Thursday, March 08, 2007

Heart Surgery Part 3

February 22, 2007
Day 3

My day starts at 5:00 am when the nurse comes in to take my temperature and give me some meds. I go back to sleep and am awakened again at 6:00 am to be weighed. I cringe because the scale tips at 215 lbs. At least 15lbs is fluid gain but I'm still not thrilled about it. My stomach is beginning to grumble. The first sign of my appetite returning, such as it is.

Breakfast is served at 8:00 am. I have orange juice, coffee, scrambled egg, slice of toast and fruit cup. I can only eat the fruit cup and drink the juice.

Soon afterward I am sponge bathed again. It's going to take weeks for the Betadine to wear off. I have a male nurse this morning and he wants to make sure I'm comfortable with him bathing me. Go for it.

Sometime before lunch they begin to take out some 'extra' IV's I no longer need. The huge one in my neck comes out first but the bandage they apply feels bulky and uncomfortable.
The IV in my left hand is removed and one in my right hand removed. I keep the 'pick' until I'm released.
Now it's time to remove the stomach tubes. There are two of them. I can't see them. Two nurses, one male, one female instruct me to breathe deeply and 'hum'. Ok. Repeat. Once more. On that third hum.............the male nurse gave a good yank on the tubes and pulled them out HummMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAHHHHHHH
I'm pretty sure the floor above and below me heard my screams of agony. I'd have to say that everything I'd gone through so far, this was by far the very worst.

Now it's time to remove the catheter. They want me to start using the toilet. That was another painful yank, but bearable compared to the stomach tubes.

Mrs. Hyde is trying to be strong. I know she wants to cry, but she doesn't want to upset me any more than I already am. We've been through a lot in the past few days.

Several of my doctors come by to visit and see how I'm doing. We're now talking about a dual pacemaker/ICD unit being surgically implanted. While I did have the myectomy and valve repair, I will always have HCM and be at risk for sudden cardiac death. The surgery is not a cure, just relieves the obstructions. The ICD will be my 'lifesaver' should I ever need it. They would like to implant it very soon, that day if possible or Friday at the latest. They go back and forth. My cardiologist wants Dr. Hayborn to do the surgical incision but wants his own pick of who will thread the wires into my heart. It will be Dr.s Alpert and Ganz.

My back is really beginning to hurt from the hospital bed. I had a ruptured disk in my lower back 20 years ago and it still gives me ocassional pain. I ask if I can sit in the chair beside my bed. It was wonderful. I stayed there for 12 hours. Except for my first 'walk' around the corrider. I had to use a walker with wheels and movement was very slow, but I did it.

Lunch is at noon and today I'm having a hamburger and tomato soup and coffee. I can only get the soup down. I encouraged Tom to eat the burger because I couldn't and I knew he wasn't eating. He said no at first, but I noticed after I came out of the bathroom, it was gone, lol.

I'm still in Cardiac ICU but the nurses are looking the other way when the family comes to visit. Supposed to be two in the room at a time, but I have 3 and 4 family members at a time, but they do leave within 5 minutes of the end of visiting hours and no one complains.

I miss my grandbabies so much but am told once I'm moved to the cardiac step-down unit, they will be allowed to visit me. I can't wait.

A nurse brought in a vase of gorgeous flowers for me this afternoon from my net friend Maggie and her husband Larry. I've 'known' Maggie for about 6 years now. Everyone compliments on how pretty they are.

Tom brings me in some mail from home. There are dozens of get-well cards from my friends at the Prim Mart craft forum. I am overwhelmed. The cards continue to come in daily my entire stay at the hospital.

I'm not receiving morphine any longer but instead am given Dilaudid when needed. I'm nauseous ocassionally and am given something in the IV to counteract that. It works.

Had lasagna for dinner but it tasted like cardboard. Only ate a few bites but ate the entire small roll that came with it. Appetite just isn't there.

I'm still sleeping off and on during the day. Getting more 'rest' than I've ever had.

I notice that when I'm given the pain killers, my words become slurred and I lose my train of thought but at least I'm not in pain. Tom sits beside me and holds my hand. I don't know how I would have gotten through all this without him.

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