Half Dozen Weeks
Six weeks ago, Don had open heart surgery. He's been the perfect patient. His cardiologist praised his progress at his post op, two weeks ago.
On October 5, I took this photo right before they wheeled Don away to have his surgery. I remember thinking, that in a few hours, surgery would be over and it would be all about the healing. I was eager to get started on that. I expected ups and downs, but these past 2 weeks have been tough.
The first month felt like 6 months to me. Probably a year to Don. But we got into routines. I attempted to play nurse. I got very good at taking Don's blood pressures. I could pop up and down and assist cheerily, even in the middle of the night.
But there's only so much I could really do to help. That was actually pretty frustrating. Don was a trooper though. He used the crazy plastic breathing thing, to exercise his lungs. He got up to walking 3 miles a day. It was nice that I could do that part with him.
Staying Healthy for Him
While Don dealt with a million post op issues (coughing, sore throat, dizziness, chest pain and spasms) I brought him whatever I could to help. He rarely complained. I tried not to annoy with all the questions I wanted to ask.
I worried and wondered how patients recover from this surgery, when they live alone. Or when their partner is sick or working. I raced to Walgreens, (wearing my mask) and got my flu shot. I need to stay healthy, so Don can get well faster!
The day after Don's 4-week check up, Don's back went wonky. Back spasms. He was just starting to feel normal. He was doing better with sleep and walking twice daily.
He took a break from walking one day. Then it became clear that even brushing his teeth caused back pain. I tried to focus my nursing skills on back massage. I studied this image, in hopes of understanding what was going on under that skin. It's actually nice to have something concrete that I can help with, now.
Not sure how these back issues could be related to heart surgery, but everything seems to be related. Don reached out to the cardiologist. "If I hadn't just had this surgery, I would have guessed I had a broken rib." Don's cardiologist told him to see his primary care doctor. I hate that kind of answer.
I'm glad Don had his surgery in 2021 and not 1951. Yay for specialists who have done the same surgery a million times. But, I wanted more guidance from a doctor who really understands the surgery. I hate when doctors pass their patients to someone else. I miss the good old days. A little bit.
So it's been 2 weeks since the back started. Don sees our primary care doctor tomorrow. In the mean time, Don will spend a little more time resting against this heating pad. And I'm perfecting my massage therapy skills.
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
The most recent post is at the top, from coronary posts in 2022, back to cancer posts in 2016.
To find past posts, look below the "Archives" section, to find "Categories".