We are 6 weeks post op. Just finished first week of rehab. I am experiencing tachycardia and so have doctor has doubled one of the meds to see if that changes things. Have been working out in my garden, taking it very easy and not doing long periods. Now that I can drive, have been visiting the nurseries and bringing home "little treasures" to plant. Husband still yells to come into the house if he thinks I have been out long enough. Finding it difficult to refrain from the things I'd like to be doing. They tell me one more week and I shall be able to go back into the pool at the club. I am so looking forward to that. Getting stronger and doing more each week.
To all the fathers, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY this weekend. To all, have a wonderful weekend.
Had to believe it's been a month tomorrow. Had checkup with Dr. Kanzal and nurse practitioner last Thursday at Chicago. Received good report from them, chest xray looked good. Things I was still concerned about were normal and should go away with time. Protime regulated; started working in the garden this past weekend. So great to be out in the dirt again. Popped few seeds into pots. Will be starting rehab week after next from what I am told. Tomorrow will be first day I can drive. Whoppee!! I'm off to the hairdresser's to get haircut and color some gray!! To my friends and my new "mended heart" friends, have a wonderful week!!
Jean...thanks for the advice on this week's appt. I remember reading your post about almost missing it. Mine is mid-morning so we are going up and staying outside Chicago Wed. night.
My girlfriend picked me up for breakfast and grocery shopping. It was fun discussing topics that were not medically related. Am doing well; weather has gotten hot & humid here, so I'll probably be cranky before long...good sign I am imroving. We have protime in the morning; am anxious to see if INR is still on track.
Doing quite well; the home PT has signed off on us; no need for pain meds any longer. Visiting nurse comes again next week for protime; visit with my cardiologist this week gave me a good report. We travel to Chicago next week to see Dr. McCarthy's group for a follow-up. Getting in several walks each day and husband is happy that I am resuming most of the cooking duties. He has been a prince. Walks around my flower beds each day with me and pulls a handful of weeds I point out. This is NOT his thing, so this is a great deal to me. I think he's afraid I will try to to it myself, and he doesn't want to risk a setback for me. Yesterday we went grocery shopping. So nice to be out again.
Hope all are doing well. Have a wonderful weekend.
Best day we have had thus far. Protime where it needs to be, beautiful weather to walk outside three times today. Off Norco, itching & hives coming under control with Benydryl. Have appt with my cardiologist tomorrow morning. Controlling pain with Tylenol. It was a good day!
Up every hr and half during the night yet. My youngest daughterarriaves today for a week to help out. Bob will be happy to give up his "cooking rights." while she is here. Took a walk out the drive and down the road for a bit first time. Beautiful weather today. Getting a routine in place for pills, shower, meals, rest. Still on Narco. So difficulty to let someone wait on you all the time.
I am now plagued with itchy skin, almost everything itches incessantly. Must restrain from scratching. Not certain if it is related to all the medicines. I am plagued with so many allergies anyways. Emotions have been up, down, all around. I am guessing that the inability to also to come up with thoughts or words, incorrectly typing words, etc. are side effects or anesthesia, meds or combo of both. Still disturbing to me. Got in two more walks today.
Because of the nausea and so much movement in/out of the recliner, the incision had opened some and was seeping & draining from the top. The visiting nurse came this morning for the protime, so I was relieved to hear her say the incision was not infected, drainage holes looked pretty good as well. She gave us dressings to use for the next few days and said to call if anything changed in their conditions.
Besides Kayla, the nurse, I was blessed with a visit from two occupational therapists and a PT at the same time. My husband seized the opportuinity to escape to the lawn mower. Their visists concluded hr and half later. The OC checked all aspects of the house for safety and ease of use. He showed some modifications to use when preparing meals PT started us with a few exercises.
Protime number was low so they modified dosage of Coummadin Mon, Tues & Wed.Monday evening we stood out on the deck and watched a beautiful sunset. It is great to be alive.
Bob & I sat at the kitchen counter Saturday evening, trying to make order of the 20 plus tablets a day I would now be taking. After getting the first round of 10 down, we headed for the bedroom. It had taken two full glasses of water to get them all down. We had moved one of the recliners from the liviing rm into our room as we could sleep in the same room. The bed was out of the question yet.
I didn't realize as yet, how much fluid I was retaining. I just knew that shoes & clothes were uncomfortable. Every hr-hr & half I would awaken Bob to get me up for the "water runs." This was to become my new "way of life.".
The Norco made me nauseous and sick to my stomach into Sunday late morning. Since pain meds weren't helping, my MP3 player was my new BFF. Months before surgery I had started listening to brain entrainment music, with low vibration, meditative tones. It was my music that got me through Sat and Sunday. I had listened to it extensively in the hospital and found it very calming and pain relieving. It was my salvation the first 24 hrs home.
Sunday afternoon we had a prelim visit from home health care. By evening we had finally gotten a better handle on the pain.
I was excited & concerned about heading home. I didn"t feel ready. Still one drain tube & IV left. Walking seemed ok, but getting into the bed and out was really a challenge. Visits from OT, PT, social worker who helped set up home nursing service for me. I was told I could go home Sat. Medically, I was ready. Xrays were scheduled for 6 a.m. on Saturday with discharge planned for late morning. Hour after hour came and went, no xray. My NP inquired about the delay;finally had a transporter for me at 12:30p.m.
By 2 p.m., husband had taken suitcase to car and we were ready to head out with our discharge instructions.
Exactly 100 hrs from entering the OR on Tuesday, we were heading home at 2 p.m. Saturday. Our drive was a grueling four hour ride; think I felt every bump in the roads. We made only brief stop as it was raining part of the time and cold.
