Week Two: Adventures in Flappy-Backed Gowns
I’m doing ok, yet still in the hospital as I had a lil, statistically insignificant, rather expected hiccup yesterday. Right now it looks as if I”ll stay here at the hospital for the weekend, and then I will head to a “Skilled Nursing Facility” for some rehab (cue Amy Winehouse, but I WILL go) for a few days, maybe a week and then I’ll head home.
My daily routine is up by around 5 or 6 usually so they can suck some blood out of me, take my vital signs & I can “do my biznez”. Then for the next 8 or 9 hours it’s a steady parade of physical therapy folks taking me out for walkies in the hallway (2nd gown caped on my back to not scare the natives), respiratory therapists making me huff and blow chemicals that help my lungs function better. Also the checking of the vital signs, various folks from my different Dr’s offices coming around to listen to me and look me over. I am averaging one set of visitor(s) a day, so that’s cool, too.
I find the wifi here is variable, and this lil lappie has done a great job of keeping me connected and reachable, I’m really grateful to Amanda and Jim for it’s use. I’m able to follow MY Plurks, and Private Plurks, email (both addresses, so whichever you might have will be fine) & tune in to the station. Skype is kinda choppy so mostly I’ve used my cell phone or folks call in on the land line. Totally workable.
Ok, so why the delay? What happened yesterday is that my heart went into atrial fibrilation, which is uncomfortable, makes the heart beat faster than usual, de oxygenates the brain, puts one at risk for clot formation & therefore strokes. On the really really really lucky side, one of my drs associates was right here at the moment it started. She saw it on a remote monitor when I was signaling her I didn’t feel right. She was all over it instantly, literally.
I could feel my pulse racing and was irrationally upset and frustrated that my smooth recovery had been thwarted. What is really scary about the process is that due to the de oxygenation of the brain (overly rapid pulsing of the heart muscle means you don’t get good, solid pushes of the blood, so it doesn’t circulate well nor get oxygenated right) the rational functions, memory, etc. is all diminished. I’d say about 80% AT LEAST of what I know about this process was just GONE from my head for the first 5 hours of the event. The tricky part is you still feel rational, compus mentis as it were, but you most definitely aren’t. This is a great big part of why folks are told NOT to drive for 6 – 8 weeks after surgery. The risk of having an arrythmia while at the wheel and making some really loopy driving choices is too high.
Ok so they put me on a blood thinner and something to control the arrythmia and we waited. It took a few hours for me to convert to a normal sinus beat, and I felt it right away, looked at the monitor, and saw a nurse coming in to tell me it stopped. Gotta love this place.I’ll be on versions of both those meds for the next lil bit, month or two, barring further incidences.
As far as I know, at this point, I’ll move to the aftercare facility probably on Monday. My desire to not go directly home, my fear of “Murphy” was obviously well founded and I”m sticking to my guns on this one. Exactly when my incident started yesterday, a representative from the aftercare facility was coming by to meet me. They’re holding my room so that’s ok, too.
So that’s the update, I’m waiting for my physical therapist type woman to cycle back around and take me on walkies in the hallway. I’ll try not to scare folks with my gown a-flappin’ in the breeze!