Life is good going into week seven. The only issue I seem to have is realizing, and sometimes too late, that I am not to lift 10 lbs or more. What's a girl to do when she lives alone and does everything yourself? I screwed up a week or so ago lifting groceries I shouldn't have. I paid the next week with a very sore sternum. I didn't tell the doctor, of course, it was over and done with.
Last Saturday I sat in the entrance of my trunk waiting for someone I knew going into my condominium building I could ask to lift groceries and put them on the cart and take to my home. The concierge was on break, so I just waited for a familiar face. I finally sighted a man I knew in the building -- and he happily took the groceries to my door on the cart while I put my car in the garage.
Next Monday I go back to Beth Israel Hospital for a echocardiogram and then two weeks later I visit my cardiologist for a check up. I think by then it will be over 10 weeks. Hopefully he'll give me the okay to go back to the gym. I think my whole body has turned to mush not working out since the end of January. Hopefully it will all come back as quickly as it went away.
The end of April I have sheduled a caratact operation on my right eye. So I will be working with a good ticker and be able to see better. Good grief, it's a bitch getting older and having to do all this repair work. I plan on being tip top shape before summer.
Wishing you all a happy Passover and/or Happy Easter and Spring.
HSPD to you all. It's been 11 days since I logged into my journal. I am back to work full time, driving, cooking, real estating and all -- no heavy lifting yet -- 4 wks to go before I can pick up 10 lbs or more.
Today we had a lovely, warm day -- up to 65 degrees in Boston. Spring may actually be coming soon we hope.
Nothing interesting to report. Just had dinner with a friend at my place tonight. She noted that my incision looks like it has faded already. I have been loyaly applying my vitamine E capsule every night and applying a little coco butter with E during the day -- not too much, as I don't want to ruin my clothing.
That's about it from recovery land. I hope everyone is doing well and recovering as quickly as I did.
Life seems normal once again. Today I walked down to Newbury Street to look at shoes in Cole Hahn and have a good walk --nearly two miles of trecking today.
I walked back to Newbury Street to meet a friend, Natalia, for dinner and then go see her new apartment in Back Bay. Took a taxi home.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon in my office getting out a marketing mailing to 100 of my top clients then back home for a relaxing evening of TV and rest.
I do miss going to the gym, which is how I usually spend my Saturday morning in Pilates classes. But next month I will tackle that again when I am totally healed in the sternum. Feels like my whole body has atrophed from not working out. I think all this walking I have been doing this week will be good for me, at least my heart and legs.
Wowy, great day. I walked towork this morning for a meeting -- one mile in a mild snow storm -- and walked back home for lunch -- another mile.
My good friend from work, Karen, picked me up at 1 o\'clock to take me to my surgeon\'s 4 wk. appointment. I got the A-okay sign from him -- he was very pleased with my quick healing of incision and my walking 2 miles already in the day. I also got the BIG NEWS that I can resume driving a car. So I came home, grabbed my coupon and drove out to KHOL\'S in Medford to purchase a new spring blouse. Then I got back into town in time to go to my designer friend\'s open house at the Mandarin Residences in Back Bay to view his $15,000 a month rental. What a fabulous job he did on the 3-bedroom, 3 bath unit. We all sipped champagne and ate sushi before traveling home.
Am planning to go back to work tomorrow and get out some more marketing materials I have for my clients.
Life is good!!!!
p.s. I also opened my first vitamin E capsule tonight and put it on my incision. I will be doing this nightly for a year to help the scarring tissue disappear.
Wow, I'm feeling 90% of my game today. Got up earyish for my cleaning people. They came in and made the place spik and span quickly. After they were finished, I took a walk across the Boston Common onto Charles Street to have my feet and fingernails painted. After that I walked back home (about 15 minutes each way.) I ran into a couple of friends on the way and had a nice chat with both.
When I returned home I did two loads of laundry (light and dark) and spent the afternoon ironing and starching my white shirts.
