Last Medical Update Before Surgery Tomorrow...

Real Estate Agent with New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

The last four or five weeks have been both crazy, and very, very draining.  Going back to May 9th when my last Cardiac Catheterization was done, and May 8th when my last EchoCardiogram was done... and it was decided that surgery was absolutely necessary.. things in my life these past six weeks have either been filled with medical activities, or with absolute terror.

Emergencies, calamities, catastrophes... as long as they are happening to someone else... I say... "put me in, coach."

This time, of course, they have involved ME.

I have had bad teeth for about ten years.  Not having dental insurance, and living along and not having the ability to have them taken care or... I had been going around and around with both Cardiologists and Oral Surgeons about my teeth, and neither one would even "touch" me until the other "performed their miracles."

To operate on the heart while having bad teeth can infect the heart and cause endocarditis.  To operate on the teeth can cause severe heart problems... depending on what else is going on.  Endocarditis can very easily kill people.

Bottom line, and me without health insurance, I had to go to a "county hospital" to have all of my teeth extracted in order for my cardiac surgeon to agree to perform heart surgery.  That was done on July 19th.  A follow-up visit was made on July 26th, which showed that healing was progressing as expected, and I could schedule the heart surgery, which brings me to TOMORROW.

I am Petrified.  Crazed.  Think up a bunch more words, and add them to the mix.

I am going to be wheeled into the Cardio-Pulmonary Surgical ward of Arlington Memorial Hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7:15am.

They tell me the surgery is going to last 295 minutes... which ends up being just five minutes short of Five Hours.

On the agenda is an Aortic Valve Replacement with a tissue valve, an Ablation of the Atrium, and some sort of minor amputation of a different part of the Atria... which I do not fully understand.

My condition is Severe Aortic Stenosis.  This means that the blood flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body... providing nourished and oxygenated blood for the rest of the body... is almost completely stopped.  The aortic valve does not open anywhere near the degree it should, nor does it close after it's poor attempt at pumping.

What that means is that some of that small amount of blood actually spills back into the heart... making things even worse.  How fun!

I know there are many who say that an aortic valve replacement has become commonplace these days.  Uh huh.  I know.  But this time, it's me.  And I just am having so much trouble shaking this crazy anxiety.  Some nights, instead of sleeping, I find I just cannot stop crying.

Usually, when something in the past like this would happen to me... I just did the old "whistle a happy tune" and managed to mask my fears.

Nobody knew I wasn't SuperGirl.  I hid it well.

Why it isn't working this time... is beyond me.  Dammit.

As I said... I am totally, absolutely Petrified.  My brain is a rock, my mind is mush, and my emotions seem to be running things. 

Although I know very well that it all must be done in order to consider living (if you call what I am currently doing... "living...") then it must be done.

This is all so bizarre.  In ordinary circumstances... and you have probably seen some signs of it... when trouble arises, or someone is picking on someone here in The Rain... I am up on my horse, and ready to defend them.  I am pretty good at chasing away other people's "bad guys."

Here it is... "me"... and all that stuff I learned in the Girl Scouts... out the window.  Well... I think you get the picture.

Please... I could use your help.  Positive energies, prayers, whatever.  I am guessing that if I make it through... I will not be writing anything on Active Rain for at least a week, but I will probably find a way to have someone read your comments to me.  I would love to hear from you.


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Comments (292)

Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Karen in peace.  Prayers and condolences to your family.

Oct 06, 2016 04:50 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Karen Anne and family... my thoughts and prayers are with you all.  Karen Anne has her own personal fan club, here on Active Rain, and her sardonic wit is sorely missed.

Oct 06, 2016 07:48 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Karen Anne,

We will miss you. It always hits the good ones.

Oct 06, 2016 12:03 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

You will forever be missed.   Rest in Peace. 

Oct 06, 2016 07:45 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Goodbye for now my friend. That volleyball playing daughter of mine that you followed is now rock climbing the sides of mountains.  Please keep a gentle hand on her back  from above!! I shall miss you now more than I have the last three years!!

Love from our home to your new one in heaven!!

Oct 07, 2016 02:29 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Goodbye Karen Stone ... I know you are in a better place.

Photography by Robert Swetz

Oct 07, 2016 12:05 PM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Karen Anne...Though I never met you face to face I knew you well and you knew me. There was much we agreed upon. You were my kind of woman, strong and caring. Oh, how I wish we could have comforted you during these past three years. I cannot imagine what life was like for you but hopefully you were aware of how much you were missed and will continue to be miss. You are an integral part of my Active Rain life.

Your friend,


Oct 07, 2016 12:10 PM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

It's with a heavy heart that I admit that I didn't know you Karen Anne, other than to read your posts here on AR.  I wish I'd been able to comfort you through the fear and emotional turmoil you've expressed.    My heart goes out to your family, your cat, and your friends, and I wish you and them peace.

Oct 09, 2016 02:26 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Karen,  at last you are released of pain and fear. Rest in peace.

Oct 09, 2016 06:54 AM
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

God Bless you my friend. You are healed, young and watching over us now.


Oct 09, 2016 11:49 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

RIP Karen,  you were missed for such a long time. . . . . now we know you are resting in peace. . 

Oct 10, 2016 01:32 AM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Rest in peace, Karen...I hope you knew how beloved you were here in the rain.

Oct 12, 2016 06:48 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Although I was not a frequent blogger during the time of this post, I do remember seeing your comments thereafter.  Thanks to Steve Shatsky we know of your passing. So sorry you had to go through so much "muck" and not enjoy an easy life.  Rest in Peace  Karen Anne!  Obviously you had more friends than you knew - a fitting tribute!

Oct 15, 2016 09:49 AM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Rest in Peace, dear friend!  Miss you!!!

Nov 21, 2016 10:46 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Always enjoyed your posts and gaining insights and valuable information from you Karen Anne Stone. Your quirky sense of humor was much needed at times and thank you for offering comfort when my mother died.  You will always be missed here in the Rain by those who truly cared for you, I am one of them. Godspeed!

Feb 18, 2017 10:36 AM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

So sorry to hear this news. I have checked in from time to time to see if there were any updates. Rest in Peace Karen. You are missed greatly in the AR community. 

Jul 24, 2017 11:02 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

I came across one of your posts today while searching for something, and then it hit me, "she's gone". Your wonderful blogs live on. Rest in peace.

Dec 28, 2017 01:15 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I am so sad that you have gone on to be with our Lord.  I am not sure exactly when you crossed the river but I did miss your presence here and miss you still. I know we will meet one day ...

Mar 18, 2018 06:06 PM
Sondra Meyer:
EXP Realty, LLC - Corpus Christi, TX
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Karen Ann, I still miss you after all of these years.   Last I heard, you went "missing" after the surgery.   When I decided to check in, I was really hoping to find that you had recovered.    You touched many peoples lives with your blogging.  Rest In Peace.

Dec 11, 2020 04:12 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Karen Anne - I thought of you today and it became a part of a post.  There have been times in the past when I have wondered what you might be thinking of what is happening in our country today, let alone ActiveRainLand.  Here's a snarky grin just for you in honor of the many moments you have shared that lead to fond remembrances for many of us.  

Jan 28, 2021 01:15 PM