We arrived home around 6:30 Sat; very dear friend came over to help get me settled and stay with me while Bob wnet to Walgreen's for scripts. Everything hurt so badly, and I had this pounding headache as well. Took my pain meds, but through them back up. I worried how the night would go. First night I was awake every hour or so. Poor Bob did not get much more sleep than I.
Friday afternoon How do you feel about going home Saturday?
Journal posted on May 8, 2013
I was excited & concerned about heading home. I didn"t feel ready. Still one drain tube & IV left. Walking seemed ok, but getting into the bed and out was really a challenge. Visits from OT, PT, social worker who helped set up home nursing service for me. I was told I could go home Sat.
Medically, I was ready. Xrays were scheduled for 6 a.m. on Saturday with discharge planned for late morning. Hour after hour came and went, no xray. My NP inquired about the delay;finally had a transporter for me at 12:30p.m.
By 2 p.m., husband had taken suitcase to car and we were ready to head out with our discharge instructions.
Children headed home Wed afternoon. The marvelous staff at NMH explained all steps of my beginning recovery. The staff at 11W are all great, caring individuals. Started on better diet, more walks, Each day another tube or IV would disappear. Friday was a video on cumadin. Finger sticks every day for the insulin. Did not expect that I would be on insulin while I was there. Sleep came in 1 -2 hr shifts, with lots of pain in between. I had as much pain from the hip & back problems as the incision. Thankful that I had taken my TENS unit and could use it.
I entered the OR at high noon. At three, the family was informed that surgery had gone well. Dr McCarthy had been able to repair my mitral valve. They tell me the family all saw me in the evening Tuesday, but I do not remember any of that.
I was in & out of it during the early Wednesday hrs. I still had the breathing tube inserted and was restrained to the bed. Dr McCarthy came by mid morning to check in. Removal of the breathing tube proved to be the worst!! My tongue had been bruised during insertion and was extremely painful. Whatver tests they normally perform before removal, I could not perform. The anesthesiologist decided I would be fine without and they pulled.
I was watching the tv on & off, and thought to myself:"how thoughtful that they put the tv in the ceiling." Marvelous drugs. They started ice chips, liquids later in day and we took our first walk Wed evening.
Thought we would be playing the wait game after registration Tues. morning. Shortly after registration I headed to pre-op. Things moved quickly, family came in one last time and the anesthesiologist gave me my "first cocktail. " He explained OR would be cold with several busy about their tasks when I get in there. As the doors swung open, I only saw the first person at the entryway, adjusting his machine. It was Lights Out!
Woke up at 4:30. Gained hour and half on yesterday. Listened to my music for two hours. Took the longest shower of my life!! Felt great. Family is heading for breakfast, but I am staying here. Stomach is already complaining it missed the 6 a.m. breakfast call. Hate to tell it, but lunch and dinner don't look too promising either.
The Lord has brought me to this point in my life for a reason; so I accept whatever He has planned. I've put myself in His hands and trust in His love..."I can do all things through HIM who gives me strength."
Imagine things will move quickly when we get to NMH; at least I hope that they do. To all my dear family and friends, love you all and thanks for the support. I shall see you on the other side. Thanks for all the prayers. God bless you all.
I'm glad us three kids could be here for your support. The three of us could not have a better mother. Hope everything goes well with the surgery. Hope the recovery goes well and a speedy recovery. Love you mom. From the three of us
Getting ready to leave for Northwestern Hospital. About 4 hr drive. Packed an extra dose of courage and lots of good wishes & prayers into the suitcase. Have pre-op labs when I get there this afternoon. Still waiting to hear from Janice, NP, what time the surgery is scheduled. The waiting is almost over, THANK THE LORD!! God blessings on all of us who take this journey and to our loved ones.
Surgery is four days away. Woke up really relaxed and refreshed this morning for a change. What a marvelous feeling. Baked apple pie yesterday for Bob as we won't be home for his birthday on the 30th, date of surgery. Just taking it easy today, lining up items to pack for hospital. Haircut on the agenda for tomorrow and not much else.
Slept well. Only up couple times to trek to the bathroom. Read in Adam's book two symptoms I have that might be attributed to the mitral valve regurg are frequent urination and night coughing. Would be niced if these also went away after surgery. Guess time will tell. Trying to follow instructions to take it easy today. Been reading Adam's book and have reached the "going home and what to expect" chapter.
It's 4:30 a.m. Getting ready to go to hospital for my angiogram. Nothing else on schedule but come home afterwards and relax. Dr. Kurtz will give us results after end of the angiogram so we will know if there is blockage that Dr. McCarthy will address at time of the valve surgery.
Was reading Jean's journal; took her advice, got some pj bottoms to wear when I walk the halls (hear the hallways can be drafty). Also, put my pillow on the list to bring with to hospital. Hadn't thought of that one.
Think I shall go out and putter in the yard a little. Much to do in the spring. Think the flower beds may suffer a little this year. Bob's happy that I am not ordering more plants and shrubs like last year when I was laid up with a sinus infection and bronchitis. We had plants and trees coming from the four corners of the country. But it was fun!!
Rec'd call first thing in the morning from Janice informing me surgery schedule delayed one day, now 4/30. That's husband Bob's birthday. What a way to celebrate. Made phone calls, now have dental appt for Monday April 15th and angiogram scheduled for April 23.
Still tired from yesterday; didn't get much accomplished today.
Spent the day, (I mean the WHOLE day) at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago. Had echo first, then met Dr. Kansal followed by appt. with Dr. McCarthy. Surgery was set for 4/29. Had lab work, ekg and chest xray before leaving at 5:30. Next step is dental cleaning and xrays as well as angiogram at our local hospital.
Long ride home with thunderstorm the last half hour. Hope that's not some kind of premonition.