Okay, now I have nothing to report about feeling bad. Is that good news or what? I wasn't even that tired after my day long adventures and tasks at home. I did manage to relax and watch Oprah at four, but then got up and made a nice dinner.
I still am not tired. Do you think I am nearly there or what?????
Tomorrow I will meet Carmella when she comes into town with her husband. He's off to a medical appointment. The two girls will have a ladies lunch at Ivy Restaurant around the corner from my home.
Oh, how wonderful to sleep in my own bed again rather than that recliner in my living room. Things are beginning to feel "normal" again. Haven't even taken any pain medication (Ibuprophene) since my visit to ER last Friday night.
Saturday my dear friends, the Lorings, came into town with fresh veggies, fruit and supper to make. Carmella made the three of us a lovely dinner in honor of my pig valve. It was a delicious pork loin with homemade applesauce, veggies and sweet potato and a nice bottle of vino. We had a lovely evening. And they left early after filling my frig with goodies.
Sunday I got up and decided I can't stand not working any longer. So I got dolled up and went to a first open house on a new listing in my building. I actually got a call afterward from someone I saw in the open house. She wanted me to come see her condo and price it for her, as she's getting married and moving South this spring. That certainly got my real estate juices flowing again. So I rushed back to my condo and worked up a market analysis and priced it for her via the Internet.
So when I go see my cardiologist for my 4- week checkup this Thursday, I am going to tell him if he doesn't allow me to go back to work and drive right now, that he'd better get ready to send me to McClean (a mental hospital)immediately!!!!
I really do feel great and am almost back to my original energy. The hallway walking is so easy now, my breathing is back to normal, and the only discomfort I have (and not all the time) is from my incision.
Guess I'll go out and cook some broccoli and mushroom soup for the week now.
Yup, the ER this week has become my friend. Went back yesterday at 2 pm due to chest pain, I should say extreme muscle ache, below left breast, up into shoulder and down into bicept. Dr. told me to go to ER immediately. After many hours of waiting and sitting out in area with all the "sick" peeps, I got a room in er. My EKG and vitals were fine. They didn't get around to taking my bloods for 5 hours, and the second set has to be taken 6 hrs. later. So I was having my last set done at 1 a.m. At least I had a nice little private ER room at the end of hallway with very little noise and 4 hours sleep before I was sprung.
The surgeon said it was probably referral pain. He hears all sorts of stories about pain in every place above the waist after surgery and up to 8 weeks, he said.
My chest x-ray indicated I do have a little fluid around my left lung. But he wasn't concerned about it. The pleural effusion on the rightwthere I had the liter taken out on Wednesday has subsided in pain. I wonder if it decided to travel to the left and give me one last jolt.
The good news is I awoke this morning with no pain and have just put the pot of decaf on after a quick ride home in Boston Cab.
Tuesday I went to my primary care doctor for him to check me. While there I was boasting what a model patient I had been and how I didn't take painkillers and was healing up nicely. He didn't seem to be impressed and went on doing his job. Then he asked me to walk the hallwaly with one of those oxygen things on my finger. I went back into his office and he was fiddling on his computer then turned and said, "You need to get to the Emergency Room as soon as possible." You could have knocked me over with a feather as I had just walked 6 blocks to his office and returned the same way. I got home, phoned Cary to come take me to the ER, fed the car and brought my recharger and Blackberry and headed to BI.
Turns out I was very low on oxygen, something like 84, and he thought I either had a pulmonary embalism or fluid along my right lung. After a CT scan with dye and chest x-ray, I had the fluid. I waited 7 hours in ER for a room in cardiology -- got to my room closer to 1 am and only got 1.5 hrs. sleep. Next day at noon the doctor came in and did a procedure through my back with a cath that pulled 1 liter of fluid from around my right lung. Right after that I was in agony (much worse than the heart operation) and had pain from my back through my right breast up into my shoulder. Took a massive dose of Ibuprophen and laid there till Cary picked me up and took me home around 3. Needless to say, I am one tired pooch and will head to my recliner for the night when I sign off.
