Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cardiac rehab part deux

Today was day 2 of rehab. It was better today. I felt like I did something. First, I had to walk the track for 15 min. Then, I had to get on the treadmill for 15 min, at a speed of 2.4. I'm not used to walking that slow, especially for exercise, but since having this surgery and not being able to do much, it worked me out. After the treadmill, I had to ride the bike for another 15 min. Lastly, I had to cool down on the track for 10 min. The nurse checked my BP after my workout, and it was 80/50, which is way too low. She had me drink water, which I'd already done anyway, and checked again. It was 90/50. She asked if I was dizzy and I wasn't, so she let me go. I am the youngest person in rehab. It's ok though, I'm no better than anyone else. I just think it's funny, strange is more like it. It really puts things into perspective for me. I actually look forward to rehab, just not the amount of money I have to pay. I can't wait until I feel better. I go back to see Dr. Lane on Oct 3rd, and I hope she lets me take off this lifevest. Only if it's safe though! I don't want to do something that is dangerous or questionable. Speaking of heart patients, let's say a prayer for my friend Amanda. She's around my age, and she's a heart patient too. She's been going through a lot, and I hope that she's able to get better really soon. We're rooting for you, Amanda!!! You've gotta come home to those 3 beautiful girls, they need their mommy! Well, I've got to go do a quiz that's due at 830am, so later... Live, laugh, love; life is precious, but short...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cardiac rehab

I started cardiac rehab today. I'm supposed to do 4 weeks, 2 days a week. I pay $25 each time, which sucks, but what're you going to do? I walked for 6 min during rehab, which kinda sucked. I told them I could do more, I mean, I walk more than that around the store. But bc today was my 1st day, they needed to do vitals, hook me up to the computers, and let the computer make up my workout. So every day that I go, I'll let the nurse or whoever come over and let me know what we are working on. I'm still upset over mom dying, I can't get it out of my head, I don't want to believe it's real, and I want to be able to comfort my husband, but I feel helpless. It is nuts. I want her back. I feel like it is so wrong. Why her? I'm not saying that it should have been someone else, but why mom? She's so special and I love her so much, so why did she have to leave this Earth so early? It's not fair. She probably would have come with me to rehab and then lunch or something today, who knows? Or we could have gone to lunch another day this week. Today, at rehab, they asked me for my emergency contact, and I gave them David's information. Then they asked for my 2nd emergency contact. I nearly broke down, bc mom was my contact. Actually, she was my 1st, and David my 2nd, bc if there were an emergency, she could usually get to me or get in touch with David. I know I keep repeating it, but dammit, I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate really sucks.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Yesterday evening, my heart got broken. This is not something surgery can fix. My mother-in-law, whom I've called 'mom' for 10 years, passed away. It was very sudden, very unexpected. It's left our whole family in shock. It doesn't really seem real, but unfortunately, I know it is. Although I've had distant relatives die when I was a child, it wasn't too bad for me, bc they weren't close and I didn't know them. It's not that they deserved it, it's just that I didn't have to experience it with a super close relative. My 1st grandma died when I was 17, and although it hurt, I think I handled it better than I would have at 8 or 6 yrs old. My kids are 8 and 6, and now they have to deal with this horrible heartbreak. My heart aches for them. My heart aches for David, and my heart aches for everyone else involved. I am trying to be so strong, but it is really hard. I was very close to her, she was such a good woman...everyone she met liked her. It is so hard to think about life without her. I liked her from the moment I met her, in Sept 2002. She gave us so much. For one, she always looked out for her kids and grand kids (and friends) before she gave herself one single thought. She loved animals, especially dogs, and she was very active in the different dog clubs and dog shows. She took such great care of me when I was on bed rest during my pregnancy with Rianna. She took me to every doctor appointment, then we'd go to lunch. It was our thing. If David had school work or something late, she'd come get me to spend the night with them so that I wouldn't be alone. She bought most of Rianna's baby things. And she held my hand as I gave birth to Rianna. She loved the kids. She took them to Florida, to Lake Oconee, and various other places. She basically bought them whatever they wanted. Rianna had a special bond with her, I think mostly bc of their love for reading. She and Gage had a special bond bc he's the only grandson and he's the youngest. I have friends who tell me all the time how lucky I am that I have a MIL who's as great as she is, bc most people don't like theirs. I agree with them. I am soooooooo lucky that I had her. I am just upset that I (that is, we) couldn't have her longer. She and my FIL have been married for 48 years. People who have a love that long are so lucky too. I know that in time, our wounds will heal some, but the pain will never go away. I don't know who I'm going to call when I want to talk. I used to call her when I wanted to talk about stuff, usually stuff I never talked to my friends about. She was my mom as well as David's, and I miss her so much already. This hurts worse than any kind of heart surgery. We are having her viewing at 6pm on Sat, and her funeral will be Sun at 3pm. It's not fair. We have lost an incredible lady. I love you mom, and I miss you terribly.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I've graduated!!!!!

