What great news from the surgeon himself. I hope your pain memories will be like those of childbirth, so fresh at first but after a while, fading. Everything takes time and we are not always as patient as we should be. I know that is so true for me. Continue to heal.
It's always great when our friends reach a milestone and turn a much sought after corner. I happy for you. It's going to take ages before you actually feel as if you have energy to spare but eventually it will come. So, what are you doing to celebrate?
I was so happy to read that you're feeling so much better! Yay!!!
The chest irritation seems to be very common - it's my biggest complaint these days. I haven't figured out anything that helps . . . certainly not Advil or Tylenol. And like Fran, the shoulder harness really irritates my incision. I've been holding the harness away from me (I've only been a passenger until today when I can drive again!!) but I'm going to try Fran's cloth idea.
I hope you get a great report at Mayo and that your recovery continues smoothly.
Good Morning Mary Ann
Apparently it is a good morning after reading your post. Praise God, you've turned the corner. You're doing well with stamina. To this day, the shoulder harness strap irritates my incision and try to put a folded cloth between it and me. Hope your trip and meeting at Mayo goes well, let us know.
I believe how we feel or react to pain is very individualized. I deal with pain as something I'll take a pill for if it bugs me much more and then I seem to just go about what I'm doing and forget to take the pill. I have a high pain tolerance. I changed over to Tylenol Extra Strength on my 3rd day after surgery and continued taking it off and on for ony about two weeks after I got home, usually one before I went to bed.
I remember thinking my broken sternum wasn't near as bothersome as my arms, my back and my breasts. Eventually one breast began to feel better - perhaps after about two months or so but I know the left breast felt sore right up 'till late January or early Feb. Even now, almost 9 months out if I bend or move a certain way I feel the skin on my sternum area tighten - that's not really painful, but I'm obviously feeling something.
The pain does reduce to just being sore after a few months I suppose. I was having a lot of palpitation problems so I was more looking forward to getting rid of those which more or less happened in March when I finally started on Beta Blockers. After taking a couple of those I remember thinking I finally feel well - TIRED from the pill but WELL.
Getting my body and heart up to speed is taking time so I still feel I'm a work in progress. I celebrated being alive and repaired the day I got out of the hospital at a Swiss Chalet with some of my family that weren't able to get to the hospital.
I think you are looking for a day that you wake up and feel totally well but I don't think it will be quite as black and white as that. Probably pne day you'll look back and realize that you've been without pain, palpitations, cough or whatever and wondered when it happened. I hope you get a surprise soon.
Hi Mary Ann
Like Kyle, I'm not a good one to answer because I had minimal pain in the hospital and afterwards but I do know I have a high tolerance for pain. I did use up a script of 30 Vicodan at first, mainly to help fall asleep as I didn't want to use the Ambien that had been prescribed for me. Are you able to determine if the pain is due to the incision, muscle, or what? I think you've said you've used heat, have you tried cold or alternating? Would any gentle stretching help? As a nurse you know when something hurts we tend to form our own "splint" and not move it and that in itself creates more pain. Does your local doctor give you any suggestions? I do think that when it goes away and I know it will you will not just wake up one day pain free, but will find that over a course of days, you'll need less and less meds. As for a celebration, am sure you'll come up with something worthy. I am praying for you.
(Let me knock on wood before answering so I don't Jinx myself.) I had full on open heart aortic valve replacement surgery on May 27 and so far the most I've taken is an extra strength Tylenol - and that's mainly for a headache.
When I came to after the surgery and during my hospital stay, I expected to be in excrutiating pain but it just wasn't the case. I haven't been pain free, but it's nothing near what I imagined before surgery.
I even asked the nurses - "Isn't this supposed to be more painful?" and they replied that surprisingly they find that open heart surgeries don't hurt nearly as bad as patients with rib injuries.
So I guess in this case my prayers were answered. Good Luck
Can't say that I can help much in the time frame, I am only 3 1/2 weeks out from my second surgery and 9 1/2 weeks out from the first and still have alot of pain! Everyone is different, try to keep that in mind. But also know that day will come for you, probably sooner than you think!
