I was discharged last Sunday and, thankfully, have been home ever since. I thought I would have updated sooner, however, I'm just so tired I haven't had the energy. Here's what my days look like: wake-up, take my temperature (gotta make sure I'm free of infection, weigh-in (gotta make sure I don't gain 4lbs in a day to ensure there's no fluid build-up around my heart), then it's medicine time. The kitchen, once used for cooking, is now a station of medication times, weight and temperature trackers, lists of rolling appointments, numbers to call in case of.....(insert any craziness that could still happen), and a spirometer (a machine used to measure how much air I can suck in, hint: it isn't much). My new and constant companion is a red heart-shaped pillow I use to press against my chest for any counter-pressure I might need to apply when coughing (scream), burping (ouch), yawning (meh), or sneezing (Lord, help me, I don't wanna die). Depressing- this is the most expensive pillow I will ever own and it doesn't match anything in my house.
After logging data, the highlight of my day, I get to go on a walk with my sexy husband. Twenty minutes of conversation through shaded trees in my overly manicured, hoity-toity neighborhood and bath of Vitamin D are enough to replenish this tired soul. Then, back to reality, there's a log for my walks, too. Turns out, heart patients aren't allowed to be couch potatoes, though we are expected to have useless T-Rex arms, something about having your chest cavity separated means your bones need to heal before you can use your arms. Think about this, have you ever had to not use your arms? No pushing or pulling, no lifting anything heavier than 10lbs. Y'all, for better or worse, I can't even open my refrigerator door. I can't open a jar. I can't get ice. If I don't want to ask for help, getting in and out of the bathroom, then I have to wear lose fitting clothes. And, so sexy! Compression hose are part of my everyday wear now. Because, once again, we gots to keep swelling at bay. Think white knee socks with every imaginable outfit. Romper? You need knees sock for that. Cute skirt? I could make an appearance in Britney Spears' , "Hit me baby one more time" video. What about regular ole black joggers? I achieve ninja status. I'm too sexy to handle in these babies.
I digress. Once we're back home and outta the jungle. It's rest time. I wake-up, then another highlight: a friend stops in for a visit. Know this, all my friends are super fly and super cool. You want them. Even if they weren't that interesting before surgery, they are now mega-rockstars, gotta live vicariously somehow, right? I relish they're ambulatory lives of tennis, Bible study, motherhood, wine, driving and shenanigans. And, I typically run out of breath trying to keep up, so they more I can cajole each of them in to talking to me, the more they entertain me. I'm such a user. Thank God they are so gracious to me and love me so much.
After said friend leaves, it's back to sleepy town for me. Then, the girls come home, I wake-up and use every last bit of energy I have trying to dote on them, helping them with homework, trying and failing to get them a snack. When I'm really tired, Elinoah, loves to climb in bed with me and reads me a few of the jaw-droppingly comical witticisms and cuteness captured in the form of a "get well" card from her class peers. My favorites cards include silly puzzles, ninja cartoons, the classic rainbow, some jokes: "do you want to hear the joke about my skunk? Nevermind, it stinks", "Check here if you like 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom'", but I think my most favorite card came from Drew, age 7, "Dear Katie, Get well soon, I hope you don't die?". Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Then, dinner and a show with Jonathan after the girls go to bed; if I'm not too tired we'll watch an episode of Mr. Robot. Days can alternate between friends visiting and doctors appointments. I'm on Coumadin for three months, to prevent clotting, which means I bruise easier and can't eat many of my favorite foods. I have to go to a Coumadin clinic once a week and hang-out with all the other old people who dote on the fact a 38 woman (who looks like a little girl, cue Britney Spears in her catholic get-up) is on blood thinner.
Yay! I'm alive and didn't die a sudden death. Life is good. T-rex arms, shrinking muscles, and dietary changes aside, the best part of this journey belongs to those who've walked with our family through this wild, wild, unexpected ride. I love you, all.