It has been a week since the surgery. And what a pain in the you know what it has been. I mean really. The doctors all claimed” a quick in and out, no big deal” event. Well it was a pretty big deal. Damn near what I went through for the double bypass several years ago. For whatever reason Jude and I were not fully prepared for this post-surgery recovery.
For the thoracic surgeon and his team this was easy peasy surgery. For me not so much. They were going to insert a double tube into my throat and deflate the left lung while keeping the right lung operational, open three separate incisions in the left chest, muck around in the chest cavity and heart for couple hours and then close it all up. All this was explained to me literally as I was being wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist said something about giving me a shot as I was being put on the operating table. To help me relax he said. After that I remember waking up in the recovery ICU two and half hours later. I really wish they would provide a video so I could see what all went on but then maybe it wouldn’t be all that fun or pleasant to watch. The best part was at some point opening my eyes and seeing Judith there.
The hospital and the nurses were beyond wonderful from a care perspective. I have really come to admire these men and women who work long hard hours taking care of others. I think generally I am a very good patient. I am told many are not. It has to be a hard profession. During my four day stay two of those patients did not make it. I could tell by the demeanor of my nurses as they came to my room to cheer me on that they were not feeling all that cheerful themselves.
As I lay in bed in my room recovering from this, the most painful part was getting my left lung to come back to full strength again. I felt like I was sucking wind. It has taken a week for my lung to get back to 70% today. Compound that with the inflammation to the chest from the cuts and sutures….. all in all, an experience I would not wish on anyone. Everything has been in four hour phases as that is the duration of the medications. And those four hours are broken down into Dazed, semi-lucid, sleep, pain. Take pills. Repeat cycle.
It is going to take 6 to 12 weeks for the body to heal. Getting back on my feet and walking is the cure. So I have to work on that. Four days in hospital and same at home, sleeping on the couch and recliner so I can keep my head elevated, zonked out on drugs to manage the pain, and the restless constant moaning and groaning has been driving me crazy let alone what it is doing to Jude. But as usual she has been wonderful. As have my little critters. They all seem to sense something is up and have been curled up besides me the entire time. Our little family.
Every day is getting better. My mind is a bit clearer today, so I thought I would write. Mostly to thank my wife Judith, my family, kids and friends who have been all praying and wishing for a speedy recovery. Many have called, some have written online. I couldn’t respond to all as its been challenging to talk.
So, thank you all. From the bottom of my heart.