Friday, April 30

Surgery and Weight Loss

Today is Friday and my regular weigh-in day, but I haven't bothered. I got weighed when I was at the doctor's on Tuesday and I was still up about 4 lbs. When the doctor's perform open-heart surgery, they fill the patient full of water and it takes some time for that to leave the system. I'm still having trouble getting my shoes on, though my hands are back to their normal size. So 4 lbs isn't much. When I eventually lose all the water that I've retained, I expect that I will be considerably lighter than when I went in for my surgery. At that time I will once again begin to watch what I eat and to continue with my weight loss goal. Right now, it's redundant as my sugar levels are way out of control and I have to eat what I can to gain back energy while trying to keep them within some kind of normal range, which to this point has been impossible. They are about double what they should be, but some of that is caused when the body is healing. The doctors have told me that right now the numbers are not as important as the way that I feel. Still, it makes me uncomfortable to know my glucose levels are out of control.

Part of the problem with my blood sugar levels started here at the local hospital when I had my heart attack. My breakfast tray contained things like orange juice, jam and white bread. Nothing at all for a diabetic diet and they also gave me my insulin shot about an hour after I'd eaten. The nurse and I had a little tiff about that and I began taking my own insulin before I ate. I won the battle but not the war because after my surgery, the trays that came at meal time contained the same non-diabetic food stuffs. Mostly hubby bought my food at the cafeteria so I could have salads and such instead of bananas (they send my blood sugar out of control) juices that were high in sugars, fruit breads that would have been delicious if they'd been made with Splenda and other such foods. Lots of potatoes and other starches that just don't sit well with my dietary needs.

Such is life and that part of the ordeal is over, thank goodness. I have now chosen a cardiologist and have an appointment to see him on May 25th. I will see the heart surgeon after that appointment, probably in June. Until that time bi-weekly visits to my doctor are in order. Not too confident about that because of all that he's missed with my health in the last few years. Apparently this heart problem has been brewing for years.

Tuesday, April 27

Ouch! That Hurts!!!

Yesterday when the nurse came, she told me she wouldn't be here today, as all was going well. How quickly things can change. Last night when hubby and I went down the stairs of the terrace, I felt a jab in the area around my ankle where the surgeon stripped the artery from my leg. A little later, I was crocheting (yes more dish cloths) and dropped my ball of yarn. Since I can't bend down to pick anything up, I called hubby. It was then he noticed the scar was oozing.

The nurse had left all the bandages here, so I cut some gauze and some tape and had hubby patch it up. Then I called and reported it to the nurse and she said she would be sending someone today. Barb came again and told me she didn't like the look of the scar and she wanted me to go to my family physician. This didn't make me jump for joy, as it is about a half hour drive to my doctor and riding in a vehicle isn't the most comfortable thing I can do right now. However, I did as I was asked and sure enough, I had a slight infection. He prescribed some cream, filled out diet papers and a handicapped form so I can get 3 hours of free parking when I go for my coronary exercise classes.

Tonight everything feels a little better. I was quite active today and am not retaining as much fluid as I was. The doctor gave me extra lasix as well, so that should help keep water retention at bay.

Sleeping isn't something that I'm doing much of right now. Last night I watched the movie, "Jewel" with Farrah Fawcett. It was about a Mississippi family who had a Down Syndrome daughter. Interesting how the mother's treatment of that child affected the lives of the entire family. At 4:30 am I had to get hubby up to help me back in bed and then we both slept until around 6:30am when we got up and had breakfast. I went back to bed around 7:30 and slept until 9am, but hubby didn't get a chance to catch up on any sleep that he missed. I do know that it's been hard on him getting up to lend me a hand every hour on the hour. Here's hoping that part of the recovery process is over soon.

Tomorrow the boys are coming after school. Jordan is going to clean up all the debris in the yard and Brandon is going to mow the lawn. Yes, it's that time of year again.

So that's just a little of what's been going on around here the last couple of days. Nothing very exciting and life is just a little on the boring side.

Monday, April 26

Monday Evening a Week Ago

A week ago tonight, I had just arrived in ICU from the OR, after having a quadruple bypass. I was not aware of anything or anyone at this time. Apparently hubby stopped in to say hi after talking to the surgeon, but I don't remember any of it. I do remember the surgeon stopping by at some time, still in his scrubs with his face mask on. I'm not sure if he had just finished with me or if he had stopped by after another surgery. All I know is that he is one busy man and for a busy surgeon has a fantastic bedside manner.

I didn't stay in ICU long. Tuesday morning I was moved to the floor and that's where the real journey of healing began.


I'm doing better. I can get up by myself from a lying position but still have a little trouble getting down. It's kind of like a graceful cow. LOL I'm getting better though and am hoping that by the weekend I can be more independent.

Working on cotton hand crocheted dish cloths that were ordered before my surgery. I thought that I'd be bored in the hospital, but that certainly wasn't the case. So if you ordered dish cloths be assured I'm working my way through the list.

Sunday, April 25

Let me start out by explaining that I don't think the heart attack I had on April 5th was my first. I think I had one 4 years ago and another in March. Why? Because the symptoms were so similar and the doctor could never really explain what happened either of those previous times.
Women experience much different symptoms then men when they have a heart attack. Yes, there can be pain and heaviness in the chest, the arms and legs can tingle or go numb and there can be pain in the neck. However, most women that I talked to in hospital spoke of much more subtle symptoms.
On April 5th, I was sitting at the computer doing some work and chatting with a friend. I had a slight headache that kept getting worse. I am not one to experience headaches and this was about the 4th one I'd had in a week. The headache continued and I began to feel nauseated. Then I began getting warm from my toes to the top of my head. I felt really ill and I had a pain in my upper right back just below the shoulder blade. Notice I said upper right back. That pain had been bugging me off and on for about 6 weeks.
I began to feel worse and woke Dwight up and told him I didn't feel well and I had to go to bed. I undressed, got into bed and as soon as I tried to relax, I because to shake, similar to a seizure but not so violently. It took me only a moment to realize that the tingling in my arms and legs was getting worse and I needed to go to hospital.
Those are the symptoms of my heart attack and it wasn't the first time I'd had them. The pain in my back had been constant. I mentioned heart palpitatations to my doctor. For some reason doctors tend to believe that women complain about every little ache and pain when in reality it is usually the other way around. Women don't complain because they are used to caring for others...born caregivers and tend to not take care of themselves.
If you have any of the symptoms I described above, seek medical attention immediately. It my be a case of bad indigestions but it could also be a heart attack.