That's what my surgeon said! I went to my appt and his PA said that my sternum is healing nicely, the bone has basically finished fusing, so I can move around more. I also can drive again, so that's good, bc I can go back to school Wednesday! She said maybe I can go back to work in early November. It's pretty exciting, bc I'm soon going to be past this healing part. I should not have any more problems at all. I'm going to pray for that. I have to call the cardiac rehab center to schedule the workouts I need. Yay!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oh, forgot to mention...

I'm helping my friend get ready for the annual breast cancer walk. Rianna and I do it every Oct. I'm hoping and praying that I can do the whole 3 miles by then. Something else I'll have to ask the doctor on Mon. Also, I was looking for the annual heart walk we have here to sign up for it, but I didn't see it. Luckily, I don't give up easily and I found out where it'll be. It'll be in North Augusta, SC, which is about 15 min from here. Still in the CSRA. It's on March 9, 2013, and I've already started working on recruiting people to walk with me. I haven't figured out a team name yet, but I've had a couple suggestions. I decided that I'm going to take all the suggestions and have a kinda voting poll on FB near the beginning of the year or so, and maybe figure out a prize for the winning suggestion. Maybe a free t-shirt, or something less lame. Hmmmm, do I need to have a poll for that too?!?!?!? Agh, always something...I wanna do something cool though, so I'm up for the challenge. I have done the heart walk in the past, for my papa, and actually, just bc I usually sign up for all 5k walks for the cause that are in my area. But this is going to be special, I think. I can't wait! Oh, and before I go, my sister, Tammy, in Alabama, is really into pageants, hair, tan, etc (my niece is in the pageants and my sister is awesome at beautifying someone even more than they already are). Anyway, she said that they do charity type things every year, so she is going to see if they can do a heart thing. She's thinking around Feb, and I hope she can do it. I told her I'd come to AL when she sets it up. I'm super happy that we can do good things in this world. Ok, sappiness aside, I'm going to bed.

End in sight???

Slowly, but surely, right? I'm so ready to be healed, or at least, be working on becoming 100%. Tues, Wed, & yesterday, I was extremely sore from the thoracentesis. It was hard to breathe in, hard to cough, sneeze, even hiccup. It was like I went completely backward. I slept like crap too, which means David did as well. Yesterday, I braved the pain, and Umma, mom and I went to lunch at Olive Garden. It was nice to get out of the house. Last night, I actually slept pretty good. David said that he noticed. Ha-probably noticed that he didn't lose as much sleep. Just kidding, I love him for all that he has put up with these past 5 weeks. He could complain as much as I do, and for good reason, but he's been great about it.

