Friday, March 1, 2013

My Heart Valve Surgery Timeline

Each patient reacts and recuperates differently according to the book I read. I'm definitely one of those who deviated from the process since it's taking me a long time to recover. Thought I'd post and update my timeline here on my blog:

Photo taken while I was waiting for surgery time.

January 7 - surgery day. Admitted in the morning. Surgery originally scheduled at 1 in the afternoon but started at 3 in the afternoon. It was supposed to last just 2.5 hours, but mine took 4.5 hours. Doc mentioned that I had responded differently to the heart-lung machine and they had a hard time getting to my heart because of the lake of veins I had inside.

This was a nervous smile.

January 7 - 10 - 4 days in ICU instead of just a night. I luckily woke up without a tube in my mouth, but was very thirsty. Nurse made me some Milo and I luckily didn't have an allergy. Actually saw doctor take out 2 long tubes from my tummy. He said he had to leave it in longer because I had difficulty breathing. Started to use the spiro, dismally at only 400 ml. Started wearing stockings to prevent DVT.

Taken the afternoon I was transferred from ICU with my good friend Tappy.

January 10, afternoon - moved to a 2-bed ward. The other patient was so noisy and causing me stress. Had a hard time coping alone in the evening. Started to feel extreme back pains.

January 11 - moved to single room. Felt much better but still couldn't get out of bed. Noticed I had a lot of things stuck on my body. Most of the meds were coming in through my neck (meep). Spiro results started to increase. Started to have a hard time sleeping.

January 12 - finally got to stand up and start using the bathroom to pee. Badly wanted to wash my hair. My brother flew in from Jakarta for a surprise visit.

Google Hangout with my nephews in Jakarta. (Had to teach my brother and the kids how to use it)

January 14 - Filipino nurse Ate Yoly who reminds me on my favorite aunt, Tita Olive, gave me a full bath. Felt much more human after she washed my hair. Started walking around the ward with assistance (short distance). Took several breaks in between (more like every ten steps). Started to feel more back pain and couldn't sleep lying down.

My first full bath! 

January 15 - 22 - Doc said I had water in my lungs so they gave me meds to reduce it. Practiced walking everyday. Spiro results were at 750 ml maximum. Pain in back more apparent in the events. Barely sleeping at night. Also started to have asthma attacks. No appetite.

My former team mates come and visit with lots of goodies. 
These slippers certainly kept me warm and became popular in my hospital wing.

January 22 - Doc thought I'd recover faster at home and I was discharged after 16 days in the hospital. The first car ride was horrific, felt nauseous all throughout the trip home. Took several breaks walking up to my apartment. Promptly had an asthma attack when I got home. It lasted until evening.

I was pretty cheerful because of meds, but was having severe back pains 
during this time and was barely sleeping.

January 23 - 27 - recurring asthma attacks but still managed to sit up all day. Took naps after lunch and had to walk around the house with assistance. Could not take a bath and dress up independently. Gained back my appetite slowly. Had to use wheelchair when I visited the doctor and couldn't lie down on bed. Had to sleep sitting up.

January 28 - February 3 - had good days and bad days. Bad days meant I'd be coughing all day. Lost appetite whenever I was coughing. Jay went home on February 3.

February 6 - check up with doctors. Ended up getting readmitted. Emergency surgery done to remove fluid in my pericardium. Two drains were installed to drain fluid from my lungs. The 20 minute surgery lasted 2.5 hours.

February 7 - 11 - 5 day stay in ICU. One of the drains were taken out after 3 days. Received blood transfusion.

February 11 - 18 - moved to a single room after 5 days. Felt sad leaving the nice ICU nurses. Spiro results improved to 1,250 ml but went down to 1,000 when the drain was taken out on February 16. It was a relief to get rid of the alien fluids and this is the time I felt I was really on the right road to recovery.

February 18 - discharged from the hospital. Able to move the house unassisted. Filipino nurse Ate Jona gave me a complete bath.

*Didn't have much photos during this period because I felt so sick.

February 18 - 24 - was able to take a bath and dress myself independently although had to wear lose clothes. Some of the newer wounds still felt painful but the painkillers definitely helped. Didn't need a wheelchair when we went to see the doctor and to have my xray taken. Survived eating out at Marche and IKEA (separate days), but still walked very slowly.

February 24 - was able to drink coffee without having an asthma attack. Medicines greatly reduced, but had chest pains all day.

February 25 - made an emergency appointment with doctor because I still had chest pains in the morning. Doctor said it was probably because of the change in medicines. Felt much better after spending time with friends who visited.

February 27 - ventured out and had lunch at work. Went down the stairs and promptly got extremely tired.