It has been several days without an update. After the February 4th surgery, I spent the next 7 days in ICU. This was due to no other rooms being available. On Sunday, February 10th, my surgeon Dr. Kevin Brady stopped in to visit with me and the ICU RN's and made the decision that I was more than ready to go home. By the time the paperwork was completed it was 4pm. I was very restless the first night home but have slept well since. My appetite in the hospital was not good but that changed when I arrived home. The pressure in my lungs has dropped 50% from what it was prior to the surgery. Surgery was very successful. It has been hard to remember: No Pulling; No Lifting; No pushing.
I had a surprise release from the hospital today. Yesterday, I improved a lot. I felt a lot better, my appetite grew, and my strength started returning. In the morning, my surgeon came in to remove my epicardial pacing wires and gave me an 80/20 chance of being released. However, by the time he left the room, it was a 50/50 chance. As the other doctors gave their input, it became clear they were going to let me go if I felt I was ready. There's no doubt I was ready to go! I ate most of the food they brought me any my vitals had been steady for 2 days. I said goodbye to the nurses that were still around on Sunday and was on my way. My son's in-laws showed up with a mini-van that has a transfer seat, which I really appreciate. I've been home since before 5pm. I'm pretty mobile, feeling pretty good, and looking forward to getting better every day!
I'd like to thank everybody for the support they've offered! I very much appreciate it.
I had the majority of my IVs and chest-tube removed yesterday and I was up and mobile a few times. Today I feel much better. I've spent the majority of the day sitting up instead of laying around in bed. Pain is more localized and my overall pain levels aren't that bad at all. I've taken some oral pain meds. I've been standing and walking throughout the day and standing up by myself. It's questionable if I'll be out of the hospital before Monday (surgery was Monday the 4th), but we'll see how things go. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm looking forward to going home.
Yesterday saw steady and moderate improvement. Blood oxygen levels continued to improve throughout the day and his chest drainage was finished by around 10pm (about 32hrs after surgery). Pain levels improved, but he was obviously uncomfortable most of the day. They tapered off the medicine to increase his blood pressure. We were up and out of the chair with a little mobility and was sitting up most of the day.
We were able to come into the ICU room around 2:30pm. Everything looks good except his blood pressure was low. That was brought up with meds and he responded pretty quickly. His pain levels are moderate, but it seems to be about what I'd expect. He's not awake yet, but we're expecting him to come around soon. The nursing staff at the hospital has been great. They are very competent and compassionate.
Dr. Brady came in at 12:40 to meet with us. The surgery went very well. They removed the extraneous tissue and repaired the valve. Father was wheeled by as he talked to us and we're expecting to be moved to the ICU in about 15 minutes. We'll be able to see him in about an hour.
<son> Surgery was very short. They wheeled my father back around 9:45am and at 11:50 we got the call that they were able to repair the mitral valve instead of replacing it. They have a few minutes of closing him up and he's done.