Well, tomorrow, Umma heads back to California. I'm gonna miss her so much. Rianna said that she knows she will be crying tomorrow, bc she always cries when she leaves. Gage got very moody quiet tonight, and that is how he reacts to her leaving. I sincerely appreciate everything she has done for us. She's cleaned, cooked some, been my chauffeur when taking the kids to school and picking them up, and she rarely lets me even carry my own plate to the sink. And seriously, she's given me my shower a few times. Has she driven me absolutely crazy with her driving? Yep, she's a little scary behind the wheel sometimes, but she improved every day. It's the little things that count, and I couldn't have done this recovery stuff so well without her. I am so grateful to all of my friends who have been there also, and to my family. Mom makes sure I'm ok, and I know that if I needed anything, she would make sure to take care of it. My dad texts me first, to make sure I'm not sleeping, then I usually call him back. My stepdad and stepmom check in on me too. They are super awesome. I have friends that don't live anywhere near GA, that sent cards, emails, and FB messages to me, friends that live near that have done the same, and I'm appreciative of them too. I never expected the outpour of support that I've had. Actually, not only that I've received, but David and the kids. Some had never met David and helped him out so much that I could never say thank you enough. I have been sooooooooo slack with getting thank you cards out, and I apologize, but I am trying to individualize every single one with a personal message, not just "thanks, see you later"; everyone means so much more to me than that. I saw on a show today that the appropriate timing of thank you notes being sent out is 3 days. I'm hoping that's for gifts and parties, not major surgeries, bc if not, then I fail! Monday morning, I go back to Dr. Hunter, my surgeon, for another checkup. We will discuss cardiac rehab, and whether or not I can drive. Fingers crossed that I can drive!!!! If he lets me drive, then I'm going back to school Wednesday. I only have one class I have to go to school for, and that's on Mondays and Wednesdays, for only an hour fifteen. I can handle that. I'm wondering if I should ask my doctor for a note for a handicap parking pass for a little while. I don't want to seem like I'm special, but it's hard finding parking at school, and I'm scared of walking too far away from people right now, in case I fall out, or my lifevest goes off, etc. The other day, David and I went to the store. He told me to get what I needed, and he'd go for what he needed. I freaked out. I got nervous about not being around someone I knew in case something happened. I need to really work on that. I can't have anxiety like that, bc I'm a grown up, I don't need someone beside me holding my hand 24/7. I'll have to ask Dr. Hunter if that is normal. I'm sure it is. Well, I'm done rambling, I think. I should sleep ok tonight, bc I'm not in much pain at all, and I took my cough medicine, just in case. Night everyone!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I had a thoracentesis done today. OUCH!!! Thora- means chest, -centesis is removal of fluid using a needle. Think amniocentesis that some pregnant women get, but I get stuck in the back. We were told to get there at 2pm, and we were actually on time (my fellow coworkers would be shocked!). We had to wait about 30 min to get the doctor's orders. Um...this was supposed to have been ordered on Fri, what the heck? Anyway, they got me back to radiology, where I sat on a bed for about an hour. Finally, they wheeled me back to where the thoracentesis was going to take place. I sat until 415, and the doctor came in (not mine, just the radiologist doing it). He explained what he was going to do. He said that he was going to clean my back, then give me a shot of Lidocaine, and finally, do the procedure. He said that the needle-stick would feel like a bee sting. That's what every doctor says about every procedure, I swear. But, he was actually right. But then he said that I wouldn't feel anything else. Lying butthole! I felt like the wind was knocked out of me, like how I would imagine a football player feels when hit really hard in the lungs by a 300lb lineman, or whatever they are called. I don't think I'm exaggerating. Anyway, I felt like I was gasping for air, it hurt to breathe, and I was coughing like crazy. (This was due to the extraction of the fluid. I filled up 1600ml of a container). They said that I would cough near the end, so I think the lack of breathing was causing the coughing. I cried like a big ol' baby. After the torture was over, they took me to X-ray, did another one, and then put me back in the "holding room". I laid for about an hour, still in pain, and we were ready to leave. That was horrid. Now, every time I move or breathe in, my front and back hurt. They said it would be about 24 hours until I feel normal again. Oh really, well, I think normal was back before July 30th, when I had the 1st freaking EKG done that determined my faith thereafter. So I don't really remember normal. I can't wait to feel better. I hate complaining, but I hate pain even more. I took a Hydrocodone and it didn't touch the pain. I'm going to try to go to bed, bc my efforts to take a nap earlier didn't really work. Hopefully, I can write some good news tomorrow. Dear Lord, I pray this pain is gone tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

3 weeks, 3 days post-op...

