Saturday, February 21, 2015
Well, hasn't this been quite the little adventure?
Since last we met, I've had all sorts of interesting experiences, some - to put it mildly - more pleasant than others. Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of My Dear Sister and the unwavering attention of Mr. Muscato, I have had excellent care. Open heart surgery is no joke, but mine went as well as can be hoped. Unfortunately, the next morning it turned out I was also having a pulmonary embolism (likely thanks to the flights to and from Thailand - thanks, corporate travel office!), which required another round of tests and another small procedure (they insert an infinitesimal mesh that protects the heart from future clots - that will have to come out in a few months).
Since then, things have gone smoothly. I've been home for two days now, and while it's a touch melancholy that the dogs have had to go off to a kennel for a while (they are jumpy creatures, I fear), it is beyond lovely to sleep in my own bed (next to my own husband) and start the rehab process in familiar surroundings. Now I have to turn my attention to continuing to get better, getting off the pain meds (bless 'em - I could write a lengthy volume about pain and its dark companion, fear, but that would not be terribly cheerful, would it, now?), and starting to take up the reins of what passes for normal life.
So what, at this point, have I learned? Only one thing, and it's terribly simple. It's the first word I heard coming out of anesthesia, and it's the word that got me through the worst moment so far (the transfer from my bed onto the CT Scan slab the morning after, if you'd like to know), as well as many lesser moments since.
I thought it was odd, the night before surgery, the emphasis the nurse put on a lengthy but very basic breathing lesson: in (through the nose); out (through the mouth). Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Yet that simple thing is what's got me through this far.
And now on to whatever comes next (even if, for the moment, that's only breakfast and a cheerful stroll around our condo building's hallways).