I am home! I have a whole new set of prescriptions (no more coumadin, but now I am on plavix and aspirin), and it has taken a couple of days for the morphine to leave my system and I have lost track of the days.
There are marks all over my body that remind me of what has happened: the “W’s” on my feet that the pre-op nurse marked me with, and all the sticky adhesive marks on my body from the EKG and telemetry stickers, now turning gray (ugh, yes, with collected grime)…and most of all, the entry point of the catheter, a very tender incision on my body, where the doctor wove the amplatzer device through my veins to my heart. And if I move suddenly or if I bend down, I can feel the device in my heart, a stabbing and sharp reminder that takes my breath away and makes me feel very vulnerable. I mean, yesterday I sneezed and I swear it moved the implant. I swear to not sneeze again for a week!
It feels very strange to ask someone to pick up something when I drop a fork or pen on the floor, when I know it is something very simple I ought to do myself. But I can’t–bending down takes my breath away. And it feels very strange to ask someone to carry something that weighs 10 pounds ore more, because I’m just not allowed to carry any weight. It feels strange to have to hold my groin when I laugh, because every chuckle and cough makes me feel like my incision is about to explode! And it feels very strange to excuse myself to go for a nap and to just feel very very tender overall.
But for all that, I am mobile and feel very good. No running or exercise, or any vigorous activity–just allowed to move about the house, really. Eventually, my heart will develop scar tissue around the implant and hold it steady.
The most annoying part of my recovery was in the hospital where I was on strict bedrest–flat on my back, not allowed to my my legs or lift my head, for hours and hours. And those hours were extended because I developed a bleed at my incision (btw, at my groin, so I got to flash a lot of people my privates–niiiice. And the nurses spent a lot of time applying pressure to my said groin. Thank goodness I was on morphine to deafen the humiliation).
So–more hours flat on my back. Which meant getting to know the bedpan very well, ick. YOU try peeing while flat on your back, knowing your bladder is bursting full but not being able to pee, so you just lie there and stare at the ceiling and pray to pee, and try to imagine a rushing stream, and you ask your nurse to run the water, and still you can’t pee.
But now I am home–getting better day by day. I’m weirdly disconnected from the world, not helped by the fact that my main email address is not working at all. I think this is not a bad thing–to get some rest and be shielded from the world.
But the hole is closed! And I’m very glad for that. My doctor came by to check in on me and shook my hand during my stay at the hospital–“You had atrial fibrillation during the procedure–but we were really tickling your heart so it was not entirely unexpected…and you talked to us the whole time…”
Uh. I barely heard the atrial fibrillation part–instead I blurted out, “WHAT DID I SAY??!”
And now–it’s time to nap again. Bye.