Post Operative Peculiarities

I’m just back from a 2nd stay in hospital after my heart operation. When I got home after the initial surgery, I was experiencing some dizziness, difficulty breathing and fever/night chills so I went back in. They did some tests and found an elevated white blood count (in response to an infection) and a build up of fluid around my heart and left lung. The docs said that this can be a normal response to the surgery so they did blood tests and such to try to determine if there is a virus/bacteria infection or if it was just a fever response post surgery. They also drained the fluid from around the heart via a needle/catheter and something I do not wish upon my worst enemy. It was a good time, let me tell you.
I noticed a difference in my breathing and reduced dizziness on standing after the heart tissue draining so that was very much a relief. The put me on a course of antibiotics as well, which seemed to have worked their magic as my fever and chills are no more. This morning, after a blood test, they determined that there was no elevated white blood count, no more symptoms and the fluid was 99% gone so they let me go. I’m awaiting a final blood culture result to determine that there is no returning of the pathogen but I am very happy to do that waiting at home.

A nasty little bug

I have returned to hospital as I was getting some chills and fevers and such and waiting to hear back about some test results. I have been on antibiotics with the concern that I may have a Bacterial Infection, which is especially nasty after a heart operation. On the other hand, it could just be a little bit of a fever which is normal after an operation. They also found a lot of fluid that was sitting around my heart, which needed to be removed so my heart could expand properly. So they went in and drained all the fluid out and it made a lot of difference for me as I was getting quite dizzy before when I stood up. On Monday, I willl hear if they found anything in a culture that they are running right now. If it is anything Bacterial, they will put me on a course of antibiotics (hopefully at home), and if it is just a normal fever, they will let me go home.

So, we wait to hear. Will keep you updated.

Today was a pretty good day.

Today was a good day. Just some meds for blood pressure/protecting the stomach/protection against baterial infection but no pain pills at all. That’s a big step as I think it makes me more aware of how I’m doing and that helps with healing I think. I have been taking Arnica internally to help me with trauma and healing post surgery.
I’ve found that I am still getting tired when walking but it’s a good start. Progression tends to become exponential when it comes to getting better. So I’m looking forward to trying out my new valve job.

Do I practice what I preach?

Well, sometimes I do, sometimes not. In my clinic when I help a patient to get back on their feet, the one thing that I say is to continue to take it easy, even if it feels better as the body is adjusting to the changes that we made during the treatment.
Sooooo……I get this heart surgery done last Wednesday, okay? I’m laying about the house and feel peticularly good. At this stage of the game, they recommend walking about a 1/2 a block 1-2 times a day. But I’m feeling good and I’m a therapist so obviously this silliness doesn’t apply to me, right?. So last night I’m feeling pretty good and my dad wants to take the dog for a walk and suggests that I come with him just to the park (which is about 1/2 block from home). We start off and we reach the park and I’m feeling okay, so we walk through the park and back around the outside (which is the long way) and constitutes about 6 blocks. I got home and went to bed. The next morning I got up and felt immediately dizzy and got some chills and perspired a bit. So I laid on the floor for a couple of minutes and made my way up so now I can stand without being dizzy. It was a little crazy and unnerving. “I’m having a heart attack, my valve is broken……….I’m going to have to eat more hospital food…Ahhhhhh!!!”
I’m going to see my doc this morning and do all my vitals and stuff. I know that I need to take it easy and not do those kinds of walks like I did last night.
One thing that this all makes me aware of is how difficult it is for someone that has been busy or very active in the past to have to stop and take it easy, and to look into the future and realize that it is more beneficial to be slow now so you can run like a Gazelle later. I am used to riding everywhere, kayaking, my job is obviously very “hands on” so there are lots that I can’t do right now and just need to confirm continuously with myself that I realllly need to take it sloooowwwwww. I think it is something like this that will make me a better therapist when I can better relate to a patient that is going through what I am going through now.

On my way back

This post is brought to you by the good folks that make Demeral. Demeral….for every hospital occassion. So I’m feeling much better and on my way back tomorrow. No more puree of pork and beans for dinner so I’m very excited. Will update all with details tomorrow. It was awesome to have my friend Derek who was also having major surgery there as he came as visited before he was sent home. I am being kicked out of the computer room at the hospital so I will update tomorrow when I am home.

A quiet day

Friday, 2 days after surgery, and time to start to cut back on the pain medication which is a mixed blessing. Simon apparently walked around the ward this morning which exhausted him completely, also the stitches, bruising and chest assault are starting to hurt. Simon now has a phone, but asked to rest today, would prefer not to have calls or visitors yet, until he feels stronger, so we did not go in . We hope that tomorrow will be a different story. He originally expected to be home on Sun, but I guess, we have to wait and see. They seem to be taking good care of him, though we  were unable to open the windows or organise any fresh air for him. Hope he’s not too hot on top of everything else. The good news is that the worst is over and he will, I am sure , improve every day.  Will give you more news tomorrow.

I’m still sleeping it off

Since Simon is still sleeping off the effects of the anaesthetic, I am writing to keep you posted on his progress. I am Anne James, Simon’s mother.

He went into hospital at 10.30 yesterday and apparently the surgery started at about 3pm. We talked to the surgeon at about 8pm and he told us that the surgery went well and that Simon would probably be unconcious for a while. We hope to see him this afternoon ( Thurs) but if he is still not out of the anaesthetic, we will wait.

Tomorrow is the big day

Tomorrow I go into hospital at 10:30 for my surgery at 12:30. I will be in hospital for 5 days then back home again after that. I was going to be in the same time as my friend Derek Miller at www.penmachine.com but he is getting out early so we won’t be able to have races down the corridor with our wheelchairs. Oh well. My mom will be updating the site with news on my progression. So I will see you in 5 days.

Massage Therapy and Post Surgical Fascial Release

Having my surgery next week has prompted me to reaffirm an interest of mine in Massage Therapy. In discussion with my surgeon, he indicated to me that there will be a definite change in the movements allowed post surgery. For me, it is heart surgery so there will be definitely less stretches with my arms outwards for a considerable time to avoid the sternum from separating during the healing phase. This will be probably be for at least 3 weeks. In this time, the chest muscles are all shortened, the shoulders drawn in, the chest sunken in and the body begins to be educated that this is the new normal position for the body to be in. The connective tissue of the chest area can become fixed to the surrounding structures due to being in the position constantly as well as the scar tissue from the surgery itself. The bottom line is that therapy is needed to help the body return back to it’s normal position. This is different from the normal Physio that is done at the hospital and the work is done after the scar tissue has set in properly. This work is good after any type of surgery but is especially useful for any abdominal or chest surgery and is always confirmed with the surgeon and doctor to ensure that the work is safe.
All this work ensures that the client will not remain in the position that they have be forced to be in post surgery and helps the client return to a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Yay, a surgery date

I finally have a surgery date for my Heart Valve Replacement. I will be going in this Wednesday in the morning, staying for 5 days, then in West Vancouver with my parents for another 3 weeks or so, then back to Victoria. It will probably be 6 weeks before I can begin treating clients again. If anyone is in need of treatment, they can reach my good friend, Damian John, at 250-812-4863. If you would like to contact me on a personal note, I can be reached at 604-926-1024. I’m really excited about getting the surgery done and look forward to returning to work soon.