Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Brand New Heart

It's been almost 4 weeks since I underwent mitral valve repair. I would've been able to blog earlier but things got delayed because of complications. I was just supposed to be in the hospital for 5 days - 2.5 hours in surgery, 2 days in ICU and 3 days in ward, but that wasn't the case. Surgery took 4.5 hours due to some complications and my surgeon said that my body reacted differently to the heart-lung machine (or something). I had to be monitored closely for four days. I stayed in the hospital longer than expected because I reacted differently to the medicines and had water in my lungs.

When I woke up the day after the surgery my first thought was, "I survived! I'm alive!" I promptly conked out after that and vaguely remember being given a sponge bath by the nurse. I was really thirsty when I regained consciousness. The nurse gave me some water but said I couldn't have more. Later on she made me the yummiest cup of Milo (I don't really drink Milo but it tasted really good that day). I felt really warm though so I had requested to have an electric fan by my bed. I had a gazillion tubes and plugs sticking out of me.

Sweetie, Miguel and my Mom were there all the time. It was freezing my ICU room though so they just went in and out. On the fourth day I was transferred to a double ward (single rooms were out), but my doctor took pity on me because the other patient was very noisy so he pressured the hospital to have me transferred to a single room the next day.

I was totally helpless during that time. I'm glad though I was assigned to the best nurse station - 9 East. There were a number of Filipino nurses too who knew I was desperate for a bath. The Filipino nurse, Ate Yoly, gave me my first bath and it really made me feel human again. I was in a lot of pain, not because of the surgery, but because of the water that entered my lungs. I had a hard time breathing and it hampered my recovery. As days passed the tubes and plugs sticking out of me were taken out. The vampire though came everyday to collect blood. Good thing she was really nice and made sure my arm didn't bruise.

My heart was in pretty bad shape before surgery. It was already enlarged and I was running the risk of progressing to 30% blood flow, but now my heart is like brand new. It had adjusted well from the repair (I sometimes hear a ticking sound though hehe) and is back to normal size. My cardio said he's very happy about how it had adjusted. I'm lucky too that I don't need blood thinning meds and that means I can eat anything. My recovery has just been held back by the water in my lungs, but after coughing up so much phlegm in the last 2 weeks I hope it's already gone.

I'm still pretty much dependent on many things. It seems only my fingers are working well (for typing). The next few weeks would be focused on regaining my strength and independence. Today's a really good day and I'm just hoping everyday would be a good day so I can go back to work.

Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers and support.