Hi Mary Ann,
It IS AMAZING isn't it how our husbands come through when they are needed. When I broke my arm 3 years ago, my husband had to do all the cooking. I stood beside him in the kitchen and told him step by step how to cook what we were having for dinner each night. Believe me that was a true test of patience on both our parts. And the best part is that we are still married. Hee Hee. I still have to ask him to help me get things out of the microwave, etc. as I cannot reach up with my left arm to get anything above my shoulder level. Such is life. Love, Jeanie
I see great improvement in your journal today and I think you are beginning to turn a corner. Yes, you still have pain but you are obviously starting to move ahead in your thinking and that will begin to draw you into other activities as well. I can remember having pain everywhere but the incision site. When one pain would finally subside, then I was more aware of the next most hurtful site and so one. Looking back I can now see where gradual improvement was taking place. You will too.
I'm really glad to hear you are doing rehab as well.
Hooray--you are making progress!!! So glad you are making plans for Ft. Rob. It will be here before you know it and you will be so much further along by then. Keep pushing yourself but not too much.
Love and prayers.
Sharon and Roger
Thanks for signing my guestbook. I am glad to see you had a good day. I have them some too, but you are right, it will be nice to wake up one day with no pain. We still have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, my mother-n-law dose deserve a medal. We are going to start calling on other family members that have agreed to help out. She is the only one that is retired, so she has gotten the daytime duty for sure. My mom would be here night and day if she didn't live so far away, we are in NC and she is in RI. It's hard for her to not be here, but when she is, she is all out as well. Take care and continue to heal.
Happy Sunday, Mary Ann
Your life right now is not what you supposed it would be, but it will change. You have your sense of humor and it comes through in your writing. Interesting the onion thing is working. I got that as an email a long time ago and looked it up on "snopes" and it's supposed to be false. However, we know many things that defy explanation do seem to work for some people. I had to go to the hospital (locally) twice to have fluid removed from my lung cavities. Once they removed 1/2 gallon and then the next week on the other side, 1 quart. It was a setback and not what I wanted or expected, but things gradually got better. Like you, I am in rehab, but went a lot later than you and am doing okay. After the 3rd visit, they increased my treadmill time and I could feel it. Will see what happens tomorrow on my 5th visit. Being monitored gives me some security with my constant a-fib. You're doing well pushing the grocery cart, I rode the electric cart for a few weeks post op when I went shopping. isn't it wonderful to get love in the mail from people. Keep up the good work. Glad your infection is healing. I had and still have to a lesser degree pain in my left shoulder blade area. Arm movement doesn't affect it, but the pressure of a chair and mattress will aggravate it. Ky cardio says it's as a result of the surgery and it will improve and it has. haven't taken anything for pain for a couple of months but do take 1/2 of a tylenol/codeine when I go to sleep at night. On the 18th of this month I will be 3 months post op from mitral valve replacement (bovine) and tricuspid repair. Hang in there it will get better. Everyone on this site have not gone back to driving and to work 4 weeks post op. A lucky few have, they are not typical. Thinking of you. You never did tell me are you an RN?
When I first tried to access your journal, I couldn't get it. Then a few days ago I tried again and was successful. So decided to read it through from beginning to end. When I finished, I had tears in my eyes and was aghast at all you have been through. We never know what is in store for us, do we? I guess that's good. At least we can assume the worst is behind you now, and anticipate steady recovery. I'm glad to hear you felt the prayers of people during your trials. I know the importace of prayer, and yet at times I must admit to a bit of skepticism. Anyway, I still do it, so you have had and still do have mine. I'll soon send you a list of next year's book discussion choices. You may have received it, but perhaps didn't save it. I guess now you should be doing the Norman Cousins' routine and reading humorous stuff. One I would recommend is THE UNCOMMON READER by Alan Bennett, about what happens when Queen Elizabeth becomes an avid reader. Another is WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG by Lisa Scottoline (her humorous newspaper columns). Hope these rainy days haven't been depressing for you. It obviously keeps you from getting out into the wonderful sun and seeing the beauty of nature this time of year. I'm including your name in a service of healing at Our Savior's this coming Tuesday. (The prayers are "non-denominational"!!) All my best to you and your "non-kitchen savvy" hubby - I know what that is like. Gloria Landborg
Am so sorry to hear about your infection. Did you have drainage tubes after surgery? I hope the meds take care of everything very fast. When do you go back to see your Dr? Know that you are in our prayers. Lots of love, Theresa and Vern P.S. The vicks on feet have helped me whenever I have a bad cough.
