Feb 1, 2015

Triple Bypass Update

Its been twelve days since I had triple bypass surgery.  I am posting these updates for anyone else who might be facing this procedure or in recovery. I am also sharing updates for friends/family.  My recovery has been remarkably good.  I know this is because so many people have prayed for me prior to, during and afterwards and God has been gracious and full of mercy in response to His great love for me and those around me who have prayed.

Physically, its a slow process, but I can feel the strength building within me each day.  Friday night however, I cough rather deeply and it caused my heart to go into what I believe atrial fib.  I have had this before and have had to be cardioverted (shock) 2-3 times to get back into a norma sinus rythm.  It lasted until around this morning (Sunday).  It was a 'reportable' event so I called the on-call service for my surgeon and the physician on call told me they want to keep me out of a fib if at all possible and the only thing I could do would be to go to the ER, or wait and see the doctor first thing Monday morning.  I opted to wait because I already have an appointment first thing tomorrow.  Being in a fib tends to make you very exhausted and at rest my pulse was around 135.  I didn't do much all day Saturday because I simply didn't have the energy, so most of my day was spent in a recliner, being relaxed, resting.  I didn't sleep well and haven't prior to or since the surgery mainly because of the prednisone I have been on to keep my platelets up.

I am not having any tremendous pain and what hurts the most are the areas where veins were harvested for the grafts.  One in my left arm and one from my left leg.  A third mammary vessel was taken from behind my chest wall.

Both my leg and arm tend to be painful all the time and get very stiff and cold at night when I am resting or sleeping, but improves with mobility throughout the day.

I experienced something new Saturday night as I reclined a bit more on my sofa. I felt and heard clicking and sloshing in my chest more toward my abdomen.  It was weird and I am sure more pronounced because of the atrial fib I was experiencing.  This was more unsettling than anything else, but I did some research and found this to be normal and it should disappear after a while.  I am hoping and praying that my sternum will fuse back together as anticipated because I also read where some people who have had this procedure experienced failure of their breastbone to go back together and have had pain for many years as a result.  Some even had their wires break that attempts to keep the breastbone in place after surgery.

I am ready to get back to work for obvious financial reasons, but I want to feel normal again.  I know it will come.  I don't like sitting around the house all day although I don't have much energy to get out and about and I am forbidden to drive for at least six weeks post-op.

My dad has been a life saver.  He has been here every day except a couple - only because I know we both needed a little break.  I am a loner and I am not accustomed to having someone around, much more around 24/7.  But its been good to spend time with him even under these circumstances.  I am so grateful he has been able to be here, to help me out, to pick up things, help me around the house.  I am not sure what I would have done if he wasn't available.  Thank you God for my Dad and making it so he has been able to be here to help me!

My first visit back to the surgeon after surgery is first thing in the morning and I am anticipating a positive visit and maybe a better idea of what took place during surgery, recovery prognosis, etc  I will have several lab tests performed and an overall check up on my progress and the healing of wounds, etc.  I had three chest tubes that were excruciatingly painful and two of those wounds continue to drain and heal.  I understand this is also normal, but I will be glad when it stops!  I also have numerous steri strips over the incision in two places on my left arm, two places on my left leg and many along my sternum where they opened my chest.  Other than that I am pretty black and blue in some places, purple, yellow, reddish and brown  I look like I have been beaten pretty badly.

I am so grateful to have gotten through this process, surgery and doing well with recovery.  I know this is a wake up call on many levels to include, diet, exercise, stopping some unhealthy habits and taking control over diabetes.  But I also know its an opportunity to strengthen and deepen my relationship with God.  He always reminds me that there are so many opportunities as long as I still have breath in my body, there is always great hope - to grow, to pursue Him, to pursue holiness and righteousness to dig into the deep things of God and be more and more intimate with Him.  Thats what He wants, for us all - to be intimate with us, that we might know, truly know Him!

God bless you all and may His presence permeate every aspect of your life - Because He is the way the truth and the life!

Shalom!

Tim

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