I as told this is not uncommon after heart surgery, due to the inflamation, to gather fluid around the lungs. Just glad I lost those 2 pounds of liquid and am hopefully healing quickly.
Today marks my 3rd week from valve replacement surgery and the wound is looking good.
Okay, it's been a busy two days. Sunday my friend Angela came to visit in the afternoon. I was low key and then I got up and made scalloped potatoes and ham for my dinner.
Today was a big day for me as I went out alone and walked to the bank and back. When I returned home my body , like upper body, was killing me. I had forgotten to take my Tylenol and Motrin in the a.m. So I popped a couple later in the afternoon after suffering most of the day.
My good friend, Lyn from the 22nd floor brought me a delicious quiche for luch and beet salad. She brought the works with her and shared it with me along with a couple DVDs she left, An Education and Precious. I watched them both in the afternoon before my friend flew in from South Carolina and joined me and a couple local friends for a dinner they brought in from Whole Foods. We had a great evening together catching up on news,etc.
Made me forget about how lousy I felt today.
So now I am going to make a cup of green tea before retiring for the evening in my recliner.
Tah, tah, till tomorrow when I walk to my primary care physician for appointment at 4 p.m.
Many thanks to Kim for bringing over a Thanksgiving dinner/lunch on Friday to share with me and such beautiful spring flowers.
Saturday's outting with Peter was wonderful. He whisked me off to the Taj Cafe for a yummy lunch then a visit to my office to pick up mail and on to Trader Joe's for some groceries. It felt so good to be outside -- and it was 50 degrees as well. Nothing like sitting in the back seat of a car being driven. Driving Miss Daisey it was!!!
By the time I got home, I was pooped and didn't even do my next two 10 minute hallway walks. Instead I planted my weary self in the recliner where I stayed until early this morning. By evening everything and everywhere above the waist was aching, pulling and/or uncomfortable in one way or another. Popped a couple Tylenol and a Motrin and relaxed in front of the boob tube.
Now for Sunday... what shall I do now that the paper has been read? Perhaps a bacon and eggs breakfast -- rather unheart healthy, but sounds good to me.
Okay, all that fresh air and walking around yesterday threw me for a loop today.
For some reason I thought I could sleep in my bed last night -- NOT, went back to recliner in living room at 1 a.m. and got some rest. But woke up today feeling like I was hit by a car (instead of truck originally). Light lifting made the sternum feel like it's coming apart or at least achy and lots of discomfort. Oh well, they said to judge by the week not the day....
Kim is brining over some lunch for us today. That will be nice to see her and talk to someone other than Miss Violet.
I did my 10 min. hallway walk this morning, so that should help a bit. Meanwhile, I should stay low and let the healing continue.
Big day out -- lost my cabin fever after a trip to the hospital for a wound check and then a big trip to Stop and Shop for some food shopping. I was told I can now go out into public places -- hip, hip, horray!!! And I am healing quickly.
Cary did the driving Miss Daisey routine with me in the backseat. Nothing like having a litle fresh air and being outside the four walls of my home.
I meant for him to take an updated photo of me besides the one of me in bed the day after surgery with my heart pillow -- opps, forgot!!!
Today is a big day! I get to go for a ride back to Beth Israel Hospital to have my incision checked. It all seems to be healing well as far as I can tell.
Had another full night's sleep in the recliner. I feel so decadent sleeping in the living room. Isn't that where you normally sleep when you've passed out on the couch after drinking too much or falling to sleep at the end of a movie? Whatever it is, it is working.
Cary will pick me up and take me to my appointment then we'll pick up some goodies at the grocery store to keep my frig stocked for the weekend.
Nothing exciting to report -- all is boring holed up here in my sweet condo. They have shut the water off in the building from 10-4 pm today. Glad I have three bathrooms :-)
Ahhh, finally a good night's sleep in the "Stressless" chair a/k/a The Mole.
Guess that's my new bed. Threw a quilt over myself and pushed the chair back and dreamland there I was.
