Home (at last)

On Thursday evening, after 23 days in the hospital, I was discharged.  We stayed that night at the Hampton Inn in Atlanta and then came back to Emory the next day for lab work and a check-up; Doctor B wanted to make sure that I was healthy enough before I went all the way back to South Carolina.  Then we had to wait for 90 minutes at CVS while my 10 prescriptions were filled.  The ride home was not easy, especially on super diuretics, but Katherine our sister-in-law rode with us to be my bathroom buddy on frequent stops.  We got home on 7:30 on Friday night.  It was a pretty busy night, ending with Joel taking a midnight run to Wal-Mart for Popsicles (I’m still on fluid restriction).

Leaving the hospital was very emotional–happy to be released, but anxious that I wouldn’t be able to make it away from the safety of the hospital.  It was a challenge getting all of the prescriptions organized, but we have a big pill box and now have them broken out for the next week.  One of the less than pleasant things we have had to do is have Joel give me Lovenox shots in the stomach.  Joel has done it much better than the nurse at the hospital did–he does it quick, then applies pressure before putting the tape on the gauze, so it stops bleeding.  Joel says that is the "for worse" in "for better or worse."  We’ve had a lot of "for worse" lately, we’re ready for some "for better."  The shots are to prevent blood clots until my INR level gets above 2.0.  We were getting close when it was last checked on Friday, and we’ll find out tomorrow if we need to continue.

Each day has generally been better than the day before it–some of the anxiety has worn off, and I have been overwhelmed with joy being able to re-connect with Jack and Chloe.  The tape strips on the chest incision have come off.  Each "first" has felt like  a momentous occasion–first meal with the whole family, first night in my normal bed, first car ride, first trip up the stairs, first time kissing Jack, first time going out to eat, to celebrate our twelfth anniversary.  We have had times in the days since we returned home that have seemed like normal life, which has been great.

My energy has continued to increase–I’m walking 10-15 minutes on the treadmill, 3 times per day, and have been able to go up and down the steps and my parent’s house 3 times a day.  My pain is in check most of the time, but still gets pretty strong around my incision about 30-45 minutes before my next 12-hour morphine.  My remaining fluid has continued to come off with the help of my diuretic, but that means that I have to run to the restroom all day and all night.

How you can pray for me now:

  • Remaining water weight will continue to come off
  • Coping with fluid restrictions
  • Peaceful sleep (I have had very vivid dreams/nightmares

The week ahead will be pretty busy for us.  I’ll be going to the Greenville Memorial Outpatient lab multiple times this week to get my blood drawn, I will be starting cardiac rehabilitation, we have to go back to Atlanta on Wednesday for a checkup, and I hope to reconnect with my therapist.

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