Friday, March 27, 2015

Blue October

Enjoying sun with my physical therapist, Megan

The entire month of October was blue.  The Kansas City Royals were in the world series and every time that I opened my eyes, everything was blue.  My very talked about blanket was blue and we also had a cute Royals pumpkin.   Between my health issues and the Royals headed to the world series, I thought my husband was going to end up in a hospital bed next to mine.  Kyle and my Mom never left my side in the hospital so he had to watch it all in the room and I may or may not have had to ask him to step out of the room from time to time. 

He was sad, my Mom was sad, his family was hurt and so was mine.  We all had the blues.  Kyle is one of the biggest KC Royals fans I have met and he gets absolutely CRAZY about them.  I wanted to be excited and watch the games with him but I had the blues and just wanted to sleep.  I was in the hospital the entire month of October and had what seemed to be the longest month of my life, little did I know that once I got home it wouldn't be much easier.  During October I had my lab work drawn 3 times a day and had tubes coming out of every limb on my body followed by chest xrays and echos.  I had an LVAD coordinator in my room daily to give us lessons on how to use my new heart and how to change the batteries and what to do if the machine beeps uncontrollably (pray that never happens), I had a dietician in my room to tell me all about my new low sodium life style, an occupational therapist to teach me how to shower with my new heart device since it's all electronic and nothing can get wet, a chaplain to pray with me and sing to me, a volunteer coming by for a 5 minute hand massage (HEAVENLLYYY!) and last but certainly not least, my wonderful physical therapist.  Mind you this does not include any of the numerous Dr visits I had each day or my nurses that were in every hour or so. 

My physical therapist, Megan, is the reason I am walking today.  When she first started working with me after my surgeries I couldn't even sit up.  She taught me how to sit up again, she taught me how to stand up, how to take 3 steps, walk half of the lap around the halls, walk around the entire lap and eventually conquer the stairs.  She was my favorite and not just anyone could get my ass out of that bed.  I would even pretend to sleep when half of the people entered my room and Megan didn't care.  She would shake me and make me get up when I was even at my sickest point and when I had the blues.  Her personality was just what I needed and I pray to have her after my transplant.  She would make me keep walking even if I was crying.  She saw me at my best a few months ago and also at my worst when I would cry because I had to do 2 stairs. 

Towards the end of October they started talking about letting me go home soon but not before one more surgery.  UGH!  How much more surgery could I have?!  I already had a very intense open heart surgery when they placed my LVAD, a few days later had another open heart surgery when they removed the built up fluid from around my heart, dialysis, etc.  Enough was enough.  The Dr's insisted that I have a "minor" procedure to have an ICD, defibrillator, placed above my chest to shock my heart if it had irregular rhythms.  It would shock me just like the scary pads at the hospital would just to make things better if something happens, hopefully help me enough to make it to the hospital.  They were talking about dates for this surgery for the next couple of days when I realized that October 29th was the next day.  There was no way I was going into surgery on the day that my Dad passed away during surgery so October 30th it was.  My final surgery to get me home.  Let me tell you- Megan was in my room the very next morning to get me walking again so I could heal.  As much as I wanted to kick her for it, it was so good for me.

When I got home I knew I had a lot of recovering left to do and I couldn't do it without all of the support we had.  I missed my boys and it seemed like every single time Grandma and Grandpa (damn-ma and damn-pa) were going to bring them to see me I would end up sick that day.  So when it was time to go home I had a million mixed emotions.  I was relying on the machines to tell me when my heart was acting up and the nurses to get my 15 different medications for me each day and now it was just us.  My Mom became my medicine nurse and Kyle became my Cardiologist.  I didn't realize what it would really be like when we returned home.  I couldn't be the Mother that I was before to my kids, I couldn't be the wife I should have been for Kyle and I could barely move.  I will never forget my first shower at home- who knew it could be so difficult?  It took us probably 30 minutes to get me wrapped up so nothing would get wet and as soon as I sat in my shower chair I just started shaking and crying- I couldn't do it.  I wasn't ready.  So my Aunt would come over and shave my legs, my sister in law and mother in law would wash my hair for me and I would just sponge bathe my body.  Thankfully that only lasted a few weeks and I just had to take plenty of Xanax, have my home health nurse help me and get back in!  Wrapping Christmas presents was another difficult one for me.  I didn't realize that in life I took every little thing for granted.  When I went to wrap gifts for everyone this year it took me at least an hour to wrap 4 gifts and they still looked like crap.  It hurts to hold my arms up long enough to wrap them, it hurt to squat down to wrap them but I knew I needed to do it.   No more blues! Try harder!  Royals lost and I'm going to win!  Sorry babe!

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