My dear friends from Pilates class, Stacey and Nori, just left after sharing and bring me delicious homemade soup and sandwiches. I miss going to the gym and it was so nice of them to come visit and bring food. Thank you, Stacey & Nori!!
Guess I'd better be thinking about doing my 15 minute walk of the hallway now. Would rather take a nap after all that good food.
For those reading my journal with their pending surgery, I recommend for comfortable sleeping to sleep in your lounge chair. I have found sleeping in my bed flat on my bed the past week to be the most uncomfortable thing of the day/night. This morning I woke up feeling the incision stretched, hurting and burning from lying on my back and being on my side made my ribs hurt. So I got up at 5 and went into my stressless chair and got 3 solid hours of painless, restful sleep.
Maybe I will smarten up tonight and just make the chair up for my bed and see if I can get a comfortable full night's sleep for a change. Adam did say he slept in his rented chair his entire time of recovery. Why did I think my big bed would comfort me????
At any rate, I am slowly recovering. Spending my days reading, resting, DVDs and doing my 3/10 minutes walks down the hallway and to the mailbox downstairs via elevator.
I think I chose a great time for this as we are in the midst of snow storms and business is rather slow as well.
Oops, let too many days go by since last signing in. Didn\'t get prescription drugs after all. Took the Tylenol and Motrin and have been taking it easy the past three days.
Have been walking the hallways of my condo, one minute laps for ten times, three times a day. Have got my breathing back to normal. Now for the normal healing process which is taking place. That\'s a little difficult at night and morning getting up. It just feels better to be sitting or walking.
Went to cardiologist Wednesday and he said, \"So here\'s my model patient,\" as he walked into the room. All is going along normally if not faster than normal according to him.
Am looking forward to spending my last day with Carmella taking care of me. Her husband, Steve, is coming into town and we\'ll have a nice Valentine\'s Day dinner at my place before she packs up and goes home.
I will be OMO (on my own) this week and hereon in with many friends volunteering to stop by and visit and bring food. Two more weeks will go quickly and I will be able to get back in my car and take myself places once again.
I have been doing business on the phone and even have a real estate showing in my buildilng tomorrow by a For Sale By Owner, darn guy I sold it to three years ago.
At any rate, nighty-nite to all and wishing you a Happy Valentine\'s Day Sunday.
Well, folks this no-pain track finally came to a sudden stop last night. I thought this was too good to be true. I finally had a bad night. I might consider getting the Percocet prescription filled. Shall I call it extreme discomfort from 2 a.m. till 6 a.m. I got up and took two Tylenol and a Motrin. But it didn't help that much. Oh, well, what do you expect when you have a total sternumectomy? The healing pains are a bitch! But I feel much better now that I am up, showered and Carmella has peeled some pretty blood oranges and the decaf is brewing.
My road to recovery is going well. I have done my three walks today. Thank God I have a nice long hallway to walk, especially while we're having such cold weather. Visiting nurse arrived late in day and was pleased with my quick progress and good vital signs.
Carmella and I had a lovey dinner tonight. She cooks a mean chicken vegetable soup!!
Violet is still attached to me at the hip. Guess she thought I was never returning home or something. It's nice to have a furry creature who adores you.
Off to watch some mindless TV now or perhaps start a new book.
Wow, nice to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow. Am glad to be on the road to recovery. It is going to be 10 wks without being able to lift, pull or push anything 10 lbs or more. I think I will need a full-time butler for that one! And NO driving for at least 4 weeks.
I give many, many thanx and kudos to my dear friend, Cary Raymond, for updating everyone and keeping it humorous along the way. And love and kisses for the lucious lamb sandwich with goat cheese and chutney on homemade bread he brought to me for lunch one day. Whatta guy!!!
I now have Carmella Loring, dear friend from Duxbury, living with me for the week taking care of everything and cooking a marvelous, heart healthy fish dinner and fresh veggies last night for my welcome home meal.
They try hard at Beth Israel to produce a good meal, but it is after all "hospital food." Scrambled eggs are like eating crepe paper with NO SALT!
