I Had a Heart Murmur (Part 5)

September 19, 2014 5:51 PM

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I Had a Heart Murmur (Part 5)

When I last posted, it was the evening after my surgery, and I wasn't in the mood to do an inventory of the various things inserted into or attached to my body. When I awoke the next morning in the ICU, here is what I found: an external pacemaker stuck to my upper chest to give my heart a little shock if it began to beat irregularly; a portable and wireless EKG consisting of a small controller that fit into a pocket on the front of my gown, with wires attached to several patches stuck to various locations on my upper body (like a reuglar EKG) broadcasting continuous readings to a monitor; a drainage tube inserted above my stomach, draining fluids and blood from around my heart and the incision; a catheter inserted into my penis draining urine (good news... didn't have to get up to pee; bad news... do I have to spell it out?); IV port in the back of my hand into which all IV fluids and drugs flowed; plastic oxygen tube in my nose; clip on the end of one finger to measure blood oxygen content; and, support stocking hooked up to a pump contracting and releasing to prevent blood clots from forming. Sound TERRIBLE? It really wasn't. Nothing hurt. It was mainly cumbersome to move around. I got up three times during the day to walk the halls with a physical therapist, who held a strap placed around my chest so that he could catch me if I fell. I also dragged along my IV cart. Later in the afternoon the chest tube and the catheter were removed. Let me just say that its a good thing that you are asleep when the catheter goes IN! Actually not as bad coming out as the thought of it coming out.

Day 3: I stayed in the ICU as no bed was available outside of the ICU, but the ICU protocols (around the clock vitals, etc.) stopped. I went to a "soft" diet but I really didn't have any appetite. My biggest complaint was that my lower back was really sore, I think because the bed was very soft. I g...

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