I’m condensing this post from a few emails I’ve sent round, so this will be a chronological record of how the information has come to me and such.
Wednesday, April 22nd, Mom went in for a scheduled round of surgery.
There was a laundry list of stuff to do:
repair or replace both the mitral and tricuspid valve
replace the aortic valve (same as me)
Maze Procedure/Ablation to try to kick her out of the 4 years running atrial fibrillation she’s been in
replace the “jumper cables” on her pacemaker (iPod)
a bypass (dunno where sorry) as it was occluded 80%
The surgery ran maybe an hour longer than the projected 6 – 7 hours due to the amount of scar tissue encountered (from previous surgeries), they didn’t do anything to the mitral valve as it was only leaking 1 on a scale of 1 – 4, but otherwise it went well, the surgeons were pleased.
That’s the good news.
However, she won’t wake up. The CAT scan and EEG’s don’t show a stroke. They’ll repeat the same tests tomorrow (Fri 4/24) which will show if there was one today (Thurs 4/23). As I’ve been running a low grade temp this week I can’t go down there even. Marissa is there of course, staying downtown, losing her damn mind. As much difficulty has I have w/my mom I sure don’t want this.
I know that if she’s at all conscious of this, which I don’t think she is, as there are hardly any arousal signs on the EEG according to Gregg, but if she is, she’s fighting like hell. Stubborn and not giving up on life would be two core descriptors of my mom. Still this is awful.
I don’t know much more because when I talk to Marissa, she’s wound so much tighter than usual, I’m afraid to ask her anything and stress her more. It’s just not worth the added stress for her. I know she’s bird dogging the Drs.
So, I”m a lil stressed, frustrated and anxious, waiting for a few calls a day from Marissa or Gregg w/status updates.
I’ll let you guys know more when I know more.
Just got off the phone w/Marissa (mid-morning Friday 4/24).
She’s waiting for the full team of Drs to make their rounds, they’ve not yet done the CAT scan today yet either, so we don’t know a lot more.
Her sodium is high, they’re working to bring that down, and for some reason her right leg was spasming all night long on and off, got kinda beat up flopping off the bed when Marissa or the nurse couldn’t catch it.
Marissa finally took a Xanax and got about 3 hours sleep. She’s not yet been to the hotel room, she canceled it. I think after the Neurologist comes by she may run home for a shower and change of clothes.
So far today my temp has held steady at normal so if I can hang in there for 24 hrs. I’ll be headed downtown too.
Feel free to call or text my cell at any point.
I’m keeping Skype up so they can reach me there too or call out clearly.
(If you don’t have those contact numbers, email me or comment below and I’ll send it to you “on the side”.)
I’ll send more info when I know more, thanks.
Here’s the latest (a/o about noon Friday 4/24):
Her EEG shows signs of seizure-like activity in the right hemisphere, consistent with a stroke.
Her vitals are still solid.
No idea at this time the extent of damage or the duration of the seizures.
She’s on anti-seizure meds.
The EEG was discontinued at noon instead of 3 pm as they’d already gotten the information noted above that they needed. Some time after noon they’ll perform another CAT scan.
Marissa is on her way home for a shower and clean up and change of clothes, will turn around and head back afterward.
A stroke is one thing Mom was particularly scared of having happen, this will piss her off to no end, which I hope will work in her favor in recovery.
That’s all I know right now. Thanks guys.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 16 so far )
I’ve been home now a little over a week, and other than having my blood pressure get a little too low the previous 3 days, I’ve been great. I seem to be past the woozy and can get on with building up my stamina and doing my “walkies” in the building hallway. It’s too darn cold, icy and Chicago-in-January-like outside for me right now, so my long hallway in the building will provide a safe, dull walking space.
Before anyone gets all panicky, I’ve seen the Dr.s even while I was having a woozy attack and they did tests and checked me out and such so we know what it is and what it isn’t and it’s being addressed. They’re pleased with my progress otherwise, as I’m about 28 lbs lighter than I was on the morning of the 8th walking in for surgery.
I’m still rarely hungry, only able to “eat” about 4 oz. of gooshy food once or twice a day. Takes me about an hour to eat it. It really is as advertised, not hungry, and rapid weight loss. My big challenge these days is getting enough water in me (part of the woozy issue), whereas before surgery I was very much a water chuggin’ girl, now it’s tough to get more than maybe 20 oz. in me a day. I have to sip it, about a teaspoon at a time, all day long. Also if I take my meds, or chewable vitamins, that feels like a full tummy so I have to wait. And no drinking 30 min before or after OR during “meals”, so that’s about 2 hours of no drinking there. It’s a race of mini-sips, mini-nibbles and meds all day long. Keeps me occupied I guess lol.
As much reading and preparing as I did for this procedure, there is no way I would have anticipated major surgery to NOT be a huge hassle. Honestly, this has been much easier than I would have ever managed to believe. It also appears that I’m doing better than average for recovery too, overall. I was able to sit up much longer than expected the first day, and sat for hours the 2nd when I think they were expecting 20 min or so. I’m stubborn! Well it is also that right after surgery, if I wasn’t moving it didn’t hurt. So sitting still was just fine. Later on, that got to be sore too, I think as my guts re arranged to their new configuration and also as I went off the pain medication pump to every 4 hours or so.
Now I’ve not taken pain meds in a week, not even Tylenol. My only discomfort is the tape on my healing boo-boos. It itches and pulls. I figure in about 2 or 3 days I should be tape free. I can hardly wait! My tummy is patchy from glue and tape irritation, the bitty incisions are healing well and flattening out pretty much. Two of the drain-holes might end up a bit puckered, but I can live with that. Not like I’m gonna go parading around in a bikini. And if I do, I’ll not care, those are earned scars, just like the ones on my knees, elbows and hands. They tell the tale of how I got here and now.
So that’s the update, blah blah blah. Again, my friend and family, near and far-flung across the globe, have been fabulous, supportive and caring. Thank you is such an inadequate phrase but I truly am thankful!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )