OK, I really should be too embarrassed to show this to anyone – but hey, Sunday’s sermon was on being ‘real’ so here it is… I just found out that one of my very first websites is STILL out there on the web, even thought it should have died YEARS ago! I created this page back around 1996, and last updated a few links in 1998 when I started at Village Church, even though I had ceased to use the site having my own domain by then, but I was still using the dial up service. I haven’t touched this site since 1998! The company I was with, GNN.com was bought out by Flash.net, later by Prodigy, and then… I can’t even remember now. Anyway, I dropped the dial up service when it was still Flash.net, and my personal home page was http://www.flash.net/~kdbweb
Tonight, following a strange train of thought (a common practise of mine) I was wishing I still had the web page I had made about my experience in open heart surgery years ago. On a whim, I typed in the old URL and PRESTO! My old webpage appeared! And yes, so did the heart surgery story. I am recreating it in this post to preserve it, but you can see the original here, complete with warning page, for as long as the long lost server remains plugged into the Internet!
OK – HERE IS THE ORIGINAL POST I MADE, LONG BEFORE THE TERM “BLOG” EVEN EXISTED… that’s right, it was MY idea! (no edits have been made, this is exactly as is, except all annoying formatting has been removed.)
Here are the promised pictures from the heart surgery I witnessed. I am sorry to say that my film was ruined by the airport x-ray machines in Manila. What you see here is after MUCH computer altering to restore them – they were nearly impossible to make out!
WHY was I even AT a live open-heart surgery? GOOD QUESTION! I was in the Philippines on a ministry trip with my wife and her parents. One of the top heart surgeons in the Philippines is a member of the church my wife’s parents founded in Manila. (We were back for the 20th Anniversary of the church, Greenhills Christian Fellowship.)
While at one of the Anniversary celebrations, a doctor asked me if I would like to accompany him into surgery and observe. I, of course, instantly agreed! THEN came the discussion of how most people faint when they observe such dramatic things involving the human body – would I stand the test? I didn’t know!
When we arrived at the hospital, the surgeries were already in progress. The doctor only has to show up for the most delicate parts of the surgery – that’s how important a guy he is! I put on my doctor outfit, complete with hat and face mask, and got ready to go! What can I say about the actual observation of the surgery? Words can not describe it! It was fascinating to say the least. I went back and forth between two surgeries in progress, but spent the most time at the one pictured here.
It was amazing, I was at the head of the table, standing on a small platform looking down over a shield that hid the actual surgery from the view of the patient, who was sleeping peacefully anyway! (Good thing, or she might have had a heart attack!)
What a strange thing to actually look right down inside a living breathing (heart still pounding) body and realize that I look like that on the inside too. (Yick!)
I won’t bother describing the initial slice down the chest, the first flow of blood, the power saw used or the sound of the rib cage being cut (to be wired back later) nor the forceful removal of the front of the rib cage, as it might upset you. (Fortunately, I arrived too late to see that part – better luck next time!)
I watched the heart beating away while they worked on taking each valve and attaching it to a machine. I was intrigued by how much room they had to work and by how thick the surface of the body was – about a full inch wall could be seen where the woman was cut open. Tubes with blood pumping through them were everywhere. Soon a machine at the side of the table would take over the job of the heart. You won’t believe the way they stop the heart! A cup of ice, in the form of a slushy, is poured over the heart – the shock of the cold stops the heart. (If I ever have heart surgery I will request a flavored slushy.)
Then they have about three hours to work on the stopped heart. They may install a new valve, or take veins from the leg and replace weak veins in the heart. (That is what bypass surgery is.)
The most surprising thing to me, that I was not previously aware of, is the pocket the heart is held in, (inside your body) that looks like plastic and is as white as the wind driven snow. (I know, cliché!) I thought it was a protective barrier they had put around the heart to work – but learned that actually God put it there. Turns out it is rather convenient, as it held the blood that spilled. Know how when you are at the dentist and they keep sticking that vacuum thingie in your mouth that sucks up your saliva? Well, imagine the same thing, making the same sound, being stuck around your heart every few minutes. I think they used a mini Hoover… or was it an Oreck? (OOPS!! Setting was too high!)
Well, if you actually read this far, I will let you in on the family secret. I did faint. Kinda funny though, happened in a weird way. I was totally fine for quite a while. Although I felt very strange – almost like I was in a dream while in the operating room, I didn’t feel like I was going to faint, and I was rather proud I was doing O.K. (Had heard several funny stories about grown men, even doctors, fainting.) I was determined not to faint – so I focused hard on staying alert.
Then, I went to visit the next room where they were preparing another victim, er, patient. All I saw was the person’s leg being cut open in order to take a vein to be used in the heart. I decided I would wait that out before going around for a closer look. So I just stood against the wall.
I had never fainted before in my life, so I didn’t know it was coming. I THOUGHT that if I was to faint I would first feel grossed out, or nauseous, or feel like losing my breakfast – but none of that happened. I did, however, start to feel sleepy, but I had been up late the night before, and had to get up real early to come on this adventure. I yawned and just started to “think” about all I had just seen. Only problem was, this “thinking” was more like dreaming!
Next thing I know, I am on the ground with the doctor holding me and a nurse (who was not there a second ago) asking me if I was O.K. I almost said, “Why wouldn’t I be?” when I realized I was on the floor! Weird!
I went out, ate some food, and even went back in for more! But when that “sleepy” feeling came I decided not to push it and decided I’d had enough. Now I wish I’d stayed all day! (The whole process takes 6 hours, I was there for about one hour.)
On my next trip to the Philippines I hope to go for an entire day – if they will allow Dr. Fainthearted back in that is!
PS – don’t miss all the free graphics (many blinking and annoying) linked on the home page!