--Current mood--good, I'm feeling lots better than yesterday. Yesterday, I was having a "woe is me" kinda day and I felt like no one understood.
--Current Medications--12.5mg Metoprolol twice a day; 200mg Amiodarone once a day (used to be twice); 81mg baby aspirin, Hydrocodone as needed (I usually don't take bc it makes me sleep and gives me weird dreams, so when needed, I take a 1/2 pill); plus 2 different cough medications. One is in pill form, I can take 3 times a day and the other is cough syrup that is a narcotic and I only take that at bedtime.
--Weird fact of the day--I realized how weird, crazy, old, all of this is, when I had to break down and buy a...pillbox. Yep, I spent $5 on a pillbox that has morning and night on there. Yeah... --I've also lost 3lbs in 2 days, so I'm kinda proud of that. Who cares if it's water weight or the swelling going down from all that dang sodium they kept shooting in my IVs. That's not the point.
--Exercise today?--well, we took the kids to Toys R Us bc they wanted to spend their money. Gage was looking for a Loki toy so that he could let it fight the Thor one he already has. Couldn't find it in TRU, and Rianna asked to go to Barnes & Noble, so we did. We have to carve out at least an hour to let Rianna read the backs of almost every book she looks at. She bought 4. Afterwards, Gage still wanted that Loki toy, and told David that it was for sure at Walmart. So we went to Walmart. And...there was his Loki. He was super happy. So I walked around all those places. The doctors had told me that if I needed to walk too much around a store, that I should ride the motorized cart. Um no...did it once and that was enough. I need to walk bc that was part of the physical therapy deal anyway.
--Rest--well, it's 149am, and I'm writing in this blog. I fell asleep last night (Fri) at around 8pm, while watching tv with David in the recliner. He just left me there when he went to bed bc he didn't want to bother me. I woke up at 4am, fell back asleep immediately (still in the chair), and woke at 7. David had made French toast and bacon, so I ate. Then, I went back to my chair and fell asleep til 10. I woke up again, brushed my teeth, fixed my...hold on, "fixed" my hair, and got dressed. As soon as I sat down again, I fell asleep again. I can't even say how much I slept, but I know it was a lot. The cough medicine makes me sleep, so tonight, I took a 1/2 dose. I don't like the out-of-it feeling I had today.
--Zipper--my zipper is healing, but the glue (yep, glue) is starting to come off. I was freaking out yesterday, but Dr. Lane said not to worry, it's supposed to do that. The zipper doesn't look 'that' bad, but it still sucks. I'm buying Mederma as soon as I can put creams on it.
--Football--I watched our team, Florida (Go Gators), almost lose to a "high school" team today. Ugh, they need to tighten up, we have a tough schedule this season. But we pulled the win out of our behinds, and that's what counted today. My stepdad's team, Alabama, won today. Actually, they pretty much spanked Michigan. If I wasn't a Gator, I'd probably root for the Tide. They're a fantastic team. My dad's team, Georgia (blech!!), won today, but they had to, they played a high school team. It would have been an embarrassing loss if they'd have done it.
--My kids--they were crazy today. They make me smile. Their money was burning a hole in their pockets, so we took them out, and they loved paying for their own things. Rianna spent more than Gage (hello, she's a girl!), and Gage got some change back. Rianna complained that she was broke again (ha), so since Gage got the toy he wanted, he gave Rianna his change. That's how he is; if he has what he "needs", he doesn't want the extra money. It's cute. Well, that's about all my randomness for the night...