It’s been 4 weeks since I underwent the chest knife and I’ve now been home recuperating almost 3 weeks. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to chat, bring me a meal, and help out around the house. Your support is humbling and much appreciated. This journey would have been far more difficult without such a fantastic family of friends.
The first couple weeks at home were comprised of mostly just taking pain meds and reclining in the lazy boy keeping myself as immobile as possible. I was successful in obtaining better meds (Oxycodone and Oxycotin) by visiting my primary care doctor after the hospital fiasco. I have had home healthcare with at home nursing visits and physical therapy in home. The PT has been comprised of very simple exercises below the waist while keeping my heart rate very low. No more than 90 beats per min allowed. I go for a short walk each day and presently I’m up to one lap around the block. The only exercises I do from the waist up are breathing with an aspirometer to increase my lung volume, which has improved dramatically.
My restrictions for 8 weeks, ie christmas time, 1. Not allowed to put my arms behind my back. 2. Not allowed to raise my elbows above my shoulders, and 3. I’m not allowed to lift, push, or pull more than a few pounds. I’m also not allowed to drive until I’m off the pain meds. The weight restriction is the most inconvenient as it prevents me from taking the trash out to picking up a laundry basket. First month down and thanks to everyone’s help everything has been taken care of to date.
I’ve had significant improvement and am fairly mobile around the house, but my endurance is very limited. It’s very difficult to get pain free even with the meds, as I think I’m building a resistance to them. I’ve been out of the house 3 times, 2 of which were doc visit’s both of which whipped me out. Being vertical for more than and hour or two at a time is simply overdoing it. I did go out last night to the yacht club for an hour and was delighted to see many of you. An hour was the perfect amount of time.
I started working part time last week and am spending 1-2 hours at my desk before crashing for a few hours to try anther hour or two later in the day. It’s amazing how I can sit reclining in a chair fairly comfortable, but sitting up straight in a desk chair brings significant chest pain after an hour or more. I’m gradually working into more time and am anxious to put in a full day.
In two more weeks, First week of December, I’m to start cardiovascular rehab at a heart rehab lab. I’m not sure all what’s involved, other than I know it’s controlled and monitored gradual increase in heart rate while monitoring my heart’s vitals.
Your continued support for the next month until I can take care of myself is much appreciated. I hope to be going out more in the coming month as my endurance gradually grows. My door is open and anyone is welcome to drop in and say high at anytime. Just let yourself in. If you want to bring me a meal, call ahead or schedule from my previous post.
Lastly, I’ve been sleeping in a recliner as laying flat yet alone getting in and out of bed was insanely painful, until the last few days. I’ve progressed to my bed, which is a step in the right direction, however every morning I’ve been waking up with extreme back pain. I think since I can’t move around, lay on my side or tummy, and am forced to remain supine on my back all night is leading to the morning tension. I hope this subsides soon.