Friday, March 09, 2007

Heart Surgery Part 4

February 24, 2007
Day 4

I forgot to mention in my earlier post after having been able to use the toilet on my own for the first time, how Mrs. Hyde embarrassed us. She doesn't get out much. Derrick, the male nurse who had sponge bathed us, led us into the toilet to make sure we would be ok. Mrs. H spies this 'spout' that looks like a water spigot and thought it was just the neatest thing. She declared " Oh wow, how cool, a spigot to wash our bum with !'" I sheepishly grinned when Derrick let out a hoot and said to my daughters, " Your mother is very comical". If it's not a bum washer, what is it then? Just a toilet cleaner I guess to help wash away skid marks.........very weird, I thought that's what toilet brushes were for. We still like the idea of a bum washer though. Someone should patent that.

That won't be the first nor the last time Mrs. H. has embarrassed us. We find out this morning that the surgical implant will definitely be sometime this afternoon. We are told that a dual pacemaker/ICD Unit will be implanted as a safeguard. I'm still a little hopped up on pain killers so my brain doesn't function as it should and I'm processing misinformation. I keep telling family and friends I'm getting a pacemaker/IUD implanted in my chest. For those of you who aren't sure what an IUD is - that's an Intrauterine Device to help prevent pregnancy. Yep, that would work under my collarbone all right. What a dweeb. I was getting a little upset everytime someone laughed when I told them about the implant. It took a while before it registered with me what I had been saying. I find it funny now, but at the time I was very frustrated.

I wasn't allowed to have breakfast or lunch and I'm starting to get very thirsty. Can't have anything to drink either.

I am able to stand at the sink and bathe myself today and brush my teeth with no help. I take my first good look at my incision. It really doesn't look as bad as it feels. It's approximately 8 - 10 inches long, beginning in the middle of my clavicle ( collarbone right beneath the neck ) and ending a good 2 inches beneath the center of my breasts. It looks red and raw but a scab is already forming which is a good sign. It's no longer covered up with gauze. I have to keep it clean with Dial anti-bacterial soap and cannot use lotions or creams or powders.

They come for me around 1:00 pm. The procedure takes about 2 hours and I don't remember a thing. I'm not in any pain although I do feel some discomfort in my left shoulder.
When I awaken and am lucid enough to understand some of the information given me regarding the ICD unit, I'm told I need to avoid anything with a high field of magnetism. Microwaves and cell phones are ok - but a cell phone has to be held at least six inches from the unit, preferably the opposite side. I don't have a cell phone so that poses no problem for me. I cannot go through any metal detectors, like at an airport. I need to carry ID with me at all times saying I have this unit implanted. I can go through a store's detector but quickly and no stopping to chat while inside one. Duh.

I'm given a booklet to read over and it all doesn't really register until after I've gone home and looked it over better. It's kind of scary. I'll get into that later.

After surgery I'm moved to the Cardiac Step-Down unit. Another private room. Thank you Teddie!!!!! I will be here the remainder of my hospital stay.
My grandchildren come to visit me today and oh how wonderful it is to see them. They are a little timid about coming up to the bed to see me. I imagine I don't look much like the 'gramma' they are used to seeing. Jonah and Jordyn blow me dozens of kisses though and I'm so happy to see them. They brought cards that they made me and and Jonah who is 3 years old picked out a beautiful red and gold heart pin that is now my very favorite piece of 'jewelry'. Ayden Grace is now cooing and smiles alot. I can't wait til I'm able to hold these precious babies again.

I have a hard time falling asleep tonight and have to ask for something to help me sleep. I'm ready for it at 9 pm but can't have anything until closer to midnight because the nurses will continue to come in off and on until then to check vitals and give meds. Once I do fall asleep though, I sleep well and am very rested in the morning.

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