A bit of a whirlwind here. I was told at my pre-op appointment that I'd probably get 1-3 weeks notice, but I got a call Thursday morning before the long weekend telling me I'd be in first thing on Tuesday the 22nd. I finished up my last week of concerts (the first Harry Potter movie live to film, good fun!) and my ongoing project to have all my trumpets squeaky clean for their vacation, washed and unplayed, has been successful. We've been getting the house in order and the bedroom all set up for me.
After the call informing me of my date, I had a CT scan the next morning. I was told not to have any caffeine or alcohol before, as well as to avoid exercise. It turns out the reason for this is that your heart rate needs to be nice and low for the images to come out crisp, and if it takes hours of sitting around and application of beta blockers to get it where it needs to be then you're in for a long day. My resting heart rate is usually 60-65, but sitting in the waiting chair it was sitting between 67-73, which was too fast. The nurse said they might give me some beta blockers but I asked her to give me five minutes, and with good relaxed slow breathing I got it down to 62, which was good enough for them. They moved me into the machine, lying down, and I got my HR down to 57, so they got good pictures easily.
They gave me a spray of nitroglycerine right in the mouth, which dilates your heart's blood vessels and allows them to get better pictures. I went straight from my scan to work, and I mentioned to a colleague that they gave me that nitro and its manner of application, and boy was that a first. He chuckled and said that the violas probably didn't think it was the first time.
So I'm to be at the hospital at 6AM tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to getting this over with. And I'm very very curious about how good I'll feel after I'm recovered. My heart has been so leaky for so long that I think I probably don't even realize how tired and generally sapped I have been over recent years. I'll report back about that in six months or so. Next post will probably be 4-7 days after surgery, when I'm home from the hospital and all settled.