Oh my goodness - is Fran a Tudor fan? Better take the whole pot of tea and put your feet up and sit back and enjoy. It is certainly colourful. And Jonathin is easy on the eye as well! I'd better go back to work.
I'm really sorry to hear about your latest incident and I suppose I can only say, and this too will pass. Your body is going to do it's own thing and heal as it pleases. I'm happy to hear you are at least feeling you might be up to a little rehab and therefore, a step forward.
Glad you found those Fisherman Friend cough candies. They were the one thing that helped me.
Good Morning Mary Ann
You'll get this latest problem behind you, I'm sure. Am not sure why you are insistent on going to rehab while your body is trying to recover from an infection? Would it make a big difference overall if you waited a couple of weeks? Just my opinion, please ignore if I'm out of line, but we on the HVJ are a tight knit group of people who I believe are truly concerned about each other. Praying for healing.
Hi Mary Ann. So glad that you were able to enjoy the play and also take your walk. Your strength will return little by little. What do the doctors say about your cough? Do they have any idea why this is happening? Do you need to see an ENT specialist? Could it be caused by sinus drainage and all you need is a decongestant? All for now. Love, Jeanie
Did you try any of the Fishermen Friend Cough candies at all? They are the one thing that kept mine silent, especially when I was sitting amongst other people. They wouldn't last long so I just kept using them to keep silent when most needed. Try and think positive thoughts. Hugs.
Hope your day is cushioned in comfort --- pillows plumped . . .
thoughts relaxed . . . heart warmed with prayers and wishes made
just for you. Rest well and feel better soon!
Keeping you and yours in my prayers!
Hi Mary Ann. I have been out of touch for a couple of days as we were in transit from Mexico. I love the stories about the onions, and other home remedies. Be careful about taking the cough suppressants. I got bronchitis really bad one year right after we graduated from training and the doctor gave me Tessilon gels (I think that was the name). They worked...stopped the coughing eventually..took several weeks to a month..I think...but they also stopped the cough reflex. I had big problems for several years afterwards..and still do for that fact...it was real easy to choke and then I couldn't cough at all. Now I tend to have laryngospasms when I cough too hard. SO..be forwarned before you decide to take a cough suppressant. Happy belated anniversary. Love, Jeanie K
Hi Mary Ann - Your comment about feeling better since you gave up is a wise one, I think. You've certainly earned the right to take it easy & allow yourself to heal at the pace your body is insisting upon. It's good to know that one of the remedies seems to have helped the cough too. Who'da thunk - an onion?
Hey Mary Ann,
Keep plugging along and remember that this is just a part of the journey. Unfortunately, some journeys are full of obstacles along the way. So, I say, enjoy the hot toddy's, and maybe you can share one when your sister visits this weekend.
Mary Ann, Every first Friday our priest has a healing Mass which we try to make each month. This morning I told God I didn't need a healing but you did and would He please transfer it to you.So I know God will touch you and give you relief from the awful pain and coughing you have been experiencing. God bless you. You are alwys in my prayers. Kay Lutjemeyer.
You are making progress each day and now you are with friends, going out in public, having the grandchildren over and all that takes energy and you are doing all quite well. I take it you are sleeping better. The nagging cough can be so stressful. The remedies you have used all seem to be working in your favor. If, during the day, you find yourself still coughing and the cough drops are not holding you, I have used warm Vernor's Ginger Ale. Sipping this really calms the coughing. No, I am not getting a kick-back from Vernors. I don't know why that brand works better but it does. It's the warm ginger that is so calming. Don't forget, Mary Ann, you were dropping your bra on the floor at the dorm many times when going braless was not as fashionable as today, so go for it, girl, and show these young ones how it is done with grace!
