The first four parts of this series have all had the title start with “But, Doc, I feel fine.” Today I’m not using that approach because, truthfully, I don’t feel fine. I’ve lost track of the number of people who told me that I would feel so much better when this procedure was done. But I don’t feel better. I feel worse. I talked to the doctor about that this morning. In all fairness, I had a quadruple bypass 3 days ago. In 2 or 3 weeks I will be feeling better; it will take that long just to get past the after effects of the surgery. I do feel better than I did Tuesday night; but I definitely do not feel as good as I did Tuesday morning when I walked into the front door of the hospital.
And there is where part of the issue lies. I had had a cardiac catheterization back on the 7th of January. I didn’t know percentage of blockages then; if they told me, I just wasn’t alert enough to comprehend or remember. The doctor told me this morning that my arteries were blocked 70%, 80%, 90% and 90%. He said I’m the kind of guy that goes through life normally and when he collapses from a heart attack, everyone is surprised.
But that’s not going to happen to me; I walked in under my own power and will walk out of here in the next day or two, also under my own power. Right now I have to heal from the primary incision from my neck to the bottom of my sternum. The incision appears to be healing well; but the big issue is underneath where they cut the sternum. When they closed me up, they held the sternum together with six wires. I have virtually no upper body strength right now and the doctor said that will take a couple of weeks longer.
There is also a small one inch incision on the inside of my right leg just below the knee. This is where they harvested a vein to use in the bypass. That incision isn’t bothering me at all.
I still have a central line where they can give me stuff intravenously. I still have a chest tube which is draining excess fluid out of my chest cavity. This cannot be disconnected until I stop generating and discharging fluids. And I can’t go home with it. The doctor explained that if they remove the hose too early, i’d be back here and they would be draining my chest using one of those really big needles. They want the drainage to drop below 100 ccs per day and then they can remove the tube. I’m over 200 ccs so far today.
While I’ve been here, I’ve been surrounded by some wonderfully pleasant people. I couldn’t ask to be in the care of anyone better at any facility. My thanks go to the entire team.