A woman with hypertension, aortic valve and lung problems, plus a great fear of surgery due to unpleasant previous experiences, finds guided imagery a great help in getting through a complex procedure.. In 1971, I had open-heart surgery to repair a hole in my heart (ASD). I have been under a cardiologist’s care for the last 9 years because of pulmonary hypertension secondary to my heart disease.

In September, 2003, my cardiologist wanted me to undergo a cardiac catheterization because of changes in my cardiogram and stress tests. In addition, my breathing was becoming more difficult. A false aneurysm was found on my aorta which was caused by my previous heart surgery at the point were I was hooked up to the heart/lung machine.

I was very apprehensive about having surgery because I had had many complications during the 1971 surgery. I was re-operated on for internal hemorrhaging, developed pneumonia, could not breathe without the respirator and a tracheotomy was performed.

In addition, I did not believe I would survive the surgery because of my lung problems. In the surgeon’s office, I read an article regarding guided imagery. I asked the receptionist about this program and she said that the hospital discontinued the program because of lack of funds. I researched further and found that there was a nurse within the hospital who managed their Integrated Medicine Dept. She lent me Belleruth Naparstek''s "Successful Surgery".

I listened to this tape several times a day for two months prior to surgery. I also had the tape in the operating room. My doctor was very receptive to this. After surgery I had Reiki performed on me too. It gave me a sense of calm and when I was in intensive care, the nurse commented that my blood pressure, which was high, dropped under this procedure.

I truly believe that Belleruth''s tape helped me through this very difficult time prior to and during surgery. I wanted to get a tape to listen to after surgery and wasn''t aware of the Health Journeys resources. I listened to music, but would have preferred a post-operative relaxation tape.

I came through the surgery better than I anticipated. It''s 7 months since my surgery and I feel great. I''m back to my normal, busy, enjoyable life. I am extremely grateful to my medical staff as well as Ms. Naparstek. I have since purchased several tapes for family members and I hope they receive the same great benefits that I have.

Happy Ex-Patient