By the way, a friend of mine called me and talked to me about the surgery and gave me a pep talk. She is really bummed because she is leaving the day I have my surgery. Guess where she is going?? South Dakota, of course! She is going back to hang with her relatives who live back there. I told her about you :)
Hope today is a brighter day for you. You seem to be following Fran's draggy post-op slow recovery but as you see, bit by miserable little bit it did come for her. A Chinese acupuncturist friend was visiting and started boiling pears from a gift basket I had received and added honey - I did everything and just gave in to sucking on cough candies and was never without some in my pocket. I was coughing like crazy right around the time the Swine Flu was hitting and I remember being at one of the public clinics where people lined up for hours just to get the shot. They ushered me in and out so fast - I looked as if I was line jumping and felt terrible but nonetheless, me and my hacky cough were in and out in 15 mins! Santa left actual small cases of cough drops for me under the tree. Be a pioneer and try anything and everything you need to find any relief you can get. In the end you will just realize that you haven't coughed for a time. Your recovery is depressing and if a good cry made you feel better, then go for it. Keeping you in my prayers.
Happy Anniversary. You'll have lots of time for fancy dinners in the future and will enjoy them more than ever. I too have a Kindle and last month read 14 books on the darn thing. I'd better get back to using up the paperbacks I have here that were given to me but holding the Kindle is just so much easier, especially in bed.
Sounds as if you are slowly reclaiming your life again so good for you. That's the spirit. I coughed for over 3 months post-op so had to rely on Halls and Fisherman Friends cough drops sometimes going through several packages per day. I was told the ventilator tube irritated something and darn it, it did. Lay in hords of drops and wait it out. Using my spirometer was a chore just trying to not cough - darn near impossible.
You are sounding much more positive and that's a good sign. Take care.
Happy Anniversary!!! Wow what an accomplishment with half of marriages ending in divorce...and loved the side by side recliner moment. I will be married 28 years in August and am still enjoying it very much. Glad you are taking a pain killer to manage your discomfort...it will help you recover better.
I think you have to try and be a little patient with your progress. I think I hear you wanting to be right back up to speed, must be that South Dakota blood in you. You might need to come to So Calif and we will teach you how to sit around the beach and think of only yourself :) Again, take the pain pills and do your walking and breathing (if you can) and know there are going to be some bad days sprinkled in there. Let yourself have those and know you're still a bazillion times better than you were right after surgery.
Love the way you and your dude celebrated your anniv. It made me cry.
Enjoy your Reike and be kind to yourself. You're going to get through this.
Happy Anniversary Mary Ann and Gene! Sitting side by side in recliners looking through wedding pictures sounds like a lovely way to celebrate the occasion. My husband and I will be celebrating our first anniversary this Sunday. We're planning a quiet (braless!) celebration as well!
If you don't have a heart pillow, use a regular pillow when you cough. Hold it to your chest. It helps with the rattles. (I have a heart pillow but my first sneeze came up suddenly and I wasn't holding my pillow . . . ouch!)
Mah Jong with the girls sounds like a perfect evening. The little socializing I've been able to do has really helped. My sister-in-law is coming over for a visit today and to take me to lunch . . . I'm so excited you'd think I was going somewhere fabulous!
I hope your cough goes away and your shoulder and chest feel better soon.
We were all such kids 46 years ago. I can still remember what I wore and I remember pouring water with my friends. What a lovely day. I hope so much that this is your last week of pain--no more coughing. I hope your massage and reikie treatments are just what you need for today.
Love and prayers,
Sharon and Roger
Happy Anniversary Mary Ann! Sounds like it was wonderful and special. One that you will always remember. And it is great you got to get together with your friends.
I hope your pain and cough keep improving and you are soon feeling good again.
Prayers and thoughts are with you,
Next year you'll make it to that elegant restaurant and will remember this one and you'll smile. Time does heal. You haven't mentioned a heart pillow, did they give you one at Mayo? It doesn't stop the coughing but pushing it against your chest when you do cough does help the pain. Melany's idea of a prescription cough med may be a good one, especially at night so you can get more sleep. Are you using your spirometer? Praying your healing gets easier, you're a trooper.
I had a cough after my first surgery that wouldn't go away. My dr gave me a prescription cough med..tesselon pearls. There is also another one, but I am allergic. Maybe you could get your dr to give you something, that will surely ease the pain. I am praying for your continued recovery.