The first week is a blur. The second week moved at a steady pace. And the third week has flown by.
I keep hearing how surprised people are to see me out and about and how great I look. And to be honest, I'm also surprised. I continue to feel well and am recovering at a steady pace. I know I'm not back to 100% and that I likely feel well because most of my day is spent relaxing and on the days when I don't get as much relaxation in I can feel the fatigue.
People have been asking me if I notice a difference. At this stage, I believe I can feel a difference. Before surgery I was functioning at 78% oxygen and I was overcompensating and pushing myself to reach 91% output. Being out of breath after walking up the steps was normal for me. I had never thought anything of it. And now when I walk up the steps I'm not out of breath. I may be fatigued but that's because I'm in recovery mode and I anticipate that once I'm fully recovered I'll really notice a difference and I won't be so tired from overcompensating what my heart couldn't do on it's own before.
When we met with the surgeon, Dr. Dearani, last fall he asked me to grade how I felt energy wise. I gave myself a B- knowing that I wasn't functioning as well as I had in the past or as well as other people with healthy hearts. He said he would do his best to make me function at at least a grade better than that but since I was already functioning at 91% output that I may not notice the difference. At 3 weeks post-op, I'm pretty sure I can already notice the difference.
The weather has been outstanding this week and it has been refreshing to get outside with the pups and CT nearly every day.
Christos bought us a bird feeder for Christmas. Since there wasn't snow and the ground was hardly frozen, we put it up the following week. We've been waiting and waiting for the birds to discover the feeder and just this week they have. It's right outside the window about five feet from where I spend a lot of my day. It's been nice listening to them sing. Spring is near but I won't be surprised if we get another cold front before May hits.
Rehab is going well. My speed and mets are increased each session as long as I am comfortable with it. Which so far I have. I've cut back significantly on my pain meds this week and I've started to feel some new things. The PA (Lucinda) who assists my surgeon and oversaw my care in the hospital called to check in on me today and reassured a few concerns I had. One being a pinching and tugging high on the left side of my chest. For records sake, she said it is likely scar tissue that is forming and the discomfort could last for weeks or even months but can be managed with Ibuprofen. Which I haven't been allowed to take due to risks of bleeding post-op. It was nice to get a follow-up call since I had just been reminiscing about my hospital stay after receiving an explanation of charges from Mayo in the mail today. Yikes.
The pictures from my hospital stay have made it off of my camera. Please hold me accountable to get them posted here. They aren't anything exciting, but I'm sure those from afar are curious.
I'm off to enjoy this gorgeous weather.