Heart surgery is finished and I am told that I am recovering very quickly. They even said they are impressed by my fast recovery & my dedication to getting through it but also that I needed very little medication afterwards that many people usually have to take right after surgery.
I was wheeled into the operating room still awake, getting ready to be moved over onto the operating table, and the power went out. “Holy shit” I thought to myself. The surgeon decided to scrub the mission because he was not going to operate while on generator power; disappointing, but a decision I agreed with fully and without question. It freaked me out a bit to be honest.
Of course, I now have “The Zipper”, along with scars on my legs were the had tubes and from where they got the veins for the grafting. Yesterday two chest drain tubes and catheter were removed along with two wires. Today the last drain tube came out of my chest along with a wire and tube that were removed from my neck.
Recovery, like I said, is going well. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be but it’s certainly something to avoid. Learning how to do everyday tasks in a a different way is challenging, but if I don’t it could be a huge setback if, for instance, my sternum doesn’t heal or heal correctly – I’d have to re-do the recovery from the beginning. Having that surgery is brutal enough when you don’t have pre-existing health issues, but with my neck and back problems the surgery certainly made the pain in those areas much worse.
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out a plan for post-op – a surgical rehab center or home health visits. I am getting around pretty well but I still have to be cautious.
Just wanted to send out a quick post-op update. Enjoy your day!
Tomorrow is the big day. My surgery was pushed back a little due to an emergency they had come in this morning. They had to slide all of us a little to help this emergency so that is cool. I am only getting delayed by a few hours so it is still happening tomorrow morning.
The food here…some okay, some not. Getting sick the first time I was here did not help the star-ratings in my column and I was very apprehensive about eating anything but I had to eat. I splurged on a few things – pasta bolognese (nothing like I have made), quesadilla, burger, and bacon more than once. They were good. Other things were not but I will be eating some of this same stuff after surgery.
It is difficult for me eating here since I have gotten on a particular diet and it’s food I like. I do not drink cow’s milk (it’s for cows not people), and the menu is thin enough before the things I will not eat. I think I can make do…might even have to make a delivery order if I can get away with it.
I have been getting in some walking around the unit I am in. I am getting in almost a mile and a half of walking the halls each day so that is pretty good and I hope tp be getting more in tonight to get over two miles of walking. As I was walking a bit ago a nurse saw me and said “You’re doing great!”. I replied “My surgery is tomorrow morning! I’m just getting some pre-hab in”. Another nurse standing there pointed to a patient in a room near me and said “That’ll be you tomorrow!”. A quick glimpse was all I needed and I continued my walk.
It’s a fantastic team of people here at this facility and I know they will take great care of me. They have commented on my determination and attitude to get better, and be out of my room walking laps. Plus humor can go a long way and we have been joking a lot but also having serious conversations.
I have said it before and it is well worth repeating: major props to all of the healthcare workers all around the world. All of you kick ass in a major way and without your dedication many of us would not be here. I always let them know their dedication is greatly appreciated.
I think I will hit the “post” button on this page and try to relax a bit, maybe walk a bit more in a little while. I will be back on here as soon as I can.
Today has been a sit and wait day and it has been a long one. I did get to move to a room with a water view so that is a nice thing they did for me. I also got an Ativan so my anxieties are a little better for the next 6 hours. As the procedure gets closer it freaks me out a little bit more each day so it helps calm me down. And some of the things they told me last night about post-op were not sounding very pleasant so that did not help much. I could possibly be in here a week after surgery, dependent on recovery progress.
I did not sleep well last night with all the noise happening, even with my hearing aids in my ears but turned off. I had my sleep mask to help block the light and that really helped with that part. I am pretty tired and the Ativan is making me more tired. I hope after the next dose tonight I can get some sleep.
Tomorrow will be a bit busier with getting prepared for surgery – chlor-hex shower, chest getting “shaved pink” (as one P.A. called it! hahaha), and whatever else has to happen. Hope it involves more Ativan. I ordered blueberry pancakes for breakfast tomorrow, and along with it will be some more delicious bacon – just like this morning with my French toast. Oh, that tasty and delicious porky goodness that will soon be a rare treat in my life.
