It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago today I was technically dead. That my heart was stopped, my body put on a heart/lung bypass, and several things done while they had the chance. To my mind, they did three things: First, they replaced several arteries where the walls had become inflamed/thickened. Second, they put a metal clip on a spot on the back of my heart to prevent blood clots from forming. Third, they used both heat and cold on several spots to stop those areas as they were contributing to the atrial fibrilation.
They actually sent me home six days after the procedure, and while I do have a tendency to push and overdo things, I also have friends and a visiting physical therapist who cut me down to size very quickly on that. So, trying to follow the process, get in some good exercise without violating any restrictions, and slowly build back my strength and heal.
There has been very little pain involved in all of this. In fact, I’ve been amazed at how little pain there has been. After all, among other indignities, they cut my sternum in half, used a spreader on it, then glued/sutured/put on metal plates to put it all back together then. Indeed, some of the worst pain I had was where the ribs join the spine between the shoulder blades, as that area takes the brunt of the spreader. Some muscle relaxer and that was gone before I left the hospital. The worst part remains getting up in the morning, as the movement to get up and start getting out of bed without twisting everything is interesting, and you manage a bit of that anyway.
I don’t think anyone would have bet on my going home so soon. The first two or three days, everytime they stood me up/got me to stand up, my BP crashed. I suspect that if not for the external pacemaker attached to my heart, that it might have crashed as well. Things got figured out, and I rapidly went from a walker to no support at all. Right now, I’m home and while the physical therapist has limited the number of times I can go upstairs, I am mobile and as active as circumstances and guidelines allow. I do have a ways to go, but things are looking good right now.
The one thing I can’t emphasize enough right now is how gratefull I am for all the prayers and support that have come my way. I’m typing this post while sitting in a recliner that a number of my co-workers at the day job chipped in to get me when they found out I was going to buy one. The financial generosity of those who hit the tip jar has me covered for now in terms of bills and such while I don’t have a paycheck. Finally, the many prayers and good wishes have had an effect, and I don’t think I would be as far along as I am without them. God bless you all, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you!