I am overwhelmed by the outpour of love and concern and friends at the ready.
I'm one lucky woman!!
Thank you all for the guestbook entries. I enjoyed reading everyone of them on return to my computer yesterday.
Totally bored, walking up and down the halls driving the other patients crazy with all her energy and bringing the staff their morning skim lattes, Barbara's remarkably quick recovery has convinced the medical team to finally get rid of her. She should be back at home late this afternoon. Barbara will be taking this journal over again from here. This is Cary signing out.
We had a great afternoon with Barbara. Still looks like we can spring her from the hospital tomorrow sometime if she continues to do her marathon laps around the hospital floor and improve steadily. You know she's getting restless when her biggest excitement for the day is thinking about her first hot shower and shampoo tonight. Of course, we had to bring her hair dryer when we visited. You all know Barbara, she's gotta look fabulous no matter what. We can tell she really is feeling much better when she told us she's giving out lots of business cards to hospital staff from the stack of business cards at her bedside. Always thinking ahead. That's about all for now. Keep sending the love. Cary
Just spent some time with Barbara. And yes, I did smuggle in some "real" food for lunch. As you can imagine, hospital food didn't cut it for our foodie friend. Anyway, Barbara continues to do well - a little tired and a little sore. She's been walking around a bit and starting to get bored - a really good sign. Still in the ICU as they wait for a bed to open in the regular part of the hospital. If all continues to improve, she should be home sometime on Sunday. That's about all for now. Keep the love going her way. Cary
Barbara asked me to share this new picture I took a little while ago with you. She thanks everyone for all the love and good energy sent her way. She's doing remarkably well and feeling pretty good. Should be in a regular room tomorrow. Hopefully, if all continues to go well, she'll get to go home Sunday or Monday. Cary
I visited Barbara this morning and all is moving ahead really well. She looks terrific and feels pretty well too. Not too much discomfort. She has her music and we're already talking about the good food I can sneak in for her. Hopefully, if they can find a bed for her, she will be moving out of the ICU late today. Cary
Barbara got out of surgery around 1PM. According to the assisting surgeon, all went well. After she was in the recovery room for a few hours I had a chance to visit and give her a kiss from everyone. The nurse said she is doing really well and will be up and about some time tomorrow afternoon. She'll still be in the ICU until at least then. Cary
Barbara went into surgery around 10AM this morning looking terrific & fashionable as always and feeling calm. Surgery should take about 5-6 hours and then into recovery. Will add a new post as soon as I hear she is out of surgery and in the recovery room.
I am getting my house in order, business in order and bag packed. I will be going into the Beth Israel Hospital in the early morning of February 3rd. I am the first scheduled operation, baring no emergencies before me.
I am told I will be there for approx. 4-5 days. While in there, I am having my good friend, Cary Raymond, update my family and friends via the journal. So look for his message to you. He will be with me at the hospital throughout the surgery.
Gotta love all these wonderful friends of mine who have stepped up to care for me and love me so much. I feel so greatful and fortunate.
Am back home and just ate a big dinner after 12 hrs at Beth Israel today for my procedure. It was a piece of cake. Didn't hurt at all and all the doctors and nurses were wonderful. Thank you Cary and Kara for being there for me and holding my hand and handbag!!!
I did get February 3rd as my surgical date to have my aurtic valve replaced and perhaps my aorta as well. They won't know until they get in there whether or not the aorta needs to be replaced. It will be a 4-5 hr. surgery and probably be in hospital 5 days.
Now for staying still for the next 48 hr. no driving and a week of not lifting anything 10 lbs or more.
Again, thank you all for staying in touch and sending your good energy, wishes and prayers. It really made my day.
Hey, guys, today's MRI I did for my cardiologist for research went well. I listened to STING for 1 hr. and 40 minutes on headset while the machine banged on. Way too long to be kept in a tube, so to speak. Wed.'s catherization is at noontime -- send me some good energy and thoughts then.