I close this post with an Irish blessing sent to me by a good friend:
For each petal on the shamrock This brings a wish your way– Good health, good luck, and happiness For today and every day.
I am in hospital now and it’s certainly gotten more real as I get ready to wind the day down and try to sleep. Even though it’s been a mentally exhausting day I am not really very tired yet. Wish I had a couple of bottles of wine or something to take this edge off. By the day of surgery I will most likely be quite anxious to say the least.
Earlier tonight one of my nurses went through what to expect post-op. No one had gone over any of this in too much detail yet so I am glad she did. I thought that I had a good idea of what to expect but hearing some of the details was a bit surprising and unexpected. It will be very tough, which I fully anticipated, but it is still going to be okay. It could be possibly a week in the hospital after surgery then off to someplace to go through some more of the recovery process.
I don’t know when I will be going back home at this point – it will quite possibly be a few weeks. My main goal is to get as well as I can; right now I am not worried so much about getting home as I am focused on recovering as much as I can before I get there. I feel that getting well is where my energies are best spent.
It’s just a waiting game for me right now. And for the next two days. I am so excited to get through this and get back to traveling, going where it’s possible to go safely, and having some big fun. It is what being retired is supposed to be about (to me, at least) and I have not done as much as I want even though I have done quite a bit of travel the last few years. Finishing my last three states is high on the agenda this year and there have been plans started to do just that. I have to go get my dog at some point, wherever he will be, and getting the trailer out for trips. I have family and friends to visit. Europe is not looking to be very promising this year, and Canada is not looking to be much better at the moment but I can find plenty of places to go.
So yeah…I have been busy thinking about “the road”. Then again, I always dream about that.
I just wanted to post a short update for those who are interested. Guess I really need to think about getting some sleep…
Meghan was here last week and we cracked open this bottle of a new wine I bought called “Freakshow”. This is a bold, delicious Cab with a lot of body and flavor and it’s wrapped in a very cool label. I would definitely recommend this wine and I’ll buy it again. It was worth the splurge spending a few more dollars to try something new and interesting.
I got my ‘rona booster and today is two weeks after that so my immunities should be good but I will still take precautions and mask up. I had the flu-like symptoms about 12 hours afterwards and into the next morning but I got up, got busy, and it subsided. I was still tired and a little achey but the worst part was over. Still better than a ventilator.
No more ponytail! After a year and a half I finally got a haircut last week. I just couldn’t be that “long-haired bald guy” any longer but was not getting a haircut until the ‘rona calmed down and I got my shots. With the weather getting warmer it will also be nice and cool once again. Now that I got my hair cut I can have a good picture on my new passport for the next 10 years. I hope to get that done in the next few days before I go in for surgery. One less thing to do afterwards, and I am sure I will have plenty of other stuff to worry about.
And, finally…the biggest news…
I go in hospital next Monday in preparation for my surgery on Thursday. Essentially I have to go in and spend four days there before surgery just to be on an IV. I had pushed all of this aside in my mind, knowing it has to be done, but still scared as hell. That changed after I saw the doctor last week and even more so after this past Tuesday’s appointment to sign the surgery paperwork. Now I am REALLY fucking scared about it all but it has to be done. At least it is now only a double bypass; originally they were thinking it would be a triple but the surgeon said that the stent they already put in is working its magic and he is happy with how that is progressing. That was some really good news.
As I was driving home from the surgeon appointment my truck broke down on me so I had to get it towed again. Luckily I was not far from home but it is still a pain in the ass. I am not sure what broke but after looking into it I think that I have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong with it. I just cannot deal with it now since I don’t want to leave it someplace for several weeks. I won’t be able to drive after surgery anyway so I will just have it fixed when I get back home. At least I had already gotten most of the things done I needed to get done before surgery, but not everything was finished so I may have to get a ride to run a few last-minute errands.
I will, quite obviously, be out of commission for a while afterwards. I will post something when I have something to post and I am able to do so. My recovery will be my main focus…that is the most important thing to be concerned with.