This was originally posted to my old blog on November 15, 2013
*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events. Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories. In any case, this is how I remember it:
It is time for another update on my heart surgery recovery. I’m thinking this one will be short because there really isn’t much to report. All is pretty quiet right now. This is a good thing, I think.
I have not been in contact with my doctor in a couple of weeks. He had asked me to call in and report my blood pressures and how the swelling in my feet had been doing. When I called in, of course, the nurse was the one to speak with me (the doctor is always in surgery). She took a note that my blood pressures had been creeping up and the swelling in my feet was going down, and said the doctor would call me back later that day. He never did.
I went in to the office three days later to drop off some paperwork for disability, and while I was there I also took the opportunity to drop off a detailed list of my blood pressures ( which were now slowly dropping again). I happened to cough while I was there and the nurse was concerned that I still had a cough after nearly a month. I told her it was a dry cough and quite persistent. She didn’t say anything but her expression was one of mild concern. She finally asked if I was still using the breathing toy to exercise my lungs. I am, and am getting stronger, but the cough persists.
As far as problems or, more accurately, irritations go, I am still having trouble with the pinched occipital nerve on the back of my head. It sometimes feels like it is getting better, but at other times feels as if it is just as bad as ever. I feel as if the back of my head is deeply bruised and so very sensitive to any touch. Also, sometimes the right side of my face goes slightly numb and I get a sharp pain behind my right eye.
When I first returned home from the hospital, I experienced a rash in my armpits and groin area. I had thought it was because of chafing, but then, despite thorough cleaning and drying, it became more moist and smelly. I treated it with clotrimazole cream and that seemed to slowly take care of the issue. Even though my pits and groin are good now, I have developed a rash under my left boob. I don’t know why I am getting these rashes, I am bathing normally ( no more sponge baths) and am sure to dry thoroughly. My mom tells me these things can be a normal occurrence after major surgery.
I am starting to have more sensation in my chest now. Since the surgery, my chest, along the incision, and inner halves of my breasts have been completely numb. This is a good thing since without the numbness I am sure I would have experienced a whole lot of pain. Every now and then my incision feels powerfully itchy and I have to resist the urge to scratch. Also, sometimes I get sharp shooting pains in my breasts and along the incision or in my shoulders, but they only last a couple seconds and then are gone.
The incisions on my left inner thigh, where they took one of the veins, have been sore and feel bruised. This is simply because of the location. I am a chubby woman and so you can imagine the rubbing and pressure these incisions have to endure whenever I walk or lay down on my side. They are healing very well despite the abuse, though.
Speaking of weight, According to my bathroom scale, I have lost a total of ten pounds since surgery. I am thinking this is because of the healthier diet. I am disappointed that I haven’t lost more, though. But I have to take into consideration that I am on restricted activity orders. I walk around the house a lot and do very light activity, but can’t do anything close to even mild exercise.
Sleeping is much better these days. I can sleep comfortably on either side now and have even found that I can, for short stints, sleep flat on my stomach! These are my natural sleeping positions so sleeping is very comfortable and restful now. The only problem is when I need to change positions it takes me a good minute just to roll over because of the stiffness and soreness in my chest. I am still healing and far from back to normal, so I still need to be very careful whenever I move.
My energy level has sored in the last week and a half. I still have to move slowly or else I get short of breath. I still get tired easily, but I can do much more before I get to the point of needing to sit and rest, or take a nap. Like I have said, I am far from being back to normal, but I can see and feel improvement everyday.