Monday, March 19, 2007

Post Heart Surgery

Tomorrow will be exactly one month since my heart surgery. In a way it's hard to believe it's been that long, and in another, it seems like yesterday.
I've been progressing very well I think. I'm out walking approx. 30 minutes a day now. I'm able to go up and down the basement steps without having shortness of breath. I've been cooking again, Tom gives me a hand, and most times he will send me into the LR and he'll do the dinner dishes. I'll sort the laundry, he carries the baskets down to the basement and I can add the wash to the machines. I dust and he runs the vacuum and wipes up the kitchen and bathroom floors. He also scrubs the bathroom, I can't do that yet. The reason I'm not supposed to run the vacuum yet is that it will put pressure on my sternum where the bones are mending. As far as Tom is concerned, he will do it for the next six months.

I still need to have weekly blood work done because my Coumadin isn't regulated yet.
The surgeon, Dr. Hayborn, said I would be on Coumadin at least 3 months, but I received a standing script for blood work through September. I really hope it won't be that long.

This morning was the last visit from my visiting nurse Buffy. I'm officially 'released'.

I'm finally sleeping in my own bed. Three nights in a row now. The first night wasn't a full night though because my back was hurting and my neck and shoulders. I had to retreat to the sofa. Tom took me to the mall and we bought a big 'grandpa' pillow - one that is fluffy and soft. I put a firmer pillow on the bottom and the soft one on top. That gave me some elevation and also padded my neck and shoulders. It was wonderful. But my back still ached. So last night I added a pillow under my knees and it made a huge difference. It took pressure off my back and was one of the best night's sleep I've had in quite a while.

My chest area will be sore for quite some time. I heard it could take up to a full year for the bones/wire to fully mesh and heal. I swear sometimes I can feel the bones rubbing. It isn't painful, more annoying. A guy Tom works with had a triple by-pass four months ago, and told Tom I'm not imagining that, he swears he can feel the wires and bones moving too.

After a month, my stomach is still bruised. Although now it is beginning to fade. The holes where the stomach tubes were are now just scars but they look like elongated dark pock marks. Tom says it looks like I've been bitten by a dog with big teeth.

We are planning on taking our bi-annual trip to Chicago next week. I will be seeing Dr. Musselman, my cardiologist on Wednesday so I'll let him know our plans to make sure he sees no problem with my traveling so soon. We don't drive straight through anyway, we drive a few hours and antique along the way, spend the night at a motel and do the same for two more days before finally arriving in St. Charles.

Mrs. Hyde is keeping her fingers crossed that Dr. M. gives us the okay, she is getting restless and looking forward to a road trip. She has been on her best behavior. I don't know what to think about that. Maybe she feels sorry for me with everything that happened in the past month and is giving me a little break. Hope this isn't the calm before the storm.

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