I'm feeling really good - my endurance has increased and I am rarely out of breath during normal activities. My sleeping went back to normal about 6 weeks after the operation, which was a big concern for me because of the insomnia and only getting a few hours of sleep each night. The chest discomfort and pain is still with me, athough much less than before, and I was told by various medical personnel it might be 6 months before it disappears completely. Not a big deal. I've gotten used to it. Many thanks again to all the doctors and nurses, friends and relatives who helped me through this crisis!
Another positive thing I've noticed in the past few days, just 6 weeks after surgery. My endurance is definitely improving. I can now drive to the store on my own, buy a few items, return home and put them away without feeling completely exhausted!
Folks warned me about side effects from the sleeping pill Ambien, and after taking it for 5 or 6 days it bit me. I had a sleepwalking episode I did not remember at all and my Primary Care Physician told me to stop taking it immediately.
However, without any sleeping aids I am starting to return to regular sleep habits, 6 weeks after surgery. I was beginning to give up hope of every sleeping normally again. I was waking completely after 30 minutes of sleep or so. But now it seems I sort of half wake up and go back to sleep in a few minutes, most of the time, sometimes after an hour or more. A definitely improvement and I hope the trend continues!
Last night I took a (Zolpidem/Ambien) and it worked! I took the pill and slept from 10:00 to 10:45 and was disappointed I had woken so soon. But then I went to sleep again at 11:05 and didn't wake again until 5:20 AM which was 6 hours and 15 minutes later. That is the longest I have slept since before going into the hospital. And I do feel refreshed rather than drugged this morning. Now, if I can only get the body to do that on its own.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Seems like I've hit a plateau in healing. Incision pain seems pretty much the same every day, although when I take my short walks I do see some improvement in endurance.
Friday, February 8, 2013
4 weeks since the surgery and my first day of driving a car! My chest felt a little bit sore after this first effort but
3 or 4 hours later the soreness has already disappeared. I did feel a lot more inclined to forgive other drivers than I normally do - and that's a good thing.
Monday, January 28, 2013
I had my surgery to fix the tricuspid and pulmonary valves plus a coronary bypass on January 11. I was in the hospital 10 days, a few extra days for a complication, namely "pleural effusion" which was fluid in the lung cavity (not in the lung itself). After they sucked that extra fluid out I could breathe better and was out of the hospital the next day.
My brother flew in from Houston and stayed with me for 10 days but now I am on my own. Thanks to the friends and acquaintances who have stopped by to visit and help with shopping. I have not really suffered from depression despite the isolation. Visits and phone calls help with that.
The incision pain is with me but it's bearable and I've not had anything stronger than Tylenol since leaving the hospital. There's snow outside my apartment so I walk up and down the hallway several times a day. The biggest problem is insomnia - sleeping in 30 or 40 minute intervals and getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night. The doctors do not want to give me a sleeping pill. It is frustrating. They say it will go away in a few months at the most.
Overall, I can see the very slow but steady improvement. A big thanks to my surgeon and the hospital staff and everyone who has helped with my recovery!