasn’t known whether she was healthy enough to even have the surgery. The possibility of replacing the entire pacemaker hardware was also discussed.

The final decision was simply (although nothing with the heart can be classified as “simple,” as I can attest) to replace the lead, and to leave the device alone, with the exception of replacing its generator — essentially its battery. The procedure lasted roughly two and a half hours, and then the doctor came to the waiting room to speak to the family. I was the only one in the room, since Jessica and Namine were elsewhere doing schoolwork together. I passed the message on to Jessica, who sent a message out to all her sisters.

While Charlene rested, we stayed in the ICU room in case she needed anything. Jessica and Namine worked on school stuff, while I remoted into work. She was still sleeping more or less soundly at lunchtime, so the three of us headed down to the cafeteria. We know from experience how bad hospital food can be, so we had brought our own lunch.

Taking a break from the hospital, work, and school.
Taking a break from the hospital, work, and school.

We’re also happy to say Charlene is doing well this afternoon. They’re moving her out of the ICU to a general floor, but we still have no idea when she’ll get to go home. Yesterday the operating doctor had said “in a couple days,” but we’ve heard that before — for Charlene and our own Namine.