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14th September

A few hours sleep during the previous day and last night and I am a bit more awake and alert today. I've still got this tube up my nostril and my throat is now sore. Sips of water to ease it, and of course breakfast was being eaten gently. Cornflakes of course, which was really nice as I was a little hungry.

A lot was going to happen today.

During the night, the elderly gentleman had an issue. Alarms were going off and a rush of people to his bedside. Whatever it was, they drew the curtains and the doctor on call came along as well and all was well. The alarms stopped after some intervention of some sort and all was quiet again. I am kinda guessing that it was an emergency. But when breakfast came along he was still sedated or asleep. This got me thinking. Was I ever in that position after my operation? Could this happen to me now at any point? It wasn't necessarily a worry, but a thought that would stay in my head for a while.

So after breakfast and winding up the nursing staff, I was asking to go for another walk. This walk felt a teeny bit easier than yesterday, perhaps it was confidence, or perhaps it was just time is a healer sort of thing. I actually managed 2 walks today, the last one was a couple of hours later at my request, and I started to gather a bit of pace, I was also walking to the toilet today with the help of a nurse to carry the portable cardio monitor whenever I needed to go. These guys are so helpful, they are marvelous at what they do.

Doctors daily rounds and was asked if I had been to the toilet today, I said yes but only a wee. Before they would let me out of the High Dependency ward, they needed to be sure that I could go to the toilet (No1 and No2)!!

Doctor was pleased with my recovery, it was going well and I was feeling really good. 

The nurse later asked me again if I had been to the toilet yet, I said no, and she said "its time for a suppository"!! I accepted that of course as I wanted to progress and ultimately leave the hospital. Suppository inserted and was told it would work in about 30mins to an hour. 5 mins later....... "Nurse" "I need the toilet" No time to walk to the toilet, A commode was brought in and the curtains swiped across. I managed to go, but not much, but it was a start for sure. I was on the road to recovery. 3 times I went that day, and I was proudly telling the doctor later that exact same thing. The nurse today took out 2 drains. A catheter, which felt a bit weird and a drain that was connected to the outer wall of my heart. This sounds scary and the thought in my head was, when they pull this thing out, is part of my heart going to be pulled out as well? Anyway, this was a bit painful and again felt weird. I tended not to look as they took it out...... when they had taken it out, the tube as about 15 inches long!!! I was shocked at how long this thin tube was. But at least it was out being the main thing.

I was now on different medication, I can't remember the names of the medication, but I believe it was aspirin and a beta blocker along with a statin in the evening. There could have been another tablet, but I am unsure. I was continually asked if i was in pain, but I wasnt, it was just discomfort from the chest wound, although later I found out that it was pain to some degree, but it was only after a few days a nurse said or someone said that if you are offered pain relief, take it !! It didn't really make much difference to be honest, but the last couple of days I did start to take paracetamol once a day, maybe twice a day. Although this now serves a memory to me that i was given morphine through a syringe into my mouth the day I woke up, could have been saturday, or sunday, again, its a vague memory but i remember saying "what? drink it?" so yes, into the mouth and suck it up big boy!! Morphine I am guessing had been flavoured as it tasted quite nice, did it relieve my pain? I have absolutely no idea at all.

 I was moved to an independent ward today. The cardio monitor was disconnected from me. The sticky patches that I have had for the last 2 weeks and being constantly replaced and additonal ones added for ECG and Echo Cardiogram, it was nice to not have those things on and be tied to a monitor after all this time. I was free!! It felt good apart from a sore that had developed where one patch had been replaced time and again on top of the same place. When they took this patch off, I am sure it took off a small thumbnail sized piece of skin and it was sore.

The ward I had been moved to was a cardio ward but at last I was off the High Dependency unit ward. the ward was ok, I was in a room with 4 other people, total of 5 in this room. We had our own toilet and shower as well. This was like moving out of a B+B and going to a 5 Star Hotel !!! Sister introduced herself to me when I was wheeled into the ward, and a chatty nurse who made me feel welcome. It was about lunchtime and lunch was served. I was able to get into my own clothes now, no gown, so I was living the life of luxury reclining in bed in my own t shirt and thin trousers (it was warm on the wards) I could get up and go to the toilet all by myself without telling anyone I was going. I felt like a grownup!! 

I was speaking to the sister and telling her how good I was feeling and that my partner is a nurse and I would be going back to her place so that she could look after me and for the last 2 days, I had been saying this all the time. It was a positive mental attitude thing but also putting it into the mindset of nurses, sisters and doctors that I was talking to, that I would be well looked after when I eventually leave, and suggesting that I could free up a bed for someone and still be looked after back at home. I think this worked as the sister replied to me by saying that she would have a word with the doctors and see how feasible that might be.

Later in the afternoon, the doctors did their rounds and again I suggested about going home sooner rather than later as I was feeling really good and I think I am making a good and quick recovery. They didn't disagree with this, but they were cautious by caveating anything said by ensuring that I was fit enough and my oxygen levels needed to be at a certain point and to ensure there was no bleeding going on internally from my heart or arteries before they would let me go. I was a bit deflated by this, but I totally understood that they had to ensure I was in a safe position after such a major operation. Of course I understood this, but I did feel fine, but i guess you can never know for sure until something happens.

***FUN FACT***

When you have a bypass operation, once they break open your sternum, they then collapse the lungs by hand to allow the surgeons better access to your heart and all that entails. When you wake up from the operation, one of the first things that they tell you to do is breath deeply. Easy enough you think, but the chest is a bit sore as its just been opened up, so its shallow breaths and over time, the breaths get bigger and bigger until you feel your lungs expanding and getting a full breath. This doesn't happen in a day. It took me about 3 weeks to get a full breath with little pain and discomfort. So be prepared to take it slowly. Its not a race!


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